Inspired by the poet Pablo Neruda in his Ode To Salt – “I know you won’t believe me but it sings, salt sings” – the Kansas Underground Salt Museum invites visitors to plummet 650 feet below the prairie to experience “the song.” After a 70-second trip in a double-deck elevator that holds 15 people on each level, adventurers can tunnel through the former salt mine on an underground train and touch a 6,000 pound block of salt! It’s one of only 14 salt mines left in the US, and the only one open to the public. Reservations, gloves and a good flashlight are recommended.
The salt mine isn’t the only place to have fun underground in Kansas. A number of abandoned Atlas F missile silos (built by the US Army Corps of Engineers during the Cold War) have been flipped, that is, renovated and sold as “Survival Condos” – residential superstructures built 200 ft below street level for those seeking refuge from disaster, whether man-made or natural. Apartment amenities include enough air, water, and freeze-dried food for a family of five to last five years. Tornado cellars are so 20th century. Still the views aren’t what you might hope for: to see a real ballistic missile still in its silo, you’ll have to travel to the Titan Missile Museum in Arizona.