Hotel at a Glance: Capitol Plaza Hotel-Topeka
The Capitol Plaza Hotel-Topeka is a stately hotel near the downtown area of Kansas’s state capital. Inside, you’ll find a garden atrium with lush plants and exposed stone accents surrounding a cherry wood bar serving top-shelf cocktails and appetizers. The hotel is ideally situated for exploring the city—both the Kansas State Capitol and the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site are within walking distance.
- Distance to the Capitol: 1 mile
- Onsite dining: Falling Water Grille’s Sunday brunch features omelet, waffle, and carving stations.
- Go swimming: The indoor pool and hot tub stay open all year long.
- Dog-friendly perk: A canine room-service menu features healthy offerings made with rice, ground beef, chicken breast, and steak medallions.
- Great for kids: The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center contains dozens of hands-on art and science exhibits, including a gallery where kids can design and build their own towers and bridges.
Topeka, Kansas: Capital City with Legendary Past
Topeka lies along the Kansas River, about an hour west of Kansas City. It’s home to the Kansas State Capitol, a classical stone building topped with a massive copper dome. The structure is well worth a visit, both for the history and notable works of art found here. These include a pair of famous murals by John Steuart Curry and a bronze statue entitled Ad Astra. Depicting a Native American warrior, the piece takes its name from the state motto, Ad astra per aspera—“to the stars through difficulties.”
You can learn more about the state’s past at the Kansas Museum of History, which displays artifacts from the Kansa, Osage, and Pawnee tribes, as well as the oldest surviving locomotive from the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.
One of the most famous names in Topeka history is Oliver Brown, the plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case that ended segregation in public schools. The Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site is housed in a formerly segregated elementary school located just a 10-minute walk from your hotel. Monroe Elementary has been restored to its 1954 appearance and contains numerous self-guided exhibits, including a 30-minute film that chronicles the years leading up to the case.
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