Day Trips - Atchison, Kansas


There are several unique communities within a short driving distance of Kansas City that have rich, wonderful histories, one-of-a-kind shops and tasty restaurants and are great options for groups to explore on a day trip. To explore Atchison, KS, take I-29 north from Kansas City to exit 20 and follow Missouri Highway 273 to Missouri Highway 45. Go North on Highway 45 to U.S. Highway 59. Take U.S. Highway 59 West four miles to Atchison. See below for our best bets, or visit http://www.atchisonkansas.net.


Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

On July 24, 1897, aviatrix Amelia Earhart was born in this home, built by her grandfather in the early 1860s. It is owned and operated as a museum by The Ninety-Nines Inc., an international organization of women pilots. Earhart helped found the group in 1929 and served as its first president. Recent renovations have returned the birthplace to its condition at the turn of the century when Earhart lived here with her grandparents.

Allow 45 minutes

Atchison County Historical Society Museum

Located in the restored Santa Fe Depot, this museum traces the history of the region. Exhibits highlight Atchison’s transition from a bend in the Missouri River to a busy commercial center for steamboats, westward-bound wagon trains and the railroads. Highlights include a display of Amelia Earhart’s personal effects, a large collection of rare guns dating back to the Revolutionary War and displays on the Lewis & Clark expedition. Guided tours available upon request.

Allow 45 minutes

Atchison Rail Museum

Adjacent to the Santa Fe Depot, the Atchison Rail Museum is owned and operated by the North East Kansas Railroaders, Inc., a voluntary group of railroad enthusiasts. It features an outdoor collection of rail cars and is available for exterior viewing throughout the year. NEKR members operate the Atchison & Western Miniature Railroad, a 12” gauge railroad, weekends during the summer. Museum cars are open summer weekends.

Allow 30 minutes

Evah C. Gray Historical Home Museum

Recently renovated and updated, this 25-room mansion is a glorious example of the opulence of the Victorian era. Built in 1882, it is distinguished by a three-story castle-like tower. Ornate fireplaces, carved woodwork and original chandeliers mix with Victorian furnishings. The carriage house features a gift store and a small theatre in which a film on the architecture of Atchison can be viewed. Hours and days of operation vary depending on season. Guided tours are available.

Allow 60 minutes

Muchnic Art Gallery

Parquet floors, stained-glass windows, hand-tooled leather and finely-carved woodwork make an impressive backdrop for displays of art by regional and national artists. A lumber merchant built this spectacular Queen Anne-style mansion in 1887 – 1888. The Muchnic family bequeathed the home to the community to be used for art purposes. The first floor is furnished as it was when the Muchnics lived here in the early 1900s. Art exhibits are displayed on the second floor from March through December.

Allow 45 minutes

International Forest of Friendship

A life-size bronze statue of Amelia Earhart gazes over the International Forest of Friendship, which is a living, growing memorial to those who have been involved in aviation and space exploration. The forest was established as a bicentennial project by the City of Atchison and The Ninety-Nines Inc., an international organization of women pilots. Each June, new honorees are inducted into the forest with plaques embedded in the walkway that winds through trees representing all 50 states and over 35 countries in which forest honorees reside. Guided tours available for groups by special arrangement.

Allow 60 minutes

Saint Benedict’s Abbey Church

Benedictine monks established St. Benedict’s Abbey in the late 1850s. About 40 monks reside at the abbey, which was completed in 1929. The church was designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright and was completed in 1957. It features a 44-foot-high nave ceiling, facing choir stalls where monks gather three times a day for common prayer and unique frescoes. Self-guided tours.

Allow 40 minutes

The Chapels of Mount St. Scholastica

The Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica have been in Atchison since 1863. St. Scholastica Chapel is rich with beautiful marble, a large rose window and stained-glass windows honoring seven martyred women saints. A vaulted ceiling graces the interior of the choir chapel, which has facing choir stalls and stained-glass windows retelling the life of St. Benedict. Guided tours of the chapels and a religious history room are available with advanced appointment.

Allow 45 minutes

There's more to see in KC

1827 Log Courthouse

Jackson County's first government building, constructed with slave labor, was the only courthouse between St. Louis and the Pacific at the time the Santa Fe Trail trade began. Two-room log structure was home to roots of Jackson County where controversial slave state, land disputes and westward expansion issues were dealt with. Once a Mormon mercantile store, this structure has a great significance to members of the LDS church. Harry Truman held court here in the 1930s.

3 Trails Brewing

Relaxing atmosphere with a broad range of beer styles. Located on the historical Independence square.

Adventure Oasis Water Park

Water fun for the whole family. Park open May 24-Sept. 1, season passes also available; call 816-235-7843 for information. Additional Independence Parks to enjoy : -Water Playground - McCoy Park Location: 24 Highway & North Delaware This is a summer delight, with water play/spray features that are appropriate for children of all ages and give kids the opportunity to cool off in the summer heat. -Water Playground - Rotary Park Location: 24th & Hardy This summer fun spot is a concrete pad with spray features that shoot, spray or mist water for kids to enjoy.

American Jazz Museum

The sights and sounds of a uniquely American art form come alive at the American Jazz Museum.

American Royal Livestock, Horse Show and Rodeo

The American Royal hosts many of Kansas City's premier fall events including the World Series of Barbecue®; the world's largest barbecue competition, their Livestock Show; one of the Midwest's largest livestock expositions, a PRCA sanctioned professional rodeo, and 6 prestigious horse shows including the UPHA National Championship Horse Show. These events allow the American Royal, a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization, to give over $1 million annually for youth scholarships and support agriculture education programs.

American Royal Museum

Focusing on the role of agribusiness in our lives. Participate in tours led by trained, museum docents. Try out the new equine exhibit and learn about different gaits. Gain insight into the vital role that agriculture played in Kansas City's rich and storied history. Learn about the beginnings of the American Royal and the impact of Tom Bass and Loula Long Combs. Observe horse show, rodeo and livestock show clothing, saddles and memorabilia. Compare your weight with chickens, market hogs, and feeder steers. Visit the reading corner, play computer games, and learn about livestock judging.

Blade & Timber Power & Light

Blade & Timber's premier axe throwing facility in the Power & Light District offers 11 throwing lanes, a party room, good eats, beer, wine and an expanded selection of entertainment including darts and yard games. Safety-certified coaches spend one-on-one time with each guest to master the bullseye. Guests are encouraged to play games and even try a few trick shots during the 1.5 hour axe throwing experience. Axe throwing is the perfect outing for friends, families, corporate groups, special events and team building activities.

Beast Haunted House

The Beast has earned its reputation as a top 13 haunted house in the nation for years. Find your way through this thrilling open format design where visitors pass by dramatic scenes on four floors with a twisted path out. Traverse through the haunted house in a true 4D experience that includes movie-quality special effects, holograms, props, animatronics and a real alligator.

Bingham-Waggoner Estate

The Bingham-Waggoner Estate is recognized today as one of the most significant historical sites in western Missouri because of its role in the history of the area and the people that lived there. Plotted in 1827 on that super highway west called the Santa Fe Trail, the Estate played an important part in our region's history. Of the many colorful owners, characters and residents of this now legendary home, the most famous is the artist and politician George Caleb Bingham.

Boulevard Brewing Co.

Founded in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Company has grown to become the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest. Our mission is simple -- to produce fresh, flavorful beers using the finest traditional ingredients and the best of both old and new brewing techniques. The Boulevard story begins in 1988, when founder John McDonald started construction of the brewery in a turn-of-the-century brick building on Kansas City's historic Southwest Boulevard. A vintage Bavarian brewhouse was installed, and the first batches of beer were produced in the fall of 1989.