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Visit Topeka: A summer destination

By Susen Foster

Looking for hot ideas for a cool summer? Look no farther than Topeka, Kan. Home to many unique attractions, events, great dining and tons of history, Topeka is the perfect getaway for all.

An upcoming event that has Topeka buzzing is the third annual Spirit of Kansas Blues Festival on July 4. Families, friends, everyone can celebrate Independence Day this year by singing the blues at the Spirit of Kansas Blues Festival at Lake Shawnee.

Many of the artists in the lineup for the festival are world-renowned musicians. The lineup includes Royal Southern Brotherhood, Southern Hospitality, the Samantha Fish Band and plenty more. Alongside live blues music, you can also eat your way through some of the best food vendors around, and view and purchase fabulous arts and crafts pieces from recognized local artists.

There are free activities for kids too. Don't leave early though, because at 10 p.m. you can see fireworks' reflections glisten on the water. Lake Shawnee puts on a beautiful fireworks display to cap off a perfect Independence Day.

Lake Shawnee sits on the east side of Topeka and is a hub for many outdoor enthusiasts. Lake Shawnee offers fishing, boating, sailing and swimming, and don't forget about walking and biking trails, a golf course, tennis courts, shelter house, softball and baseball fields, the Ted Ensley Botanical Gardens and plenty more.

Don't miss a great exhibit at the Mulvane Art Museum on Washburn University's campus this summer. "Inside Peanuts: The Life and Art of Charles M. Schulz" follows Schulz from his Minnesota roots, his life in California, and development of his charming characters that fill the unique world of the "Peanuts" comic. From June 16 until Sept. 16, enjoy this free exhibit and don't miss the ArtLab in the Mulvane's basement--a hands-on creative center for all ages, where you can make art of your very own.

Topeka's Convention & Visitors Bureau (Visit Topeka Inc.) has made vacation planning a little easier with customized itineraries that include bright ideas, hot events and cool places on their website, www.VisitTopeka.com. In addition to the list of summer activities, visitors can also watch videos. Don't miss Topeka's awesome new online community calendar at www.Topeka365.com or under the Events Calendar link on the website. It is loaded with even more fun Kansas events and activities.

Editor's note: Susen Foster is the owner of Pecan Cottage Bed & Breakfast in Pauls Valley, Okla. She is the author of numerous travel books. Susen can be reached at www.greatersuccess.com or call 580-622-5408.

Date: 6/18/2012

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