Posted by: RasmaSandra | December 30, 2020

Manhattan on the Big Blue and Kansas Rivers

In our armchair travels we’ve arrived in the Midwestern U.S. state of Kansas. Kansas is bordered by Nebraska to the north; Missouri to the east; Oklahoma to the south; and Colorado to the west.

We begin our travels in the small city of Manhattan in northeast Kansas on the Big Blue and Kansas Rivers. It was founded in the 1850s as a “free state” town by settlers from New England Emigrant and Company.

This city is home to Kansas State University.

The Flint Hills Discovery Center is a interactive, hands-on science, culture, and history museum, It informs and educates visitors about the unusual eco-region including the Kansas Flint Hills and the northern Oklahoma Osage Hills.

This eco-region is home to the last remaining tracts of tallgrass prairie once covering the central part of North America. What is left now grows in the Flint Hills.

The museum exhibits different layers of prairie in front of the eco-friendly building with Blue Earth Plaza a lovely spot to spend some time relaxing in front of an outdoor fire pit and fountains.

Kansas State Insect Zoo is located on the Kansas University campus in a converted dairy barn. It has displays of live, preserved, and fossil insects, Some of the exhibits are hands-on like using microscopes to get a closer look. In a creative kitchen the drawers and cupboards have examples of different bugs with information about them, Visits here are by appointment only and visitors can get guided tours with docents or entomologists. If you prefer you can also walk around on your own. Each display provides detailed information about the species.

Konza Prairie Biological Station is a biological research station located on native tall grass prairie in the Flint Hills eco-region. It is used as a field research station by the Kansas State University Division of Biology. Its mission is ecological long-term research, education, and conversations of the rapidly disappearing tallgrass prairie. Even though the station is not open to the public you can walk the nature trails that run through lowland forest, cross Kings Creek, and run over old limestone ledges before entering the tallgrass prairie.

At certain point you can get awesome views of the Kansas River Valley and the Flint Hills.

-One of the better ways to explore historic Manhattan is to get on the Linear Trail. This is a popular bike path. There are a network of trails that can be accessed from various points in the city. Some parts of the trail are paved while other are covered by crushed limestone. It is used by bikers, joggers, and walkers.

The trail goes around the entire city and starts at Anneberg Park and ends at Northeast Community Park following the Big Blue River, Kansas River. and Wildcat Creek. At times you can spot different wildlife.

Liquid Art Winery and Estate you can see rows of lush grape vines. The winery is located on a hill near Manhattan. Visitors can enjoy tasting the wine, viewing the winery, and the surrounding hills. The winery also organizes events and weddings, It produces thirteen wines and a range of hard cider. You can taste them all accompanied by an assortment of cheese, crackers, cold cuts, chocolate, and other snacks.

Strecker Nelson West Gallery is located in downtown Manhattan. It represents renowned local and regional artists through their artwork. It showcases artwork in different mediums like drawings, paintings, prints, sculpture and much more. The gallery has an adjacent framing shop providing high-quality framing. This contemporary art gallery is a great place to get some artwork for your home or office.

Sunset Zoo is a small zoo with over 300 animals from about 100 species. It is one of the oldest zoos in the country and was established in the 1930s. You can see the animals in their spacious and modern enclosures.

One of the latest displays is the John Woodard Memorial Gibbons Exhibit that has a viewing plaza made of limestone and an outdoor exhibit yard. Ongoing work is being done on the Expedition Asia Exhibit to provide a better home for tigers, Amur leopards, and sloth bears.

TallgrassTap House is a huge and popular brewery, restaurant, and taproom. The dominant decor is giant barrels of beer. Seating and event spaces are located on several levels including a roof deck with great views. A rotating tap serves up dozens of beers. The tap house has a large menu of delicious pub food.

The Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art opened its doors in 1998 with a donation of art from Hays, Kansas by Ross and Marianna Beach. The museum offers artwork form artists all around the world. The museum is located on Kansas State University campus and designed in the Postmodern style. There are five galleries, two storage rooms, an auditorium, offices, classroom and work-spaces. The art collection has over 10,,000 artworks with rotating displays.

Turtle Creek State Park is located in the Flint Hills and is a reservoir park with 100 miles of scenic, rugged shoreline, and 12,500 acres of water. There are distinct area like Rocky Ford, River Pond, Fancy Creek, and Randolph.

Recreational activities include beaches, hiking, biking, fishing, camping, a disc golf course and much more. Next to the park is a wildlife area.

Wildwood Outdoor Adventure Park is also in the Flint Hills. It is a great family destination with zip lines and a free fall course, You’ll be flying over the forest treetops. You’ll get great views from up above and have a great adventure. It is also available for birthdays and other group celebrations.

The Wolf House Museum is housed in a limestone house dating from 1868 when it was known as the German Boarding House. Changing hands through the years Mrs. Wolf donated the house to the Riley County Historical Society in 1982. The museum interprets Manhattan from the 1880s with period furnishings and decor,


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