5 Day Trips Near Fort Riley That Aren't Kansas City


So you've got another boring weekend ahead of you, eh? You now find yourself sitting opposite your friends and family asking "what do you want to do today?"........"I don't know, whatever you want to do." That is seriously the world's most frustrating conversation. If you've decided to give up on this conversation, like we have, feel free to check out our ideas for some pretty cool day trips within driving distance of Ft. Riley. By the time your weekend ends you may just feel like you've accomplished something other than the laundry...and yes, you will do your laundry...for our sake.

1. Abilene, KS

Located 30 miles West of Ft. Riley, Abilene makes for a perfect day trip location that won't last ALL day (see our full itinerary). You could definitely check out our recommendations in a few hours and be home in plenty of time to do some chores and have dinner. First stop should be the Eisenhower Museum. Abilene, KS is Dwight D. Eisenhower's hometown and his original family home along with his Presidential Library sits on the museum grounds. Definitely set aside 2 hours minimum for this visit. There is so much to see here and you don't want to rush it. Ok, now it's lunchtime. If you go anywhere, you have to go to the Brookville Hotel for their famous family style fried chicken meal served with plenty of sides and fixings. This hotel restaurant was given a James Beard American Classic award in 2007 and I gotta tell ya, they deserve it.

Right and Up Tip: Enjoy free entrance to the Eisenhower Museum if you're military! Also, be sure to check out the gift shop around Christmas time. It's fantastic.

2. Lawrence, KS

Less than 100 miles to the East, Lawrence, KS is home to the Kansas University Jayhawks (KSU rival) and also a very trendy main street. So many cute antique shops make this a must-visit location for you crafty people...yes, you people. Spend the day doing some window shopping and be sure to stop for lunch at Ramen Bowls, (my favorite ramen restaurant in Kansas)!

Right and Up Tip: Lawrence is very pet friendly with lots of restaurants that have outdoor seating to accommodate your furry friend.

3. Wamego, KS

Before you read any further, have you ever seen The Wizard of Oz? If yes, keep reading. If not, stop what you're doing right now and watch it. Seriously. What. Is. Wrong. With. You? Anyways, about 30 miles East of Ft. Riley is the small town of Wamego. Here you'll find some great antiquing and also...the Oz Museum! The other must-visit location here is the Oz Winery. Stop by before or after lunch and do a quick sampling of some of their local wines (cheese pairings also offered).

Right and Up Tip: Grab a greasy and delicious burger from the Friendly Cooker across the street to soak up that alcohol!

4. Hays, KS

About 2 hours to the West is the cute town of Hays, KS. Yes, it's a bit further away, but if you're looking for an all day trip, this is definitely a change from Kansas City. First, spend a little bit of time walking through their main street and seeing what the town has to offer. Stop by historic Ft. Hays, active during the American Indian Wars, before grabbing some grub. Gella's Diner is always sure to please and be sure to stop by Defiance Brewing Co. For more information on breweries in Kansas, check out our article by clicking here!

Right and Up Tip: Bring good walking shoes as there's lots to do here including some good hiking and walking trails!

5. Manhattan, KS

Feel like staying close to home, but want to spend a few quality hours outside the house? Manhattan, KS is a great place to take a day trip especially if you live on post because of the vast options for eating, drinking and activities. If doing any number of the activities offered in the shops in Aggieville doesn't appeal to you, consider walking through the Gardens at KSU and checking out the Beach Museum of Art. With plenty of amazing restaurants to choose from, Manhattan may end up being your go-to destination for every weekend.

Right and Up Tip: During the winter, head to the Ice Skating rink in the Manhattan City Park!


about the author

Riley is an active duty US Army Captain and the Founder of Right and Up. She’s currently stationed in Washington, DC, with previous assignments at Fort Huachuca, Fort Bliss, Fort Riley and Fort Benning. You can typically find her eating embarrassingly large amounts of food in local restaurants, or exploring her military town with her husband, Sean and her dog, Gus. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!