First things first. The day can’t begin without a cup of joe from PT’s Coffee Roasting Company. Just a few blocks east lies Kansas’ State Capitol, with its 500-pound oak doors, gorgeous brass-and-copper stair railings and 22-carat gilding that highlights the stunning architecture.
The father and son team at Bradley’s Corner Cafe dishes good, inexpensive eats and fresh-baked pies.
Thousands crowd art galleries, shop for affordable antiques and dance to street music during ArtsConnect First Friday Artwalks in North Topeka Art District (known as NOTO).
Inside a lovingly restored row house, RowHouse Restaurant owner-chef Greg Fox shows off his fine-dining chops with a prix fixe menu that changes weekly.
Stay at The Woodward Inn on Fillmore, a 1920s Tudor-style mansion restored and converted to an upscale bed-and-breakfast (from $145).
Touring the Charles Curtis House Museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the life of the first Native American vice president of the United States.
Continue your history lesson at the thought-provoking Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. The former school building marks the Supreme Court decision that integrated schools.
Truffles, candy-dipped caramel apples and homemade fudge are just some of the goodies that make Hazel Hill Chocolate Traditions a chocolate-lover’s paradise.
New City Cafe serves gourmet fare with Caribbean and Latin flair in a nondescript strip mall.
Learn about Native Americans, Spanish conquistadors, early railroads and 1950s diners at the Kansas Museum of History.
Dig into stellar margaritas, chips and guac while you try to decide what to eat off the enormous menu—or design your own combo—af family-run Pepe and Chela's.
More information: (785) 234-1030; visittopeka.com
Bobo’s Drive In is a classic American burger joint, 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