Located in the eastern Flint Hills, Emporia mixes small-town charm with big-city arts and culture. Victorian homes along tree-lined brick streets reflect the city’s past while a new Arts Center offers gallery exhibits, a performing arts series and an art store. And the Emporia Granada Theatre – restored to its 1920s grandeur with modern comforts – shows movie classics like “The Wizard of Oz” and “Gone With the Wind.”
Founded in 1857, Emporia is the official founding city of Veterans Day and the site of an All Veterans Tribute Celebration in November. Other special events include Iris Days in May and Prairie Heritage Days in June. Emporia’s don’t-miss historical options include the William Allen White House State Historic Site and Lyon County Historical Museum.
If you’re into spectator sports, check out the Emporia State University Hornets for everything from football and volleyball to track and field events. If you’d rather be in the game, try the city’s golf course or go horseback riding. Then head to the David Traylor Zoo of Emporia to see native and exotic wildlife in natural habitats.
To end the day, consider Bobby D’s Barbecue in downtown Emporia. Or begin your journey with breakfast at the Commercial Street Diner. Then tell us how you enjoyed your visit!
Becky Blake is the Director of the Kansas Department of Commerce, Travel & Tourism Division, and has been involved in the Kansas tourism industry for the past 30 years. TravelKS Blog provides a brief update from Becky each week, featuring communities, events and attractions throughout the state.