Kit Carson carved the name Council Grove on a buffalo hide in 1820 and nailed it to an oak tree, thus creating this little city, which is today home to 2,300. The town's name came from a huge gathering (or council) of Indian chiefs and government leaders that resulted in the sale of much of this area to the United States. Nestled in the Flint Hills, Council Grove is home to dozens of historic sites, including one of the spots where wagon ruts of the Santa Fe Trail can still be seen. Tourism, therefore, contributes quite a bit to the local economy, which is also greatly influenced by agricultural conditions. Longtime curators and chefs have helped this tiny town evolve into a popular weekend getaway, while still embracing its historic past.
Fodor's Editorial Photo Intern Leonard Vargas snapped photos of this spring's wildflower explosion in Southern California.More