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Take a step back in time at Fort Leavenworth

Kansas Tourism: Fort Leavenworth, “The best hometown in the Army,” has stories to share.

May 31, 2024

6 Slides

by Colby Sharples-Terry

Settled along the banks of the Missouri River, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., stands as a testament to American history, offering visitors a captivating blend of military heritage, scenic beauty and cultural richness. This historic military installation has evolved into a destination for tourists seeking a glimpse into the past while enjoying the natural brilliance of the region.

Visitors are allowed on the Fort (Leavenworth) for self-guided tours. You can register online, up to 10 days in advance, by visiting the Fort Leavenworth Visitor Pre-Registration System online at gateinformation: fort_ leavenworth (army.mil). You can also visit by stopping at the Visitor Control Center at 4th and Metropolitan for your daily pass. A government-issued photo ID is required to enter the Fort, and all vehicles must have current tags, proof of insurance and registration.

Historic past

Founded in 1827, Fort Leavenworth holds the distinction of being the oldest active military post west of the Mississippi River. Throughout its storied past, it has played a pivotal role in shaping the nation's history, serving as a key outpost during the westward expansion, the Civil War, and both World Wars. Today, the fort serves as the home of the U.S. Army's Combined Arms Center, where military leaders are educated and trained for the challenges of modern warfare.

Visitors to Fort Leavenworth can immerse themselves in its rich history by exploring its numerous historic sites and museums. The Frontier Army Museum offers a comprehensive look at the role of the U.S. Army in the settlement of the American West, with exhibits showcasing artifacts, uniforms, and weapons from various periods of military history. Meanwhile, the Command and General Staff College provides insight into military strategy and leadership through its curriculum and informative displays. Other points of interest include the Buffalo Soldier Monument, Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery, Old USDB “Castle,” The Berlin Wall, The 6888th Battalion Monument, The Rookery, and Main Parade Field.

Natural beauty

Beyond its historical significance, Fort Leavenworth boasts breathtaking natural beauty that draws outdoor enthusiasts. The fort is surrounded by lush woodlands, rolling hills, and picturesque vistas, making it an ideal destination for hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife photography. One of the highlights of any visit to Fort Leavenworth is the scenic overlook at Buffalo Soldier Memorial Park. From this vantage point, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the Missouri River valley, with the rugged bluffs and verdant forests stretching out as far as the eye can see. It's a perfect spot for a leisurely picnic or simply to soak in the tranquility of nature.

In addition to its historical and natural attractions, Fort Leavenworth offers visitors a diverse array of experiences to enjoy. The fort is home to a vibrant community of artists, musicians, and craftsmen, who showcase their talents at local galleries, studios, and events throughout the year. You can also golf the 18-hole course or knock some pins down at the Strike Zone Bowling Alley.

For those considering a trip to Fort Leavenworth, there are plenty of options for accommodations, dining, and recreation, you can even stay overnight on the fort at Holiday Inn. Leavenworth offers a range of hotels, bed and breakfasts, and campgrounds to suit every taste and budget. Visitors can also dine at one of the many restaurants in town, serving everything from hearty Midwestern fare to gourmet and ethnic cuisine.

Sharples-Terry is public relations and communications manager for Kansas Tourism. Kansas Tourism aims to inspire travel to and throughout Kansas to maximize the positive impacts that tourism has on the state and local communities. For more trip inspiration and to order a free Kansas Travel Guide, head to travelks.com.

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