As the capitol of the state, most visitors to Topeka, KS think of it as a political or historical place, but the truth is Topeka has much more to offer. The variety of attractions and activities cater to the much larger range of interests and tastes of its visitors.
For sports enthusiasts, Topeka is home to Heartland Park, a new state-of-the-art racing complex that includes drag, dirt track and road racing. It has been the site of two world records, and each year hosts the National Event of the National Hot Rod Association. Topeka also houses the Heartland BMX Track and Thunder Hill Speedway, hosting sprint cars, IMCA modified, sportsman, street stock and pony stock races. On special occasions it also has monster trucks, the outlaw truck and tractor pull, and late model and dwarf cars. In addition to housing numerous racing events, Topeka also is home to the Topeka scarecrow hockey team.
Topeka is also supportive of the arts and provides opportunities for art enthusiasts to enjoy their stay. The Topeka Performing Arts Center hosts touring Broadway shows, dance companies, symphonies and many more special events. Topeka is also home to the Mulvane Art Museum, located on the campus of Washburn University. It has a collection of over 3,000 permanent pieces from all over the world.
For outdoors people, Topeka offers Gage Park, home to the Topeka Zoo. In addition, Gage Park also offers a miniature train ride and historic carousel, a variety of recreational facilities such as tennis, swimming, softball and volleyball, and a rose garden consisting of over 7,000 rose bushes. This rose garden is one of only 23 rose gardens in the United States where hybrids are tested and grown.
And for those history and political enthusiasts, of course Topeka has something to offer. The Kansas Capitol Building offers tours six times daily each weekday, and Cedar Crest, the governor's mansion, offers tours to visitors on Monday afternoons.
Topeka is also home to the Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site and Museum, which commemorates the Supreme Court Decision to end segregation in public schools. Other museums in Topeka include the Kansas Museum of History, featuring the history of Kansas through exhibits, videos and programs, and the Combat Air Museum. This museum is for aviation buffs and displays aircraft from every armed conflict since World War I, when powered aircraft was first involved. In addition to the airplanes, the museums also houses several artifacts and pieces of military memoriabilla for viewing.
Depending upon the time of year or season of travel, visitors can experience special events and festivals unique to Topeka. Each summer the city holds the Topeka Jazz Festival, and each year in September it's home to the Huff N Puff Balloon Rally, an event for hot air balloon enthusiasts to watch the launch of a balloon and chase it to its final destination.
While Topeka, KS may not be a hotspot on everyone's travel list, it does have several attractions and unique activities that make it ideal for someone looking to travel to a unique, not heavily traveled destination.