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Kansas; Worst Scenery in America?

Business Insider Magazine polled 1603 respondents asking which state in the Union has the worst scenery. Map above  illustrates the results. I felt compelled to respond! Many don’t realize Kansas is in fact a destination state and I personally know several people who travel across the world each year to experience The Land of the South Wind. I love Natural Kansas. It provides the perfect canvas for my storm chase adventures as well as general recreation and photography. I’ve learned that every part of the world is interesting and indeed exciting when you take the time to have a closer look. Let me show you MY Kansas!

Flint Hills Schoolhouse

South of Home, Kansas

Monument Rocks

Bennington, Kansas

Langley, Kansas

Sedan, Kansas

Kansas Flint Hills

West of Baldwin City

North of Hays

Pretty Prairie, Kansas

Wellington, Kansas

North of Russell

Monument Rocks

East of Topeka

Be sure to visit my Tempest Gallery  to see more images of Kansas and if you love Natural Kansas leave some comments below and share this blog! -Stephen

Cristina Wyatt - August 21, 2013 - 10:23 pm

Your images are incredibly beautiful and I agree when you say that every part of the world is interesting and exciting when you actually take the time to have a closer look.

Cheryl Daugherty - August 21, 2013 - 10:34 pm

This is the Kansas I grew up in, and it’s beautiful! I miss seeing the wide open skies while in the city, and you certainly don’t have that in the mountains. There is such awesome majesty in watching a thunderstorm developing over hours and miles away. This is something that those who have never spent anytime in rural Kansas will ever understand.

Shirleyjean Houston - August 21, 2013 - 10:35 pm

Amazing! That’s the reason among others, that I stay in this beautiful state.

Lori Willis Wagoner - August 21, 2013 - 10:47 pm

Thank you so much for the photos that show the serious beauty of our state. I’m a born and raised Kansan. You can see the gorgeous scenery driving the interstates or the county roads! Sunrises, sunsets, storm clouds and rainbows…it’s all beautiful!

LeAnn Wilcox Plutnicki - August 21, 2013 - 10:52 pm

Those people are fools.

Jacky - August 21, 2013 - 11:08 pm

I notice that the number of respondents are rather small…. Also, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, unless of course, you’ve never actually been there, and then it is all an opinion based on what other people say. I find beauty in many areas people consider boring or ugly or weird. I find many people spend all their time looking for the obvious or flashy, or what other people think in order to define beauty. Their loss. I live in a world of beauty.

David Friedman - August 21, 2013 - 11:10 pm

Wonderful photos. Hooray for Kansas.

Rachel Jenkins - August 21, 2013 - 11:19 pm

love that North of Hays one.

sorilea - August 21, 2013 - 11:44 pm

Kansas IS a beautiful state… just like every state. I didn’t see any early morning mist, and far off horizon pictures. Out in western Kansas there are some beautiful hills where you can get some amazing shots of the land sloping away.

I love trees, but you just can’t beat that great big beautiful sky and being able to see from horizon to horizon. The whole world lies at your feet! It makes you feel incredible!

Kimberly J Wilson - August 22, 2013 - 1:16 am

I knew you has some AMAZING pictures of our beautiful state! Thanks for sharing with us all :)

Sean Fyodorovich - August 22, 2013 - 1:30 am

Kansas has a subtle beauty that can’t be appreciated by those who must see something like a mountain or beach to be impressed. It’s the Glashütte Original next to a gaudy, diamond-encrusted Rolex.

rr Jost - August 22, 2013 - 1:51 am

Kansas is beautiful. And the seasons bring new visions during the year.
What I like about my part of Kansas is the view that stretches to the horizon. No rocks, dirt, hills or trees to block the view. A panorama of nature not unlike an ocean view, yet better.

Mary Hendricks - August 22, 2013 - 2:46 am

You did a great job of capturing the beauty of Kansas. Thank you for sharing.

Jane Soupene Lamb - August 22, 2013 - 2:49 am

Love the photos. Shows the beauty of this state I am proud to call home!

Stacey Johnson - August 22, 2013 - 3:40 am

Gorgeous pictures, though having chosen to live here in KS, I suppose I might be biased. And then, the part of KS where I live is actually not flat.

Marlys Book - August 22, 2013 - 3:42 am

Haven’t lived in Kansas since 1982, but have been home to visit at least once every year….the beauty of the Flint Hills, the sunsets, the open spaces…. what I anticipate when coming home! Thanks for letting just a bit of Kansas’ beauty show forth!

Mj Lamb - August 22, 2013 - 4:37 am


Tabitha Sheehan - August 22, 2013 - 5:01 am

The photos are beautiful

Michelle - August 22, 2013 - 5:45 am

Absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for posting these, so that I could share with my friends who have never been to Kansas.

Melissa Bean - August 22, 2013 - 6:45 am

I took a family trip last week & when we got unto our home state, the old tag line “ah, ah, Kansas” is what I felt. KS is beautiful & a great place to call home.

Lacey Nichole Vazquez - August 22, 2013 - 8:53 am

Kansas is where I grew up, and is a very beautiful state. You’ll never see a sky like you do in Kansas. These peopke just don’t know where to look.

Brittany Balderson - August 22, 2013 - 11:48 am

So only 1603 people gave their input? Do we even know if these people have ever been to Kansas? A lot of people go by what they hear or stereotype….maybe more people should be polled!

Laura McClure - August 22, 2013 - 12:07 pm

I hope you were kidding! First you polled a little over 1,000 people way to many to get an accurate answer. Had any of them actually been in Kansas or just running on the stupid jokes they’ve heard? The best way to SEE KANSAS is to participate in a “Bike across Kansas”. You will see the real Kansas and the real Kansas People and find out by sweat and tears that Kansas Is Not Flat. We have the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets all year….anywhere. And most of all you Can Not See Kansas on Interstate 70…. like the “Kansas Explorers” say: “Dare to do Dirt:”.

Russ Brewer - August 22, 2013 - 12:25 pm

The Flint Hills are amazing and a photo will never do them justice. Kansas is a well kept secret.

Lori - August 22, 2013 - 1:40 pm

I’ve lived in 9 states now. Many beautiful places and Kansas is certainly one of the most. The ever changing skies make the scenery new and fresh and a once in a life time experience again and again. For all it’s “flat” reputation there are 10 states flatter and some of those are plagued with weeks and weeks of low lying flat grey clouds…ugh. And I can’t help but have noticed how boring it is to never see further than a few hundred yards and be looking at trees with a grey cloud hanging over my head again and again. Even in the pretty hills of the Appalachian chain that goes through many eastern states, for me there is a tiresome sameness. Especially, when those low lying flat grey clouds come in for weeks at a time. And having made MULTIPLE road trips through all the lower 48 I would have answered Florida on a road trip. I think one could fall asleep on any interstate there and wake up going the total opposite direction on a different one and have no idea that you had even changed direction…lol!!! 10 years in Kansas has ruined me! Any view without a fantastic sky carries a level of disappointment for these eyes.

Stephen Locke - August 22, 2013 - 1:58 pm

I LOVE everyone’s comments! Thanks so much for joining the conversation. I hope you will continue to follow me on facebook and/or my blog as I continue to explore the beauty of KANSAS.

Richard Frisbie - August 22, 2013 - 2:21 pm

Yes, there is some beautiful scenery, especially if you don’t have to live there anymore. Loved there the first 50 years of my life, that was enough. There really is a whole world beyond it’s borders.

Andrew Reago - August 22, 2013 - 3:20 pm

Did you know Robert Sudlow, the Kansas landscape painter? He was my teacher at the University of Kansas…a true mystic…this website is a bit messed up, but check out his oil paintings and words about the Kansas landscape. (posted by Andrew Reago’s wife, Chrissy McClarren).

Penny Thieme - August 22, 2013 - 3:25 pm

I can’t wait for you to show your storm photography at VALA Gallery in the spring of 2014. I will not take no for an answer!

brenda mclain - August 22, 2013 - 3:55 pm

For me, there is nothing quite as majestic as a Kansas storm .

Karen Fuller Chapman - August 22, 2013 - 4:10 pm

Stephen, your photographs capture the extraordinary beauty of Kansas. My “roots” and my heart are in the Flint Hills. I think it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth. Most people don’t slow down long enough to notice the sea of prairie grasses, the bison, camels, reptiles, and snakes, the songs from the birds, babbling creeks, whistling wind. Limestone outcroppings. Hey, I recognize that wheat field in the second photo < > :-) I still haven’t found the right frame for this beautiful photo. Still looking :-)

John - August 22, 2013 - 4:39 pm

It’s easy to see beauty in the mountains and the ocean, but it takes time and reflection to see it in the greens, blues, browns of KS… Loved your pictures!

Dale Austin - August 22, 2013 - 5:09 pm

You have to experience Kansas to completely understand. It’s incredible; including the people.

Ryan Chambers - August 22, 2013 - 6:08 pm

LOVE these photos!! People who think Kansas has the “worst scenery” haven’t scene the REAL Kansas. :)

Dixie Platt Asbell - August 22, 2013 - 6:12 pm

Sorry, I used to feel the same way as the people in that poll. But your pictures and insight will cause me to take a much closer look next time I leave Pittsburg. Thanks, the pics are all beautiful.

Mike Morris - August 22, 2013 - 6:31 pm

Amazing photographs! I was born in Wichita and educated in Lawrence. I now live in Chicago and miss the Sunflower State every day!

Scott Piper - August 22, 2013 - 7:25 pm

Anybody can see the beauty in mountains, forests, and seashores. It takes soul to love the prairie.

Brad N Kayla Suderman - August 22, 2013 - 8:26 pm

I live in Kansas and have yet to discover a state that parallels to such beautiful skies, openess and freshness. If you’re into mountains, then Kansas is not the place for you. But if that’s the only thing that defines beauty for you, many other states would fail to fit in the “beauty” category as well and not just Kansas.

Kimberly Book Brennan - August 22, 2013 - 9:18 pm

I couldn’t agree more that Kansas has beautiful skies, sunsets, fields and almost everything else. Kansas born and bred!

Beverly Smith - August 22, 2013 - 10:51 pm

Have you taken a country road back in the Flint Hills, starting by Florence, KS or Cedar Point?! The roads are awesome back in there!! An old stone house that is still standing, was built in the 1870s and has the inscription above a tall window in the middle of the building,”Doctor W.B.Jones, 1876.” Two of the front windows also have pretty decorations in the stone. There are many of those across Kansas if you have the eyes to look for them. I have lived here for 50 years now and still see new things every day in my area!!! I love my home state! The sunsets are like no where else!!! The Gypsum Hills are so awesome as well!! Kansas DOES NOT have the worst scenery ever!!! I believe every state has its own beauty!!!

Mary Hendershott - August 23, 2013 - 12:05 am

So many mockers of Kansas (smile) and so much that they miss. The sweet smell of the fields at dusk during the summer. The never ending seas of wheat, green or golden. The big skies. The sunsets. In French school (Tours, France), one of our assignments was to write a short paper on our geographical location. I got my best mark on that paper. I’m glad to be among the fans of Kansas!

Charlene Taylor - August 23, 2013 - 12:47 am

For business, I have been in the eastern, western, and southern states and people in all these states rag on Kansas. These awesome pictures show the beauty that is only Kansas. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… only have to look.

Edmee CR Hasler - August 23, 2013 - 12:51 am

I am a photojournalist and a Lawrence native and I totally agree with you.. Great stuff! Love it.

Candy Aldridge-Clark - August 23, 2013 - 3:47 am

Obviously the people polled have never traveled through New Mexico!!!!!!!!!

Kimberly Blevins - August 23, 2013 - 3:50 am

I’m from a city on the east coast call Norfolk Va or it’s also called the Hampton Roads Area…..I know a few sailor’s or Military peeps will know the place, but I always had a longing for the west, in my 20′s I traveled to other states, but I always ended up back on the beach back home,. On my journeys I made it to a place called Sidney Nebraska , I lived there for about 2 years and I fell in love with the state, the peeps, harvest time and the fields that looked like fire, well I ended up home again, but I grew up with the old westerns on tv and I felt I had to get back west and I did, I took a stop in Joplin Mo. for about 4 years, where I met my husband of 23 years, and he is from a place called Parsons Ks.I love it here and the history is better then anything in my history books could offer, this place has one of the most traveled highway call Route 66, there’s Dodge City, also this state is the center of the US, The storms may be a little scary and unpredictable, but the beauty is there, hay bails, tractors, fields of wheat that turn to a fiery red at harvest time. The corn gives beauty also on a good year of rain. The people are nice and work together when times are hard. This state maybe a flat long state but Stephen you mi9ght have to look real hard for Kansas’es beauty but the effort is well worth it. By the way one of the prettiest sights I seen here in kansas was traveling on Hwy 50 heading to CO. was the sky between Dodge City and Garden City Ks. I seen the stars like I had never seen them before, there where so many and they where shooting threw the sky , not just one here and there I mean like a pin-ball in a pin-ball machine that lets go 3 ball at once…It was so better then the fireworks on the 4th of July. Yes I miss the waves and I miss my family and friends back home, But I still have places to see here and a few of them are on my bucket list, like getting a picture of a Tornado and seeing the horse of many colors, LOL, I have my ruby slippers, and when I take a trip home to Va, I take them slippers with me and when I have had my fill of sand in places I don’t care to mention. I click them heals and SAY THERE’s NO PLACE LIKE HOME, driving west on I 64, I see that arch take I44 WEST into Joplin Mo., Get on Highway 400, and when I see that WELCOME TO KANSAS I know I’m home……

Deborah Ball McGeorge - August 23, 2013 - 3:50 am

Amazing photos! Thanks for sharing.

William Baker - August 23, 2013 - 12:07 pm

How wrong can they be? Kansas is the most BEAUTIFUL state in the union!

Christine Poole - August 23, 2013 - 4:30 pm

I assume the people who voted have never been to the Flint Hills of East KS or maybe not even to Kansas at all…I bet they are basing it off of the Wizard of Oz even though it was filmed on a movie set in LA. Thank you for the beautiful collection of photography. I was also, disappointed in that article when I read it.

Christine Poole

Christine Poole - August 23, 2013 - 4:34 pm

I assume the people who voted have never been to the Flint Hills of East KS or maybe not even to Kansas at all…I bet they are basing it off of the Wizard of Oz even though it was filmed on a movie set in LA. Thank you for the beautiful collection of photography. I was also disappointed in that article when I read it.

Pat Bolgar - August 23, 2013 - 7:21 pm

I live in Ohio now but whenever I return home to Kansas I am awed at the subtle beauty. The softly rolling hills, the muted colors and the never ending skyline just overwhelm me. At night the sky is a dome of stars. Even in winter, the many shades of gray, gold and tans in the grasses, the sunsets are beautiful. Some people don’t have eyes to see.

Donna Treiber - August 23, 2013 - 9:21 pm

I, too, see Kansas as a very beautiful state. I wouldn’t trade it to live in a big city anywhere. We can see star formations in the night sky and I love getting up and walking early down a country gravel road near our home to see the sun come up. Thanks for your views on our great state!

Donna Treiber - August 23, 2013 - 9:29 pm

I love getting up early to walk down the country road near our home to watch the sunrise. So beautiful!! Our family has traveled to many states and we are always happy to come home to KANSAS!!

Kat Carney - August 23, 2013 - 11:47 pm

Thank you for this beautiful photo illustration of the majesty that is Kansas! It saddens me that most people never get to see it for what it really is…a diverse, wild, breathtaking place.

Kathy Jo Murray Johnmeyer - August 24, 2013 - 2:16 am

Beautiful pictures! Maybe only true Kansas people can see the beauty in the plowed fields, the rolling hills, the sunsets and everything else Kansas has to offer! I love Kansas and I miss Kansas!

Dee Kat - August 25, 2013 - 3:05 am

While I think the country side of Kansas is beautiful these photos are actually how beautiful the sky is in Kansas because that is what dominates. It is also what I miss most being from the southwest and now living in the northeast. Sadly Kansas has also developed a bad reputation because of its politics and that colors people’s view of everything associated with Kansas.

Stephen Locke - August 25, 2013 - 5:35 pm

Thank you all for your comments. With nearly 3,500 *likes* along with hundreds of comments and shares this has been my most popular blog post to date!

Liz Peters - September 7, 2013 - 5:22 pm

These images would make a good calendar, and I would buy one!

Rosalyce Jesseph - September 26, 2013 - 11:41 am

Those who think Kansas is not a pretty sight don’t look at it. There is beauty all around you in Kansas if you will just look. I know too many people that, when out and about, do not look at what they are driving through. In western Kansas a lone tree against a backdrop of the horizon, in central Kansas the Flint Hills and in eastern Kansas the green grass of the cattle ranches dotted with cattle or in the spring the hay meadows with windrows of freshly mown hay waiting to be baled. God make every state different so that we wouldn’t get bored with the same scenery.

Teresa Hedges - January 26, 2014 - 8:07 pm

Yes, Kansas is all about the sky. Stunning.

Becky Hedges Litchet - January 27, 2014 - 3:08 am

Stunning photography

Dustin Douglas - January 27, 2014 - 5:44 am

Beautiful picture!

Judy Swafford - January 27, 2014 - 3:23 pm

I remember fields and fields of wheat.

Emma Gantz - January 27, 2014 - 4:13 pm

Where was the last picture “east of Topeka” exactly taken?

Paula Jean Wilson - January 27, 2014 - 7:37 pm

Born and raised in the Flint Hills of Kansas! Most beautiful scenery ever! I love watching a thunderstorm develop coming over the rolling hills!

Dana Norris Clinesmith - January 27, 2014 - 7:37 pm

There is beauty in every state, it all depends on how you look at it! God created it and said it is good! I was born and raised and still a kansan to this day

Andrew Long - January 27, 2014 - 9:18 pm

Yeah the sky sure is pretty here.

Catesgram - January 27, 2014 - 9:22 pm

I grew up in Kansas, but have lived in Boston for over 40 years. Nothing makes me happier than driving back through the prrairie. I feel about the prairie how people in the Northeast feel about the ocean. Beautiful pictures; I feel homesick looking at them.

Brandon PterodactylMann Smith - January 27, 2014 - 10:33 pm

White cloud four state lookout is a good view

Christina Arasmith Haselhorst - January 27, 2014 - 10:38 pm

I am originally from the “East”…Topeka, that is. I used to think that the Flint Hills were the best thing EVER…until I moved to Southwest Kansas and the amazing sunsets out here!!! WOW! There is a kind of majesty to the prairie out here (which isn’t completely flat, by the way, much to the surprise of some family who visited from Wichita to run a marathon in Dodge City). The wind farms have an unexpected beauty about them, the hills south of Bucklin, KS are truly beautiful in the spring, watching storms move in is an amazing experience. Someone posted here that anyone can appreciate the beauty of the sea, the mountains, or thousands of trees in the fall “back east.” But it takes soul and and appreciation for the awesome power of mother nature to see the beauty in Kansas. We’ve had people from all over the world visit Dodge City (Australia, Germany, Japan, Canada, France, New Zealand, etc) and they are always in awe of the undercurrent of beauty here. Most often exclaimed comment? “We had no idea this was all here…” I’m thinking whomever did the polling asked people who have never actually been to Kansas or those who have only been on I-35 or I-70.

Amylynn Corban-Morris - January 28, 2014 - 12:11 am

Kansas born.
Kansas raised.
Kansas is friends+ family+memories=HOME

Yvonne Ames Everson - January 28, 2014 - 1:32 am

I grew up in Kansas. I tear up every time I see a photo or film of a wheat field or sunflowers.

Lisa - January 28, 2014 - 1:40 am

Beautiful …….

Brittni Tilson - January 28, 2014 - 2:28 am

I love my home state! More than just a fly over state! We made top 7 for the most beautiful sunsets! I am moving to Texas and will miss the tornadoes, spring, and of course the sunsets! Your photography is just BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for standin up for the state we love!

Nan Beckwith - January 28, 2014 - 2:35 am

I dream about my childhood vacations, going to Hiawatha, Kansas where my Grandparents, Aunt Amy, all my Great Aunts and Uncles lived. The great times my brother, cousins and I had playing under the clear nights with the Stars shooting across the clear nights, without even seeing a Airplane. We would see who caught the most Lightning Bugs and never, ever watched television, because the beauty of the plains, outshone anything else. Northeast Kansas had small rolling hills and lakes. My Kinfolk never had to lock the doors of their farmhouse, even at night. Everyone knew all the people surrounding Hiawatha. I still have my Dad’s Newspaper, where my Dad wrote to the Hiawatha World, telling of his experience as a Coast Guard Officer, during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Hiawatha World is still going strong, read by all the towns people. I am a Grandmother now and live on the Eastcoast, but the best time of my life, was when we played without a care in the spacious rolling hills of Hiawatha and Bern, Kansas. Go Kansas State University!

Carol A. Gorczyca Unruh - January 28, 2014 - 3:15 am

I love looking up at the beautiful Kansas night sky and seeing all the stars! We have moved from there 7 years ago but my heart is still in Kansas!

Kansas Resident - January 28, 2014 - 3:31 am

I was born in Kansas, lived in a couple of other states a long time in California, now back in Kansas it is truly beautiful here, beauty can be found anywhere, just the fact that it says Kansas doesn’t mean it is all dust

Lori Givens - January 28, 2014 - 4:18 am

Thank you for showing our beautiful state of Kansas. I have lived here all my Life and we have so much beauty all around us From our Sunflower fields to wheat fields wide open spaces we are truly the land of great beauty!! You haven’t seen anything till you come to Kansas come share our space!!!

Jenny Allgaier Scott - January 28, 2014 - 4:42 am

Take that you dumbasses!

Ethan Long - January 28, 2014 - 4:46 am

every state has clouds and stars guys, come on

Lucas Coble - January 28, 2014 - 5:10 am

I miss home in VC Kansas….These pics are home as I remember….but def photo shopped…….

Blair Bear - January 28, 2014 - 5:18 am

I love this. Of course, I’m a Kansas kid. But I’m glad people think our state is ugly and boring. People ruin places they like. I live in California now and LA has to be one of the ugliest places. Cities are so gross. There are some truly beautiful areas of California. I can only imagine how astonishing this state was before people. I would be devastated if that same thing happened to my beautiful Kansas.

Tamara Rohn - January 28, 2014 - 6:02 am

I’m a Kansas girl… my state. The pictures illustrates Kansas perfectly. Thank you for your marvelous “eye”.

Molly - January 28, 2014 - 6:07 am

These are incredible! I have fallen in love with the wide open spaces of Kansas, and now, as a photographer, the beautiful night sky. Kansas is awesome!

Victoria Goddess-Bless Harvey - January 28, 2014 - 6:46 am

ahh…why people give ks such a hard time! I don’t care what people say! I grew up here and this is where my heart is; home! I wouldn’t have it any other way! Thanks for supporting Ks and showing off the beautiful landscape we have to offer! Most of all, you are very creative with the camera and all of them are my favorite! Impressed me and I live here! You know how to capture a moment for real!

Joyce Shutts - January 28, 2014 - 11:48 am

I grew up in Kansas, If you haven’t experienced Kansas you haven’t experienced life! Your pictures are wonderful! I grew up at Haddam Kansas, there are some fantastic pictures waiting to be taken there!!

Nils Solberg - January 28, 2014 - 12:45 pm

Coming to Kansas from Norway in 1966, what struck me was the grandeur of the scenery – rolling hills, the prairie, the sky, the horizon… Magic!

Michaelle Strickland - January 28, 2014 - 1:07 pm

I’m not from Kansas, yet I know Kansas is beautiful! The people who live in Kansas are incredibly friendly and add to the beauty of the geography and wide open skies. I can only wonder if the people who were polled about the scenery are the of the same type that can’t correctly answer basic questions, such as: Who was the 1st President of the United States? Where does milk come from? etc…. Kansas is where I want to go when I retire. There is subtle beauty in the stones of old city buildings, and there is a majestic beauty in the fields of ripened wheat and the open sky, the colors in the dirt layers of the flint hills, the clarity of the night sky, and the storms.
“Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam and the skies are not cloudy all day…” (written in and about Kansas)

Caroline P - January 28, 2014 - 2:04 pm

Amazing!!! Thank you for sharing and capturing Kansas and all it’s beauty!

Rosemary Hashemi - January 28, 2014 - 2:25 pm

I grew up in Wichita, KS and I agree, if you take the time to actually look beyond a major highway scene, Kansas is full of awesome scenery! Beautiful images, by the way!

Erica Twyman Catausan - January 28, 2014 - 2:30 pm

I would just like some copies of these!! Very beautiful!

vickey - January 28, 2014 - 2:36 pm

Nothing like a motorcycle ride threw the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas!

Dexter Allan Herl - January 28, 2014 - 3:06 pm

Sometimes you just have to get off the highway!

Aleta - January 28, 2014 - 3:07 pm

I grew up in western Kansas and I liked climbing the windmill to view the beauty. Liked how I could see for miles, see how each farmer harvested their fields, to watch the sun set and rise. I think Kansas has the best sunsets and Sun rises especially out in the country away from the lights. Enjoy the golden fields of wheat and sunflowers. Like seeing to the horizon with no trees, or hills blocking your view. You can take a country Kansas girl away but you can’t take the Kansas country away from the girl.

Tina Roelfs - January 28, 2014 - 3:16 pm

If you ever get the chance, come to Sterling, KS. during our wheat harvest! I can get you in/on a combine for some more amazing photo opts!! You work is AMAZING!! Thank you!

Sarah H. - January 28, 2014 - 3:17 pm

Thank you for sharing Kansas! - January 28, 2014 - 3:24 pm

Tina Roelfs, I’d love to photograph the wheat harvest with you this spring!

Catherine - January 28, 2014 - 4:40 pm

Yes, stay away, please. Leave us to our peaceful place on earth!

Kelley Marshall Monaghan - January 28, 2014 - 5:28 pm

This where I was born & raised & where I still live! I love Kansas with the changing seasons & beautiful sunrises & sunsets, the wheat fields & fields of sunflowers! If people do not get off the beaten path & really see Kansas they should not judge! Kansas also is NOT all flat contrary to popular belief!

Helen Spohn Foust - January 28, 2014 - 5:50 pm

FOREVER a Kansas girl at heart! While I live in the land of mesas now, there is still nothing more beautiful to me than the sunset over a wheat field. Absolutely breathtaking!

Doris Rommelfanger - January 28, 2014 - 5:57 pm

Kansas my home state has many sights to see. Get off the Blacktop and take a walk. We have some wonderful fauna and flora and glorious sunsets.

James (Jim) C. Wade - January 28, 2014 - 6:30 pm

I am 89 years old….Circumstances made the move to Michigan a necessity….I’ve have been known to say, “Well, you know, all the real people live west of the Missouri River….Came to Michigan in 1948 but have gone back almost every year since…planning a drive our there in late spring…Each time, I go to Kansas…I find a new beauty….the Flint Hills are beautiful…the miles & miles of golden wheat fields are a beauty to behold… the sunflowers….remember camping as a kid on the Cottonwood Falls river….but the big thing…..there are no strangers in Kansas….everybody speaks…to this day, I miss that….Ad Astra per Astra….

Jalin Johnson - January 28, 2014 - 6:35 pm

You need to go too Clark County Kansas just south of dodge and see the red dirt canyons!

Nancy D - January 28, 2014 - 6:38 pm

I have seen worse places. Born and raised in Kansas and proud of it. Nothing more beautiful than a Kansas sunset. Kansas is diverse from east to west, we have it all , from hills and forest’s to streams, lakes, and prairie.

Nancy Drake - January 28, 2014 - 6:46 pm

I have seen worse. Born and raised in Kansas and proud of it. Nothing better than a Kansas sunset. The smell of the air in springtime after a rain. We are diverse here in Kansas , from east to west we have it all, Forest’s Rolling hills , flat land that you can see for miles and miles. Streams, lakes, and good hard working people. No better place to be.

Cecily Edwards Hill - January 28, 2014 - 7:21 pm

Grew up in western Kansas — then spent my adult life living in 3 different countries and 4 different states (currently NJ)… but love, love, LOVE the Land of Ahhs. You can take the girl outta Kansas… but you can’t the Kansas outta this girl! <3

Kahla Rowan - January 28, 2014 - 7:25 pm

I love Kansas scenery. It is an amazingly beautiful state especially if you love an ever changing sky. Here I feel free. Here I feel magical. Here my soul soars.

Richard Blankinship - January 28, 2014 - 7:44 pm

The beauty of Kansas includes: 1] flora and fauna from north south east and west and varieties found nowhere else; 2] fresh air without health warnings of every megaopolis; 3] the sight of the Milky Way in the night sky when no clouds obscure it: 4] a change of seasons that rivals any other state–if you wait it will change; 5] one of the most complex ecosystems in existence…. I was born here raised here — been to the big cities and returned to my roots. I could write a books on KANSAS

Jerilyn Johnston - January 28, 2014 - 7:51 pm

I love your pictures. I love Kansas. But I missed seeing pictures of the rolling hills and bluffs in northwest Kansas.

Becky - January 28, 2014 - 8:18 pm

My family moved to Washington State when I was 5 yrs old…I was born in Kansas and my whole family on both parents side live there! I went back to visit in 2002 and I found it very beautiful!! Not like the northwest people say it flat and boring! I loved the rolling of farms! Yes Washington State is very beautiful…but I would have to say that Kansas is just as beautiful!

Lori Rognlie - January 28, 2014 - 8:34 pm

My mother was born near Home, KS. The photo you have of Home, KS looks like it could near the farm where she was born.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder they say…..but I think what makes Kansas so beautiful is the wonderful people that live here, the wide open spaces, the fresh air, the GORGEOUS sunsets, the 4 seasons (5 if you count “construction” as a season), the fields of crops, watching sunflowers turn their heads to follow the sun, the mom-n-pop businesses (especially ones that serve PIE), and in times of destruction and despair we are always willing to help out our neighbors. God has blessed Kansas in more ways than one. We don’t need what WALL STREET perceives as beautiful scenery—we KNOW we have beautiful scenery. Happy 153rd Birthday Kansas!

Shorty Bull England - January 28, 2014 - 9:25 pm

I travel from England every year to Kansas…………Beauty is in the eye of the beholder……my eyes behold beauty in Kansas

Shari Martinez - January 28, 2014 - 9:27 pm

People that don’t know Kansas don’t realize it’s beauty. I invite them to come see for themselves. Kansas the land of Oz.

Jody Crane Kawulok - January 28, 2014 - 9:49 pm

Kansas is my home, although I no longer live there. The pictures shown here and many others make my heart happy for the beauty found in simple things. The prairie, the Flint Hills, the wheat and corn fields, and the cattle seen from the roadside are beautiful things to me and to many others as well. When I see a movie filmed in Kansas I get “homesick” for the place in my heart I reserve for HOME.

j2kansas - January 28, 2014 - 9:49 pm

Independent spirits, wide open spaces, roots and wings.. Every state has its share of wackos but if you fly over my state you can find people and places to hold dear.. beautiful photography.. you can feel the fields and sky.

Anna Elyse - January 28, 2014 - 9:59 pm

I absolutely love Kansas! It’s my home and nothing compares to the summer sunsets, thunderstorms, lightening storms, or fields. I would love to know if you sell prints??

Dorothy (from Kansas) - January 28, 2014 - 11:30 pm

I tell friends if they would get off I-70 they would see Kansas in all it glory !!!!

Britany Lynn Shaw - January 29, 2014 - 2:07 am

Ummm what about Texas? Or Oklahoma? Apparently the people polled have never seen a Kansas sunset!

Shirley Popp - January 29, 2014 - 2:24 am

I love my part of Kansas- Northwest, and yes the prairie is something extra special. Your images are extraordinary! thanks for sharing!

kp - January 29, 2014 - 3:22 am

Absolutely beautiful!

Alan L.Detrich - January 29, 2014 - 3:59 am

Kansas needs a State Fossil. 40 other States have a State Fossil. This is our year.

Diana Kepferle - January 29, 2014 - 4:29 am

Diana Kep Grew up in Northwestern Kansas. We have the best Sunsets in the world!! I have been in 46 states and I will always come back to Kansas! The best place in the world.

Shanners - January 29, 2014 - 4:50 am

Beautiful and amazing photos! Thanks for sharing.

Shawnie - January 29, 2014 - 6:45 am

Thank you – but I’ve always known :)

A Kansan

Janis Odom - January 29, 2014 - 1:08 pm

For the people who have such a flippant attitude about “any” state my response is I would be careful calling ugly what God called “good.” Don’t like Kansas, or Arizona, or Pennsylvania, or Tennessee, or the USA……….leave , go somewhere you do like? But, if you don’t like it “here” why would I assume you like it “there.” J.

Jennifer Pilot Anderson - January 29, 2014 - 2:43 pm

I think Kansas is absolutely beautiful! We moved here from Florida when everyone thought we were insane and as we have discovered this wonderful state, I am thankful that it largely remains a well kept secret…as yet untouched by the manicured, artificial landscaping of the southeast US, and the crowds and density of the more “popular” locations in our country. Those of us who live here and get to enjoy the breathtaking changes of natural scenery are truly fortunate!

Rosemary Grubb Ladjevardy Bliss - January 29, 2014 - 2:48 pm

Thank you for posting your gorgeous pictures of my home – Kansas. I live in Chicago now but Kansas is still and always will be my home. It has such a subtle quiet beauty – not the “slap you in the face” beauty. It is soothing and comforts me. Can’t find that in Chicago.

Gary Brewer - January 29, 2014 - 3:27 pm

Fantastic photos – shows how most people form their opinions without ever getting off the interstate or looking past the next mile of the highway.

Marianne Foster - January 29, 2014 - 3:33 pm

I went to college in KS,liked it so well, I never left. I’ve traveled the entire state. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder – but I fail to see how the Flint Hills, the Gypsum Hills,Momument Rocks, the River Walk in Wichita, the trees and hills in JOCO aren’t every bit as pretty as God’s scenery is any place else. Happy Kansas Day to each and every one of us.

Chuck Herrin - January 29, 2014 - 3:48 pm

I’m a born and raised Kansan so I am a little biased, but having said that I lived for 13 years in Illinois and I loved it. Two years ago I moved back to Kansas and now I can’t see why I would ever leave again. The Prairies, the Flint Hills, the red canyons in the southwestern part of the state, the hills in the east, the rock formations and most important the history. I have been and always will be a Kansas Boy!

Matthew Lee Bamberger - January 29, 2014 - 4:57 pm

Obviously none of these people polled have been to west texas where it never rains everything is brown and all there is is sand mesquite trees and pump jacks now thats ugly. Kansas rocks!

Toni O'Hare - January 29, 2014 - 6:12 pm

LOVE your article & LOVE this great state! Kansas is a beautiful state! Those that think otherwise should come visit!

Rodney Patterson - January 29, 2014 - 6:45 pm

Beautiful photos

Denny Martin - January 29, 2014 - 8:11 pm

Kansas may have the best natural beauty of all states, I’ve got many pics to prove that….

Pam - January 29, 2014 - 10:10 pm

People need to look as color of sky and surface ,as well as shapes of trees,clouds and look ,too at the cattle,horses, birds,etc..I love to make the drive from K.C. to Colorado..

Asfandyar - January 29, 2014 - 10:14 pm

I’ve visited 10 States in the US and have stayed in Kansas for long. When it comes to scenery, Kansas is the most beautiful and scenic state in the US. I really wonder how the respondents have carelessly ignored it’s lush green plains and mountains(Its the heart of US agriculture and cattle farming). How can Kansas be less scenic than the driest stretches of Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, or even the concrete jungles of DC, Newyork, and Jersey? I would have to say the survey results were biased, or that at least the survey sampling did not represent the midwest population.

Jeremy Thuma - January 29, 2014 - 10:56 pm

In my ten years now living on the Big Island of Hawaii, I have yet to see a sunset that rivals a praire sunset over the Flint Hills where I grew up.

Brad - January 29, 2014 - 11:34 pm
Frona Lorimer - January 29, 2014 - 11:48 pm

The Mushroom Rocks are another place to visit in Ks. They are East & then north of Ellsworth. Frona Lorimer

H Luce - January 30, 2014 - 4:07 am

My photos aren’t nearly as exciting as yours because when a tornado comes, I hit the basement quick. I was just 9 years old when the tornado hit Topeka in 1966 and I saw it only too close… Still, here are some of my pics of Kansas:

Chris Hall - January 30, 2014 - 7:54 am

I, too, am a proud Kansan. I have traveled far and wide and can say now that I am not living in Kansas anymore I miss it’s deep blue and dramatic skies, its sunsets, it’s subtle beauties, particularly in the microcosm. I enjoy my memories of snow below the standing flaming red grasses of the Flint Hills at sunset, the chalky outcrops, the purple green of the cedars, the smokey haze of gray of the distant hedgeline, the geometric shapes of the fields cut into the lanscape. I miss the clear night skies and especially the crickets and night sounds. I am thankful to have been raised there and for all my fellow Kansans whose earnest, friendly, level-headed practicality, individuality and strength of character helped shaped me into who I am today. In days gone by, being noted for the state you were born into had a much greater meaning and influence than it does today. Each state it’s own Republic. And we were a Union of the several states. Not so much the “United States”. So much has been lost to us. Just as our cities and towns are losing their distinctiveness by fast food, strip mall and corporate sameness, we as a People are disappearing into a homogeneous, cultureless glob of humanity. I love any accents and regional quirks that make us different from each other. It keeps life lively. That is the BEAUTIFUL landscape of our Being! SAVE THE LAND and SAVE THE PEOPLE!

Harvey Lundquist - January 30, 2014 - 9:50 am

Born and raised in Norh Central Kansas and lived there for 42 years, family roots go deep as my pioneer ancestors arrived in 1869, and still have lots of family there. Moved to California for economic reasons and later to Alaska, but as many have said here I will always be a Kansan. I love the storm and night sky pictures. I miss the stars and thunder storms, the Milky Way just wasn’t and isn’t visible like it was in Kansas. The rain in CA and AK is just rain, no lighting and thunder or the sizzel crack BOOM and ozone smell of a close lighting strike. Every season has its own beauty there, and there are four seasons. CA was warm, hot, cool and AK is cool warmer and cold, the three seasons are winter, breakup, and construction here. We lived near a creek and had all kinds of Fall colors. In the Fall thousands of Wild Geese and Ducks would stop on their migration to glean the fields after harvest, or flying in large formations. Kansas doesn’t have mountians but it certianly isn’t flat.

Richard Post - January 30, 2014 - 6:15 pm

I too was born and raised in Kansas. I left there several years ago and don’t really care if I never live there again, but I would for the length of a contract if I had one to go there.

I have definitely lived in many other places that I have enjoyed much more, but I would never slam the state of my birth and my youth.

I still follow teams from Kansas; the Chiefs, KU Basketball, K State and of course my Alma Mater Wichita State, the only other undefeated team so far this year. Of course the no. 1 basketball team is U of A where one of my sons goes, and I would love nothing more than to see the two of them meet for the championship game, assuming they would be on opposite sides of the brackets.

As for the beauty of Kansas I know much of what others here have said. I used to get in my car and just go looking for places to take photographs of interesting and beautiful places there. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but there are definitely plenty of treasures to be found and recorded with the camera.

I left Kansas more than once only to return, but not because it was my favorite place. I returned out of necessity a couple of times, and many times to visit my friends and family. I have not worked in Kansas for over 30 years, but I definitely would if the need and opportunity arose.

Kansas has it’s drawbacks as does any state. It also has beauty that many people who have never lived there, or visited, simply haven’t had the opportunity to appreciate.

The people are friendly. There are many places to appreciate for their historical value. The history of the western United States definitely includes a fair amount made in Kansas. From the eventual votes over whether Kansas would be a slave or free state, which ultimately set off the Civil War due to the imbalance a free state of Kansas would create, to the eventual aerospace industry that eventually arose there Kansas definitely has it’s place in the history of our great country.

The weather can be treacherous and yet beautiful at the same time. Spring and summer rain storms often accompanied by tornadoes, beautiful skies with exciting colors at sunset and glorious rainbows do occur there despite the bleak description of many people who don’t know Kansas.

Winter blizzards can leave the city frozen and iced in with sub zero temperatures, beautiful white snow drifts everywhere and icicles hanging from the trees and roofs of houses, sometimes from roof to ground.

Spring and summer can leave entire fields covered with beautiful wild flowers. Expansive wheat, sorghum and corn fields can be seen in most of the state, providing food for our country.

Kansas definitely has it’s place in the history of this great country, and can even be said to be at the very center of our great nation – at least geographically.


Ralph Poore - January 30, 2014 - 8:08 pm

As an Englishman, I am blessed to have some really good friends in Balwin City, Lawrence and Overland Park, KS. There is nothing wrong with Kansas and I love going there.

Katherine Olson Utting - January 31, 2014 - 11:34 pm

I agree with Blair Bear, we don’t want other people to realize how great it is to live in Kansas! Come and visit then go away. The people in Kansas are the friendliest and the scenery is beautiful. It may not be beautiful in an exciting way but beautiful in the calm and feeling of home!

Gaylene - February 7, 2014 - 2:36 pm

Several early explorers wrote that Kansas area was a desert unfit for human habitation. I often wonder where they were exploring! I’ve lived here my whole life and definitely appreciate the beauty in many parts of the state. Yes….there are ugly places, just as you find in any state. It’s all in what a person is looking for and appreciates!

Karen Mitchell - March 14, 2014 - 12:23 am

I am from Tulsa OK and in the late 60 and early 70 we raced in Tulsa, OK City and Wichita. The most beautiful site was driving through Kansas, at night, seeing the lighting storms somewhere in the distance. Due to the flat area it could have been several miles but you were sure it was right on top of you. It put you into perspective as to who was really in charge. I would love to see it again.

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