Feeling cabin fever this fall?
Experiencing an itch to do something relatively safe — outside of the house — during the coronavirus pandemic?
Yeah, us too.
The Mercury has an answer for those yearning to get out and get some fresh air. We’ve compiled stops for either a day trip or, if you have the time, a weekend trip, for people to embark on this fall:
If you fancy a day taking in the sights of the fall leaves, head north to Randolph to see the longest bridge in Kansas.
The Randolph Bridge, over the Big Blue River, stretches a mile long and is surrounded with beautiful trees along the river on both sides. It’s the perfect place to see the leaves and the color change.
The bridge is 30 miles north of Manhattan; it takes about 35 minutes to get there.
On the way, stop in Riley at the Mulberry Feet shop at 216 S. Broadway. The antique shop offers candles and speciality gifts. The store is open Monday-Friday 1-5 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Stop at the The Fork in the Road for prepared food and produce before leaving town. The Fork in the Road market offers locally-made honey and coffee.
After driving over the bridge, grab a bite to eat for dinner at the Emerald City Grill & BBQ at 107 Front St. in Randolph. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, so people can eat there any time of day. It features homey dishes like biscuits and gravy, chicken and waffles, burgers and sandwiches.
Emerald City Grill & BBQ is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, it is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. The restaurant is closed Monday and Tuesday.
If the weather is nice, take a stroll at the Randolph City Park. It’s a particularly nice place to end the day as the sun is setting. People can play disc golf at the park as well.
There’s a bed and breakfast in Randolph to stay overnight if people want to kick their feet up after exploring the bridge and park.
The Attwood House Bed & Breakfast, at 201 N. Second St., was built in 1910. It is a yellow home with three different guest rooms: The Americana Room, The Asian Room and The European Suite.
People can make reservations online at attwoodhouse.com or call 785-317-6322.
A day in Oz
Just down the road from the Little Apple, people can experience all things Wizard of Oz in Wamego. The town is home to some of the best Oz attractions the state has to offer.
We recommend starting the day by heading to the Friendship House, 507 Ash St., for breakfast or lunch. The restaurant features tasty bierocks, soups, baked goods and specials. It is open 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
After this, click your red heels and head on over to the Wizard of Oz museum downtown at 511 Lincoln Ave. The museum offers a variety of relics, antiques and mementos related to the movie.
It is open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Adult tickets (age 13 and up) are $9 and tickets for children are $7. There are discounts for military and college students.
After taking a tour through the museum, mosey on down to the Oz Winery, just down the street from the museum at 417 Lincoln Ave. The winery offers a variety of Wizard of Oz-themed wines, including white, red and dessert wines. We recommend the Emerald City Lights white wine.
The winery is open Monday-Thursday noon to 6 p.m., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Following the winery, walk across the street to the Yellow Brick Road, installed last year, which branches off Lincoln Avenue. Stroll through the alley looking at the trees, leaves, grass and the golden bricks, which eventually leads to the Wamego City Park. It’s a great place for a photo opportunity.
Once at Wamego City Park, people can view the 1879 Dutch windmill and two-acre fishing pond. Take in the sights of the leaves for a bit before heading to the next stop.
Visit a replica of Dorothy’s house near Highway 24 and Highway 99. You won’t miss it — there’s the famous red slippers on the Wicked Witch of the West sticking out from the home.
Finish the day at Toto’s TacOz for dinner. From tacos to burritos quesadillas, Toto’s TacOz has a dish for everyone — complete with Wizard of Oz references with the vegetarian Tin Man burrito and Emerald City street taco dishes, among others.