Topeka Travel Guide

  • Topeka
    by noidiotsplease
  • Looking over downtown Topeka from atop the Capitol
    Looking over downtown Topeka from atop...
    by mtncorg
  • Highway view of the CApitol
    Highway view of the CApitol
    by BruceDunning

Topeka Highlights

  • Pro
    AcornMan profile photo

    AcornMan says…

     Right in the middle of the country, so I'm equidistant from everything. 

  • Con
    EMSMITHMARCH profile photo

    EMSMITHMARCH says…

     Shopping Moved to Malls Away From Downtown 

  • In a nutshell
    BruceDunning profile photo

    BruceDunning says…

     After seeing the Sites, not much else to do 

Topeka Things to Do

  • Ward-Meade Park

    Sitting on a bluff overlooking the Kansas (Kaw) River is an out-of-the-way little historical park. At this location, wagon trains prepared to cross this river on their journey west to Oregon. You will find a number of buildings at this 5 acre site commemorate events that took place here. Some of the buildings are old and historic structures, some...

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  • Reinisch Rose Garden

    The Reinisch Rose Garden, located in Topeka's famed Gage Park, has been a city landmark since 1930. More than 400 varieties of roses are represented in the gardens, totaling in excess of 6,500 plants. Not surprisingly, it is a popular wedding spot.

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  • State Historical Museum

    This magnificent building houses the Kansas State Historical Society and its splendid museum. Fascinating exhibits appeal to children and grandparents alike. The museum is conveniently laid out, allowing visitors to easily trace the state's history from prehistoric indigenous tribes to social and political happenings of the late 20th century. One...

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  • First Presbyterian Church - Tiffany...

    Those of us who regularly watch PBS' "Antique Road Show" are accustomed to seeing stained glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany - on lamps. At Topeka's First Presbyterian Church, I viewed some of work on a majestic style, a series of stained glass windows. They are a joy to behold.Tiffany came to Topeka to formulate plans for the windows which were...

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  • The Great Overland Station

    Railroad museum and education center, located in a former Union Pacific Railroad passenger terminal. Dedicated in 1927, passenger rail service phased out in 1971. Re-opened in its present capacity in 2004. The All Veterans Memorial was dedicated in 2006.See the foundation's web site (link below) for information regarding exhibits and available...

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  • CHARLES CURTIS HOME

    Charles Curtis was a native Topekan – born here in 1860 with Kansas still a territory. His mother was of three quarter Native American ancestry – his father was white. Curtis grew up in an unstable family environment with his mother dying when he was only three and his father spending a bit of time in military prison. He split his early years...

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  • SECOND FLOOR MURALS

    For all of the interesting things you can find within and without the Kansas State Capitol the most intriguing might be the murals of John Steuart Curry on the second floor. Curry was born and raised in Kansas – on a farm near Winchester – though he had moved back east to follow a career in art. He is considered to be one of the three main painters...

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  • ROTUNDA ART

    The artwork within the rotunda has inspired lots of controversy over the years. The Populist Party beat out both the Republicans and the Democrats in 1896 and to leave their mark Jerome Fedeli was contracted to paint a series of 16 half naked Grecian maidens encircling the oculus of the rotunda. When the Republicans regained power in 1902 it took...

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  • AD ASTRA

    Ad Astra Per Aspera is the State motto – “to the stars through difficulties” It was through difficulties that Kansas finally came about in choosing this statue – a bronze silica figure of a Kansa warrior of some 4,420 pounds and 22 feet high – to be placed atop the Capitol dome. Originally, a bronze statue of Ceres – Roman goddess of agriculture –...

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  • DOME TOURS

    OK, so the murals were covered up, but I was able to take part in one of the last Dome Tours that will be taking place until the renovation project is finished in 2012. Soaring capitol domes do just that, they soar. There is usually a secondary dome inside the outside dome which serves as the ceiling for the rotunda inside. There are very few...

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  • CAPITOL TOUR

    About every half hour, tours wander through the Capitol giving visitors the chance to discover more about the history of the building. You can see the House of Representatives and the Senate chambers – as long as sessions are not ongoing. You pass through the State Library and can sit behind the Governor’s desk – as long as he/she is not sitting...

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  • STATE CAPITOL BUILDING

    Capitol buildings are usually finely wrought affairs with a bit of history tied up in them and the Capitol here in Topeka is a fine example. The building took place in stages from 1866 until 1906 with the two wings being completed before the central rotunda connected the separate wings. Four similar entrances are located on each side of the...

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Topeka Hotels

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Topeka Restaurants

  • Open your eyes, Blind Tiger

    We travled 1500 miles to visit the Blind Tiger on Valentine's Eve after reading the 5 star rating from a variety of locals. I will give this place 2 of 5 stars for the following reasons: 1. At 6:00p.m. we arrived to find two different "choices" of organic steak...AND THEY WERE OUT OF BOTH! I mean, come on! The manager didn't plan ahead for the...

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  • Blind Tiger Brewery

    The food at Blind Tiger Brewery is pretty good, but it's really the excellent handcrafted beer that draws people here. Situated in a big spacious stand-alone building in southeast Topeka, Blind Tiger isn't the most convenient place to get to, but it's worth the trip no matter what part of town you're in.

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  • Annie's Place

    An offshoot of the once super-popular but now closed Meat & Cheese Shop in the also once-popular Gage Center shopping area, Annie's Place has been a Topeka tradition since the mid 1980s. It was originally known primarily for its outstanding hamburgers grilled over an open flame and served on fresh-backed buns and delicious sweet deli pickles, but...

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  • Cupcakes and more...

    Daddy Cakes has just moved into a new place, and my first visit was before all the finishing touches had been made. Still - I think it has a cool, family-friendly atmosphere, perfect for birthday parties or similar occasions. In addition to baked goods, Daddy Cakes does offer a full line of espresso drinks. One brief visit - I had a chocolate...

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  • Classic Americana!

    A Topeka landmark since 1953 - one of the few remaining family-owned, old-fashioned hamburger joints. You can eat in your car (flash your lights to summon a carhop), at the horseshoe-shaped counter, or one of the few booths. In any case the service is great, and the ambiance will take you back to another time in American life. Bobo's fame extends...

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  • The Transcendent Deli

    Almost hidden away on a side street in Topeka's "Little Russia" is one of the city's best-known eateries, one that has survived floods, fires, economic down-turns and other disasters for more than sixty years. Porubsky's is first a neighborhood mom and pop grocery, and second a deli and tavern. This iconic little place has been featured in numerous...

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Topeka Nightlife

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    by brdwtchr Written Aug 25, 2002

    1 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are three different casinos on 75 highway north of Topeka. We went to one of them in the afternoon once while driving to Nebraska and had a nice time there. It was a good way to take a break from the drive for an hour or so.

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Topeka Shopping

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  • Backyard Birding Store

    This shop has a huge selection of feeders, birdbaths, feeding stations, backyard ammenities & gifts. The staff is extremely friendly, knowlegable & helpful. My wife & I are hooked on the charming atmosphere of this store & stop every time we travel through Topeka. I love cutting edge technology & this store has the latest in every thing relating...

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  • Shopping on the west side

    There are tons of shopping possibilities in and around West Ridge Mall. Wanamaker Rd. is the place to go to find shops and restaurants.West Ridge was built in 1986, and before then, this whole area was just vacant lots. There is a great slope behind West Ridge and we used to sled there when I was a child. You still can, but you'll run into the big...

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  • Topeka Hotels

    33 Hotels in Topeka

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Topeka Local Customs

  • The Mystery of Little Carrie's Grave...

    Little Carrie Frances Kiene was laid to rest in 1885 at the tender age of five, with a lovingly-carved young girl sitting on stones to mark her grave site. As the seasons have come and gone over the past twenty years or so, an unknown person or persons has slipped into Mount Hope Cemetery to update her wardrobe, replacing it with something more...

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  • A new local custom.

    This very large statue is now on top of the government building in Topeka. Before it went in to position it was taken by semi-truck to many cities in Kansas for people to see. Touching the statue became a lucky gesture. Good luck to touch it if you see it. It will be high above you.

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Topeka Warnings and Dangers

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    by brdwtchr Written Aug 25, 2002

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    If you are on the highways out side of Topeka close to sunset or sunrise be careful of deer crossing the road in front of your car.

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Topeka Off The Beaten Path

  • As you go south out of Topeka...

    As you go south out of Topeka on 75 highway you will come to signs for three different lakes in less than 30 miles. The closest is the smallest one, Osage fishing lake. Then you come to the shallow end of Pomona Lake. The furthest away is Melvern Lake. I've spent more time at Melvern than the other two. Melvern has a swimming beach, a marina, and a...

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  • We went to the Topeka Railroad...

    We went to the Topeka Railroad Days Festival on Labor Day weekend. There were crafts, food, carnival rides, locomotive rides, and tours of city on an old cable car. I liked riding the railroad hand cart the best. I never realized just how fast one of those things could go.

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  • This car is to promote arts in...

    This car is to promote arts in Topeka. You can't quite read the sign on the door in this picture. Topeka has Helen Hocker Performing Arts Center at Gage Park, Topeka Civic Theatre and Academy on SW 8th street, and Topeka Performing Arts Center at 214 SE 8th street.

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Topeka Favorites

  • Topeka is the capitol city...

    Topeka is the capitol city of our state so you must visit the beautiful capitol building. It is of the same design as the capitol in Washington DC but is actually a little taller. Inside are beautiful murals and statues. The murals by John Steuart Curry are quite famous. You can pick up a brochure and wander around on your own or you can take one...

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  • MMMMM....If you like BBQ ribs,...

    MMMMM....If you like BBQ ribs, steak, really great food..you have to eat at the Amarilo Grill. There isn't alot of activities, unless you enjoy just relaxing at the moving theatre or camping at the lake. The Fourth of July is really nice in Topeka. It is the time of the year, when everyone gets together and it is like there is a peace in the whole...

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