Kansas State Capitol

Topeka is the capital of Kansas.


Topeka, located in Shawnee County, serves as the capital of Kansas. The metropolitan area is rich in history and highly favored by nature. It lies on rich sandy loam river bottomland where Indians lived for many years using the excellent fords on the Kansas (Kaw) River. Among the first permanent settlers were three French-Canadian (Pappan) brothers. They married three Kanza (Kansas) Indian sisters and established a ferry over the river in 1842. A grandson from one of the marriages was Charles Curtis, the only Vice-President of the United States to be of Indian descent. (Charles Curtis served with President Herbert C. Hoover from 1929 to 1933.) In the 1800s, Topeka served as a gateway west for pioneers traveling on the Oregon Trail or by railroad.

Topeka is home to the highly acclaimed Kansas Museum of History where you'll step back in time and learn all about the land that is Kansas. Relive the history of Kansas through exhibits, videos, and programs.

Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site overlooks the Oregon Trail's ferry site across the Kansas River and includes the original Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad depot from Pauline as well as a turn of the century town, botanical gardens, and dinners served by hosts in period dress.

Topeka has been an active participant in the modern-day Civil Rights Movement. The Monroe School is the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic site where visitors gain an understanding and appreciation for the role of this decision in the Civil Rights Movement.

Gage Park houses the Topeka Zoo, Renisch Rose Gardens with over 6,500 plants, offering 400 varieties, and a 1908 Carousel that houses a 1909 Wurlitzer organ. Tour the Combat Air Museum, the Capitol Building, and the Governor's home - Cedar Crest. First Presbyterian Church, built over 112 years ago, is the site of a unique presentation of Tiffany windows. Louis C. Tiffany came to Topeka in 1911 and produced these windows. First Presbyterian Church is the only church west of the Mississippi River to have all Tiffany windows. Visit Heartland Park, a state-of-the-art motor sports complex. The Topeka area has an abundance of campgrounds and lakes, as well as hiking and biking trails.

The 183,000 square foot Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library may be one of the greatest libraries around, with over 90,000 + card holders. You can see license plates from several counties from Kansas and surrounding states, like Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois, New Mexico, Minnesota and several other states. The Topeka-Shawnee County Public may be the best cultural asset in the city. Great selections of all media types--books, movies, music, periodicals and others. If you are a classic movie fan, than you will enjoy the Topeka Public Library. I recommend finding old time movie actors and searching them individually for titles, like Robert Mitchum or Jimmy Stewart or James Cagney. Classical music is good, new books are plentiful and the business reference section is one of the best for researching businesses and industries. Great local and state businesses resources are available too. The health section is sponsored by Stormont Vail, where you can test blood pressure and check out bags for various ailments and find any kind of medical information possible. The Topeka Public Library is a must see for anybody visiting the City of Topeka. You won't be disappointed.

Get in

By plane

By train

By taxi

By car

Travelling by car is the easiest way to enter, exit and move around in Topeka.

Highways include:

By bus

Get around

By car

Most of the streets in Topeka are laid out in a grid pattern. North/South Streets are named and most East/West streets are numbered. South of the river the street numbers increase as you travel southwardly, and the opposite on the north side of the river. Popular streets running through the city are Wanamaker, Topeka Boulevard, 21st Street and 6th Street (6th Street turns into Highway 40).

Topeka has a controlled access bypass, I-470, travelling through the southwest side of town. This makes for easy access to shopping centers and connects the major highways going into and out of Topeka.

By bus

Topeka Metro is the public bus system that runs through most of the main streets. Their phone number is: +1 785 783-7000. The bus fare costs $2 per trip. A card that is good for 10 rides costs $18. A pass that is good for 31 days costs $50.00. Buy cards and passes at the Quincy Street Station at 820 SE Quincy Street or at any Dillons store. You can catch or transfer to most buses at this station too.


Westboro Baptist Church

Topeka has become renowned for being the home of Westboro Baptist Church, headed by Fred Phelps and his family. This family is notorious for protests against homosexuals, soldiers, any church or religion besides their own, and America as a country. When visiting or living in Topeka, it is a common sight to see a group of Westboro Baptist Churchgoers picketing a local church or community gathering, carrying colorful signs with offensive slogans and sometimes shouting or singing. Know that most local Topekans despise the Phelps, given that they are against every religion but their own, and because most locals see Westboro Baptist as giving Topeka a bad name as a bigoted, small-minded city. On numerous occasions, committees have been formed attempting, unsuccessfully, to bar the Phelps from the city. The Patriot Guard Riders, a band of motorcyclists, was formed in response to picketing at soldier's funerals. They attempt to shield mourning families from protesters. Their compound is on the corner of West 12th and South-West Cambridge Avenue (3701 Southwest 12th Street Topeka, 66604)




Topeka has the variety of chain restaurants like most modern American cities. Locally owned restaurants are scattered through town. Most small shopping centers will have one or two small, locally owned restaurants. Wanamaker is the popular street for most chain restaurants.

Recommended Locally Owned or Small Chain Restaurants:


Topeka has a few locally owned coffeehouses, but several coffeehouses in the area buy their coffee from a medal-winning local roaster, PT's Coffee Co. PT's also has a coffeehouse of their own.

Recommended Locally Owned or Small Chain Barristas:


Go next

Routes through Topeka

Albuquerque Newton  W  E  Lawrence Kansas City
Hays Junction City ← Jct N ← Jct N S  W  E  Lawrence Kansas City
END  N  S  Emporia Wichita via
Follow south  S  E  Follow east
Stockton Wamego  W  E  Lawrence Kansas City
Omaha Holton  N  S  Junction N SIndependence Tulsa

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, February 27, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.