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Mar 15

You made it through winter! Collect your reward in MHK

Posted on March 15, 2018 at 12:03 PM by Michael Goens

Konza Prairie hiking trailsWarmer weather invariably draws Manhattan-ites to the outdoors. What’s not to like about sunshine, blue skies and green prairie grasses that emit overflowing joyous revelations and relaxations? Our visiting friends can hop on the same trails as we all enjoy around the Flint Hills. Warmth beckons for trail hikes, golf outings and zipline runs. Fortunately, Manhattan has all of those angles covered. Outdoor dining? That too!

Explorations always start at Flint Hills Discovery Center to increase knowledge about the geologic splendor of the region. What magnificent natural beauty the rolling hills present as the last remaining four percent of North America’s tallgrass prairie exist right outside Manhattan. Hike. Picnic. Adore.

Let the sun splash on your face. Soak it up in our rolling hills as Gateway to the Flint Hills. Wide open spaces are prevalent in northeast Kansas, and we’ve got some of the best in Manhattan. Take advantage!

Sunrise on the prairie

Trails, trails & more trails touts Flint Hills sunsets as among the world’s best. The World’s Best. We can’t argue! The colors; the radiance; the freshness … all spectacular! You’ll find a real connection with nature where you’re apart from life’s concerns. Head out to Konza Prairie for three different trail lengths, starting at 1.5 miles. More trails encircle City and CiCo parks right in the city. Multi-surfaced Hudson Trail (part dirt, part paved) skirts the edge of Colbert Hills golf course and traverses toward Marlatt Park, and even more trails present beautiful landscapes at and near Tuttle Creek State Park. Make life's journey glorious in Manhattan's outdoors!

Colbert Hills golf course
Tee it up for an amazing 18
If those trails don’t diminish all of your energy, head back to Colbert Hills and play 18 holes at the state’s best public golf course. Oh, the views! Oh, the course! What a great experience to play the course named for co-designer and former PGA Pro Jim Colbert. It’s not an easy round, as fairways are far from flat, and quite similar in terrain to the surrounding, naturally rolling hills. Colbert Hills is truly a unique gift to Manhattan. Don’t spend all your time consumed by swing thoughts. Look around, the sights are astonishing! Especially from the 7th hole tee box. Hint-hint: Here’s your spot for foursome ‘selfies’.

Restaurant relaxation
When it comes time to relax, Manhattan delivers more of the best with palate-pleasing foodie destinations. Travel writer Ron Stern caught on to the foodie theme on a recent visit, as he and wife Nancy came for a second serving of Manhappiness, they loaded up on the full restaurant experience. Al fresco dining is highly desired when this cooler-weather destination shrugs off the winter blues. March offers at least 15-to-20 days of 60-degree weather, and that qualified for warmer weather in Kansas. One of your best stops includes Tallgrass Tap House along Poyntz. The suds flow freely from the rooftop bar, which presents more splendid views of the nearby Flint Hills and main street storefronts.


Outdoor dining rocks The ’Ville

Another great spot with highly-desired outdoor seating also makes many lists for inexpensive dining, incredible atmosphere and its fun-themed menu and aura. The name is Taco Lucha (faux Lucha Libre wrestler). The place is Taco Lucha, where the fun quotient is always pegged sky-high at the “funky Aggieville Taqueria.” Taco Tuesdays specialty is always the Peanut Butter Taco: tender sirloin, bacon, pepperjack and pickle. What a combo! There’s more excitement at Rock-A-Belly Deli on North Manhattan Avenue. More excitement. More flavor. More fun! The Deli’s menu hasn’t seen a lot of revisions over the course of 30 years -- why mess with a good thing? – which is why the quaint little deli is a hit with locals. IPAs pour easily out of 23-ounce “Big Girl” glasses, and the breezy Belly demeanor is as laid-back as a Caribbean beach bar.  
Wildwood Outdoor Adventure ziplines

Ziplining and zoo tours

Top your Manhattan visit with zipline runs at Wildwood Outdoor Adventure Park, just east of the Kansas River (Johnson Road off Pillsbury Drive). More spectacular Flint Hills views make Wildwood zips a very special experience, with zip runs through hollowed-out canyons lined by limestone rock. Sunset Zoo makes another great stop, and the zoo is showing off its latest additions to the family with adorable newborn maned wolf pups.

McCain delivers hit performers
Want more action? On the Kansas State University campus, humorist David Sedaris (April 26) digs at your funny bone with his off-hand view of current events. Sedaris’ appearance is coordinated by McCain Performance Series, which never fails to produce top-notch entertainment. On Sedaris’ coattails arrives Grammy-winning musician Kenny G (April 29) to delight audiences with his phenomenal sax talents.

Steer back to outdoors activities for Kansas State’s 50th annual Open House with a fun-filled Saturday of college-infused zaniness on April 7. Campus spirit spills everywhere with events in the student union, Hale Library and rec center. The K-State BatCats have been crushing it on the diamond, and the same Open House weekend, the Cats play host to the Oklahoma State Cowboys for a Big 12 Conference series at Tointon.


Get your tailgating drills reignited for more Wildcats’ sports action and the April 21 spring football game. Dalton Risner and defensive cohort Kendall Adams lead the Cat attack as part of a strong 2018 returning senior cast. K-State baseball is back at Tointon that same weekend for a three-game set against the Baylor Bears.

Spring in Manhattan delivers with gusto, and the activities are plentiful for your next captivating visit! Experience what Manhappiness is all about!

Trail hikes   Golf outings   Zipline runs   Flint Hills Discovery Center   Gateway to the Flint Hills   Konza Prairie   Tuttle Creek State Park   Colbert Hills   Tallgrass Tap House   Taco Lucha   Rock-A-Belly Deli  Wildwood Outdoor Adventure Park   McCain Performance Series   Kansas State’s 50th annual Open House   K-State spring football game


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