Manhattan is a city and county seat of Riley County, Kansas, United States, although the city extends into Pottawatomie County. It is located in northeastern Kansas at the junction of the Kansas River and Big Blue River. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 54,100. The city was founded by settlers from the New England Emigrant Aid Company as a Free-State town in the 1850s, during the Bleeding Kansas era. Nicknamed "The Little Apple" as a play on New York City's "Big Apple", Manhattan is best known as the home of Kansas State University and has a distinct college town atmosphere. Fort Riley, a United States Army post, is located 8 miles (13 km) west of Manhattan.
Junction City is a city in and the county seat of Geary County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 22,932. Fort Riley, a major U.S. Army post, is nearby.
Topeka ( tə-PEE-kə; Kansa: tó ppí kʼé) is the capital city of the U.S. state of Kansas and the seat of Shawnee County. It is along the Kansas River in the central part of Shawnee County, in northeast Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 126,587. The Topeka metropolitan statistical area, which includes Shawnee, Jackson, Jefferson, Osage, and Wabaunsee Counties, had a population of 233,870 in the 2010 census. The name "Topeka" is a Kansa-Osage word that means "place where we dug potatoes", or "a good place to dig potatoes". As a placename, Topeka was first recorded in 1826 as the Kansa name for what is now called the Kansas River. Topeka's founders chose the name in 1855 because it "was novel, of Indian origin, and euphonious of sound." Mixed-blood Kansa Native American, Joseph James, called Jojim, is credited with suggesting Topeka's name. The city, laid out in 1854, was one of the Free-State towns founded by Eastern antislavery men immediately after the passage of the Kansas–Nebraska Bill. In 1857, Topeka was chartered as a city. The city is well known for the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which overturned Plessy vs. Ferguson and declared racial segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional. The U.S. Navy has named three ships USS Topeka after the city.
Emporia is a city in and the county seat of Lyon County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 24,139. Emporia lies between Topeka and Wichita at the intersection of U.S. Route 50 with Interstates 335 and 35 on the Kansas Turnpike. Emporia is also a college town, home to Emporia State University and Flint Hills Technical College. It is home of two annual sporting events: Unbound Gravel (gravel bicycle races) and Dynamic Discs Open (disc golf tournaments).