“What can you do for a week in Wichita?”
We heard this question often enough, mostly by people who have never been to Wichita. We did plenty with our week. We watched baseball games, we worked on our masters degrees, and we experienced much of what this city has to offer. And there is still plenty left to conquer on future trips.
Here are our top ten highlights.
- NBC World Series. The summer collegiate world series is held annually in Wichita over the last week in July and the first week of August. You can check out more on why I love NBCWS here and here, or look into annual dates and events here.
2. Tanganyika Wildlife Park. This interactive zoo strives to save and aid repopulation of many threatened and endangered species. Guests can not only view and learn about these species, but also feed and pet many of them. Highlights of our time there include petting a giraffe and some kangaroos.
3. Old Cowtown Museum. This site is key to an authentic historical experience of Wichita. It includes restored historic buildings along a set of dirt roads. We stopped in the saloon for some Sarsaparilla, which we sipped while watching a gunfight in front of the sheriff’s office. We played checkers in the drug store while waiting for the rain to pass, and rode in a horse-drawn wagon to the farm where my husband befriended a goat.
4. Museum of World Treasures. This is the perfect historical museum for those (like us) who want to conquer an entire museum in a few hours—you can feel accomplished that you saw it all right when your brain decides it can’t take much more information. Exhibits range from dinosaur fossils to mummies, war artifacts, music and literature, pop culture, and sports. We even got to see a temporary exhibit with a section of the Berlin Wall. The museum has scavenger hunts for all ages.
5. Exploration Place. This is a perfect interactive STEM center for kids of all ages. There was a traveling exhibit called “Goose Bumps” where we got to test our responses to common fears and learn about the science of fright. We were enamored with the “Kansas in Miniature” exhibit, and viewed local reptiles, insects, and agriculture. We practiced designing airplanes and creating air currents. We even got to experience an F1 tornado. Exploration Place also has dome-shaped movie theaters, though we did not view any of these. They have an 18-hole mini-golf course along the river where my husband and I tied.
6. Keeper of the Plains. This Native American sculpture is the iconic Wichita spot. At 9 p.m. each night, the Ring of Fire is lit. The river, island, and pedestrian bridge are lined with viewers. In the middle of the pedestrian bridge, there are informational displays about Plains Indian culture.
7. Doo-Dah Diner. We stumbled across this place accidentally because it was located near our hotel, and it was our best food find. Their unique take on breakfast classics makes them perfect for all appetites. The wait time is long, but the waiting area is spacious with a gift shop and games, and the food is worth the wait.
8. Bite Me Barbecue. Kansans know how to do barbecue, and outside of Kansas City, Kansas BBQ is often overlooked, but I swear by it. I haven’t eaten enough Wichita BBQ to claim this is the best, and I’ll also admit it’s not the ultimate best I’ve had in Kansas, but the seasoning is on-point, and the meat falls off the bone, so I’d certainly recommend this spot to Wichita visitors.
9. Hangar One. This was our pick for a nice date-night. Hangar One is primarily a steakhouse, and steak-lovers rave about their beef. I opted for a Cajun chicken and shrimp dish, and I was not disappointed. The side of macaroni and cheese was to die for. The environment was perfect. Everything fit their airplane theme, and some tables were supported by plane engines and tires. Even the restrooms matched the décor. The best part about Hangar One is that it can fit any occasion. The lower level is suitable for a nice night out, but those looking for a more casual environment can dine upstairs in the lounge.
10. Hotel at Waterwalk. This is our favorite hotel and has been for years. The apartment-style accommodations are perfect for a variety of family sizes and long stays. There are patios with grills, multi-bedroom and multi-bathroom options, and partial kitchens. Hotel at Waterwalk offers a variety of packages for guests looking to enhance their stay in Wichita. This year, I surprised my husband with the romance package which includes a bottle of champagne, chocolate truffles, and a scented candle. Our favorite part about this place, though, is the cooked-to-order breakfast that is included.
Note: This post is not sponsored and only reflects this blogger’s opinions.