Top Things to Do in Topeka

The Evel Knievel Museum’s recent arrival injected fresh energy in the state capital. But sites that explore Kansas’ roots and a landmark court decision reflect the importance history holds too.

Mural near Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site
Photo: Starboard and Port


Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site

Visit the former Monroe Elementary School for exhibits on the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to end segregation. A mural across the street explores themes of equality.

Evel Knievel Museum
Evel Knievel Museum. Doug Stremel

The Evel Knievel Museum

Indulge your inner daredevil by donning VR goggles and attempting a heart-stopping leap over 16 cars. Other exhibits include Evel's "Big Red" Mack truck from his coast-to-coast travels.

Hazel Hill Chocolate Traditions

A third-generation chocolatier is the expert behind the truffles, caramel apples and butter-toffee popcorn that make the shop a treat-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, early railroads and 1950s diners.


Territorial capital of Kansas from 1855 to 1861, the town (20 minutes from Topeka and Lawrence) bills itself as both the birth place of the Civil War and the place" where slavery began to die." Learn about the history at sites like the Territorial Capital Museum and Constitution Hall.

NOTO Arts District

Many of the city's studios and galleries line this colorful pocket of North Topeka. Shop for art and dance to music during First Friday Art Walks.

Topeka Trip Guide
Michael Snell

State Capitol

Take a self-guided tour of this restored 1903 beauty, known for its dome (taller than the U.S. Capitol's). Murals in the rotunda and statues of famous Kansans speak to state history.

Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center

See lions and monkeys at Camp Cowabunga, then find moments of zen at the Kay McFarland Japanese Garden.

Eat and Drink

Bobo's Drive-In

The classic American burger joint, opened in 1948, comes complete with carhops and Formica-topped booths. Bobo's Drive-On Facebook

Iron Rail Brewing

Enjoy Southern comfort food with craft beer like the CKH Wheat, named for Cyrus K. Holliday, the railroad magnate who founded Topeka in 1854.

Lonnie Q's BBQ

The Cup of Heaven delivers on its promise with three meats, cheesy potatoes and beans.

Norsemen Brewing Company

Swig a Coffee Porter amid chandeliers and limestone walls. KB's Smokehouse serves BBQ specialties on-site.

The Pennant
The Pennant. Starboard and Port

The Pennant

Try the bowling alley or vintage arcade after your comfort-food meal of gourmet burgers, loaded fries, beer and shakes—both classic and spiked.

PT's Coffee Roasting Company

Pick up a sample of beans from one of the nation's top roasters or try breakfast, lunch or snacks.

The Wheel Barrel

Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and craft beer star at the North Topeka spot.

The White Linen

Celebrate special occasions with the chef's signature Old Fashioned and a menu that integrates French and American flavors.

Topeka, Kansas
Courtesy of Cyrus Hotel


Cyrus Hotel

New in 2019, the upscale boutique lodging offers rooms blending modern chic with historical elegance.

The Woodward Inns on Fillmore
The Woodward Inns on Fillmore. Nate Luke

The Woodward

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

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