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The location of Kansas in the geographical centre of the United States is just one reason why the state is known as ‘the heart of America.’ The Wizard of Oz may be the most famous reference to Kansas, but there are many other reasons why many residents believe ‘there’s no place like home’. Kansas’ most populous city, Wichita, is known as the world’s air capital for its numerous aerospace companies and impressive air museum. Much of Kansas City lies within the borders of neighbouring Missouri.
Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, Manhattan Regional Airport, and all of this vast state’s major cities offer options to pick-up or drop-off a rental vehicle. Many visitors also choose to obtain vehicles at Kansas City International Airport in Missouri before driving into Kansas. Hertz, Budget, Avis, and many more suppliers are well represented in Kansas, but travellers should compare car hire before starting their trip to get the best prices.
Wichita Mid-Continent Airport is the biggest airport within the state’s borders, while the far busier Kansas City International Airport lies on the city’s Missouri side. The smaller Manhattan Regional Airport offers daily non-stop Chicago and Dallas flights. Kansas has few public transportation options apart from seven stops along Amtrak's Southwest Chief route, so most visitors choose car rental in Kansas.
Driving is definitely the easiest way to travel in Kansas, whose state highway system is the United States’ largest outside of California. Many state highways provide more scenic alternatives to the frequently flat terrain along the two main interstate highways, the east to west I-70 and the north to south I-35. Calling 511 will connect visitors to Kansas 511, a travel information service updated every 15 minutes.
Many of Kansas’ most interesting attractions are situated within the smaller communities. Hutchinson, home of the annual Kansas State Fair, contains the world’s second biggest space museum. Lawrence is a college town and its nightlife and cultural scene rival those of much larger cities both in Kansas and throughout the Midwest. Wizard of Oz fans may want to drive their car hire in Kansas to Liberal’s Seward County Museum, which contains replicas of Dorothy’s house, the yellow brick road, and Oz itself.
Kansas ranks among the top 10 sunniest American states, but its hot summers tend to be less humid in the western third of Kansas than in the hillier eastern portion. Although warm Chinook winds sometimes warm western Kansas winters up to 27°C, average Kansas winter temperatures are far colder with frequent blizzards and ice storms in the northern parts. On average, 50 twisters strike Kansas during the spring and early summer tornado season.