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THERE IS A LARGE GIFT SHOP just north of the Smoky Hill Winery. It features Kansas-made gifts.
ITS CALLED "KANSAS ORIGINALS"
Written Mar 6, 2006
THERE IS A WINERY STORE AT WILSON where you can sample and purchase from a nice selection of wines. We have found Smoky Hill wines to be among our favorites as we stop at small wineries from Nebraska through Texas.
Smoky Hill Wines are also available in Wichita at "Under the Cork" in the west part of town at the corner of N. Maize Rd. and West 21st St. N.
Also available at the Sam's Club liquor store south of Salina, Kansas. Sam's is on 9th St.. From I-35 take either exit 89 or 90 and go east to 9th St. It is between those two exit streets.
Written Mar 6, 2006
Address: 237 Hwy.232
Mother Nature works very hard to create a masterpiece out of nearly every Kansas sunset.
This one at Wilson Lake was like stepping inside my own private JMW Turner watercolor, like the ones he did in Italy of an orange sun in a pink sky...
Updated Nov 25, 2005
South Shore Drive at Wilson Lake takes you through a landscape that might remind you of the foothills of Colorado or the mesas of New Mexico.
The hills are thick with cedar trees, crowned with windmills and filled to bursting with deer, antelope, hawks, songbirds, waterfowl and sunflowers.
If you're coming through on I-70 you should take at least an hour to make the detour. The road is not paved all the way but it's well worth slowing down a spell and enjoying the scenery!
Updated Aug 18, 2004
You can reach the north shore of Wilson Lake and visit the bizarre stone formations of Rock Town on this 3-mile loop.
When you reach the lakeshore you'll see the twin columns of a collapsed arch plus many other strange and colorful rock outcroppings.
I loved the fact that Rock Town can only be reached on foot or by boat, it felt so remote and primitive when I visited, a feeling made more profound because I was alone on the trail the entire way.
Written Dec 3, 2003
When the first Europeans settled the treeless Kansas prairie, they had to be ingenious in order to overcome the lack of wood. They built cabins out of the soil, digging up bricks of dirt bound together by plant roots. They collected dried bison manure, or buffalo chips, to make fires. But what about when it came time to fence in their livestock?
The settlers soon discovered that the local limestone was fairly soft to cut but became much harder when dried. They set about cutting logs of stone to use as fenceposts, giving this area its nickname, Post Rock Country.
Look closely at this fencepost and you'll see round indentations down its side. This is where quarrymen drilled to cut the stone out of the ground.
Written Dec 3, 2003
A not-for-profit cooperative effort the artists and artisans represented in this vast showroom. Fine and folk art, crafts, and foot products are featured. If you are looking for souvenir t-shirts and the like (think Wizard of Oz), you will find those here, too, but allow yourself plenty of time to browse amongst the Kansas-made quilts and samplers, pottery and ceramics, sculptures and stone carvings, paintings and photography, jewelry, books, and more. And - check out the foods room for lots of unique items. Good place to pick up travel brochures and get information, too.
What to buy: From the foods section, try some honey roasted sunflower seeds or sunflower seed cookies; unique jellies like jalapeño, wild choke cherry, or wild plum; or Lost Trail Root Beer. If you are into wheat weaving or sunflowers, you will find lots to choose from.
What to pay: Wide range of prices represented, but I found most prices to be in line with value.
Written Jan 26, 2010
Address: I-70 Exit 206, Wilson
Without doubt this is the best shop in Kansas for local arts, crafts and homegrown food specialities.
Everything from fine art and photography to ironwork and woodwork are available as well as a range of toys, books and sports memoribilia. Traditional crafts like wheat weaving, stone carving and quilting demonstrate the ethnic heritage of the state's residents. Their online catalogue gives you some idea of the sheer variety of items they stock. Grab a free coffee while you browse. The staff are very friendly and helpful.
Can't decide? How about letting them assemble a special gift basket?
What to buy: My favourite bit to browse is the food section for popcorn on the cob, BBQ sauces, jams, candy and cookbooks.
Across the lot from the Originals Market is an outlet for the Smoky Hills Winery (see my Salina page to read about their vinyard).
What to pay: To be honest some of the prices are a little on the steep side, but most of the items are what you'd call heirloom quality.
Updated Jun 12, 2006
Address: Exit 206 of 1-70
Phone: 877 457 6233