Friendly People, Small Town, Good Schools, Cultural Activities
Lack of good restaurants. No truly fine dining available.
A great little town in the middle of everywhere!
Elk City State Park, reservoir and wildlife area is five miles northwest of Independence. Its forested hills and wooded shores will remind you of the Ozark Mountains (in miniature).Its trails offer some of the best all-day hiking opportunities in the state. You can camp, park your RV, have a barbecue or go fishing, boating, swimming, off-road...more
Heading southwest out of Independence on Hwy 75 you'll see the turn for the Little House on the Prairie, near the site where a very young Laura Ingalls Wilder spent a couple years while her family homesteaded. She later wrote a series of books about growing up on the frontier and these earned worldwide renown in the 1970s thanks to the TV series...more
The small town of Independence, Kansas is home to one of the houses of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family. Independence is where Laura's sister, Carrie, was born on August 3, 1870. Visitors can tour the houses and see artifacts from the time period in which the Wilders lived here. It's a great place to visit, especially for those who enjoy the...more
Catherine Hauber, author of the Hiking Guide to Kansas, praises the trails around Elk City Lake as among her favourites in the state. 'Outside' magazine named the 15-mile Elk River Hiking Trail as the best in Kansas. It's a strenuous trek along the north shore with bizarre rock formations, tremendous (for Kansas) waterside cliffs and thick oak...more
Neewollah is a yearly festival that is held the last week or so of October every year. It's a pretty big deal for Independence. There's always a musical that is performed, a small travelling carnival sets up in town, there are a couple of parades, and food stands line downtown's sidewalks. It's a lot of fun to go to.more
201 N 8th Street, Independence, KS, 67301
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
2917 WEST MAIN STREET, Independence, KS 67301
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
2800 W Main St, 2800 W Main St, Independence, KS,
Good for: Couples
Overall, this is easily the best restaurant in town. The food is varied, plentiful, and tasty. The people who work there are all very nice and eager to please. The prices are very reasonable.The ambience is simple, but pleasant. Chinese music playing in the background, weird Chinese symbols and posters on the walls, interesting lamps hanging over...more
Many migrant Mexican workers, after years of hard work and savings, have settled permanently in Kansas to open restaurants. Often these restaurants can be found in old diners, drive throughs and roadside cafes, just an indication of the ever-changing cultural landscape in these parts.El Pueblito is one such authentic Mexican eatery, in what once...more
Uncle Jack's is a Restaurant and Bar that specializes in standard American and Southwestern Dishes. Steak, Chicken and Pasta are staples. Some fish is also available - it is rarely fresh, however. Fresh fish is rare anywhere in SE Kansas unless it's catfish and Uncle Jack's doesn't serve that (thank gawd!). A great place to hang out and meet the...more
There really is no night life in Independence. The sidewalks roll up at about 10 or 11 a.m.
Dress Code: Everything in town is casual. The country club occasionally has a ball or gala - usually associated with Neewollah or The William Inge Theatre Festival.
Years ago when I was a kid this was the Safeway supermarket. Then it became Homeland. For the past few years though it has been called Marvin's and it's the best supermarket for several counties. The staff are friendly and know how to serve their special niche in town. The only other major supermarket in town is Wal-Mart now that Food 4 Less,...more
What do you call a cross between a convenience store and a grocery store? A 'grovenience' store, according to owners of this deli in downtown Independence.Open Mon-Fri 7 till 7, Sat 8 till 6. If you're passing through on the highway, you can grab a bag of chips, cold drink or other snack and be on your way.However, they also have a deli counter...more
52 Reviews and Opinions
Do not go to Uncle Jack's restaurant. They charge insane prices for tiny portions of not all that great food. You'll basically be paying for the "atmosphere."
Unique Suggestions: Order as little food as possible. You might even want to eat before you go there, just to be safe.
Fun Alternatives: If you're looking for a classy place to eat, try Brother's Railroad Inn, or maybe Secret Garden. If you're just looking for a restaurant with good food and don't care about atmosphere, you might try Kinsey's Restaurant or the Calico Cafe.
There are many places in the surrounding area that are interesting, but that most people drive right past without ever noticing.
There isn't really a good way to describe most of these places, but if you want to find one, it's pretty easy to. Just buy $20 of gas, find a dirt road in the country, and drive down it, wandering wherever seems best to you. It shouldn't be long before you stumble across a small village, an old graveyard, a ghost town, or something else interesting!
I suppose, if you wanted to take all of the fun out of it, you could probably find a map somewhere....
Go to NEEWOLLAH, the Halloween festival!
The last week of each October finds Independence hosting about 100,000 revellers. The streets downtown are closed to traffic and overtaken by food vendors selling smokey barbecue, gooey funnel cakes and fluffy cotton candy. There's a carnival midway, craft fair, street acts and several parades.
The Grand Parade on the Saturday of each Neewollah lasts upwards of two hours and features every high school marching band within one hundred miles. With all the flannel shirts, caramel apples and brass bands it's like a Tommy Hilfiger Halloween!
This is a home-grown event which also has an amateur musical production like The King and I, a beauty pageant and a street stage featuring local acts. Each week there is also a gala country music concert.
Originally envisioned as a scheme to keep pranksters distracted with harmless fun and games on Halloween night, Neewollah has ripened into the one of the state's largest festival. For more info visit Neewollah.com.
Fondest memory: As you can see, I LOVE Halloween!