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  1. Million Air
May 1, 2023updated May 31, 2024

Topeka, Kansas: From Historic Landmarks to Modern Luxuries

The capital of Kansas has a rich history and a bustling arts scene.

By Elite Traveler

Located along the Kansas River, Topeka began as an important stop on the Oregon Trail before writing a colorful history that helped to shape the cultural and political landscape of the United States, most notably in the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

Today, Topeka continues its symbiotic relationship with government — the state of Kansas and the Kansas State Capitol act as the largest employers in the city. Built in 1866, the Capitol stretches over 20 acres and boasts a 306-ft dome that is reached by climbing 296 steps to the top. Inside, murals by painter John Steuart Curry illustrate scenes from Kansas’s rich history.

Not far from the Capitol sits the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. The Monroe Elementary School building was part of a segregated school system that was taken to court in 1954 in a repeal of the ‘separate but equal’ clause. Now the site features special exhibitions, tours and information on the historic decision.

Other educational sites include the Kansas Museum of History, which displays Civil War battle flags, an 1868 stagecoach and a 1950s diner; and the Great Overland Station, which serves as a railroad museum and public center. Topeka also has a bustling arts scene with exciting opportunities for music, theater and visual arts.

Kansas State Capital Building / ©Shutterstock

The Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn University offers guests free admission to exhibits from regional, national and international artists; art lessons and resources; and an in-house complimentary ArtLab for guests to create their own works of art. Exhibitions change throughout the year, and an ‘endangered art’ fundraising project was unveiled in 2018 — creating a rare opportunity to see paintings from Mulvane’s permanent collection that do not usually go on display.

The Topeka Civic Theatre & Academy, founded in 1936, is the oldest continuously running community dinner theater in the country and offers a variety of showstopping theater experiences, including the celebrated dinner theater that promises visitors a delicious meal with the show. Budding thespians can enroll in the academy classes — a variety of workshops designed to teach students all they need to know to be successful performers. Summer camps are also available for youths./

Where to stay

For a quality stay with luxury amenities, book a room at Hyatt Place Topeka. Conveniently located four miles from downtown Topeka, Hyatt Place boasts a breakfast bar, a 24-hour fitness center, an outdoor pool and 1,200 sq ft of meeting space. A King Room offers a king-size bed and a media and work center with a 42-inch HDTV.

6021 SW Sixth Avenue; +1 785 273 0066;

Where to eat

The Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant is the largest and oldest brewery in Topeka. The award-winning brewery is named for the prohibition-era custom of displaying stuffed tigers to alert potential customers; a ‘blind tiger’ was slang for a roaring party that was not known to the authorities. There’s a huge beer list, naturally.

417 SW 37th Street; +1 785 267 2739;

Where to fly

Located at Forbes Field in Topeka, Million Air Topeka is a top-of-the-line FBO with more than enough space for luxury-minded travelers. The airport is the base for two military units, including the Kansas Air National Guard, so it is equipped with three large corporate hangars, which also provide overnight space. Other facility services include a quiet room and Jet-A-Way Café.

Million Air Topeka; (FOE) Forbes Field Airport, 740 SE Airport Drive, Suite 10 Topeka, KS 66619

Contact, +1 785 862 0950,

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