Hometown Feature: Get to Know Concordia, KS

BY CJ GIBSON

Concordia isn’t somewhere I’ve lived, but I recently took the luxury of spending a summer day roaming around conquering Pokemon gyms, the best way to locate the important landmarks in a place. 

That being said, the attractions I saw in Concordia were mostly based on circumstance—there’s almost always more to see even in what others may consider being a small town.

Tourist spots

National Orphan Train Complex

While not a free museum visit, travelers wanting to know the significance of the statues of children scattered throughout town can stop by and see the Legend Train Car while reading up on the history of the movement—or you can just check out the virtual tour on its site.

Restaurants

Coffee: Common Grounds

Based on a mission similar to Breathe Coffe House in Hays of providing a space for a conversational community, Common Grounds adopted an old house for its cafe, creating that homey atmosphere that can make a cup of joe taste a little more personal. 

While their cold brew alone is flavorful and strong, the spicy mocha is intriguing enough in concept to warrant a step beyond black coffee.

Sit-In: New Dragon House

This Chinese restaurant’s appeal rests in its buffet. But if you had to choose one menu item, my family would recommend their cashew chicken.

Dessert: Britt’s Fountain & Gifts

With their long-standing buildings and occasional remaining brick roads, small towns can act as a glimpse into the past. Fortunately for anyone with a sweet tooth, this trait sometimes results in an obsolete but special kind of business: old-timey soda foundations like Britt’s.

They can make practically any sugary beverage you’re in the mood for, but I’ll vouch for the Panther Old-Fashioned Float.

Stores

Moody Hue Studio

Along with the sale of basic art supplies, Moody Hue Studio offers art therapy sessions. Scheduled or spontaneous, crafting instruction is open to the public for a price.

Dan’s Antiques

In just a single day and a short walk, I was able to explore multiple stores of old treasures downtown. While I’d recommend wandering in a similar fashion to make the most of your thrift shopping, Dan’s antiques is my top choice from what I saw. Though contained in cozy quarters, plenty of vintage knick-knacks fill the space.

Though towns like Concordia will rarely draw in crowds with huge concerts and conventions, a lack of numbers doesn’t make a place less valuable. The people are their passions are what makes small towns special, whether those passions involve orphan statues or remodeling houses into coffee shops. You just need to be willing to find out what the people in a spot like Concordia are all about.

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