Exits 353, 355, 356a/b, 357a/b, 358a/b, 359, 361a/b, 362a/b/c, 363, 364a/b, 365, 366
Within the land of the prairie, there lies a city teeming with pivotal points of history, unparalleled novelties and attractions, and natural beauty that pairs perfectly with Kansas’ notably expansive horizon. Topeka has a bright legacy all its own when one considers its ties to the Civil Rights Movement. The Brown V. Board of Education National Historic Site has put the city on the map as a crucial point in history and a destination within the U.S. Civil Rights Trail. Brown V. Board stands as the site where school integration first occurred and “Separate but Equal” was deemed unconstitutional. Taking visitors through the history up to, during and after the famous Supreme Court case, Brown V. Board showcases the impact the case had on the Civil Rights Movement and underlies the importance of the pursuit of social justice. To learn and experience more about how Topeka has impacted U.S. Civil Rights, be sure to also visit the Equality House, the Kansas State Capitol Building and the Kansas Museum of History.
While at the Kansas Museum of History, be sure to take a stroll around the trails surrounding the Museum compound. You’ll find acres of woods and prairie grass, perfect picturesque views. Topeka is full of beautiful green spaces to explore, traverse or simply sit and enjoy. A local favorite, Gage Park offers over 100 acres of natural beauty, including a rose garden and rock garden, a fishing pond, an amphitheater, multiple playgrounds, a 19th century style carousel, and a multi-colored mini train that visitors can ride throughout the park. Within Gage Park, you will also find the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center and the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center (KCDC). The Zoo is home to hundreds of different species, from furry to feathered, scaly and more. KCDC is a haven for every type of curious tike. Let them stimulate their brains with different art and science activities while also burning off some energy in the outdoor play area.
Other prime locations visitors to Topeka shouldn’t miss out on include the restaurants and bars, breweries, shops and more in the North Topeka (NOTO) Arts & Entertainment District and in Downtown Topeka. If it’s local brews and awesome food, don’t sleep on Brew Bank, Iron Rail Brewing and Norsemen Brewing Co. For more family-friendly dining options that offer libations for the older crowd, consider trying a signature grilled cheese and a cocktail at The Wheel Barrel, or a burger and fries with an massive (sometimes alcohol infused) shake from The Pennant, or fish and chips with a sidecar at Celtic Fox Restaurant and Pub. Whether you’re in NOTO or Downtown Topeka, you’ll find a variety of shops and art galleries to choose from, some to keep in mind are Ash Boutique, 4 Girl Garage, Phoenix Finds, Topeka Vendors Market, Two Wolves Studio & Artist Den, Round Table Bookstore, Fire Me Up Ceramics and Gallery and the NOTO Arts Center. If you want to take in any live and local entertainment, stop by Evergy Plaza and Red Bud Park.
If you’re looking to get all the sites, be sure to book your stay now.