BringFido’s Ruff Guide to Kansas

Posted by Jason Halliburton

Thinking of surprising your Spaniel with a trip to Kansas? If so, he’s one lucky dog. The editors at BringFido have dedicated themselves to digging up the dog-friendliest things to do in the Jayhawk State, as well as the rest of the country. And we've assembled it all in the 2021 edition of our book, Ruff Guide to the United States.

Now in its second edition, the book features over 365 of the best places to stay and play with your dog in all 50 states. Order your copy today and save 50% off the retail price when you use the discount code JAYHAWK.

For a preview of the book, here are a few of our editors' top picks for dog-friendly things to do in Kansas:

Visit Dorothy’s House and Land of Oz

Liberal, KS
"There's no place like home, but Kansas is pretty great." Photo by @frankiethetankferrell

Follow the Yellow Brick Road (with your little dog, too) to Dorothy’s House & Land of Oz in Liberal. Decked out in her gingham dress and ruby red slippers, Dorothy herself will give you a tour through a replica of the Gale farmhouse featured in the Wizard of Oz film. Explore authentic memorabilia from the movie, including the actual model of the house used in the tornado scene from the 1939 classic, before traveling somewhere over the rainbow to the Land of Oz. Walk through the 5,000-square-foot animated exhibition with your pup and meet the Munchkins, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Wizard himself. Just watch out for the Wicked Witch. Fido is welcome to play the role of Toto as you wander along the magical road.

There’s no place like home, but even Toto would feel comfortable in the spacious guest rooms at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Liberal. Fido will find ample green space for his morning walk, and humans will enjoy the on-site amenities, which include a heated indoor pool and fitness center. A hot breakfast featuring the hotel’s signature cinnamon rolls is offered every morning.

Make a Splash at Shawnee Mission Park

Shawnee, KS
"Life is better at the lake." Photo by @marissa.nemechek

Fido can run free at Shawnee Mission Park, home to one of the largest off-leash areas in the country. This canine wonderland stretches across 44 acres of grasslands, wooded areas, and open fields that provide the perfect backdrop for a game of fetch. The highlight is the 120-acre lake, which features a dog beach and swimming hole. Your thirsty pup can hydrate at the water fountain located at the trailhead before heading down for a leash-free swim. Afterward, explore miles of paved and unpaved trails that wind around the lake and through the woods. Keen-eyed pooches may spot deer, wild turkeys, and even a rare bobcat on their hike. Beyond the off-leash section, the park offers numerous picnic areas, shelters, and trails that welcome leashed pets. Dog park maps and trail guides are available at the Visitor Center.

When your pooch is dog-tired after a day of off-leash fun at Shawnee Mission Park, he’ll find a comfy place to sleep at the Hyatt Place Kansas City Lenexa City Center. Fido can make himself at home in the oversized guest room, while you enjoy the complimentary breakfast or on-site restaurant.

Explore Nature in Topeka

Topeka, KS
"This is the biggest dog I've ever met." Photo by BringFido/Mark

Experience Kansas' picturesque beauty at Iliff Commons in Topeka. Start your morning early with a peaceful hike along the two-mile nature trail featuring a pond, stream, woods, and grassland areas to enjoy. Be sure to greet the buffalo statues on your way in. Following your first trail jaunt, head over to the Kansas Museum of History Nature Trails in western Topeka to learn more about the cultural and natural history of the area. The museum trails wind among the area woodlands, along creek banks, and through native grasslands. The popular western trail features three bridge crossings, including a rope bridge.

After a day of exploration, grab a beverage with your best buddy at Happy Basset Brewing Co, named for the brewery's pair of four-legged lifetime patrons, Basset Hounds Gracie and Freckles. Rest your tails at the Capitol Plaza Hotel Topeka in the heart of the city.

Ready for a Road Trip?

Photo by Linda Segerfeldt

If this Ruff Guide to Kansas preview left your dog drooling for more, we hope you check out our new book - Ruff Guide to the United States. Remember to use discount code JAYHAWK to save 50% on your copy. Happy Travels!

Have you been to dog-friendly Kansas? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

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