Group Tours


Mined lands returned to nature. Immigrants whose entrepreneurial spirit led to bootlegging and fried chicken. And, pride in having the nation’s only collegiate gorilla mascot.

Before cars, streetcars connected the mining towns on the Weir-Pittsburg Coalfield. This 1913 map shows rail lines of the Joplin and Pittsburg Railway Company.

Central Location

Crawford County, Kansas is only a few hours away from Wichita, Kansas City, Branson, Fayetteville and Tulsa. Regardless of where you’re going, there’s a good chance we’re along your route.

Or, base at a Pittsburg hotel to explore the Four States. Take your day trips, then return where the amenities of a larger city are all within an easy 15 minute drive from any Pittsburg hotel.

And while you’re here, step into our past, join us for dinner, and find out why Once a Gorilla, Always a Gorilla.

NOTE: This is NOT the map that will be used. I’m searching for a specific map. -Chris


Fried Chicken joints in Crawford County more than 50 years old


Museums within 40 miles of Downtown Pittsburg


Gorilla sculptures, paintings, and other tributes
(We stopped counting)

Group Tours

Originally a buffer between Missouri settlers to the east and Native Americans to the west, Southeast Kansas once looked like the rest of the state. It was sparsely populated with farmsteads on rolling hills of the prairie.

The search for coal changed everything.

Tour Crawford County Historical Museum, Girard History Museum, and Miners Hall Museum to see how the region’s culture changed as immigrants from across the world came to work in the mines.

See the machines that literally shaped this region, especially Big Brutus National Historic Site. This 16 story monument sits just outside of Crawford County, but is the MUST SEE attraction of Southeast Kansas.

Group Dining

Six chicken houses more than 50 years old located near each other grabs attention. The New Yorker published a feature in 1982. The Travel Channel’s “Food Wars” visited in 2010. BBC Travel went global with it in 2020. It’s even inspired a fictional novel.

Since the 1930’s travelers have asked why fried chicken is so popular in the Southeast Kansas region. It’s a story about immigrants, mining and survival. It also happens to be a delicious, inexpensive family meal.

If you’re group is not in the mood for fried chicken, there are several options at any one of the area’s group friendly restaurants.

Home of the Gorillas

Founded in 1903 and home of the Gorillas, the Pittsburg State campus features historic architecture, and several public art displays and memorials, including a retired Moving Wall.

Alumni and residents take great pride in being the only college or university with a gorilla as its mascot. This nickname was adopted in the 1920’s, when it was slang for “roughnecks”. Countless gorilla statues are spread across Southeast Kansas – dubbed “Gorilla Nation”. Two gorilla sculptures on campus are ideal for photos.

Beware of the photobomb expert, “Gus the Gorilla”.

Casino + Hotel

Kansas Crossing Casino has 16 table games with 600+ slot machines. Live entertainment nearly every Friday and Saturday evening, plus the occasional performance on the casino floor. The casino is connected to a 123-room Hampton Inn and Suites, plus a bar and restaurant. It is conveniently located at the junction of U.S. 69 and U.S. 400. Bus parking is available.

Including the Hampton Inn, more than 550 rooms are available in Pittsburg.

A former mining boom plus a college town provides Crawford County, Kansas with a variety of amenities usually found only in larger cities, but with the affordability, hospitality and ease of getting place to place of a small town.

Get in touch:

Crawford County CVB
Chris Wilson
117 W. 4th St, Pittsburg, KS
(620) 231-1212

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