Topeka

The Kansas Statehouse is the only one in the nation that allows you to climb all the way to the top — and then go outside. The Capitol is open for tours 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. (Enter on 8th Street.) From two stories below the underground cornerstones to the top of the 306-foot dome, a 13-year, $332 million renovation project is now complete. The tours always are free and last about 40 minutes. These tours are like a trip into the past to learn about the development from wild prairie to booming city.  In the late 1800s, more than one million people streamed into Kansas seeking a new life on the frontier. Reservations for a tour are highly recommended; call 785-296-3966.

Another museum worth visiting is new and recently opened Evel Knievel Thrill Show Museum. If you have any interest in Evil Knievel or old Harley’s this place has lots to offer. From his first jump over two mountain lions and a box of rattlesnakes to attempting a jump over Snake River Canyon, and finally successfully jumping over 14 Greyhound buses at Kings’ Island in 1975.  By his late 20s he’d hustled his way into the national spotlight. Admission is $15 for adults, $7 for ages 8-16. For only $5 extra, you can soar over “16” cars in an exhilarating virtual reality experience call “The Jump.”

Finally, if you want to combine history with art and fitness, The Strides to Statues Tour in the downtown area is a win, win experience. There are a number of statues along Kansas Avenue as well as one outside of the Topeka Performing Arts Center and two on the Capitol lawn. So put on comfortable walking shoes and enjoy the history of each one as you walk the 30-minute mile trail along Kansas Avenue.