The Central Flint Hills Region Welcomes You
Updated On: 1/3/2013 10:48:57 AM
Abilene read more...
Discover what it feels like to travel on a train pulled by a steam engine, to dine on pan-fried succulent chicken, and to enjoy live, professional theater right in the middle of Kansas when you visit Abilene, just 20 minutes west of Fort Riley. History, shopping, art, dining, sporting events and festivals thrive in this friendly town that raised a president.
Experience Abilene’s early days by watching gunfights and cancan dancers in Old Abilene Town before boarding the historic train. At the nearby Heritage Center, climb on a hand-carved wooden horse on a 1901 carousel, pretend you’re a telephone switchboard operator, and pet the buffalo head. Ride in a horse-drawn carriage, tour a historic mansion, and stop at the Jeffcoat Photography Museum to view early-day camera equipment. Then play interactive games, rediscover the 1950s, and learn about Ike at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. Find the perfect handmade gift at quaint shops downtown, such as jewelry at Treasures by Tracine and Aksent Jewelry Boutique, triple-scented candles at Cypress Bridge, or a handcrafted decorative item at Mayme’s Boutique.
Or get the essentials to make your own special gift by picking up hand-dyed cross-stitch fabric at Picture This Plus, yarn at Shivering Sheep, or quilt fabric at Material Girls. Love antiquing? We’ve got a dozen shops.
Experience the arts by browsing the American Indian Art Center, Bow Studio and Gallery, and J and I’s Gifts & Ceramics. Watch live, professional theater at the Great Plains Theatre from March through November. The Cultural Affairs Council displays the work of local and regional artists and sponsors a film series and concerts. Taste fresh strawberry pie at Mr. K’s Farmhouse, crispy fried chicken at the Brookville Hotel, prime rib at the Kirby House, red pepper hummus with pita at The Dish, gooey cinnamon rolls at the Hitchin’ Post Restaurant, and juicy hamburgers delivered by a carhop at the old-fashioned Kuntz’s Drive-In.
Pet the greyhound at the Greyhound Hall of Fame or watch the fastest dogs in the world race during the National Greyhound Association’s Spring and Fall Meets. Cheer for the bull riders at the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo and see combines crash at the farmers’ version of the demolition derby during the Central Kansas Free Fair. Dive into the municipal swimming pool and, if you’re brave, try the slide.
Come back time and time again for the Aviation Fly In, Chisholm Trail Day Festival, Midsummer Night’s Dream Children’s Festival, Flour Power Family Fun Fest, Old- Fashioned 4th of July and National Day of the Cowboy celebrations, Oktoberfest and numerous other special events.
At day’s end, enjoy the peace and quiet on the front porch swing or in front of a cozy fireplace at a bed and breakfast. Or, make Abilene your home and enjoy the smalltown atmosphere every day. Your children can safely play in the City Park, attend A-plus schools, and participate in Scouting, 4-H and FFA. It’s a great place to live; after all, it’s the town that raised a president.
Other Abilene Attractions
Greyhound Hall of Fame — The greyhound museum is devoted to greyhound breeding, racing and the history of the sport. The museum at 407 S. Buckeye in Abilene is free and open seven days a week.
Russell Stover Candies Factory and Outlet Store — The factory and store are located off I-70 at exit 270 on the west side of Abilene. Workers can be watched through windows as they prepare candy in the kitchen.
Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum
200 S.E. Fourth Street
Abilene, KS 67410
(785) 263-6700 | (877) RING-IKE
"I come from the very heart of America."–Dwight D. Eisenhower, Guildhall Speech, London, June 12, 1945. Come learn about the 5-star general and 34th president of the United States — Dwight David Eisenhower. Five distinct buildings make up the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum housed on 22 acres. Included are the Boyhood Home, the Museum featuring five galleries, the research Library, the Visitors Center with gift shop and introduction film, and the Place of Meditation — the president’s final resting place.
Open 362 days of the year — closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Parking is free. Spaces are available for tour buses and recreational vehicles. A small fee is charged for the museum only. Show your military ID card, and active-duty personnel receive free admission. Family members receive discounted admission with military ID card.
Council Grove/Morris County
Please consider this a personal invitation to visit Council Grove in the heart of the beautiful Kansas Flint Hills. It’s a short 37-mile drive through “the hills” to a community dearly loved by Gen. George Armstrong Custer — who camped here with elements of the 7th Cavalry Regiment as they patrolled and secured the Santa Fe Trail in the mid-1860s.
Gen.Custer enjoyed this beautiful area so much that he purchased 120 acres of pristine prairie land on which to build his retirement home. The events at the Little Big Horn a short time later, however, forever altered Custer’s plans — but the remains of a large elm tree and cozy park mark the area where Custer and the 7th CAV camped and the general planned to spend the remainder of his natural life.
But the Custer Elm isn’t the only landmark. One can spend a leisurely day wandering among the 24 nationally recognized historic sites in this history-rich small community.
Eating is a “sport” enjoyed by many in Council Grove — the small community of less than 2,300 people boasts of 12 family restaurants, of which only four are national chain outlets.
Anchored by the world-famous Hays House Restaurant and Tavern — the “oldest, continuously operated restaurant west of the Mississippi River” and complemented by a nice variety of local eateries featuring fare from the 1800s to “cowboy,” contemporary and Mexican — one can find about any kind of palate-tempting food in this early, well-preserved, pioneer community.
If water sports fit your fancy, you may enjoy your pick of water-borne activities at one of the two lakes in this community — the Council Grove Federal Reservoir and/or the Council Grove City Lake — the two separated by less than half a mile. If you’re thinking “retirement” — consider selecting one of the beautiful 347 waterfront homes that surround the city lake. You’ll want to check out the festivals and events that fill the calendars from early spring through the end of the year — including the iconic Washunga Days during the third full weekend of June that attracts members of the Kaw Indian Tribe, Council Grove’s original inhabitants — plus thousands more for a weekend of powwows and other fun activities.
If watching cattle graze on lush bluestem grass or enjoying birding, hiking, water activities and miles of uninterrupted vistas tempt you, consider Council Grove for your next dayaway- from-work. Just 17 miles south of Council Grove — along the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway — sits the 11,000-acre Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, the only member of the National Park System devoted to the prairie ecosystem.
Easy Access — only 37 miles through the Flint Hills to Council Grove
Two Lakes and Several Parks
24 National Historic Sites
Washunga Days — 3rd Weekend in June
Family activities. Retirement. Lakeside homes. All yours in Council Grove — a visit or a stay you’ll long remember. For more information check out www.councilgrove.com, www.councilgrovedevelopment.com or phone (620) 767-5413.
Herington, Kansas, Where the Rails … Meet the Trails. Need some wide-open spaces and friendly faces away from the races? Herington. Stop downtown for a soda or a cup of coffee at an original “old fashioned soda fountain.” Our rich railroad history is found throughout the town. It’s a play structure in the park, part of the museum in preserved Rail Cars, on a large painted mural downtown, and we are home to a miniature train that people of all ages love to ride.The Union Pacific railroad is our largest employer and we are a hub for switching trains and train crews. After spending years sitting at the main crossing watching trains go by, waiting for the tracks to clear, we are now proud of an overpass that takes us swiftly up and over the train yard and connects our town.
If you love the tranquility of a country setting we have a small park with a little lake, walking paths all around and recreation for the kids, including a skate park, swimming pool, basketball court and play structures. Need a bigger space? How about some picnicking, boating, fishing, Jet Skiing, swimming and camping at Lake Herington and the Herington Reservoir, our two lakes? They are only two miles from town, and it’s a beautiful area.
Spend some time roaming around looking at hand-painted murals, including one inside our Post Office, historical monuments, our many historical churches and our Vietnam War Memorial.
Grab a book at our Carnegie Public Library and wander down to Liggett Memorial Park, lounge in the gazebo and enjoy the gardens. When’s the last time you took in a 4-H fair? One of summertime’s highlights is fair time! Our surrounding communities come to be part of the parade, rodeo, demo derby, merchant and 4-H booths, animal displays, food stands and the carnival.
Baseball, softball and soccer are popular throughout the season and our updated complex brings the teams together. Sports enthusiasts enjoy a challenging disc golf course, a private golf course, bowling, an archery club, hunting and fishing.
For airplane travel and fun, our local airport has general aviation, a restaurant, radio-controlled aircraft and fly-ins as well as an Industrial Park with several industries. Come see us. Stay overnight in our newly constructed motel, or settle here. Build a house in Logan Pointe, our new housing development, or buy a home in a quiet neighborhood. Our community is well-established with all the necessary medical facilities including a hospital, emergency services, retirement homes and nursing home care. Two locally owned pharmacies are located here. The brand-new elementary school and track facility opened in September 2011, and in September 2012, teams began playing on the new football field. USD 487, home of the Railers, is quality education for our future leaders and a winner of the national “Blue Ribbon” award. Our excellent educators create excitement for the students. We welcome you to our community.
Junction City-Geary County
We are proud to be known as Fort Riley’s Hometown! We strive to make our military friends’ stay at Fort Riley enjoyable and successful!
From our beautiful buildings to the unique personalities — from our interstate central location to the expanse of the Flint Hills — from our vast ethnic diversity to the presence of the many heroes who have walked our streets — we are a community set apart.
Milford Lake, known as the fishing capital of Kansas and the largest man-made lake in the state, is adjacent to Fort Riley and Junction City.
Besides outstanding fishing opportunities, you’ll find plenty of camping sites, off-road recreational areas, sandy swimming beaches, a dedicated horse camping area and trails, large group picnic areas, a Jet Ski beach and plenty of room to boat. We invite you to visit the Milford Nature Center, where kids can explore with hands-on activities. They have a variety of live animals, displays and educational programming.
Geary County has the largest Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks public hunting grounds in the state, and was listed by Sports Afield as one of the Top 10 public whitetail deer hunting locations in the United States. Junction City has been consecutively named by Outdoor Life as one of the best places to live in the United States for anglers and hunters.
Great golf awaits you in Geary County. Rolling Meadows Golf Course is rated by Golf Digest as one of the top courses to play in Kansas. Too hot in the summer? The Junction City Municipal Swimming Pool and Spray Park boasts an Olympic-size pool, water slides and cannons, jumping jets, crown geysers and a spraying palm tree. After a day at the pool, join us at historic Rathert Stadium where the Junction City Generals baseball team plays a full summer schedule. Don’t miss our free concerts at Heritage Park on Friday nights in June and July. Celebrate the 4th of July at Sundown Salute, the largest free multiday Independence Day celebration in the state of Kansas. Big-name entertainment, children’s shows, a carnival, a spectacular parade and fireworks offer something for everyone. Spin City is a stateof- the-art roller skating rink complete with an indoor movie theater, party room, video arcade, miniature golf course and 3-on-3 basketball court. If skateboarding is more your style, hone your skills at the Bramlage Skate Park.
Finish your day by watching a beautiful Kansas sunset at Homer’s Pond.
Whether you love the scenery of the Flint Hills or recreation at Milford Lake, you’ll have great fun when you discover the outdoors of Geary County.
Take a walking tour in historic downtown Junction City. The native limestone buildings and facades are true workmanship from the turn of the century.
Originally built in 1898, the C.L. Hoover Opera House is a modern performing arts center. The Opera House stage has seen many local, regional and national performing artists. If you would rather be on the stage, consider joining the Junction City Little Theatre in one of their many performances at the Opera House. Stroll through the Junction City Art Gallery, which features rotating exhibits of all genres of visual arts by local, regional and national artists. Countless Soldiers and their Families have passed through the community and gained an appreciation and understanding that Western values and hospitality make this a special place!
We invite you to visit these attractions:
• Milford Nature Center
• Milford Lake
• Geary County Historical Society Museum
• Spring Valley Heritage Site
• C.L. Hoover Opera House
• Dorothy Bramlage Library
• Historic Downtown Junction City
• Rathert Stadium
• Buffalo Soldier Monument
• Kansas Vietnam Veterans Memorial
• Spin City
• River Walk Trail
• Heritage Park
• Atomic Annie
• Swimming Pool and Spray Park
• Bramlage Park
• Rolling Meadows
• Homer’s Pond
• Antique Shops
For a complete list of attractions and relocation information, contact the Geary County Convention & Visitors Bureau at (785) 238-2885 or (800) 528-2489. For a calendar of events, please visit our website at junctioncity.org.
Geary County Convention & Visitors Bureau
823 N. Washington St.
Junction City, KS 66441
Called The Little Apple®, Manhattan is a growing community. Inspired by the beauty of the Flint Hills, it is a community enriched by the diversity of our people and heritage.
We are proud to be neighbors with Fort Riley and excited your Family will be calling our region home. The influence of Fort Riley on Manhattan is evident in the many displays of support and patriotism you see in passing, with special events and activities sponsored for our military friends yearround. Make plans now to attend Country Stampede in June, Military Family Night at the Kaw Valley Rodeo in July, special military appreciation events at K-State for the sports enthusiast, and annual events such as the Veterans Day Parade highlighting the service of local veterans and our partnership with Fort Riley.
Check out our military support websites:
Manhattan’s continued growth brings a new Conference Center and Hotel to the mix and in April 2012 the ribbon was cut on The Flint Hills Discovery Center — all part of the Redevelopment Project. Housing, job opportunities, health care and schools will continue to expand to meet the needs of our area.
There is much to discover in and around Manhattan. We want you to enjoy your new hometown. We pledge our support to you and your family during your time with us in Manhattan, The Little Apple®.
For more information, stop by and visit us at 501 Poyntz Ave. in downtown Manhattan, call (785) 776- 8829 or visit us on the web at www.visitmanhattanks.org.
Other Manhattan Attractions Outdoors
2333 Oak Street
This AZA-accredited zoo offers visitors a close look at exotic wildlife from around the world.
Manhattan Department of Parks and Recreation Offices
Manhattan is located in the northern portion of the Kansas Flint Hills, one of America’s unique landscapes. The Flint Hills also protect the largest remaining stand of the American Tallgrass Prairie.
Owned by the Nature Conservancy and operated by Kansas State University, this 8,600-acre research station includes several miles of the best hiking trails in Kansas, which are open to the public from dawn to dusk. From Manhattan, it’s six miles south on McDowell Creek Road. Scenic Overlook — Offers visitors a majestic view of the Konza Prairie. Two miles south on State Highway K177.
This 59-acre wildlife area invites visitors to hike trails and ford the natural flat rock crossing used by the pioneers. K177 south to Deep Creek Road to Pillsbury Crossing Road.
Arts and Leisure
Visitors will find a variety of things to suit their taste throughout the year.
Big 94.5 Country Stampede
The largest four-day country music festival in the Midwest features the top performing artists in country music. Located at Tuttle Creek Lake in late June.
Manhattan’s working art coalition provides information on everything to do with the arts.
Arts in the Park
11th Street and Poyntz Avenue
In the summertime, performance art in Manhattan moves to the Larry Norwell Band Shell and City Park Pavilion in City Park. It’s free!
207 McCain Auditorium, K-State
Performance series features musicians, artists and performers from around the globe.
Manhattan Arts Center
1520 Poyntz Ave.
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday–Friday with the galleries also open on Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. Art galleries are open and free to the public, offering a new exhibit every six weeks. Visit us on facebook: facebook.com/manhattanarts.
Tuttle Creek State Park
Located just minutes north of Manhattan. Full-service camping, primitive camping, horse trails and picnic shelters. There are multiple bike trails, motorcycle trails and a 310- acre off-road vehicle area open to all types of vehicles.
Colbert Hills Golf Course
5200 Colbert Hills Drive
Rated the No. 1 public course in the state of Kansas by Golf Digest and home to the K-State men’s and women’s golf teams.
Stagg Hill Golf Club
4441 Fort Riley Blvd.
Wildcat Creek Golf and Fitness
Riley County Historical Museum & Goodnow House
The museum at 2309 Claflin Road offers historic exhibits from pioneer days to the present.
“Small Town, Big Experience”: Your friends in Wamego believe you will agree when you visit. Wamego is steeped in rich history, featuring several buildings and attractions for you to enjoy. Historical points of interest include the Schonhoff Dutch Mill in City Park, Wamego History Museum and Historic Prairie Village, the historic Columbian Theatre, Museum & Art Center, the Walter P. Chrysler birthplace, Oregon Trail wagon ruts, Beecher Bible and Rifle Church, and Mount Mitchell, linked to the Bleeding Kansas history.
“Wine Country Kansas” is centered in and around Wamego. Home to two wineries in downtown with another winery located about 15 miles southeast, Wamego toasts more wineries than anywhere else in Kansas. Park downtown and enjoy free wine samples at both Vin Vivante Winery or Oz Winery. There are literally dozens of highquality wines to choose among.
Downtown Wamego is an enjoyable stroll for all, offering unique dining and specialty retail shops along Lincoln Avenue. An array of flowers in planters throughout Downtown Wamego line the sidewalks and welcome visitors to enjoy their beauty. Wamego has many opportunities for all ages to enjoy activities, both indoors and outdoors, throughout the year. Wamego’s City Park spans 12 acres with a large playground area with new equipment, miniature train for children, fishing pond, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and many picnic tables and shade trees to choose from with a brown bag meal or takeout from a downtown restaurant. Other activities in Wamego include bowling, disc golf, theater productions, biking and hiking, art galleries, tennis, baseball and soccer fields, skydiving, scenic and wildlife photography, horseback riding, canoeing, the Bison Experience, or golf at one of the top-rated 18-hole golf courses in the state.
Wamego is home to one of the Eight Wonders of Kansas Customs, the OZ Museum. Open year-round, seven days a week, the OZ Museum is home to one of the largest privately owned collections of Oz memorabilia. The OZ Museum celebrates the movie and the history of the story that has touched millions of lives through the simple message “There’s no place like home.” For more information, visit www.ozmuseum.com or call (866) 458-8686.
Home to one of the largest and longest-running Fourth of July celebrations, Wamego is a community that likes to have fun. Independence Day is a weeklong celebration in Wamego including a parade, carnival and antique tractor and car shows. The celebration literally explodes on the night of July 4th with one of the state’s largest fireworks displays.
During the third weekend in April, Wamego hosts over 100 art and craft vendors in the City Park for the annual Tulip Festival celebrations. Thousands of tulips bloom in the most vibrant colors in flowerbeds, gardens, and downtown planters in Wamego. Lincoln Avenue (Main Street) closes the first weekend in October for OZtoberFest, an annual event featuring all things Oz including original Munchkins from the 1939 MGM classic, the Wizard of Oz musical live on stage at the Columbian Theatre, art and craft vendors, live music, a kids’ inflatable activity area, book signings with Oz authors, and activities for the entire family. Wamego celebrates Christmas with a grand array of lights and festivities, kicking off the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Activities include a lighted Christmas parade down Main Street, visits with Santa, and a light ceremony at the City Park, which features thousands of beautiful lights and decorations. It is truly a sight of beauty!
For more information or to request your free visitor’s packet for Wamego visit www.visitWamego.com or call (877) 292-6346. Visit Wamego today — Small Town, Big Experience!
Other Central Flint Hills Regional Communities
Dairy store at 509 E. Third sells Alma cheeses, milk and other Kansas specialty food products.
Call (785) 765-3522.
Kansas Auto Racing Museum
This 21-acre museum complex is at the beginning of the Joe Engle Chapman Historic Trail Walk. The trail walk enables visitors to enjoy a combination nature walk and scenic walk that can extend for over 3.6 miles and includes visits to two historic sites on the National Registry. Located one-half mile south at Exit 286 off Interstate 70 in Chapman. Call (785) 922-6644.
Clay County Historical Museum
Located at 2121 Seventh St. in Clay Center. Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and admission is free. Call (785) 632-3786.
Onaga Historical Society complex
Located in the 300 Block of East 2nd St., this museum complex displays photographs and artifacts from the early 1900s. Call (785) 889-4457.
Pony Express Museum
Housed in one of Seneca’s oldest buildings at Fourth and Main Streets, this museum devoted to the exciting days of the Pony Express and to area history is across the street from the Pony Express Monument. Call (785) 336-2285.
Bogg’s Public Canoe Landing and Park
Put your canoe in here and enjoy duck hunting and exploring the Kansas River.
Indian Pay Station and Museum
This features the original Pottawatomie Tribal Pay Station and has an adjacent museum with historic artifacts from the St. Mary’s settlement. Call (785) 437-6600
Located at 604 Sixth Street, a modern museum featuring local artifacts, newspapers, obituaries and family histories. Call (785) 461-5516.
Kansas Landscape Arboretum Over 1,000 species of native and exotic woody plants adapted to the Kansas environment are found here just south of Wakefield. Much of the area is left in native vegetation, and foot trails provide easy access to both prairie and woodland habitats. Tours can be scheduled. Call (785) 461-5760.
Westmoreland’s Historic Hand-dug Well On Highway 99 N. Constructed in 1914 by men using only picks and shovels, the old City water well is reported to be the second-largest hand-dug well in the world.
The Stone Church Museum Located on 6th and State Street. Built by the German Evangelical Association, organized in 1871. An early 1900sera kitchen is displayed in this building. Free admission, open 1 to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday or by appointment. Call (785) 457-0100.
The Rock Creek Valley Historical Society Museum Located at 507 Burkman Street. Houses many historical items from the early settlement of this area along with period furnishings in the old stone church and log cabin that make up the museum complex. The museum is free and open 1 to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, or by appointment. Call (785) 457-0100.
Lazy Heart D Bison
Located at 17455 Pauling Run Road. Offers hands-on bison artifacts to view such as bones, skulls, wool, and robes. A wagon tour is available to see the bison. Call (785) 456-9465.