I write this headline not even knowing what exactly it means. More importantly though, I know what it doesn’t mean. Topeka is not the same as it once was. It is changing for the better. Go to the top of the state Capitol dome and go outside (you can do that now). Walk around the 360 degree view and point in any direction. Yea, where you just pointed is being improved, renovated, restored, built… add your verb here.
Master Plans are not only done but being implemented by our World Famous Zoo, Downtown Kansas Avenue, award winning Shawnee County Parks and Recreation department, NOTO Arts District, Topeka Metro Authority, City of Topeka pedestrian and bike plans and Downtown Riverfront.
Renovations, improvements, and additions are underway at Constitution Hall, Jayhawk State Theatre, Combat Air Museum, and other heritage tourism sites.
Kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding and whitewater rafting will be taking place on the Kansas River right downtown.
Parks and Recreation is adding what seems like more trails on a daily basis all over the city in addition to building a new water park in West Topeka backed by Midwest Health that will have a wave pool, zipline, and five water slides.
Three high end hotels are in construction lead by the Cyrus Hotel, soon to be the pillar of Downtown Topeka. These hotels will bring a new demographic of visitor to the city.
This town is becoming so cool even Evel Knievel wants to be here. His museum opens in late 2016 and will be a catalyst to tourism in Top City. Look for a bit of Evel October 8.
I hear you asking yourself right now, “I keep hearing this “Top City,” what is that?” It can mean a lot of things and we want it to mean them all. Our airport code is TOP; short for Topeka. The kids with their hip lingo call it Top City. We strive for it to mean literally the TOP CITY; The best city in Kansas, the best Capital City in the Midwest. A city you want to tell your friends about. A city where your friends visit, then move to. Then their friends and family visit, and move here, too. Spread the #TopCitylove with us on your social media.
The summer is heating up and so are all the great events. July 4th weekend is going to be on fire in Topeka. But don’t fret; there is a nearly 500-ft long slip-n-slide downtown to cool you off…yea, almost 500-ft long. It takes place all day Saturday and Sunday. Don’t forget what makes our state great. We know that plans for Saturday, July 2 have been change. But lots of committed Topekans have worked hard to make sure we can still celebrate hard work and positive change.
The Band Kansas ... from Topeka, Kansas ... is still performing a free show to a hometown crowd. The Urban Slide is still happening -- now as part of the inaugural Cyclovia Topeka event at the end of July. Rotary Freedom Festival will go on -- we'll know the new date very soon -- and still celebrating Topeka's roots at the Free State Capitol of Kansas.
And Spirit of Kansas on July 4 will occur rain or shine at Lake Shawnee.
Other great events this summer and early fall include Fiesta Mexicana, our first ever Cyclovia, developed and chosen by you, Huff ‘n Puff, Kansas Chocolate Festival, Downtown Jazz & Food Truck Festival and tons of entertaining shows at Topeka Civic Theatre and TPAC.
With all this greatness taking place in Topeka, we at Visit Topeka had to figure out a way to keep up. So we took our website, threw it in the recycle bin, and spent 10 months developing the best, most user-friendly and most interactive site we could. I highly urge you to check out the new www.visittopeka.com because it’s as cool as tubing down a nearly 500-ft slip-n-slide while listening to the Band Kansas play in front of 30 food trucks all on Kansas Avenue.
Give us one more month and we may even top that. Coming soon to the Apple App Store and Google Play is our Visit Topeka app. A location based tool, filled with turn-by-turn directions, special discounts and coupons, and itineraries to keep you in the know.
Because that is all we want – for you to be in the know. We know there are tons of things going on in Topeka. We also know Topeka is experiencing positive change. Check out our website, download our app, and change your perception of what Topeka is becoming. Work with us to make #TopCity a reality.