Atchison is a charming, historical city that sits along the bluffs of the Missouri River in northeast Kansas. With a population of about 11,000 people, Atchison maintains a friendly, community-oriented atmosphere with an array of diverse culture, thriving commerce, and exciting entertainment.
The Atchison community’s welcoming diversity may come as a surprise to some first time visitors. Though a smaller town, Atchison is home to many international college and highschool boarding students, religious and secular primary schools, church denominations, and community organizations. Whether interested in fitness clubs, crafting, music, or nightlife - activities are met with welcome encouragement and the opportunity to meet new people. Atchison is big enough that you don’t know everyone, but small enough to feel you belong.
Atchison's long history of successful commerce is wholly connected to the development of the railroads. In 1859, Atchison became the eastern terminus of the Atchison and Topeka Railroad, and remains a major freight train switching station today. Atchison maintains an exterior railway museum with over 15 vintage train cars, including an 811 steam engine. The railway museum also features a much-loved attraction of Atchison - a miniature train with a steam and a diesel engine, traveling on over 1/2 mile of 12-gauge track. During warmer months, the mini train is a highlight of the Atchison community for both the young and young at heart.
Atchison, Kansas is very well-known for being the birthplace of Amelia Earhart, an American aviator and author. She was the first female aviator to fly a plane across the entire Atlantic Ocean by herself. For this accomplishment, she received the United States Distinguished Flying Cross. To celebrate Amelia Earhart's legacy, Atchison hosts a one-of-a-kind Amelia Earhart Festival every July. This festival features airplane acrobatic shows, delicious food, downtown music, a crafts fair, a carnival, a popular-country music concert, and more. The entire community comes together for this festival, which ends with the famous Concert in the Sky fireworks show.
Local Theater and Arts
Atchison’s local theaters and art exhibits are an entertainment staple for many surrounding Atchison communities. Theatre Atchison and Atchison Musical Arts Society have regular presentation schedules, as well as Benedictine College Theater, which puts on many performances during the school year. In addition, the Atchison Art Association maintains a busy art show schedule, featuring local and regional artists in the historic Munchnic Art Gallery. Throughout the year, Atchison hosts art festivals and fairs on the beautiful walking mall in Downtown Atchison, including the Open Air Fair, Gypsy Bazaar, and Sights and Sounds of Christmas.
Vintage and Resale Shopping
Atchison is home to more vintage, resale, and consignment retail per capita than any other city in the Midwest, attracting visitors to return again and again to shop the unique and unexpected in the friendly community. One of the key features of the shopping district is a beautiful outdoor walking mall. There you can find a nostalgic consignment mall with an old fashioned soda fountain, resale clothing boutiques, and a unique variety store. Continuing down the block, is the whimsical and artistic as well as a 12,000 sq ft. upscale vintage decor experience.
Atchison has much to offer residents and tourists when it comes to historic appeal, fine arts, fun events and engaging activities. It’s hard to run out of things to do or people to meet in the charming, quaint community of Atchison, Kansas.