The city is great, but sometimes it’s fun to get out of the metropolis and into the countryside! From you-pick farms where you can select produce and flowers on your own to family farms where you can get involved in the wine-making process, Topeka-area agritourism businesses are ready to welcome you. Timing is everything for these activities, as many have seasonal availability. Plan in advance, and your adventure is bound to be rewarding! The list below details a few well-known locations and what you can expect to find at each one:
- 86th Street Orchard – Topeka, KS
- Apples, pears, peaches, plums
- Berry Hill UPick Farm – Berryton, KS
- Sunflowers, pumpkins, honey, sweet corn for purchase and you-pick
- Barnett’s Family Farm – Wakarusa, KS
- Iris and Peony flowers available for order
- Gary’s Berries, Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch – Grantville, KS
- Pumpkins, fall and winter festivals, campfires, corn maze, corn pit, and more
- Other places to visit:
- Grinter Sunflower Farms – Lawrence, KS
- Big Springs Berries – Lecompton, KS
- The Burning Barrel – Lecompton, KS
- Silver Dollar Farms – Berryton, KS
The following information was pulled from LecomptonKansas.com. We figured it was best to share these fun facts straight from the source!
- Lecompton was founded in 1854 on a 640-acre Wyandotte Indian land claim on the south bank of the Kansas River. The town, which was originally named Bald Eagle because of the many eagles that nested along the river, was renamed later that year to honor Judge Samuel D. Lecompte, the chief justice of the Kansas territorial supreme court. In 1855, the territorial legislature chose Lecompton to be the only official and permanent capital of the Kansas Territory. The town features a historic walking tour with 34 stops; information about the tour can be found on Lecompton’s website, LecomptonKansas.com.
- Constitution Hall
- Built in 1856 by Sheriff Samuel J. Jones — who used native cottonwood and black walnut lumber cut from his steam sawmill on the Kaw River — Constitution Hall is the oldest wood-frame, civilian structure left standing in its original location in Kansas.
- Territorial Capital Museum (Lane University)
- This museum sits on the grounds of the former 13-acre Lecompton capital square district. In 1855, construction of an elegant capital building began with a $50,000 appropriation from Congress. By 1857, however, all the money was spent, and antislavery legislators had gained control of the territorial legislature.
- Democratic Headquarters
- This stone building was the headquarters of the Democratic Party during the Kansas Territorial period (1854-61). The cabin was used during a time when Lecompton, known as “The Birthplace of the Kansas Democratic Party,” was the territorial capital and stood at the center of national attention.
Perry Lake, a 11,000-plus-acre reservoir located about 20 miles outside of Topeka, is home to a new restaurant, High Tide 21. This location features a swim-up pool bar for those over 21 and serves up marina restaurant fare to families and visitors on the lake. Kids can also hit the splash pad for a little fun in the sun, while waiting for a meal. Local tip — go around sunset to catch gorgeous views of the sun setting over the lake.