THE KANSAS YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF
Only a few hours away from Wichita, Kansas City, Branson, Fayetteville and Tulsa is the Kansas Hollywood doesn’t tell you about. Mined lands returned to nature. Immigrants whose entrepreneurial spirit led to bootlegging and fried chicken. And, pride in having the nation’s only collegiate gorilla mascot.
We were the troublemakers.
Illegal settlers and indigenous hunters in a territory meant to buffer Missouri, to the east, from the Osage, to the west.
Socialist coal miners – many of them immigrants.
Women arrested for marching and shutting down deep shaft coal mines.
Bootleggers in the state where prohibition was longer than any other state. We didn’t hide our speakeasies. We advertised them.
This corner of the state was a thorn in the side for Kansas legislators. A governor saw the constant turmoil in the Balkan states of Europe at the time, and called the region The Little Balkans.
He meant it to be derogatory.
He meant it to vilify the region.
Southeast Kansas embraced it.
Fried Chicken joints in Crawford County more than 50 years old
Museums within 40 miles of Downtown Pittsburg
Gorilla sculptures, paintings, and other tributes
(We stopped counting)
Day Tours and
2 Day/1 Night Tours
Tour operators based in Kansas City, Springfield, Fayetteville, Tulsa, Wichita, and Topeka are only a few hours away from showing their guests a part of the Midwest they’ve never seen.
Originally a buffer between Missouri settlers to the east and Native Americans to the west, Southeast Kansas once looked like the rest of the state. It was sparsely populated with farmsteads on rolling hills of the prairie.
The need for coal changed everything.
See the machines that shaped this region, especially Big Brutus National Historic Site. This 16 story monument sits just outside of Crawford County, but is the MUST SEE attraction of Southeast Kansas.
Hear how the region’s culture changed as immigrants from across the world brought their traditions here, first to work in deadly deep shaft coal mines, and later to learn at the home of the nation’s only college with a gorilla mascot.
Taste our past. Inexpensive, delicious, fried chicken dinners that helped miners feel like they were at home, welcomed veterans returning from overseas, and have been featured in The New Yorker, on the Travel Channel, BBC Travel, and even inspired a fictional novel.
Of maybe you need something a little stronger – home brew or whiskey – a reminder of the days when families did what they had to do to survive.
And keep an eye on our event calendar, because you never know what performer or experience may pop up.
Hub and Spoke Tours
Locals love to brag how they live in a community that is quick and easy to get around, while still being able to have a day trip to see the museums, zoos, performers, or any number of tours at the places you’re familiar with in Kansas City, Springfield/Branson, Fayetteville, Tulsa, Wichita and Topeka.
Geography may not be an accomplishment, but it sure is convenient, especially for tour operators.
Base at a Pittsburg hotel to explore the Four States. Let your guests unpack once in a controlled space. Load up, head out, and return to a community where everything you need is within an easy 15 minute drive from any Pittsburg hotel.
Then go a different direction tomorrow.
By the end of your stay, you won’t be “guests” – you’ll be family.
Founded in 1903 and home of the Gorillas, the Pittsburg State campus features historic architecture, and several public art displays and memorials, including a retired Moving Wall.
Alumni and residents take great pride in being the only college or university with a gorilla as its mascot. This nickname was adopted in the 1920’s, when it was slang for “roughnecks”. Countless gorilla statues are spread across Southeast Kansas – dubbed “Gorilla Nation”. Two gorilla sculptures on campus are ideal for photos.
Beware of the photobomb expert, “Gus the Gorilla”.
Casino + Hotel
Kansas Crossing Casino has 16 table games with 600+ slot machines. Live entertainment nearly every Friday and Saturday evening, plus the occasional performance on the casino floor. The casino is connected to a 123-room Hampton Inn and Suites, plus a bar and restaurant. It is conveniently located at the junction of U.S. 69 and U.S. 400. Bus parking is available.
Including the Hampton Inn, more than 550 rooms are available in Pittsburg.
A former mining boom plus a college town provides Crawford County, Kansas with a variety of amenities usually found only in larger cities, but with the affordability, hospitality and ease of getting place to place of a small town.
Get in touch:
Crawford County CVB
117 W. 4th St, Pittsburg, KS
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