Notable, mostly free attractions in Manhattan


While here for K-State’s All-University Open House, hopefully you scheduled time to explore Manhattan. Though some believe the Little Apple doesn’t have a lot to offer those who come here, the community actually has a lot to offer. Whether your niche is eating, drinking, shopping, nature or just hanging out with people, there is something in the Manhattan community that anyone can do.

Konza Prairie Nature Trail
The internationally-renown Konza Prairie Biological Station, located in the Flint Hills, is an 8,600 acre native tall grass prairie preserve. Though most of the Flint Hills are off limits to the public, the Konza Prairie Nature Trails offers hiking trails that are open from dawn until dusk. Use of the trails is free, but a contribution of $2 is appreciated from those utilizing the trails. Even those with little to no hiking experience can easily travel this trail system.

Bluemont Scenic Overlook
Commonly known as Manhattan Hill, and its accompanying Bluemont Scenic Overlook, has become one of the iconic views while driving into the Little Apple. It offers a great experience for those who are new or returning to the area. Visitors can travel up the hill and walk along the letters free of charge.

City Park and Triangle Park
City Park, located along Poyntz Ave. across from City Hall, offers a wide variety of opportunities for those traveling into town. It has multiple playgrounds, two shelters, six tennis courts, a basketball court, picnic tables and a rose garden, among other things. City Park is located within minutes of campus and could be perfect for small children to burn off some energy before leaving town. Triangle Park, located at the corner of Anderson Avenue, Bluemont Avenue and Manhattan Avenue, has a shelter, benches and tables for people to utilize all year round. Triangle Park could be perfect for those visiting Aggieville to regroup and come back together or to just sit and relax. Conveniently located near campus and Aggieville, Triangle Park is perfect for those traveling to enjoy the outdoors, pending weather.

Aggieville Business District
The Aggieville Business District was originally founded in 1889, and since then, it has been a token place to visit for those traveling into Manhattan. Aggieville has been at the heart of massive celebrations, including K-State football’s home win against Nebraska in 1997 when goal posts were torn down and dragged to Aggieville. Aggieville is also at the heart of K-State Homecoming events, the Mayor’s Christmas Spirit of the Holidays Lighted Parade, the student-created Fake Patty’s Day and the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This district, located within walking distance of campus, offers a wide variety of restaurants, bars, shopping establishments and places to buy K-State gear.

Top of the World
Top of the World, located by the Washington Marlatt Memorial Park at the height of Top of the Hill Drive, offers jaw-dropping panoramic views of K-State and Manhattan. This is a simple, free thing to do that is family friendly and that you won’t even have to leave your vehicle to experience. Top of the World offers incredible landscape views of Manhattan that will make the drive more than worth it.

The Flint Hills Discovery Center
The Flint Hills Discover Center, located at 315 S. Third St., aims to serve as a place for people to learn and understand about the tall grass prairie and the Flint Hills region. In trying to achieve these goals, the Flint Hills Discovery Center shows a wide variety of exhibits and offers multiple programs for people of all ages. Current exhibits include “Football: The Exhibit,” “Ice Age Imperials” and “Flint Hills Forces II: Our Town, Our Fort, Our University.”

Sunset Zoo
The Sunset Zoo, located at 2333 Oak St., is home to more than 250 animals, featuring reptiles, amphibians, mammals, fish and birds. The zoo is open seven days a week, 360 days a year. Aiming to inspire conservation of the natural world, the Sunset Zoo offers a local, family friendly place to spend time outside of the All-University Open House.

Tallgrass Brewery
Currently located in Manhattan, anyone 21 years of age or older is able to visit the Tallgrass Brewery. Even though there will not be an all brewery tour the day of the All-University Open House, people could return to the Little Apple and take a tour then. It is currently a local gem and will soon be moving to a larger location to solidify Tallgrass as a regional player in the national craft brew market.

Tuttle Creek Lake
It may be a little cold in early April to visit Tuttle Creek Lake, but it is still a beautiful natural area. Located just outside of Manhattan, Tuttle Creek Lake also features a dam and reservoir that brings a different approach to a typical recreational beach. Tuttle Creek Lake also hosts the annual Country Stampede festival, that brings in many well-known country artists.

The Goodnow House
The Goodnow House offers a unique historical perspective to Manhattan, and to a larger degree, Riley County. Located conveniently next to the Riley County Historical Society, the Goodnow House was the home of Issac Goodnow and his wife Ellen who immigrated to Kansas in 1855 to establish Manhattan as a free-state community. Isaac Goodnow was also one of the founders of K-State.

Kansas State University Gardens
K-State Gardens was originally established in 1863, but by 1877 100 species of trees and shrubs were sent from the Harvard Botanical Gardens to form a campus arboretum. In 1907, the conservatory was built. Now, K-State Gardens is used as an educational resource and learning laboratory for students and for those visiting the gardens.

These are only 12 of the many opportunities the Manhattan community offers. Located within 30 minutes of Wamego, Junction City and Fort Riley, attending the K-State All-University Open House offers a close proximity to many resources, businesses and organizations.