Atchison, Kansas is one of the state’s most history-rich cities, full of interesting sites for both visitors and local residents alike to explore. From the Muchnic Art Gallery to the International Forest of Friendship to the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, the city offers something intriguing for just about everyone. Located along the Missouri River, Atchison was famous aviator Amelia Earhart’s birthplace and hosts an annual Amelia Earhart Festival during July. Along with being one of the most historical cities in Kansas, it’s also noted as the state’s “most haunted town,” drawing paranormal enthusiasts from all around. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum
© Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum
The Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum is housed within the birthplace and childhood home of Amelia Earhart, situated on a bluff that overlooks the Missouri River, as well as the bridge named as a tribute to the famed aviator. Designated in 1971 as a National Historic Site, the home was built in the 1860’s in the Gothic Revival style by Amelia’s grandfather. Visitors will find Amelia Earhart’s personal memorabilia, family memorabilia, period furniture, and a small gift shop. The Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum is open throughout the entire year, but is closed on Mondays during the winter season.
223 N Terrace St, Atchison, KS 66002, Phone: 913-367-4217
2.International Forest of Friendship
The International Forest of Friendship was established by The Ninety-Nines, an international women pilots organization, and the City of Atchison as a bicentennial project. A bronze life-size Amelia Earhart statue looks out over the forest, which serves as a growing, living memorial to people who have been a part of space and aviation exploration. Plaques embedded in the International Forest of Friendship’s walkway feature the names of honorees, which represent all fifty states, as well as more than thirty-five countries. There is also the Astronaut’s Memorial, honoring 10 astronauts who had lost their lives during space exploration.
Allingham Dr, Atchison, KS 66002, Phone: 913-367-1419
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3.St. Benedict Abbey, Atchison, Kansas
© St. Benedict Abbey
St. Benedict’s Abbey in the city of Atchison, Kansas is a community of monks belonging to the Order of Saint Benedict. The abbey was established back in the year 1857 to offer education to the children of German settlers within the Kansas Territory. St. Benedict’s Abbey today is the Catholic Order of St. Benedict’s local center. The present St. Benedict’s Abbey was constructed in 1928, serving as a home for the monks who serve as administration and faculty for Benedictine College, founded in 1971 upon merging the Mount St. Scholastica College for women and St. Benedict’s College.
1020 N 2nd St, Atchison, KS 66002, Phone: 913-367-7853
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4.The Sallie House, Atchison, Kansas
© The Sallie House
The Sallie was built originally during the turn of the century and was the home and practice of a physician in Atchison. Sallie, a six-year-old girl, was brought in by her mother and the doctor diagnosed her with appendicitis. Believing that Sallie’s appendix would burst, he started operating before anesthesia fully took effect. Sallie died with her last memories being that of a man who she thought was torturing her. The house today is one of the most haunted in the United States. Visitors can take a self-guided or guided tour of The Sallie House, or even stay overnight.
508 N 2nd St, Atchison, KS 66002, Phone: 913-367-2427
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5.Atchison County Historical Society Museum
© Atchison County Historical Society Museum
The Atchison County Historical Society Museum is located inside the Santa Fe Depot. At the museum, visitors trace the history of this historic region of Kansas through exhibits highlighting the transition of Atchison from just a bend of the Missouri River into a bustling commercial center for the railroads, wagon trains bound for the West, and steamboats. Open seven days a week, the Atchison County Historical Society Museum includes a rare gun collection that dates back to the American Revolution, exhibits about the Lewis and Clark expedition and Amelia Earhart, the smallest “unofficial” presidential library in the world, and more.
200 South 10th St, Atchison, KS 66002, Phone: 913-367-6238
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6.Muchnic Art Gallery, Atchison, Kansas
© Muchnic Art Gallery
The Muchnic Art Gallery provides a place for locals and tourists alike to experience culture, history, and art in Atchison, Kansas in one of the city’s most elegant Victorian mansions. The brick, three-story, fourteen-room house was built in 1885 in the Queen Anne architectural style by George W. Howell, a lumber merchant. It was later bought by H.E. Muchnic, founder of what is now Atchison Steel Casting & Machining, in 1922. The mansion is now used as a community art gallery and other art-related functions.
704 N 4th St, Atchison, KS 66002, Phone: 913-367-4278
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7.Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge, Atchison, KS
© Visit Atchison Kansas
A truss bridge between Buchanan COunty, Missouri and Atchison, Kansas on U.S. Route 59, the Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge crosses over the Missouri River and is named in honor of the famous aviator Amelia Earhart. The original bridge was built from 1937 to 1938, however, the Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge was replaced with a new bridge by the same name. The tier-arch, four-lane bridge features LED lighting that can be programmed for various functions and colors, including lighting the arch lights on the bridge to look like a fluttering American flag with the reflection in the river.
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8.Mount Saint Scholastica, Atchison, Kansas
© Mount Saint Scholastica
Mount Saint Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas offers a special place for spirituality, peacefulness, and quiet, offering an ideal site for a retreat. Since its founding in 1863, the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St Scholastica have called the city home and their chapel features stained glass windows that honor seven martyred women saints, an expansive rose window, and gorgeous marble. For those wanting to tour Mount Saint Scholastica, guided tours can be made by advanced appointments and include a look at the religious history room and the capels. The facility also occasionally offers workshops and can be used for retreats.
801 S 8th St, Atchison, KS 66002, Phone: 913-360-6200
9.Paolucci Restaurant & Lounge, Atchison, Kansas
© Paolucci Restaurant & Lounge
Nestled away within the heart of Atchison’s downtown district, the Paolucci Restaurant and Lounge offers a “unique Atchison experience” and is a favorite among both locals and visitors alike. Paolucci’s Restaurant offers a variety of dishes, including something for nearly everyone, such as cold cut sandwiches, the Guiseppe Burger, American classics, award-winning signature Italian dishes, and even all-day breakfast options. Upstairs is Paolucci’s Lounge, one of the most popular drinking establishments in Atchison, Kansas and one of the city’s best outdoor patios for the views. The drink menu includes well drinks fine crafted cocktails, bottled craft beers, draft beer.
113 S 3rd St, Atchison, KS 66002, Phone: 913-367-6105
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10.Lewis and Clark Riverfront Pavilion
© Lewis and Clark Riverfront Pavilion
The Lewis and Clark Riverfront Pavilion in Atchison, Kansas is located near the site where Lewis and Clark camped on July 4th of 1804 during their exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. This open-air pavilion was built in Riverfront Park for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial commemoration in 2004. Visitors will find interpretive panels displaying information about the Kanza Nation, the Missouri River, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. There is also an interactive touchscreen monitor. The Lewis and Clark Riverfront Pavilion can be found on the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway, which gets its name from the glacier-carved landscape.
100 Commercial St Atchison, KS 66002, 913-367-2427
10 Best Things to Do in Atchison, Kansas
- Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, Photo: Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum
- International Forest of Friendship, Photo: weedezign/stock.adobe.com
- St. Benedict Abbey, Atchison, Kansas, Photo: St. Benedict Abbey
- The Sallie House, Atchison, Kansas, Photo: The Sallie House
- Atchison County Historical Society Museum, Photo: Atchison County Historical Society Museum
- Muchnic Art Gallery, Atchison, Kansas, Photo: Muchnic Art Gallery
- Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge, Atchison, KS, Photo: Visit Atchison Kansas
- Mount Saint Scholastica, Atchison, Kansas, Photo: Mount Saint Scholastica
- Paolucci Restaurant & Lounge, Atchison, Kansas, Photo: Paolucci Restaurant & Lounge
- Lewis and Clark Riverfront Pavilion, Photo: Lewis and Clark Riverfront Pavilion
- Cover Photo: Deanna/stock.adobe.com
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