3. Lindsborg, KS
Situated just a few miles south of I-70 in central Kansas, the small town of Lindsborg is sometime called “Little Sweden USA,” but in addition to its Swedish heritage, Lindsborg is known for its thriving arts community of more than 60 working artists as well as its collection of working studios and galleries.
Lindsborg has two museum dedicated to the work of well-established artist who made home their homes there. The Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery is named in honor of the Swedish-born painter and print maker who came to Lindsborg in 1894 to teach language and arts at Bethany College. The gallery houses a large collection of Sandzén’s work and works of hundreds of other artists. The Red Barn Studio Museum was the studio of the prolific painter and craftsman Lester Raymer, who often used recycled materials in both his art, and drew heavily from Spanish and Mexican folk art traditions.
Each year during Holy Week, Lindsborg’s Bethany College hosts the Messiah Festival of the Arts, which features the Bethany Oratorio Society’s performances of Bach’s “Passion According to St. Matthew” on Good Friday, and Handel’s “Messiah” on Easter Sunday.
Coronado Heights, a 300-foot hill just outside of Lindsborg, boasts the dubious claim of being the place where Spanish explorer Coronado gave up his ill-fated quest to find the fabled Seven Cities of Gold. But the funky stone castle built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1932 at the top of Coronado Heights is the perfect place to take in a sunset and view of the sweeping Kansas plains.