Nestled in the heart of the Heartland, Wichita, Kansas, offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modern attractions. Whether you’re a local looking for new adventures or a visitor exploring the Midwest, Wichita has something for everyone. Let’s dive into the best things to do in this vibrant city.
- Delve into Aviation History at the Kansas Aviation Museum: Wichita has a rich aviation heritage, being home to some of the most prominent aircraft manufacturers. The Kansas Aviation Museum, housed in a historic building that was once a municipal airport, takes visitors on a journey through the evolution of aviation. Explore vintage aircraft, learn about the pioneers of flight, and gain insights into the city’s aerospace contributions.
- Discover Natural Wonders at the Sedgwick County Zoo: For a family-friendly adventure, the Sedgwick County Zoo is a must-visit destination. Boasting over 3,000 animals and beautifully landscaped exhibits, this zoo offers a captivating experience for visitors of all ages. From the African plains to the Australian outback, you can embark on a global safari without leaving Kansas.
- Immerse Yourself in Art and Culture at the Wichita Art Museum: The Wichita Art Museum is a cultural gem, showcasing an impressive collection of American art spanning centuries. From classic masterpieces to contemporary works, the museum provides a diverse visual feast. Take a stroll through the picturesque gardens surrounding the museum, adding a touch of nature to your artistic journey.
- Step Back in Time at Old Cowtown Museum: History comes alive at Old Cowtown Museum, an immersive living history museum that transports visitors to the 19th century. Wander through authentic period buildings, interact with costumed interpreters, and experience the daily life of a bustling frontier town. Special events and reenactments add an extra layer of excitement to this time-traveling adventure.
- Explore the Keeper of the Plains and the Arkansas Riverwalk: The iconic Keeper of the Plains sculpture stands proudly at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers. Witness the breathtaking Ring of Fire ceremony at sunset, an awe-inspiring display that celebrates the city’s Native American roots. Afterward, take a leisurely stroll along the Arkansas Riverwalk, enjoying scenic views and outdoor recreational activities.
- Indulge in Culinary Delights at the Old Town District: Food enthusiasts will find their haven in Wichita’s Old Town District. Brimming with an eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes, and pubs, this area offers a diverse culinary experience. From farm-to-table establishments to international cuisine, Old Town is a gastronomic delight waiting to be explored.
- Catch a Show at the Historic Orpheum Theatre: For a dose of entertainment, head to the historic Orpheum Theatre. This beautifully restored venue hosts a variety of performances, from Broadway shows to concerts and comedy acts. Immerse yourself in the charm of this architectural gem while enjoying a night out on the town.
- Enjoy Family Fun at Exploration Place: Exploration Place is a hands-on science center and museum perfect for families and science enthusiasts alike. With interactive exhibits, a domed theater, and engaging displays, it offers a dynamic and educational experience. From exploring aviation to uncovering the mysteries of the human body, there’s something for every curious mind.
- Stroll Through Botanica, The Wichita Gardens: Botanica is a horticultural oasis that beckons nature lovers. Spanning diverse themed gardens, including a stunning Shakespearean garden and a serene butterfly garden, Botanica provides a tranquil escape. Enjoy seasonal blooms, attend gardening workshops, and appreciate the beauty of nature in the heart of the city.
- Go on a Craft Brewery Tour: Wichita’s craft brewery scene is booming, and a brewery tour is an excellent way to experience the local flavors. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, the city’s breweries offer a wide range of craft beers. Many establishments also have cozy taprooms and outdoor spaces, providing a relaxed atmosphere to savor the creations of local brewers.
- Attend Events at INTRUST Bank Arena: INTRUST Bank Arena is the epicenter of entertainment in Wichita. Check the event calendar for concerts, sporting events, and performances by world-renowned artists. Whether you’re a sports fan or a music enthusiast, this state-of-the-art venue guarantees an unforgettable experience.
- Shop and Dine in Delano District: Delano District, with its historic charm and modern vibe, is a haven for shopping and dining. Explore unique boutiques, antique shops, and art galleries. Then, satisfy your taste buds at one of the district’s trendy restaurants or cafes. Delano is a vibrant neighborhood where the past and present seamlessly coexist.
- Embark on a Day Trip to Tanganyika Wildlife Park: For a wild adventure just outside Wichita, consider a day trip to Tanganyika Wildlife Park. This interactive zoo offers encounters with a variety of exotic animals, including lemurs, kangaroos, and giraffes. Take a behind-the-scenes tour for a closer look at the park’s conservation efforts and hands-on animal experiences.
- Cycle the Prairie Sunset Trail: Outdoor enthusiasts and cycling enthusiasts will appreciate the Prairie Sunset Trail. This scenic biking and hiking trail meanders through the Kansas prairie, offering picturesque landscapes and a chance to connect with nature. Bring your bike or walking shoes and explore the beauty of the great outdoors.
- Participate in Wichita’s Annual Events: Plan your visit around one of Wichita’s many annual events and festivals. From the Wichita River Festival to the Tallgrass Film Festival, the city hosts a variety of cultural and community celebrations throughout the year. Check the calendar to align your visit with the festivities that interest you most.
Wichita, Kansas, may be considered a hidden gem, but its array of attractions makes it a destination worth exploring. Whether you’re fascinated by aviation history, captivated by art and culture, or seeking outdoor adventures, Wichita has it all. Uncover the city’s diverse offerings and create memories that will linger long after you leave the heart of the Heartland.