Western Kansas is a region of Kansas. Western Kansas is flat, dry, and very rural - in other words, this is what most people think of when they think of Kansas.
- Colby - seat of Thomas County and home to Colby Community College
- Dodge City - famous cowboy town of the old wild west.
- Garden City
- Goodland - seat of Sherman County, in the Mountain Time Zone.
- Hays - largest city in the region, home to Fort Hays State University and the Sternberg Museum of Natural History
- Oakley - home to the world's largest prairie dog
- Quinter - gateway to Castle Rock
- Scott City
- Stockton - Nestled along the scenic Solomon River Valley on the eastern edge of the Great Plains. Stockton is the county seat of Rooks County.
- St. Francis
- WaKeeney - Christmas City of the High Plains
Western Kansas may seem dull, but it contains a great deal of pioneer history and small-town oddities.
When visiting this region, it's important to remember which time zone you are in. Four counties in Western Kansas (Greeley, Hamilton, Wallace, and Sherman) are located in the Mountain Time Zone, while the remainder of the state is the Central Time Zone.
The prevalent Kansas accent is that of the Midlands, Kansas itself is split phonologically between the Northern and Southern Midlands accents (split accordingly into the northern and Southern halves of the state). However, in the extreme Western third of the state it is common to hear a pronounced Western or Mountain West regional accent.
Interstate 70 runs east-west through the northern half of this region. Via I-70, western Kansas is roughly four hours drive from Denver or five hours from Kansas City.
I-170 runs through Colby, Goodland, Hays, Quinter, and WaKeeney.
- Wichita Mid-Continent Airport is roughly three hours drive from Hays, the easternmost city in the region. Most small cities in the region, including Hays, Goodland, Colby, Garden City, Dodge Ciy, and Liberal, offer commuter service to Denver.
Driving is the best way to get around in this region. Be sure to get off the interstate and take the back roads; you never know what you may find.
- Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City The Boot Hill Museum contains a reconstruction of 1876 Dodge City and Boot Hill Cemetery, so named because most of the deceased were buried with their boots on.
- Christmas Tree Lighting In WaKeeney, known as "Christmas City of the High Plains", one can find Christmas decorations in WaKeeney even in summer.
- Frank Walker Museum in Stockton. Features one of the largest displays of dolls in the area. Lorenzo Fuller was one of Rooks County's more famous residents. Other displays at the museum include items from a one room schoolhouse, local history and records on obituaries, genealogy, newspapers, yearbooks, land and schools.
- High Plains Museum in Goodland has a full-size replica of America's first helicopter, and contains exhibits on the colorful early history of Sherman County (of which Goodland is the seat), railroads, telegraphs, and the Dust Bowl.
- Mid-America Air Museum in Liberal is the fifth-largest air museum in America. Contains over 100 aircraft from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, as well as helicopters and general aviation aircraft.
- Prairie Museum of Art and History in Colby. The crown jewel of this museum is the Kuska Collection, which consists of furnishings, silver, glass, ceramics, and 2,000 rare dolls. Also the biggest barn in Kansas, a furnished sod house, church, one-room school, and 1930s farmstead.
- Sandsage Bison Range in Garden City. Wildlife area with over 100 bison.
- Sternberg Museum of Natural History Located on the campus of Fort Hays State University in Hays with exhibits on dinosaurs, Cretaceous sea creatures, fossils, and fossil preparation.
- Bazaar Day in Liberal. Third Thursday in July. Local businesses offer discounts of up to 75% off.
- Beef Empire Days in Garden City. Beef Empire Days are held around the first week of June. Activities include a steak cookout, tennis tournament, horse shoe tournament, 3 on 3 basketball tournament, softball tournament, and a parade.
- Chili Cook-Off in Liberal. Occurs every year in September, and in addition to the cooking contest, it features a carnival.
- Dodge City Days in Dodge City. Dodge City Days are usually in the first week of August.
- Rooks County Free Fair in Stockton. In early to mid August and features Motorcycle and IMCA Sanctioned Car races, demolition derby, lots and lots of food, rides, and fun capped off with a headline performance. In 2007, Country Music Stars Jack Ingram and Taylor Swift performed.
- Wild West Festival in Hays. The Wild West Festival around July 4. Events include a baseball tournament, a carnival, a parade, an art exhibition, and a fireworks display, along with numerous other activities.
Like the rest of Kansas, this is Tornado Alley. If you plan to visit Western Kansas, it would be a good idea to learn about Tornado safety.