If you’ve never heard of Fort Scott, Kansas before then it’s time to add this fun and unique destination to your travel bucket list! This small town offers so much to do and explore that you maybe wouldn’t expect in a town of less than 10,000 people. However, between their rich history, local shops, and great food you are sure to fall in love with Fort Scott just like I did.

Part of my stay was hosted by Visit Fort Scott. As always, all opinions are my own!

Trolley Tour

Explore the town with a local guide on the Trolley Tour! For only $6 you’ll get a narrated tour around the town highlighting historical homes, sites, and more. The tour guide is fun and informative and you’ll learn some great things about the town that you might not know just from walking around. Tours are available March through November 11am-2pm on Fridays and 10am-2pm on Saturdays with tours starting on the hour each hour.

Fort Scott National Historic Site

Originally established in 1842, the Fort Scott National Historic Site has been a major part of the community and the nation’s history. After the military left the area, the site was used for housing as well as commercial properties before being restored and protected as a national historic site. Visiting is completely free and you are able to walk the grounds, discover multiple buildings, and read signs with more history all throughout the area. 

Mural Tour

Fort Scott is home to over 20 murals making this a huge public art community. Murals can be found all over town but the main areas include the downtown area, Gunn Park, and the US Highway 69 underpass in Riverfront Park. In fall 2023, they revealed their newest mural, the First Kansas Colored Infantry mural in the downtown area across from the Fort Scott National Historic Site.

Farmers Market

Fort Scott offers one of the largest’s farmers’ markets in the region at their brand-new Gathering Square Pavilion. The farmers’ market is offering local baked goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as locally made crafts and trinkets. You can shop the farmers’ market every Tuesday 4pm-6pm and Saturday 8am-12pm but be sure to go early for the best selection of goods. 

Gordon Parks’ Museum & Annual Celebration

Gordon Parks was an internationally known filmmaker, photographer, writer, and musician who was born in Fort Scott in 1912. Since 2004, the community has been hosting an Annual Gordon Parks Celebration in his honor. Parks was even able to attend the celebration in person before his passing in 2006. The annual celebration includes various film and art showings, a tribute dinner, live music events, and more. The museum is typically open Monday-Friday 9am-4pm year round with no cost to visit. You’ll find over 30 of his photographs as well as other historical pieces from Gordon Parks life that have been donated by friends and family throughout the years. 

Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heros

The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heros is another great free museum option in the Fort Scott community. This museum is open 6 days a week and offers some great displays. Everything is focused on everyday people who did extraordinary work to make a difference and fight injustice. This museum is definitely a gem for a small community like Fort Scott and you won’t want to miss it!

Nu Grille

Nu Grille has been serving up traditional diner food since 1946 to the Fort Scott community. Grab a seat in this 50’s style diner or grab a stool at the counter and browse the menu. You’ll find a lot of options for burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, and more on the menu. Be sure to order a side of Suzie Q’s(their version of curly fries) and a classic milkshake to round out the perfect 50’s diner meal.

Common Ground Coffee Co

In the heart of downtown, you’ll find the answer to all your caffeine cravings at Common Ground Coffee Co. Open Monday through Saturday you can grab breakfast, lunch, and a beverage before making your way around downtown to shop and explore the history and murals in the area. Fresh pastry items are available and change daily so there is always something new to try. This will easily be one of the most affordable coffee shops you will ever find as well so it’s a great spot to fuel up without breaking the bank.

Shop The Boutiques

The Historic downtown area in Fort Scott offers plenty of shopping options. The town offers over 50 retail shops but most of the trendy and fun boutiques can be found within walking distance downtown. The shopping scene offers everything from boutique clothing shops, boutiques for kids, home stores, and more. You’ll easily find a little of everything with it comes to shopping in the Fort Scott community!

US National Cemetary #1

Located on the outskirts of town you’ll find US National Cemetary #1 which was established back in 1862. This historic attraction was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999 and can be visited every day during daylight hours. A ceremony is held every year on Veterans Day at the cemetery as well.

Whether you are into history, shopping, or good food, Fort Scott has everything to make this a memorable trip for all ages. Check out more things to do in Fort Scott, Kansas, where to stay, and other annual events at https://visitfortscott.com/ 

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