Cottonwood Falls, Kansas: Small Town Travel
Since the release of “The Wizard of Oz,” rural Kansas has been the first thought of those dreaming of small town America. True small town enthusiasts that spend their springs and summers driving through the lesser populated corners of the nation will jump for joy and giggle like Munchkins when they come across Cottonwood Falls, Kansas.
Despite being publicized in multiple venues as one of the United State’s small towns with the most luxurious rural accommodations, this out of the way town remains seemingly untouched, quaint and only moderately developed. This could be contributed to the town’s close proximity to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, or the sheer perfection the area already has. Local commerce basically depends on busy city-folk venturing to the quiet streets of Cottonwood Falls as an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
The best activities to take part in while visiting Cottonwood Falls are the simplest. A short drive will bring travelers to Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve where welcoming and informative park rangers will educate about what makes the prairie special. Arriving at the appropriate time will allow a peak at where tallgrass gets its name. In the late summer to autumn months, the grass can grow as tall as an average sized adult. The Midwestern American beauty of the preserve serves as an idyllic backdrop for a day of family fun. Moderately sloping hikes through majestic scenery, chock full of educational opportunities, can keep road trippers of any age engaged and excited for hours.
For another fun outdoor activity, Cottonwood Falls visitors should try their hand at fishing. On the aptly named Lake Road is a 109 acre man-made lake built in 1954. Chase State Fishing Lake is surrounded by nearly 390 acres of scenic landscape and wildlife. The fishing here is commonly very good, making this a great first fishing experience for young would-be anglers.
To take a break from enjoying the great outdoors in Cottonwood Falls one can visit the Chase County Historical Society Museum. The museum houses a comprehensive history of the Flint Hills area. A trip here will enlighten interested guests about the agricultural changes and cultural growth that has happened there. This shady, cool historic building not only means a break from the sunshine, but an enriching look at the foundation of the United States.
While the suggested dinner to go with the ambience in Cottonwood Falls is a home cooked one, tourists without loved ones to share a dinner table with in town do have a small selection of restaurants to choose from for a delicious evening meal. Unhurried meals cooked with as much compassion as skill are key elements of dining in the small town. Diners should not be concerned about dieting or calorie counting, as the stereotype about rural, wholesome cooking rings true. Red meat, decedent desserts and rich cheeses are plentiful on the menus in this town. A supper in Cottonwood Falls is meant to be slow, filling and memorable.
There are only a few lodging options in Cottonwood Falls. Each of the small inns and bed and breakfasts garners local fame for the relaxed hospitality and beautiful surroundings. Homey, comfortable, and welcoming are the key features that make ending a full day of small town adventures at one of these adorable accommodations the cherry on the Cottonwood Falls sundae.
A detour off Route 177 will lead travelers on a Midwestern road trip to the effortless splendor of Cottonwood Falls, Kansas. Nearly untouched by the modern trend of nebulous residential and commercial development that has begun to jade America’s small town, this lakeside community is a rare find.