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Leavenworth, Kansas Delivers Historic Charm

It might be known as the home of the infamous federal penitentiary, but there’s a lot more to Leavenworth, Kansas, than meets the eye. The little city of about 35,000 people exudes a sense of history that runs deep. In fact, the city was Kansas’ first, having been founded in 1854, nearly 30 after the famous fort was created.

Today, Leavenworth is home to Saint Mary College, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the Army’s Fort Leavenworth, the prison and even Hallmark Cards. Its historic downtown maintains a staunch sense of the city’s historic roots and there are many things to see and do here that make it both a great tourist stop and a wonderful place to call home.

Let’s take a look at some of Leavenworth’s top attractions:

Carnegie Arts Center
5th and Walnut
Leavenworth, Kansas 66048
Phone: 913-651-0765

This private, nonprofit organization is housed in the city’s former library building. It was constructed in 1900 and served the city as a library until 1987. It now houses the organization, which provides community instruction in everything from music and visual arts to drama and more.

Carroll Mansion
1128 Fifth Avenue
Leavenworth, KS 66048

This historic home turned into a museum was built in 1882. It features all the gingerbread one would expect from a Victorian age home, right down to the stained glass windows and handcrafted woodwork. The museum is run by the Leavenworth County Historical Society, which makes its home there, as well.

Fort Leavenworth
Fort Leavenworth is located on Metropolitan Avenue in Leavenworth just off US Hwy73/KS Hwy 7.

The fort has the distinction of being the oldest Army fort in continuous operation west of the Mississippi River. It includes a National Cemetery, Command and General Staff College and branches of the Oregon and Santa Fe trails within its bounds. The Frontier Army Museum, complete with a variety of military memorabilia from days gone by, is a favorite stop of tourists and residents alike. Visit the website for more information about tours and public services.

Leavenworth Landing Park
100 North 5th Street - Cherokee and Esplande Streets
Leavenworth, KS 66048

This park includes a walking trail, sculptures of a steam engine and a Conestoga wagon and much more. It focuses on Leavenworth as the “Gateway to the West,” celebrating the area’s past. You can walk along a beautiful one-quarter mile linear parkway along the Missouri River and visit a part of Leavenworths past.

C.W. Parker Carousel Museum
320 S. Esplanade Street
Leavenworth, KS 66048

This unusual museum is designed to tell the tale of C.W. Park, who was known as the “Carnival King.” Parker is renowned for making Leavenworth the carousel capital of the world by producing carousels that were grand in design in the small Midwestern city. Here residents and visitors alike will find a fully restored antique Parker carousel and several other examples of the company’s work that date back as far as 1860. Visit the web link above to see other unique museums in the Leavenworth area.

There’s much more to Leavenworth, Kansas than meets the eye. If you think the city is all about the prison, think again. Wonders are waiting within its streets.

by Tiffany Lewis, Kansas City Premier Apartments, Inc.

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