While the 55,000 residents of this city find themselves forever saying, no, not that Manhattan!, this small Kansas town does refer to itself—in jest—as "the Little Apple." Located in Northeastern Kansas, on the confluence of the Kansas and Big Blue rivers, it is approximately 120 west of Kansas City. Founded in the middle part of the 19th century by emigrants from New England, today Manhattan is home to the 23,000 students of Kansas State University (especially on Friday nights in its Aggieville district), as well as near the army base at Fort Riley. Both these populations contribute to the health of Manhattan event venues.
The Manhattan Regional Airport (MHK) is five miles to the southwest of the city, and has service on American Eagle to Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth.
While there are no dedicated convention venues in Manhattan, the 250,000-square-foot K-State Student Union, part of the university, has among its facilities 32 meeting rooms, space for functions of up to 1,000 persons and 90,000 square feet of outdoor space.
Among hotel venues in Manhattan—in the midscale and budget categories—are the 197-room Four Points Sheraton Manhattan, which has 12,000 square feet of meeting space for up to 800 persons; the 135-room Hilton Garden Inn & Manhattan Conference Center, which has 15,500 square feet of meetings space for up to 1,000 persons; the 113-room Holiday Inn Manhattan at the Campus, which has seven meeting rooms for up to 500 persons; the 85-room Super 8 Manhattan, which has space for events of up to 125 persons; and the 72-room Hampton Inn Manhattan, which has space for functions of up to 75 persons.
Among the unique function venues in Manhattan are the Flint Hills Discovery Center, which has 7,000 square feet of exhibit space, including a 1,700-square-foot rotunda, a 1,900-square-foot lobby and the Blue Earth Plaza, with fire pits, for outdoor events; the gorgeous Wareham Opera House, which was built in 1882 and has 300 seats (although seating can be provided for 100 more) and banquet and reception space for 750; the multi-functional McCain Auditorium, which also is part of the university and has 1,797 seats, some in the orchestra area, others on a mezzanine, for all manner of events; and the clubhouse at Colbert Hills, part of a 27-hole public golf course, which has space for 220 persons, as well as a private dining room for 35. Fifteen miles to the east, the Columbian Theatre in the small city of Wamego and has three meeting rooms for up to 400 persons.
Restaurants suitable for groups in Manhattan include Harry's, which occupies the former Wareham Hotel and has an elegant, Italian-leaning menu; 4 Olives Wine Bar, perhaps Manhattan's finest dining, with a sizable wine cellar and a private dining room for 60 persons; informal sports bar-restaurant Bobby T's with a surf n' turf menu; Cox Bros BBQ, which does serve barbecue and is run by two brothers, Buddy and Bob; and another fine-dining Italian source, Della Voce, which has jazz on Sunday evenings.