15 Best Things to Do in Atchison

Atchison, a beautiful city by the Missouri River is known as the gateway to West.

Lewis and Clark visited the city in summer 1804, and the city was a hub of industry and entrepreneurship after the Civil War.

Atchison’s late 19th-century residence architecture preserves the sudden growth.

These mansions are museums that now house several Victorian mansions. One is for Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), Atchison’s most famous child.

1. Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

Ninety-Nines have turned the house where Amelia Earhart was born, in 1891, into a museum. Earhart was the founder of this international organization, which is made up female pilots.

The house belonged to her grandparents and was built in Gothic Revival style. It dates back to 1861.

It is a beautiful setting, high up on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River. The museum uses QR codes to provide audio information. It displays photographs and family heirlooms, as well memorabilia from Hilary Swank’s 2009 biopic Amelia.

2. Atchison County Historical Society Museum

Atchison County Historical Society Museum

The perfect location for this museum is the Santa Fe Freight Depot, which dates back to 1880. It’s hard to find a better place to remember the days when Atchison County was considered the gateway to the west.

The museum focuses on Lewis and Clark and the county’s railroad history. It also features famous figures such as Amelia Earhart and Jesse Stone (1901-1999), a pioneering rhythm and Blues musician.

Other highlights include the “smallest informal presidential library” of David Rice Atchison and an extraordinary collection of weapons dating back to the Revolutionary War through World War II.

The Atchison County Historical Society is located just north of the city. It also cares for Independence Creek: Lewis & Clark Historic Site. This is where the expedition camped from July 4, 1804.

3. Riverfront and Independence Parks


Atchison’s proximity to the Missouri river bank is one of its many positive aspects. Here you can watch one of our great watercourses in action.

A continuous trail links the two parks together. They are located right at the water’s edge, just below the bluffs.

Riverfront Park is located in the south, near the downtown area. It’s a wonderful location for the Amelia Earhart Festival as well as fireworks displays in July.

Independence Park is just north and offers a variety of amenities including boat ramps, exercise stations, restrooms, picnic tables, and showers.

4. Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum

Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum

The Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation bought Muriel in 2016, the last 1935 Lockheed Electra 10-E that was still surviving.

This is Earhart’s last flight. She attempted to be the first woman to circumnavigate the globe with this model.

This aircraft will be the star attraction of an interactive STEM-oriented aviation attraction located at Amelia Earhart Airport west of Atchison.

The museum was near completion at the time this article was written, but you can still tour the hangar to see Muriel’s glory.

5. Muchnic Art Gallery

Muchnic Art Gallery

The stunning three-story brick Queen Anne-style home on Fourth Street is one of Athchison’s most impressive Victorian homes. It was built for George Howell, a lumber merchant. It has 14 rooms and a wraparound porch.

Howell spent many years collecting walnut, oak, and mahogany for his home. The Muchnic Foundation now owns the house, which was built by the wealthy family who lived here from 1922 to 1968.

In 1970, the foundation opened the house to the public for exhibitions. Call in to see local and regional artists as well as the calendar of workshops and special events.

The house is an integral part of the appeal. It features exquisite original details such as cast bronze elements on doors and doors, cast bronze elements on fireplace tiles, cast iron elements on doors, cast bronze elements on doors and windows, and etched glass transoms on many interior doors.

6. Evah C. Cray Historical Home

Evah C. Cray Historical Home

This Victorian theatre, built in 1882 by W.W. Hetherington for banker W.W. Hetherington, showcases the affluence and wealth of the 19th century Atchison.

He was fascinated with Scottish castles which is why he built the circular crenelated tower that commands the façade, complete with machicolations beneath the parapet.

The Evah C. Cray Historic Home’s interior is equally impressive. It features historic period features such as chandeliers and woodcarving along with authentic furnishings dating back to the 1880s.

Inside, there’s a small theater showing a short film on Atchison’s 19th-century wealth of residences.

7. International Forest of Friendship

International Forest of Friendship

Near Warnock Lake, in the southwest corner of Atchison, is a beautiful arboretum. It was first planted in 1976. The International Forest of Friendship, a joint venture between the City of Atchison (Italy) and the Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots is a project of the International Organization of Women Pilots.

A trail of granite plaques honoring more than 1,200 aviation icons can be followed.

Another remarkable detail in the forest is Amelia Earhart’s tree, a bicentennial American pine, trees from George Washington’s plantation, Mount Vernon, and a sycamore that was grown from a seed that went with Apollo 14 to the moon. It now serves as a memorial for astronauts.

8. St. Benedict’s Abbey Church

St. Benedict’s Abbey Church

The history of the Benedictine College on the north side atchison has been going back to 1857. The campus has many beautiful buildings.

The Abbey Church, a Modernist-style building that was completed in 1957, is perhaps the most beautiful on campus. Barry Byrne (1883-1967), the architect, had spent his early career at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park studio and was part the Prairie School.

You can visit the church between services. It is the centerpiece of campus. You will find the amazing altar fresco, Trinity, and Episodes of Benedictine Life. It was painted by Jean Charlot (1898-1979).

9. Atchison Farmers Market

This list was written in the midst of the 25th anniversary of Atchison Farmers Market.

The market opens in mid-May and closes on Wednesday afternoons until October.

The market is your best place to go for fresh produce, baked goods and coffee freshly roasted, preserves, preserves, plants, and other unusual handicrafts throughout the season.

You can also find many other events that accompany the event, such as cooking demonstrations or kids’ activities and live music.

10. 1889 McInteer Villa

1889 McInteer Villa

The charming 1889 McInteer Villa, 1301 Kansas Ave, is a beautiful example of Queen Anne-style architecture and would make an ideal home. However, paranormal activity is common in this grand house.

John McInteer from Ireland, who was a successful entrepreneur in the saddle and harness trades, built the house.

You can see the interior as an elegant Victorian home. Self-guided tours are available.

Some of the reported occurrences include footsteps on the second floor hallway, doorknobs turning independently, lights switching off, and the unexplained smell of cigarettes and perfume.

11. Atchison Rail Museum

Atchison Rail Museum

After visiting the Atchison Country Historical Society Museum, you can explore the Santa Fe Depot’s yards.

An outdoor display of rolling stock is available, which includes a line of passenger cars, cabooses, and a snowplow.

Star is a preserved Baldwin steam engine locomotive, which was used on the Santa Fe Railway, Topeka, and Atchison in the first half 20th century.

Weekend afternoons in the summer are the best times to take a ride on Atchison & Western Miniature Railroad. This 12′ line is operated by Northeast Kansas Railroad members.

12. Sallie House

Sallie House

The Sallie House, 508 N 2nd St. is perhaps more well-known among ghosthunters than McInteer Villa. This property was featured on several TV shows, including Sightings and Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures.

The house was built in the early 20th century and used to be the home of a doctor who practiced downstairs.

Legend has it that the house is haunted at night by the ghost of six-year old girl who died in emergency appendicitis surgery.

There have been many reports of unusual activity, mostly against men, as revenge for the doctor. Anyone can visit the house, which was kept as a family home since the 1990s.

Remember that Sallie House is located in a residential neighborhood. Be mindful of your neighbors.

13. Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge

Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge

This stunning $59.4m tied arch bridge over the Missouri was built in 2012 to replace an older crossing that had been there since 1930.

The bridge, named after the great aviator, is approximately 2,500 feet in length. It connects U.S. Route to the Great American Bridge. From Buchanan County MO, take 59 to Atchison. Riverside Park is located just to the north. It’s worth stopping by at night to view the bridge illuminated with programmable LEDs.

These are often shaped like the flag of the United States and have a red-white-blue pattern across the arch.

14. Amelia Earhart Festival


Every year, Atchison’s favorite girl is honored with a huge community festival on the third weekend in July. We’ll be covering LakeFest at Warnock Lake on Friday night.

On Saturday, there will be entertainment, culture and ceremonies downtown. There will be craft vendors, children’s shows and presentations by authors about Earhart. Also, open-air day at Santa Fe Depot/Rail Museum.

A Pioneering Achievement Award will be presented to a woman who has been a trailblazer in her field at a special luncheon.

Later in the evening, the party continues along the Missouri Riverfront where live music, aerobatics and the spectacular Concert in the Sky fireworks display will be on offer.

15. Warnock Lake


The city owns this lake, which is located near the International Forest of Friendship. It is an ideal spot for swimming, fishing, and boating in summer.

A lush parkland surrounds the water, providing RV campsites, toilets, three shelters and play equipment. There are also picnic tables, disc golf courses, and other amenities.

Warnock Lake, which is part of the Amelia Earhart Festival on Friday, also serves as a backdrop to LakeFest, an evening of live entertainment.

This event has provided a platform for many up-and-coming artists over the years including Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, and Darius Rucker.