When you think of beautiful towns in Kansas and Missouri, what comes to mind?
For Kansas, I picture the endless prairie of the Flint Hills surrounding Manhattan, or the tree-lined brick streets in Lawrence. For Missouri, it’s all about the Spanish architecture and babbling fountains of Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza, and the rolling green Ozark mountains around Branson.
But according to Culture Trip, an international media company with offices in London, New York and Tel Aviv, I’m way off.
In a post published Thursday, the self-proclaimed “travel authority” dubs Dodge City the “most beautiful town” to visit in Kansas.
“This town, once known as ‘The Wickedest Town in the American West,’ is an absolute must-see for any history lover,” claims Culture Trip.
I agree that Boot Hill is cool. I’ve been there for cold sarsaparilla and staged Wild West shootouts, and I have the old-timey family photos to prove it. But when I think about Dodge City’s landscapes, cattle feedlots come to mind. And those aren’t particularly beautiful to me. But who knows? Maybe I’m missing something and I need to plan a return trip.
Culture Trip’s pick for most beautiful town in Missouri is Florissant, a northern suburb of St. Louis.
“Take a break from the big city and get a dose of fresh air,” reads Culture Trip’s description. “Florissant has 20 city parks, adding up to almost 400 acres of parkland.”
Sounds nice, but I’ve never been there, so I called The Star’s House + Home editor and St. Louis native Cindy Gregorian to see if she agreed with Culture Trip’s assessment.
She said that while Florissant is nice, “there’s not a whole lot going on there” and that she’d send tourists to other St. Louis-area neighborhoods first.
“If you asked 100 people from St. Louis, 99 would agree with me,” she added.
Gregorian’s pick for the prettiest spot in the Gateway to the West: Forest Park. Spanning 1,293 acres, it’s three times larger than all of Florissant’s parks and 400 acres larger than Central Park in New York City. Forest Park also has monuments, historic buildings, wildlife and waterways.
The lesson here: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.