Whether you’re a native, transplanted, or tourist of Kansas, you probably know some things that have made a name for themselves inside and outside the state, like the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, the Kansas City BBQ, basketball. ball of the University of Kansas, the Eisenhower Presidential Library and the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.
While these are all mentioned in the new book “100 Things to Do in Kansas Before You Die”, readers will also discover some places that longtime writer and author Roxie Yonkey says will get a “who knew” answer. .
One of those places is the unusual Davis Monument in a Hiawatha Cemetery, an extravagant memorial that nearly depleted John Davis’ wealth as he continued to add items to his wife’s grave in the 1930s. It includes 11 life-size Italian marble statues of John and Sarah, several stone urns, a marble canopy, and a stone wall surrounding the memorial.
âIt’s crazy. They’re all crammed in there,â Yonkey said of the statues.
Another unique place to visit in Kansas is the Strataca Museum, which opened in 2007 in Hutchinson, Yonkey said. The museum was established in a salt mine which began operating in 1923. The salt mine also houses a secure underground storage facility. It is believed to be the only salt mine in the United States open to the public.
Another ‘who knew’ item is the Elk Falls Outhouse Tour, an annual event that began in 1996 when the community – about a 90-minute drive southeast of Wichita – decided to capitalize on its many outhouses as a ‘tourist attraction. The tour takes place on the Friday and Saturday before Thanksgiving.
The challenge when writing a book like “100 Things to Do in Kansas Before You Die” is deciding what to include and what not to include.
âYou have to make choices and you have to live with them,â said Yonkey, a Nebraska native who moved to Kansas 30 years ago for a newspaper job in Goodland. She ended up staying in the state when she married a coworker. She is now the self-proclaimed Exploration Leader of the Roxie on the Road blog.
Vanessa Whiteside, another travel writer, agreed that it can be difficult to narrow down a list of places to see and things to do.
Whiteside, from Wichita, is working on a similar book, â100 Things to Do in Wichita Before You Die,â which is expected to be published next year. The publisher of both books is Reedy Press, located in St. Louis, which produces books on local history, sports, food, nostalgia, travel and more, according to its website.
“It’s very difficult to limit it to 100,” Whiteside said, especially since potential readers can be both people who have lived in the area for years and are looking for “hidden gems” and people. who have never been there and are planning a trip. .
In fact, over 100 places are mentioned in Yonkey’s book. While the book focuses on 100 articles in five categories, several other places and activities are listed in the tips sections or other places.
For example, the Kansas Aviation Museum is one of seven featured sites in Wichita, but the B-29 Doc Hanger, Education and Visitors Center in Wichita, which houses a restored WWII B-29 aircraft in good condition. fly, is included as a tip on the museum page.
The other six Wichita sites featured are Jenny Dawn Cellars and the Pizza Hut Museum on the Wichita State University campus in the food and drink section, the Keeper of the Plains and the Kansas African American Museum in the culture section, Old Town boutiques in the shopping and fashion section and WSU’s unique WuShock mascot in the sports and leisure category. A number of other Wichita locations are included in the location and tip sections.
Several locations within an hour or two of Wichita are among the 100 articles, as well as in the tips and places sections.
To help readers plan a trip to some of the 100 recommended activities, Yonkey’s book includes suggested routes and activities depending on the season.
Yonkey will sell and sign copies of the book at Jenny Dawn Cellars from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, November 4.
âIt was my winery of choice,â Yonkey said of the Wichita business. “First of all, she has an amazing wine and her story is so amazing.”
The book is also available for purchase from Yonkey’s website, roxieontheroad.com.
Signing of the author’s book “100 things to do in Kansas before you die”
Or: Jenny Dawn Cellars, 703 E. Douglas Ave., St. 180
When: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Thursday November 4
Cost: Free entry to the event, books will be available for purchase for $ 19.95
More information: facebook.com/events/533832294310727