The capital city of Kansas is a typical Midwestern city in the sense that you will find polite people with conservative and religious values, barbecue and a very affordable cost of living.
The focal point of the city is the state capitol building and its beautiful neoclassical dome. You can actually take a tour and climb up to the top of the 306-foot dome if you’re prepared to do 296 steps. Bring your FitBit! As one might imagine, the state of Kansas is Topeka’s largest employer, but there is more than just politics happening inside the capitol building; you’ll also see a number of murals by John Steuart Curry, Jerome Fedeli and Lumen Martin Winter that date back to the 1930s. The second top employer in Topeka is Payless Shoes, which is headquartered in town.
As mentioned before, living in Topeka is cheap compared to the rest of the country. The average listing price is $139,919 and median rent per month is $825. Some neighborhoods to shop around in include Potwin Place, a historic district with Victorian homes that get all dressed up at Christmastime, Collins Park, a quaint neighborhood built in the 1920s that's lined with trees and porch swings, College Hill near Washburn University, where you’ll find some great restaurants and Holliday Park, a socio-economically diverse neighborhood that is home to some of the city’s oldest houses. Downtown Topeka has been considered an undesirable area due to high crime rates, but the city has been working on a major redevelopment project for a few years now to revitalize the area.
The Topeka community is always busy. Each year there are events and festivals like the famous farmer's market, The Topeka Cider Days Fall Festival, Capital City Family and Food Truck Festival, Capital City Brew Fest, Kansas Mariachi Festival, Kansas Chocolate Festival, WinterFest, Miracle on Kansas Avenue, Tulip Time and others.
Be sure to check out Truckhenge, a quirky art installation reminiscent of Cadillac Ranch in Texas. Salvaged old trucks are painted white and installed into the earth to look like they’re coming out of it. They have phrases about freedom scrawled onto the sides. The trucks are surrounded by other recycled art and wildflowers. Another quirky site is the Evel Knievel Museum where you can see the icon’s death-defying bikes.
Other things to check out: The Great Mural Wall of Topeka, the Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site, The Kansas Museum of History, Topeka Zoo and the Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site.