While visiting Topeka, come and learn more about Shawnee County history at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. The major urban library has a collection of over 450,000 books and serves more than 85,000 registered borrowers. It also has the distinction of being home to the oldest permanent collection of public art in the city. Currently, the library is expanding to add 100,000 square feet. It is being designed by world famous architect Michael Graves. For more information call (785) 233-2040.
Washburn University, located in Topeka, is the only municipal university in the nation. With an attractive and modern campus, the university is home to many special events, festivals and concerts. (785) 231-1010.
If you're looking for adventure, look no further! Lake Shawnee has everything under the sun-- hiking, camping, fishing, boating. With 410 surface acres of water, it is home to every kind of water sport you could want. In addition, this beautiful area on the southeast edge of Topeka is a game sanctuary for water fowl and other animals. Picnic and observation area are located along eight miles of shoreline. All-in-all, the 1,110 acre park is one of the finest recreational centers in the Midwest. (785) 267-1156.
Shawnee North Community Park Nature Trail is a 2.2 mile trail that crosses Indian Creek, winding through native grasses, trees, and flowers. Open year-round. (785) 286-0676.
Don't miss out on historic Lecompton! The city, just east of Shawnee County on old 24 highway, was founded in 1854 and served as the permanent and only official capital of Kansas territory until Topeka became the state capitol in 1861. Today its the location of the territorial Capital-Lane Museum and Constitution Hall. The museum is operated by the Lecompton Historical Society and is open 11a.m. to 4p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1p.m. to 5p.m. Sunday. (785) 887-6148 or (785) 887-6285. Constitution Hall: (785) 887-6520.
Explore Shawnee County
Looking for a scenic drive? View beautiful Victorian homes of the late 1800s situated along brick streets where islands of greenery circle each intersection point in the National Historic District known as Potwin Place. Each Christmas, special decorations can be viewed.Topeka, KS Tours
The Topeka Zoological Park occupies a beautiful setting in Gage Park. Intimate views of nearly 400 animals from all over the world add to the reputation of the Topeka Zoo as one of the nation's finest small zoos. Major exhibits include Hill's Black Bear Woods, Animals and Man (Topeka, KS Zoos
On August 11, 1925, E.H. Crosby of the Crosby Brothers Company made the first announcement of his plans to provide the capital city of Kansas with a modern theatre. The Jayhawk Theatre opened its doors on August, 1926. Placed on the national register of historic places in 1974Topeka, KS Historic Theatres
The First Presbyterian Church, built over 112 years ago, is the site of a unique presentation of Tiffany Windows. Adorning the sanctuary is the rare artwork of America's foremost designer of stained glass, Louis Comfort Tiffany, who came to Topeka in 1911 and produced these windows for the church.Topeka, KS Historic Churches
Two of the most popular attractions in Gage Park are the 1908 restored Carousel and the Mini-Train that circles the park. Built in 1908 by the Herschell-Spillman company of New York, Topeka's carousel offers timeless entertainment housing a 1909 Wurlitzer band organ. Purchased by the city in 1986Topeka, KS Fun Centers
The French-Norman style house which was built by Frank P. MacLennan in 1928, is home to the governor of Kansas. It is the focal point of a 200-acre estate overlooking the Kansas river. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the estate features several ponds and hiking trails.Topeka, KS Famous Homes
Lake Shawnee is a man-made, 411-acre lake offering fishing, boating, sailing and swimming. Within the 1,600-acre park surrounding the lake are foot trails, fish hatcheries (for stocking the lake), a golf course, a marina, tennis courts, shelter houses, horseback trails, ball diamonds, and gardens.Topeka, KS Recreation
Country Park, located west of Dover in Wabaunsee County, has a rich Indian history. Archeological digs unearthed pot shards and arrowheads dating to 800-1000 AD when the Woodland Indians lived in the Kansas land (Grasshopper Falls Phase). Scenic cliff overlooks Mission Creek and was named "Dover, KS Archaeology
Designed by Topeka architect Thomas W. Williamson, Topeka High School was completed in 1931 at a cost of over one million dollars. Today, it is one of the city's most distinguished landmarks. The mast spar from "Old Ironsides" can be seen on the east lawn of the school.Topeka, KS Architecture