For the modern cross-country adventurer, Southeast Kansas is an unexpected delight. Here are five reasons why:

#1 Route 66’s 13.2 miles through Kansas

If you or your kids are Disney Pixar “Cars” fans, Downtown Galena, Kansas may look familiar. A 1951 International Boom Truck who inspired “Cars” animators for one of the series most popular characters will definitely look familiar. Also in Galena is Gearhead Curios, a souvenir shop that is the only travel information center on both Route 66 and old Jefferson Highway. It also has the coolest urinal on Route 66.

#2 Gorillas and Chickens

Just north of Galena on US-69 is the home of the nation’s only college with a gorilla mascot in Pittsburg (without an “h” on the end). Thanks to the Pittsburg State University Gorillas, sculptures and garden statues of gorillas are scattered throughout the regio. If you happen to be passing through during an event open to the community, such as the Global Fest International Night Market, you may be visited by the university’s mascot, Gus the Gorilla.

The love of the gorillas may only be matched by the area’s love of fried chicken. Six fried chicken restaurants in the Pittsburg area are more than 50 years old. The oldest – Chicken Annie’s – has been open since 1934. This familiar meal is a tasty and delicious reminder of the region’s mining and immigrant heritage, and the importance of family get-togethers during hard times.

Three reasons to stop through Southeast Kansas
#3 Retired Moving Wall

Since 2004 the Veterans Memorial on the campus of Pittsburg State University has honored veterans from all branches of service. The centerpiece is a half-sized replica of Washington D.C.’s Vietnam Memorial Wall that once toured the nation.

Learn more to plan your trip to Southeast Kansas at and