Fall is here, and as the crisp air blows in, so do football games and homecoming gatherings. Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS, brings thousands of visitors back for these events each year. Football fever draws impressive gatherings for each game, and just as importantly, for each pre-game tailgate party.
Getting there: If you’re on a classic cross-USA road trip, you will find the “little apple” in the middle of Kansas, just north of I-70, between Salina to the west and Topeka to the east. Why not stop for the night?
Let me guarantee you that not everyone coming back is as jazzed for The Big Game as the alumni themselves are. I’ve collected some recommendations of things to do in Manhattan that are not football related.
Also, if you’re headed to Manhattan for the first time in a while, it’s always good to stay on top of what options there are, anyway. Thanks to a little Facebook crowdsourcing I was able to round up some things to do in Manhattan.
For the whole family:
- Flint Hills Discovery Center An impressive natural and cultural center highlighting what makes the flint hills and surrounding untouched prairie special.
- Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art A collection of art from around the world with particular emphasis on Kansas and the plains.
- Widgets Family Fun A fun play center for kids.
- Locked Manhattan An escape room with several challenging options, including a wild-west themed room.
Food and drink:
Aggieville is the famous shopping and restaurant district in Manhattan, KS. You’ll notice that most of the food and drinks highlighted here are clustered around this area: 12th and Moro Street.
- The Chef Cafe – Breakfast comfort food.
- Harry’s Upscale dining in downtown Manhattan.
- Bourbon & Baker An upscale-casual small plate restaurant, plus cakes, plus a huge bourbon and signature cocktail menu.
- Tallgrass Brewing Co Repeatedly named best Kansas brewery, has a taphouse downtown.
- Baan Thai – If you’re tired of burgers.
- Connected Fair Trade A fair trade boutique with globally sourced clothing, art, and home goods.
- On the Wild Side One of those special sort of shops you find in college towns that sells soft clothing, pipes, incense and hacky sacks.
- Yee Haw Country Outfitters You are in the heart of the prairie, after all.
- Manhattan Town Center I mean… it’s a mall.
- Wildwood Outdoor Adventure Park
- There are a lot of trails to explore, including the Konza Prairie Trail and the Kansas River Trail.
I’m not a Manhattan expert, myself… I admit loyalty to a different local team, that I won’t name here. Please feel free to leave your favorite local spot in the comments!