15 Best Things to Do in Leavenworth County, KS

Leavenworth County, KS
Jon M. Ripperger / shutterstock.com

Leavenworth County is located in the northeastern section of Kansas and west of the Missouri River, the hidden gem of the Midwest.

Named after a distinguished American officer during the War of 1812, Leavenworth County is one of the first 33 counties formed by the first government in the territory.

Situated within this county is the state's very first city, which also bears the name Leavenworth.

Leavenworth County has a lot to offer, from its rich history to the beautiful Midwestern scenery.

Leavenworth County is perfect if you're searching for a charming place for either a day trip or an extended vacation!

Whether you’re a history buff, an adrenaline junkie, or a nature lover, there are many things to do in and around this county.

Here are the 15 best things to do in Leavenworth County, Kansas.

Visit the Home of Some of Our National Heroes at Fort Leavenworth

Buffalo soldiers monument at Fort Leavenworth
JOHN ERIC JACKSON / Shutterstock.com

Fort Leavenworth is one of the three oldest military installations in the country still active.

Founded in 1827 by Brigadier General Henry Leavenworth, Fort Leavenworth had a crucial role in maintaining peace between Indian tribes and settlers in the West.

A lot of the country's history happened in this post, which is why tourists are highly encouraged to come here.

Check out the monument dedicated to Buffalo Soldiers.

Female soldier monument at Fort Leavenworth
JOHN ERIC JACKSON / Shutterstock.com

Or explore the Garrison area, where exhibits that reflect the fort's rich heritage are displayed.

If you're more of a nature lover, this place also has something for you.

Stroll around, take in the gorgeous sight that overlooks the Missouri River, or have a snack at their peaceful picnic areas.

Disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth
Makuakane, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you love amusement parks, you should pay a visit to the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum.

This destination is known to be the number one attraction in Leavenworth City.

First opened in 2005, this museum houses a restored 1913 C.W. Parker Carousel made by the C.W. Parker Carousel Amusement Company.

Ride a fully-operational carousel over 100 years old in the museum!

Kids will love riding the colorful carousel, while adults can take a gander at the other historic rides on display, like the aluminum carousel built by Paul Parker in the 1950s.

Discover the Stories of Brave Soldiers at the Frontier Army Museum

Learn more about the courageous soldiers who played crucial roles in the county's history at the Frontier Army Museum.

This museum was established in 1938 and was originally called the "Old Rolling Wheels Museum."

The Frontier Army Museum was certified as an Army Museum in 1960 and has since preserved and displayed more than 6,000 military artifacts from the nineteenth century.

A stroll through this museum will give you a look into the day-to-day lives of the Frontier Army during both the Lewis and Clark Expedition as well as the Punitive Expedition.

You will see weapons, equipment, and even uniforms used by soldiers in the past.

The museum also provides in-depth tours and programs where visitors and students can learn more about the history of the Frontier Army.

Further Your Education on the History of African-Americans at the Richard Allen Cultural Center & Museum

Exterior of the Richard Allen Cultural Center & Museum
Melissa Bower, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take a peek at the history of the African-American community in Leavenworth and all over the country at the Richard Allen Cultural Center & Museum.

The museum was opened in 1992 at the former home of Captain William Bly.

Bly served as a Buffalo Soldier during the First World War.

The goal of this establishment is to inform the public about African-American history and how it helped shape American culture.

The museum also hopes to keep the culture of African-Americans alive and to remember their contributions to society.

Check out memorabilia and artifacts that once belonged to significant African-American individuals, such as Colin Powell, the famed military general and former statesman.

The museum also houses the Everhard Collection, a gallery of photos dating back to the 1800s.

You will discover numerous facts and stories from the past through the educational programs provided during the tours.

Bring along your friends or family and enhance your cultural and historical insights when you visit this museum.

Have a Peaceful Afternoon Stroll at the Three-Mile Creek Walking Trail

The Three-Mile Creek Walking Trail is the perfect place to take a break from the area’s wartime history.

Developed in 2009 by Leavenworth City, this trail is a great spot for people who want a morning run or a relaxing stroll.

This trail goes from the Missouri River to Haymarket Square in Leavenworth City.

Apart from having vibrant greeneries and a paved walking trail, this place also has a bit of history.

This walking trail includes Three-Mile Creek, one of the first streams to be designated back in 1804.

Go solo or bring anyone who enjoys being in nature to walk with you on this trail.

Even small children can visit this trail because of its flat and even surface.

Score One-Of-A-Kind Vintage Items at Leavenworth Antique Mall

Find extraordinary treasures and antique items at Leavenworth Antique Mall.

With more than 70 vendors on three levels, this 9,000-square-foot shopping center is a great place to look for souvenirs that will make your visit to Leavenworth unforgettable.

Although this place is technically a shopping mall, you will still feel like you are traveling back in time because of all the vintage items to find.

Shop for old books, vintage clothing, and even antique furniture.

You can score great finds, like vintage cameras and classic jewelry pieces, if you are lucky.

People who love to go thrifting will surely fall in love with this place.

Transport Yourself Back to the Victorian Era at the Carroll Mansion Museum

History marker of Carroll Mansion Museum
Makuakane, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another excellent place to dive deeper into the county's rich history is the Caroll Mansion Museum.

The museum, which opened in 1965, is still standing today and has welcomed hundreds of tourists from around the globe.

Managed by the Leavenworth County Historical Society, this mansion has allowed all its visitors to travel back in time and see what the Victorian era was like in the county.

The exhibits will guide you on how locals lived in the past and show you their unique stories.

Eye the preserved picture negatives taken by some pioneer photographers in history.

The aesthetic of this mansion, which heavily reflects the ideals prevalent in Victorian society, will surely transport you back in time.

Snap Pictures of Awesome Public Art Pieces at ART WALK on Shawnee Street

Stroll along ART WALK on Shawnee Street and marvel at the beautiful public art pieces on display.

Located in downtown Leavenworth, this spot is an excellent place to deepen your appreciation for local artists.

ART WALK is full of incredible murals, statues, and other works that are so stunning you might just run out of storage on your phone from taking pictures.

Many works on display were inspired by some of the significant events in the county's history.

This includes the Statue of Abraham Lincoln, which reflects his visit to Leavenworth City in 1859, where he presented his first speech during his presidential campaign.

If you're passionate about art and history, you'll enjoy visiting and learning more about the distinct works on display.

Purchase Farm Fresh Produce at Leavenworth Farmers Market

Treat your taste buds and explore the city's delectable selection of fresh produce by going to Leavenworth Farmers Market.

This market is beloved by many locals as it offers a wide variety of products, from vegetables and fruits to handmade soaps and honey.

Check out all of the products sold by many local vendors while enjoying the lively and vibrant atmosphere of the market.

The Leavenworth Farmers Market has everything you need for a perfect picnic lunch or dinner.

Find great gifts to take home to your family and friends, including homemade jams and spices.

Keep Active and Visit the Riverfront Community Center

Exterior of the Riverfront Community Center
Melissa Bower, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Riverfront Community Center is the perfect place to get your daily dose of exercise.

This facility has a health center that is fully equipped with everything you need to stay active and keep fit, from yoga classrooms to CrossFit amenities.

This center also has a weight room, basketball gym, indoor pool, and a racquetball court if you’re sports-inclined.

The best part about this is that membership is optional to use the excellent facilities.

But you can certainly sign up for some of the health center's fun classes.

These include the aforementioned CrossFit but also taekwondo classes and even parkour!

Lace up your running shoes and invite your friends to come and exercise with you (and hold yourselves accountable)!

Witness the Breathtaking Architecture of the Chapel of the Veterans

Explore a building considered a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture—the Chapel of the Veterans.

This chapel in Leavenworth, constructed in 1893, was for many years the only institution of its kind where Catholic and Protestant services were conducted simultaneously.

The walls of this chapel are beautifully decorated, with gargoyle statues jutting out the corners and serving as spouts where runoff water goes through.

Its vibrant and stunning stained glass windows look gorgeous when you see it from inside the chapel.

Bond with Your Furry Best Friend at Waggin’ Tails Dog Park

Waggin’ Tails Dog Park is the perfect place to bring your furry buddy if you're looking for a fun and open environment.

First opened in 2010, this off-leash park is big enough for any size pup, with six acres divided into sections for small and large dogs.

This park is full of canine play equipment, so you and your pet will never be bored!

Stop and catch your breath on the benches in the park after running around with your dog all day.

Not only will you get to meet other delightful dogs, but you'll also make friends with their responsible and caring owners.

Spend quality time with your furry companions and take them to this park!

Enjoy the Breeze as You Jog at Leavenworth Landing Park

Daytime view of Leavenworth Landing Park
Melissa Bower, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Leavenworth Landing Park is a lovely spot for a morning jog or stroll.

Located right next to the Riverfront Community Center, this park offers breathtaking views of the water to all of its visitors

This park was constructed in 1996, providing locals and guests with a great place to breathe fresh air and relax.

It is a great place to go walking or jogging with your buddies or to just hang out and chill with your family.

Enjoy lunch here while you unwind and enjoy the view of nature and the river.

You might even be able to spot an eagle flying around over the waters near the area.

This place is a must-see for train enthusiasts because it is the perfect spot to observe trains going through Leavenworth.

Sample Some Local Wine at Z&M Twisted Vines Winery and Vineyard

Z&M Twisted Vines Winery and Vineyard in Leavenworth is a must-visit place for any wine aficionado.

This family-owned business proudly produces wines of outstanding quality.

Using traditional wine production processes, Z&M Twisted Vines creates wines with extraordinary flavors.

Notable flavors from this winery include the Hellfire jalapeno wine and Coffee wine.

Experience their lovely vineyard firsthand, where they grow and nourish the grapes they use for their wines.

Appreciate how much the business owners truly care about each wine bottle they create and offer their patrons.

Witness Outstanding Performers in Action at the Performing Arts Center

Exterior of the Performing Arts Center
Rntwerner, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See talented actors and actresses who bring different stories to life through their electrifying performances at the Performing Arts Center.

The River City Community Players (RCCP) is a nonprofit theater group made up of brilliant performers from the community that calls this downtown Leavenworth facility their home.

This center was constructed from 1937 to 1938 and was originally called the Hollywood Theater.

It has an Art Deco architectural style reminiscent of the theaters back in the 1920s.

You can watch some of the thrilling shows produced by RCCP.

This theater is perfect for anyone who loves musicals or dramas!

The storytellers and their thought-provoking narratives will enthrall you.

Final Thoughts

At Leavenworth County, there is something exciting for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to explore lovely architecture, connect with nature, or see incredible performances, this is the place for you.

With all the amazing places to visit in this county, keep this list of the 15 best things to do in Leavenworth County, Kansas to make the most of your visit.

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