US Road Trip Stop: Manhattan, Kansas


Most US road trips I have read about tend to veer towards the southern side of the country. When we set off for our road trip, we knew we were going to go straight across the middle of the US. Our destination almost smack dab in the middle? Manhattan, Kansas…the Little Apple!

Why go to Manhattan, Kansas?

Relation to Other Cool Things

First things first, let's talk about why Manhattan makes an excellent road trip stop, specifically. I've got two big reasons for you.

1) I'm sure there are grumpy people in Manhattan. I just haven't met them or run into them yet. If you need a stopping point, this is a really great place to rest your head! Not too far off of I-70, either. As any cross-country road tripper knows, I-70 is your BFF (even if you wish it weren't).

B) Thanks to our spectacular hosts, Ray and Maxine, we know that Manhattan is really surrounded by some quintessential road trip stops. Think world's largest ball of twine. Wizard of Oz museum ...because, you ARE in Kansas. Geographical center of the United States. Ray is a personal Roadtrippers app, that's for sure. And I'm positive we could get you more recommendations if needed!


This may just be me, but I love looking at college campuses when I am in a new town. Maybe it's because I was plopped in the middle of a city, but I like to wander around wide, expansive quads. I can stare forever at football stadiums that are actually filled because a school can play a decent game. If you have campus envy like me, Kansas State University is an excellent one to walk around.


I've been to Manhattan, Kansas before, but this was our first trip to Aggieville to poke around. When you think of Kansas, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably not a section of town that is full of awesome shops, bars, and restaurants. But maybe it should be!

  • Are you the type that likes to take it slow in the morning? May I recommend Bluestem Bistro? Their scones and coffee drinks are fantastic. My Black Forest Latte was pretty top notch. Or, are donuts more your speed? What about donuts and also bike rentals? Varsity Donuts is most definitely the place for you. We had a LOT of donuts, and you can't go wrong. But their Maple Bacon is a Buzzfeed favorite!
  • I could go on and on about what to eat (and I probably will continue), but what about those souvenir hunters out there? I love hunting for good souvenirs that I can either wear or display in my home. Acme Gift has some really awesome options. And they also deliver, so that's just another plus. Fun fact: they also do florals!

…The Food

OKAY. I know that I have spent a ton of this post talking about the food that Manhattan has to offer. But you probably don't want to see another fast food chain or peanut butter & jelly sandwich by now, do you? I have one more spot that I really want to highlight, and this is definitely NOT for the vegetarians or vegans out there (although their sides are delicious too). Enter: Cox Bros. BBQ.

Most of my childhood was spent believing that I disliked red meat of most varieties. I've since grown a bit wiser and know that I just don't enjoy well-done anything. Now anytime anybody says "barbecue" (as a noun, of course) I am THERE. And I was so there with Cox Bros. So many different sauces. So much deliciousness. And such an awesome staff, too!

I'm convinced that Manhattan, Kansas is a great stopping place for anybody, but we had the best hosts of all time when we visited! I do want to take a second to say thank you for the millionth time, and still mean it from the bottom of my heart. THANK YOU to Ray and Maxine, the best hosts and extended family a girl (and her travel companions) could ask for. And thanks for having such cute dogs too. They certainly didn't hurt!

Let's Chat!

  • What is your verdict on Manhattan, Kansas as a road trip stop? Would you visit? Have you visited?
  • Am I the only one who likes to visit college campuses? Or talk 80% about food I've eaten? Tell me I'm not alone!