Topeka Tourist Information and Tourism

(Topeka, Kansas - KS, USA)

Although the city of Topeka may well be the capital of Kansas, tourists have never come expecting a profusion of attractions or a thriving tourism industry. The reality is that this is a fairly small and quiet city of politics, although the tourism industry has certainly seen some major improvements in recent years, with more and more tourist attractions opening.

Topeka boasts a very popular zoo, a beautiful state house, a modern multi-purpose arena and an intriguing history relating to the struggle for civil rights, remembered at the Brown v. Board of Education Museum. For recreation, locals tend to head to Lake Shawnee, which is an artificial lake with its very own swimming beach.

The longer you stay, the more you will find to do in this capital. However, the winters are reliably cold and long, meaning that the hot, sunny summer months are certainly the most sensible time to visit, or perhaps the quieter springtime month of May. If you are planning to join one of the free guided tours of the Kansas State Capitol Building, then do consider popping just down the road first, to the Topeka Tourist information Center (Visit Topeka) on South Kansas Avenue, in between Southwest 6th Avenue and Southwest 7th Street.

Topeka Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

Winter time in Topeka is chilly and this therefore means that many of the outdoor tourist offerings tend to be affected by the weather, often being somewhat seasonal. In the summer months, MacLennan Park, on the northwesterly side of the city, is a popular haunt of the locals and tourists alike, with its plentiful picnicking opportunities, fishing ponds and mountain bike trails, and at Gage Park, the Blaisdell Family Aquatic Center soon fills up on a sunny day. Lake Shawnee, a giant artificial lake created in the 1930s, is also known for its summer draws, while when the snow arrives in winter, children head straight to the hill at Quinton Heights with their sledges.

Whatever the weather, the tenpin bowling on offer at both Gage Bowl on Southwest Huntoon Street, and the West Ridge Lanes and Family Fun Center on Southwest Westport Drive, is a reliable choice for indoor family fun. Families will also find plenty to see at Topeka Zoo, where the elephants, giraffes, gorillas, lions and tigers are particular highlights, along with the Tropical Rainforest area and the Waterbird Lagoon. Heartland Park provides some real excitement in the form of motorsports, and at the Kansas Expocenter, roughly 10,000 people can watch touring concerts, as well as indoor football and ice hockey, courtesy of the Kansas Koyotes and the Topeka RoadRunners respectively. For evening entertainment with added culture, check out what's on at the Civic Theater and Academy on Southwest 8th Avenue, the Helen Hocker Theater on the Southwest Zoo Parkway, and the Topeka Performing Arts Center (TPAC) on Southeast 8th Avenue. More information about Topeka Tourist Attractions.

The Kansas State Capitol is certainly the number one landmark in Kansas, both in terms of stature and importance, although many other interesting sights reside within the city, suiting holiday makers. Just across from the Capitol is the Kansas Judicial Center and the Fountain of Justice, and a few blocks to the west is Topeka High School, which dates back to the early 1870s and is remembered as being the very first school, sited on the westerly side of the Mississippi River, to incur construction costs exceeding US$1 million. Next-door, the Grace Episcopal Cathedral is also of historical significance and was completed in the year 1917, although its present-day twin bell towers were added at a later stage.

Sightseers may also like to take a look at the buildings of Old Prairie Town, based at Wade-Meade Park on Northwest Fillmore Street, and the very stately Kansas Governor's Residence on Southwest Cedar Crest Road, which is named Cedar Crest and dates back to the 1920s, enjoying extensive renovation work in the 1990s costing more than US$4 million. On Southwest College Avenue, Washburn University (America's last city chartered university) dates from the mid-1860s and is the premier educational institution in the Kansas capital, with its most noteworthy structures including Stoffer Hall, the Duggan Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial. More information about Topeka Landmarks and Monuments.

There are more than enough museums in Topeka to fill several days, if you are interested in history, aviation, important past individuals, military memorabilia, the Kansas National Guard and Harley Davidson motorcycles. With decent annual visitor numbers, the Brown v. Board of Education Museum on Southeast Monroe Street is to be found within the former Monroe Elementary School and remembers how segregation and education once went hand in hand. At the Kansas Museum of History on Southwest 6th Avenue, information about the state's biggest achievements is accompanied by a restored steam locomotive and biplane. The Children's Discovery Center is a good rainy day attraction and is close to a number of additional sights and shops, and on the northwestern side of Washburn University's campus, the Mulvane Art Museum showcases the works of accomplished artists from the region of Kansas and throughout the United States. More information about Topeka Museums and Topeka Art Galleries.

Topeka is situated on the northeastern side of Kansas and is within reasonable reach of the state borders with Missouri (east) and Nebraska (north). Excursions outside of Topeka are made all the more easy thanks to the presence of a number of interstates and highways, such as Interstate I-70 (east to Lawrence and west to Junction City, Bonner Springs and Kansas City, MO), the I-335 (southwest to Emporia) and Highway US-75 (north to St. Joseph). To the northeast, Perry Lake offers plenty of recreational activities, including scenic hiking trails and camping spots, and if you are planning a weekend getaway, then consider the somewhat longer trip to Wichita, which is located roughly 140 miles / 225 km to the southwest. More information about Topeka Attractions Nearby.

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