Wichita, Kansas, is a growing city which gives a small town friendliness in a big city atmosphere. Wichita has over 250 days of sunshine a year, so there is no shortage of outdoor activities with access to camping and fishing on the doorstep of the city. Wichita also has a growing food scene to go along with laid back bars, quaint specialty shops and attractions which act as a throwback to the old west heritage of the city.
Must see in Wichita
Sedgwick County Zoo is a world class zoo right in the heart of Wichita and it is a must visit on any trip into the city. The Old Town area of Wichita is the place to be both during the day, when The Museum of World Treasures is well worth a visit, and at night when the best bars and restaurants in the city come alive. For those who love to be outdoors the Great Plains Nature Center has miles of trails where you can spend a summer evening feeding the turtles and the ducks.
Where to stay in Wichita
The Riverside neighborhood is the place to be for people with young families. With easy access to Riverside Park, Exploration Place and the Gardens at Botanica, there is plenty to keep young children entertained. Younger people who enjoy nightlife and entertainment should stay in the Old Town district. This is the place for bars like The Brickyard and The Loft which feature live music from local artists at the weekend. Wichita is a relatively inexpensive city, but for the best deals look to the area around the airport where there are a number of hotels which offer easy access to the city.
Best and Worst time to go to Wichita
The best time to visit Wichita is September to October, when the blistering heat of summer is replaced by a warm early fall glow. This is the time where football season is starting and the air is full of the smells of grills being fired up all over the city. The worst time to visit is late January to March when the weather is frigid at best and inhospitably cold at worst.
Where to get lost in Wichita
The College Hill neighborhood is one of the oldest in Wichita and has unique and beautiful homes which were built in the early 1900s. Walk to Clifton Square to find little boutique shops, along with some of the best local food in town at Ziggy's Pizza and Dempsey's Burger Pub. There is even an old fashioned ice cream parlor tucked away in this most unique of shopping hubs.
The best deal in Wichita
For less than $20 you can get game tickets to watch the Wichita State Shockers men's basketball team. The Shockers sell out their arena for every game and Charles Koch Arena has been featured on lists by ESPN and Sports Illustrated as one of the best places to watch a basketball game in the country.
Transportation in Wichita
Wichita has a trolley and bus system for public transport, though neither would be described as comprehensive. The best way to get around Wichita is by renting a car as the city is easy to drive around and delays and traffic jams are pretty much non-existent.
Getting in from Eisenhower National Airport
Eisenhower National Airport is located in west Wichita with direct access to US-54 which is the major east/west freeway in the city. From here the entire city is accessible within 20 minutes by rental car. A taxi or Uber are the other two options to get from the airport to the middle of the city.
Local tip for visitors to WIchita
Wichita has a thriving Vietnamese population and some of the best Vietnamese food found outside of the West Coast is in Wichita. There are a number of excellent restaurants in the city, but one of the very best is Saigon Restaurant which can be found just north of downtown.
Author's bio: Michael Wright has lived in Wichita for 10 years and is a frequent visitor to the Old Town district. He writes for a living and loves to instill a passion for traveling into others.