The city of Wichita started as a cowtown.
By its looks, Wichita went from a simple cowtown to the bustling metro it is now. The city is one of the largest cities in Kansas. It is also the self-proclaimed Air Capital on earth.
This proclamation came about because more than half of the aircraft in the world came from Wichita.
The city has a lot of history contained in its streets and buildings. At the same time, the area is also vibrant, with a host of restaurants, shops, and several entertainment venues.
What is more impressive is that all these sit next to each other. There is no need for a car if you ask me.
And so, if this is your first time in Wichita, let me help you.
Here are 12 of my favorite spots in Wichita.
List of Contents
- 1. Exploration Place
- 2. Ulrich Museum of Art
- 3. Sedgwick County Zoo
- 4. Old Cowtown
- 5. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Allen House
- 6. The Keeper of the Plains
- 7. Kansas Aviation Museum
- 8. Great Plains Nature Center
- 9. Wichita Art Museum
- 10. Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum
- 11. Wichita Symphony Orchestra
- 12. Orpheum Theatre
1. Exploration Place
The Exploration Place is a science museum.
The museum is different from the others. It is because this is not a for-profit organization. Instead, it aims to inspire and awaken interest in science through exciting, fun, and thought-provoking displays.
A popular sight inside the museum is the flight and design exhibit. Another popular display is the miniature model of Kansas. The model comes complete with moving trains and a seven-foot-tall “Big Mouth.”
Aside from the permanent displays, there are also constantly changing traveling ones.
It is open the whole week and asks for a small admission fee for one to enter.
2. Ulrich Museum of Art
The Ulrich Museum of Art is sitting right smack on Wichita State University grounds.
The museum is home to both contemporary and modern art. It is also one of the must-see places when visiting Wichita.
The museum has one intention. That intention is to connect the region with several artists and artwork. If I find a common denominator, this artwork reflects the modern world.
The museum has permanent and temporary exhibits. The museum is also accessible to the public most days.
I like the museum because it allows visitors to explore the art of the 20th and 21st centuries.
There are also explanations of how the piece offers innovative perspectives. The reasons usually hover on how the artwork tends to rethink traditional expectations.
And finally, the museum also houses the Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection.
It is a set of 76 pieces that regularly receive national recognition and attention.
3. Sedgwick County Zoo
The Sedgwick County Zoo features more than 3,000 must-see creatures in varying habitats. In Wichita, the zoo is another destination you must visit, especially if you love animals.
The zoo is large. It covers a vast area that houses various unique and common animals. The animals include elephants, giraffes, rhinos, and many more.
What I like about this zoo are the Wild Encounters.
Wild Encounters is an activity that allows guests to get up close and personal with many animals at the zoo.
You can feed giraffes or take a boat tour around the aquatic exhibits through the activity.
4. Old Cowtown
Old Cowtown is a museum.
It is a living museum that brings everyday scenes of the 19th century to life.
The museum sits on a land area of about 23 acres. It has different sizes, each one different from the other.
The displays are live, which means there are actors all day long. These exhibits are also interactive.
You will meet herders, fur traders, farmers, and hunters during your visit.
The museum hires passionate actors. Looking at the exhibits, it does not take much imagination what life in Wichita was like centuries ago.
5. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Allen House
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Allen House is one of the most recent additions to the home collection of this famous designer.
Even for a glimpse, coming over is one of the most exciting things you can do while in Wichita.
It was Frank Lloyd Wright who designed the house. The house is something he considers to be one of his personal bests.
The house’s design allows visitors to engage with the natural surroundings. It also gives you the feeling of living among nature.
The home represents Wright’s outlook on living on the prairie.
The home was first built in 1915. The home underwent restoration efforts in 1918.
These days, the home is now a museum.
Guests who visit can tour the home and have a first-hand experience of the architectural genius of Wright.
Before coming over, make sure to make an appointment.
6. The Keeper of the Plains
They are constructed at the point where the connecting Big and Little Arkansas rivers in downtown Wichita stands a steel sculpture.
The sculpture is 44 feet tall. People call it The Keeper of the Plains.
The sculpture is a welcome sight upon entering downtown Wichita. It is also an admirable structure right on the riverbank of the city.
The statue is a sign of Native Americans’ brotherhood.
And while you are here, you might as well check out another museum – the Mid-America All-Indian Museum nearby.
7. Kansas Aviation Museum
This place used to be an airport terminal. It operated between 1935 and 1951.
These days, it is the perfect setting for an aviation museum. And yes, it is a museum in Wichita.
The Kansas Aviation Museum is a museum that would catch visitors’ interest, regardless of age.
It has several exciting and well-researched displays. Aside from them, there are many exciting crafts for children.
The planes on display here are extensive. The collections include a 1927 Swallow that crashed in 1929. After its restoration, it remained in storage and is now displayed at the museum.
Many more modern aircraft, including a Boeing 727, is on show in addition to the Swallow.
8. Great Plains Nature Center
If you want to look at flora and fauna of the Great Plains Region, look no further. Here comes the Great Plains Nature Center.
The complex is enormous.
And as it is large, it can offer its guests a vast opportunity to roam around through the center’s varying displays and exhibits. There are also ecosystem preserves here which I find most interesting.
Upon visiting an area, you will find literature and educational references that provide information and explanation on display. It tackles the displays’ natural qualities, habitat, and regional specifications.
The center aims to connect the public with the environment. The goal is also to inspire lifelong learning. The museum believes it can attain these goals by engaging and immersing its visitors with experiences with Mother Nature.
While at the center, you may also want to take advantage of its many trails. Aside from the trails, it has a wildlife observatory, a bird-watching platform, and Discovery programs which include classes and workshops for the interested guests.
9. Wichita Art Museum
If you head further into Wichita’s ancient and scenic parts, you will find the Wichita Art Museum.
The museum is home to many contemporary and historical works. These are must-see pieces, especially if you have nothing to do this weekend.
The museum is a destination that can connect guests through ideas and art pieces.
The museum has hundreds of art pieces inside, so it can keep you occupied for the day.
There are paintings of interest.
There are special exhibitions.
There are art objects.
You can find within the museum’s walls practically everything related to art.
10. Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum
Never miss out on the Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum when you visit Wichita.
The museum is one of the most exciting places to visit. It is interesting, educational, and informative.
When you come over, you will find out that the museum has one focus. It discusses the history of Wichita and Sedgwick County in great detail.
Housed within the museum walls are exhibits that explore the industries of Wichita. These industries provided the city and the county with the progress it now enjoys.
Aside from an extensive display of the industries, the museum also has exhibits about the city’s earliest inhabitants. The most interesting is looking at the first few people who lived in the city and county in the first 50 years since its birth.
The museum is at the stunning City Hall Building.
From the outside, you would already have the time of your life seeing this beautiful architecture. The exterior of the building is, in fact, as beautiful as the displays you can find inside.
Head to the museum when you have nothing to do on a lazy day in Wichita.
It would be worth it.
11. Wichita Symphony Orchestra
The Wichita Symphony Orchestra is one of the few professional symphonies in Kansas.
It started in 1944.
Over the decades, the group had been performing in and around Wichita. The group earned the reputation of being one of the best symphonies in the country.
The symphony closely connects with the musical department of Wichita State University.
It has three ensembles. These ensembles include the Wichita State University Chamber Players and the Wichita Symphony Chorus.
Completing the three chambers is the Singing Quakers Alumni Choir.
Over the decades, you can catch a symphony orchestra’s performance all over Kansas. They hold a wide array of shows and concerts.
The performances can range in style. The group can perform classical tunes well. It can also perform pop music hits or jazz or whatever genre you may be thinking of right now.
12. Orpheum Theatre
The theater can seat more than 1,200 at a time. No matter the weather – whether it is raining or not – the Orpheum Theatre is always packed during every performance.
The attraction can still produce a fantastic show no matter what.
The theater connects people through the arts; if you are looking for something fun to do on your vacation, head to the theater.
You will witness theater music, performing arts, and various concerts here. All of these happen in a magnificent theater that is comfortable.
While watching the show, the theater ensures you are at your most comfortable.
There is a wide variety of things to do while in the theater.
You can witness a famous music battle between favorite bands like The Stones and The Beatles. You can also watch skilled kids whip up something delicious at the MasterChef Junior here.
You will never regret swinging by the theater during your Wichita visit, no matter the activity.
Wichita is an enchanting city to visit.
Aside from the usual parks, it also has museums, galleries, and monuments. The food here is delicious. The people are warmhearted and friendly.
One could never wonder why tourists love it here.
And what is fantastic is because you never need a car to visit. All you have to do is stroll, bike, or take public transportation.
Plus, the city is cheap, too.
What more could you ask?
Have you been to Wichita in the past?
If yes, which tourist destination here did you like?
Which destination would you want me to add to my list?
Let me know.