Manhattan boasts many must-see free, cheap attractions


One of the best things about attending K-State is the city of Manhattan itself. Manhattan has a wide variety of places to visit that are either free or significantly reduced that bring a new perspective to the city or are something fun to do.

Top of the World
Top of the World offers a view of Manhattan unseen by most. It’s a scenic overlook road off of Highway 113, and the view is worth a visit. Top of the World offers a spectacular view of the city and is a place everyone should see before they leave Manhattan.

Bluemont Hill
Originally called Bluemont Hill, the landmark now most commonly known as Manhattan Hill is one of the most iconic locations in the Little Apple. The letters were placed there in 1927. This is a place that offers a view of Manhattan’s commercial east side. Visitors can actually climb around on the big letters that spell out the word “Manhattan,” as well as just sit and enjoy the view.

KS Hill

Kansas Hill, as most know it, is a classic Manhattan landmark with a long history. The letter “K” was first placed on the hill in 1921, and the letter “S” was added in 1930. Though it might seem obvious to add a “U” to the other letters, it was found that the cost of stabilizing the ground there was prohibitive. In the fall, KS Hill glows red and orange as the leaves turn, making it a sight to remember.

Tuttle Creek Lake

Tuttle Creek Lake is conveniently located just outside of Manhattan and is a cool place to visit during warm summer days. Country Stampede, one of the largest country festivals in Kansas, is hosted at Tuttle Creek Lake annually, and many students, faculty and Manhattan residents attend.

The Flint Hills Discovery Center
The Flint Hills Discovery Center offers a lot of fun for young children. For those K-State students with younger relatives, the Flint Hills Discovery Center boasts interactive exhibits about the wildlife, geography and native people of Kansas. The Discovery Center also offers spaces to meet or host banquets for K-State students, as well as other residents of the community, including a rooftop patio.

Sunset Zoo
One of Manhattan’s gems is the Sunset Zoo. With more than 250 animals, the zoo offers a family-friendly learning environment for those who visit. The zoo is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for children 3 to 12 years of age and free for children 2 and under.

The Goodnow House
One of the oldest buildings in Riley County, the Goodnow House and the Riley County Museum offer a historical perspective on the founding of Manhattan, and in a larger scope, Riley County. The Goodnow House, built in 1857, was named after Isaac Goodnow, the founder of Manhattan and a co-founder of K-State. Students, faculty and city residents can tour the house as well as the Riley County Historical Museum, which is now an official national historical museum.

Between these and Manhattan’s many different bars, restaurants, museums and art and music venues, the city has something for everyone.