Topeka Trip Guide | Midwest Living

Topeka Trip Guide

The 1903 Capitol and sites that explore a landmark court decision and a Native American vice president reflect the importance history holds in this metro. See our recommendations for what to do, where to eat and where to stay.


Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site Visit the former Monroe Elementary School for exhibits and films on the context and effects of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to end segregation. Rangers lead free tours of the school building twice a day.

Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site

Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site

Charles Curtis House Museum This engaging museum sheds light on the United States' first Native American vice president, who served under Herbert Hoover.

First Friday Artwalks Topeka's studios and galleries come alive when thousands shop for arts and dance to street music each month.

First Friday Artwalks

First Friday Artwalks

First Presbyterian Church Tiffany Windows What began as a memorial by two widows in 1911 has become a prized collection. The 10 stained-glass windows exemplify Louis Tiffany's patented Favrile technique of creating iridescent and bright jewel tones.

Hazel Hill Chocolate Traditions A third-generation chocolatier is the expert behind the truffles, candy-dipped caramel apples and homemade fudge that make the shop a chocolate-lover’s paradise.

Kansas Children’s Discovery Center Cheery pavilions with hands-on exhibits tell the story of art, agriculture and science.

Kansas Museum of History The Sunflower State’s multifaceted history reveals itself in displays about Native Americans, Spanish Conquistadors, early railroads and 1950s diners.

Old Prairie Town The retro Potwin Drug Store soda fountain and a 2½ -acre garden star in this collection of turn-of-the-19th-century buildings.

PT’s Coffee Roasting Company Passionate about java? Schedule a tour of the roasting facility or pick up a sample of the beans at one of the retail locations.

Scenic byways near Topeka Glacial Hills Scenic Byway runs 63 miles from White Cloud to Fort Leavenworth and passes Lewis and Clark sites, preserves and evidence of glaciers. Frontier Military Scenic Byway traces Civil War history along its 167-mile route from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Scott.

State Capitol Free tours leave visitors impressed with the dome (taller than the U.S. Capitol’s) of this restored 1903 beauty. Murals in the rotunda and statues of famous Kansans speak to state history.

Kansas State Capitol

State Capitol

Topeka Zoo While on the smaller side, the zoo provides up-close encounters with giraffes, tigers, hippos and elephants who paint with their trunks.


Blind Tiger Brewery and Restaurant Come for the award-winning brews, including the raspberry wheat ale made with pure raspberry extract and a pinch of honey.

Bobo’s Drive-In The classic American burger joint comes complete with carhops and Formica-topped booths. The $1.99 steak burgers taste as good now as when the tiny spot opened in 1948—especially with a side of crispy onion rings. (785) 234-4511

Boss Hawg’s Barbeque The family-owned joint slow-smokes pork, beef, chicken, turkey and sausages over hardwood and makes sides from scratch.

Bradley’s Corner Cafe A father-and-son team serve good, inexpensive country cooking and more than 25 flavors of fresh-baked pies a day. (785) 235-0086

Pepe and Chela’s Stellar margaritas, chips and guac tide you over while you choose from the long menu.

Rowhouse Restaurant Owner-chef Greg Fox shows off his fine-dining chops with a prix fixe menu that changes weekly. The restored 1876 row house sits near the Capitol.


Hyatt Place Topeka Convenience reigns with a coffee shop, a 24-hour fitness center and breakfasts with tasty egg sandwiches.

The Woodward Inns on Fillmore Some rooms in the 1920s Tudor-style mansion come with fireplaces and claw-foot tubs. Relax in the heated lap pool set among lush gardens.

The Woodward Inns on Fillmore

The Woodward Inns on Fillmore

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