Fort Hays is a historic American fort in Hays, Kansas that played a pivotal role in the American Indian Wars of the late 1800’s and opening up the American frontier. While not the most famous fort in the American West, Fort Hays played a surprisingly important role in the nation’s history and it’s a great place to discover stories about the legendary figures that passed through its halls (not least among which are Wild Bill Hickock and General Custer).
This fort is small but there are several interesting exhibits you can explore. First, you have an overview of the American Indian Wars and a display of weapons used by the Plains Indians and the American Army at the time. Then, you can move on to the Officers Quarters and get a period-perfect idea of what life must have been like on the fort. The Guardhouse is perhaps the most interesting building: it’s where the bulk of the fort’s activities took place and there are lots of touchscreens and other interactive activities to help you learn a bit more about the people that brought the fort to life.
Fort Hays is open from 9am to 5pm from Wednesday to Saturday. It's a very affordable $5 for adults and there's a very generous student discount.