The gently sloping Great Plains of the Kansas landscape provide an endless view of trees and open fields. Rising above the treetops, the Topeka skyline is a monolith of concrete, glass, and spires carved against the blue sky. The Kansas River provides a scenic frame for the picture-perfect cityscape. The Great Plains were claimed by France in the 16th century, until much of it was secretly given to Spain by the Treaty of Fontainebleau after the French and Indian War. Spain gave much of the land back to France, which kept it until the United States bought the land as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
During the 1840s, Topeka was part of the Oregon Trail, a path blazed by pioneers heading west. A group of nine men established Topeka in 1854 – one of them, Cyrus K. Holliday, became the mayor of the newly-formed town and founded the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. Soon, Topeka became an important docking location. Steamboats carried lumber, flour, and meat to Topeka and returned east with potatoes, corn, and wheat.
If you have the same pioneer spirit that drew travelers across the Great Plains in the mid-1800s, then perhaps a new apartment in Topeka will satisfy your wanderlust. Before you load up your wagon (or, car) and head for the dynamic capital city of Topeka, here’s what you need to know.
Things to Do in Topeka:
With its long and important history, Topeka features several terrific museums and local landmarks. Be sure to visit the Kansas Museum of History, the historic Kansas State Capitol (built in 1866), and the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. This unique landmark was established in 1992 and commemorates the Supreme Court decision to end racial segregation in public schools in 1954. The site features Monroe Elementary Schools, one of the four segregated schools. The site includes special events and exhibits, picnic areas, a historic playground, and a walking trail.
Gage Park, an urban park featuring 160 acres, was established in 1899. It is one of the city’s largest parks and is home to the Topeka Zoo, the Reinisch Rose Garden, an outdoor theater, a mini train, and the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center. The Topeka Zoo is one of Topeka’s most popular attractions, housing one of the nation’s first indoor tropical rain forests and a large number of exhibits.
Nearby Lake Sherwood is a popular destination for fishing and boating. The lake also offers a jogging path, an annual boat parade, and a Fourth of July fireworks display. The lake is just one of several local reservoirs, ideal for water-skiing, rowing, swimming, and boating. Topeka is home to about 90 parks that offer hiking, jogging, community centers, tennis courts, ball fields, swimming pools, and several municipal golf courses.
Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site is a beautiful park located on six acres and featuring gardens with more than 500 varieties of flowers, trees, and shrubs. Old Prairie Town is a living history museum featuring a drug store with soda fountain and a general store with Victorian-era items and gifts. Other buildings include the historic 1880 Everest Church, the Santa Fe Train Depot, and a schoolhouse.
Other great things to do in Topeka include the Blaisdell Family Aquatic Center, the Charles Curtis House Museum, the Downtown Topeka Farmers Market, Heartland Park Topeka, the Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn, the Combat Air Museum, the Topeka Performing Arts Center, and the Kansas Expocentre.
After choosing your Topeka apartment, be sure to visit Cypress Ridge, Topeka’s oldest and most beautiful municipal golf course. Then, stroll through Downtown Topeka and enjoy the terrific shops, art galleries, restaurants, and historical attractions.
What to Consider When Moving to Topeka:
In addition to being the capital of Kansas and the county seat of Shawnee County, Topeka is a college town. It is home to Washburn University, a public university with an enrollment of about 7,900. The university was established in 1865.
Topeka’s economy is based largely in government – the State of Kansas is the city’s largest employer. Other industries include education, health, finance, insurance, and real estate. Westar Energy, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and Collective Brands are among the companies based in Topeka.
When looking at Topeka apartments for rent, be sure to look downtown – Downtown Topeka offers a terrific blend of apartments and lofts, locally-owned shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Another great area to search is Historic North Topeka, a terrific area that centers on the historic Great Overland Station, one of the most beautiful examples of railroad architecture in Kansas.
Why Topeka Apartments Are Hot:
Just as it did for those who traveled across the Oregon Trail in the 1800s, Topeka appeals to the pioneer spirit. The beautiful gardens, the Tulip Festival, high-ranking Washburn University, and a diverse economy help make Topeka one of the most livable cities in the Midwest. When you choose a Topeka apartment, you get a beautiful city with plenty of outdoor activities, low cost of living, terrific restaurants, and great art galleries and museums.
Topeka is a beautiful city located on the Kansas River and is the capital of Kansas.
Washburn University, a high-ranking Midwestern university, is located in Topeka.
Enjoying the beautiful gardens, the tulip festival, and living history of Old Prairie Town.
Golfing at Topeka’s oldest and most beautiful municipal golf course, Cypress Ridge.
Museums, such as the Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn and the Combat Air Museum.
Theaters, art galleries, the Topeka Performing Arts Center, and the Kansas Expocentre.