You will definitely need a car to explore Atchison, as many of the sights are spread out. A nice alternative is the streetcar shuttle. It takes you on a 45 minute tour of historical sights in Atchison. It's great to get to know the city, or just to see the sights. It only costs five dollars. The downside is you don't get to stop and get out to take pictures. The bus will occassionally slow down enough for you to get pictures. But is a very informative and neat tour. The bus stops right in front of the old train station, which is now the tourist information center. It leaves every hour on the hour.
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Get Acquainted with Atchison
The Atchison Trolley is good for those who have very little time, and want to see the highlights with expert commentary, or for those who want to get the "lay of the land" before taking out on your own. However, because the town is not large, and the available map is excellent, there is little danger of getting lost, anyway.
Trolley rides begin at the tourist information center.
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