Topeka Quick Facts
A Traveler's Guide to TopekaTopeka is a city that is located in the northeastern portion of the US state of Kansas. It is the capital city of the state as well as the second largest city in the state by population. It is located on the Kansas River in Shawnee County. English is the primary spoken language in Topeka.
The area was originally inhabited by the Kansa and Ioway tribes. The city's name comes from the word that means "to dig good potatoes". The area around Topeka was originally an agricultural settlement that grew prairie potatoes. The name was decided on by residents in 1855 and the city was incorporated in 1857, two years later.
Topeka is a historic city with a colorful past. The Oregon Trail passed through Topeka and eventually as railroads became more popular the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad was built through the city. This caused Topeka to grow in population. The city struggled through the Depression and Civil Rights Movement in the 20th century and has continued to grow despite setbacks.
Topeka has as humid continental climate, which means hot, humid summers and cool winters. Summer temperatures can reach into the 90's from time to time and winter temperatures can dip well below freezing for days on end. Snowfall is common during the winter months and the area gets most of its rainfall during the months of May and June.
There are several sites of interest in Topeka and the surrounding area. The Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site is a very popular spot with tourists. It houses memorabilia and literature from the historic court case. The Combat Air Museum at Forbes Field houses several vintage US aircraft from past wars. The Heartland Park Topeka is a drag racing venue just to the north of the city that hosts racing events regularly. The Topeka Zoo is one of the largest in the area and is famous for being the birthplace of the first Golden Eagle chick ever born in captivity. The Reinisch Rose Garden and Doran Rock Garden display some of the flora from the surrounding area.
Philip Billard Municipal Airport serves the greater Topeka area. Amtrak also connects Topeka to larger cities in the area.
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