Atchison may be the birthplace of famed aviator Amelia Earhart, but it offers more for visitors to check out.
The Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum may be the most popular attraction in the northeast Kansas city of about 11,000, but the Missouri Riverfront offers a great view,
The city has a river walk that runs about two miles along the river banks. Along the way, you can check out the veterans memorials. Sculptures recognizing each branch of the military highlight the area. As an Air Force veteran, I enjoy finding a community’s military memorials.
In addition, two statues stand near the river, honoring two local men who died in recent battles.
A sculpture of an eternal flame recognizes the Lewis and Clark expedition that came through the area during the early 1800s. The men and their team traveled through the area that was acquired from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
The Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge connects Kansas to Missouri. The bridge opened in 2012.
Atchison has an interesting three-block pedestrian mall. The Commercial Street Mall provided a nice walk on a warm Fall day. The mall seemed dated, but that added to its appeal (to me, anyway). Some of the store fronts were empty, but a few boutique and vintage stores had customers.
An old movie theater sat empty. That is always a sad thing to me. We love movies, and enjoy checking out old movie houses.
The city has a statue of Deafy Boular. He was a master bricklayer, who was recognized by “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” for laying 46,000 street bricks in eight hours. He was nicknamed Deafy because he lost his hearing in his youth. When he was 10, he lost his legs at the knees after being run over by a train. He wore special shoes that allowed him to walk on his knees.
We stopped in the local Christmas store. For a late October day, it was doing some good business. As we walked through the store, we found more rooms and more decorations.
Lunch time took us to “Willie’s” downtown. The sports bar/restaurant had a great selection of college football games going on during our stop. We found a table that put us smack dab in front of a Nebraska game. We watched the first half and enjoyed our lunch. Lisa ate a healthy option, while I was “talked” into trying the daily special – two pork tenderloins with cheese and jalapenos. Fortunately, I didn’t even come close to finishing the sandwich.
After lunch, we continued our sojourn through downtown Atchison. We checked out a few stores. The main street – Commercial – wasn’t too long.
We did see a bell that was used with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad long ago.
We stopped at the depot, which is also the visitors center. We checked out the museum there, and learned a few things about Amelia Earhart and a few others in the city’s history.
While at the visitors center, we learned about an amusement center built inside an old military artillery bunker. We had to check it out!
Extreme Underground is a family-oriented fun center. The walls of the bunker look like they probably did when it was used by the military. A couple of old military vehicles are located throughout the facility to give the décor some authenticity.
Citadel Caverns offers underground tours Monday-Saturday. We were too late for one during our visit. We plan to come back for that tour.
While we didn’t get to check out everything Atchison had to offer, we did get a bit in.
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