Earth : North America : United States of America : Great Plains
Paralleling the Rocky Mountains, this vast stretch of grasslands extends from a tiny pocket of northern Mexico, through Texas and all the way north to the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Air-travel is fastest and probably the most practical way of entering the Great Plains region. Many smaller cities in this region are serviced by the Midwestern airport hubs of Chicago, Kansas City, MO, or Minneapolis, Western hub Denver, or Texan hubs Dallas and Houston. From those large airports, smaller commuter flights are available into many small city airports such as Fargo or Grand Forks, North Dakota; Rapid City or Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, Kearney, McCook, Scottsbluff and Alliance, Nebraska; Salina, Wichita or Topeka, Kansas; and Tulsa or Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Generally by automobile, Greyhound bus has several routes through here as well and there is very limited passenger rail service. Many larger cities have regular air-commuter service to larger hub airports. Smaller towns may have smaller commuter flights with more limited service.
The Great Plains is not packed with sights. In fact, it's not packed with much of anything—these are some of the lowest density states in the union, iconic for their wide, flat, open spaces. The largest cities of Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Omaha all have a number of modest attractions, although a visitor to the United States probably wouldn't go out of their way to find them. The one big exception, however, are the Black Hills and Badlands of southwestern South Dakota, which is home to several of quite literally the country's biggest attractions: in particular, Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Crazy Horse Memorial, as well as an enormous range of rugged and mountainous terrain, filled with Wild West cowboy towns and big game animals.
The Great Plains are the location of "Tornado Alley", a multi-state region where tornadoes are more frequent on average during the spring and summer months. See Tornado safety for more information. While it is somewhat rare for tourists to experience tornadoes, severe thunderstorms containing frequent lightning, strong winds, hail and heavy rains are common during the spring and summer months as well. When weather conditions deteriorate listen to local radio stations for information ("Weather Radio Information" roadsigns are fairly common on interstates) The northern areas of this region are susceptible to blizzards and bitter cold temperatures during the winter; while southern regions sometimes face severe ice events. When driving cross-country in the winter, be prepared as Interstates often close during severe winter weather events.