Locals’ main Manhattan locations

John Nail, senior in biochemistry, serves a drink at Rock-A-Belly Deli on June 23, 2015. Nail has worked at Rock-A-Belly for about a year. (George Walker | The Collegian)

At about 39 degrees North latitude and 96 degrees West longitude lies the modest city of Manhattan. For some, the city might feel like a temporary home; a place they’ll have to say goodbye to all too soon once graduation rolls around. Others, however, decide to put down their roots and get comfortable in this city. In doing so, they often discover what makes Manhattan what it is: a great place to live.


The restaurant Harry’s is located downtown in what used to be the Wareham Hotel on Poyntz Avenue. According to its website, Harry’s is “Manhattan’s premier fine dining establishment” known for its “classic-contemporary cuisine.”

Harry’s offers a wide culinary selection, from fancy food like filet mignon to fun dishes like chicken with shrimp fried rice.

While the prices may be higher than at most restaurants around town, Heidi Hilton, director of Bates Dance Studio, said she believes that the high prices are worth it.

“(I) love the quality for price of Harry’s,” Hilton said.

The restaurant, however, also prides itself on its service. The website said in addition to popularity for its food, Harry’s is also known for its “gracious service.”

Rock-A-Belly Deli

While Harry’s restaurant offers an upscale dining experience, locals love Rock-A-Belly Deli for its low profile and friendly atmosphere.

“I think my favorite place in Manhattan is Rock-A-Belly,” Amber Briggs, senior in social science, said. “It’s a great local restaurant where everyone is always so friendly.”

Rock-A-Belly Deli opened in 1987 and is located in Aggieville. The restaurant is home to a small kitchen and seating, but guests don’t seem to mind the wait.

Flint Hills Discovery Center

The Flint Hills Discovery Center, built in 2012 with the help of the community, has the goal of educating everyone about the “importance of the geology, ecology and cultural history of the Flint Hills.”

“The Discovery Center is fun and educational for the whole family,” Hilton said.

According to the website, the Discover Center is a “family-focused, informal learning center (that) explores the science and history of the Flint Hills and the ongoing role of Kansans to act as stewards for this diverse and ecologically complex place.”

“I like the Discovery Center,” Deana Foster, administrative assistant for the Department of Agricultural Economics, said. “(It’s) a cool place to explore and learn stuff about our community and the Flint Hills.”

Tuttle Creek State Park

After learning all about the Flint Hills, a visit to Tuttle Creek State Park allows for the opportunity to experience the area firsthand.

According the website, Tuttle Creek State Park has numerous biking and hiking trails that “offer explorers a variety of routes to experience the aesthetic Flint Hills environment.”

From fishing to swimming, Tuttle Creek State Park has it all. The park offers several cabins and camping sites for family and friends to enjoy, as well as a brand new archery range.

“I love Tuttle Creek Lake,” Foster said. “It’s so relaxing to just find a place to sit and watch the water, whether it’s a fishing spot or the open tubes gushing out geysers.”

City Park

At City Park, the people of Manhattan to enjoy several outdoors activities without traveling all the way to Tuttle Creek.

City Park is located near both Aggieville and downtown Manhattan. According to Manhattan’s website, the approximately 45-acre park is “one of the oldest parks in the community.”

“City Park is my favorite place,” Ann Knackendoffel, assistant professor of special education counseling and student affairs, said. “There is always a lot going on, and people of all ages hang out there.”

The park is host to many different facilities, including the Jon and Ruth Ann Wefald Pavilion and GTM Family Center, baseball fields, tennis courts, basketball courts and a splash park to name a few. Foster said she enjoys going to the park for her grandchildren’s baseball games.

“It was so much fun to watch them learning how to play baseball, while people were walking their dogs or exercising on the sidewalk around the park, or enjoying the pool or the splash park,” Foster said. “And on certain dates, there’s music in the air at the Larry Norvell Band Shelter.”


Even though the town is filled with things to do, from Harry’s to Rock-A-Belly Deli and Flint Hills Discovery Center to City Park, there is just something about Manhattan itself that warms the heart.

“(I) love our home, because it’s where family can truly be ourselves freely,” Hilton said.

In a town full of tourists and college students that come and go as the years pass, the cliche statement “home is where the heart is” fits perfectly into the local’s idea of Manhattan.