Learn about life in the plains of MIdwestern America by exploring Wichita’s museums, or enjoy a day shopping and dining in the city’s stylish Old Town area. Those who love the outdoors can spend their time in the many parks and on the walking or cycling paths that run along the Arkansas River.
Wichita was founded in 1863 and is most famous for the role it has played in the development of the aviation industry. At one stage it was known as the “Air Capital of the World” and many aviation companies, such as Boeing, still have headquarters here today.
Find out more about Wichita’s place in the aeronautical world at the Kansas Aviation Museum. This is one of the city’s many fine museums and galleries, which can mostly be found along the waterfront or in the Old Town district. Visit the Wichita Art Museum, which holds nearly 7,000 works of art including paintings, pottery and sculptures by mainly American artists. The Mid-America All Indian Center gives you a taste of pre-European life in the area while the Sedgwick County Historical Museum and the Great Plains Transportation Museum cover the city’s history in detail.
Take a boat ride along the Arkansas River in the summer and enjoy some relief from the heat. Winters, which are usually cold but dry, are a great time to take a stroll or cycle along the paths that run adjacent to the river.
Explore over 4,400 acres (1,620 hectares) of Wichita’s parkland. One of the most popular spots is Botanica, which features 25 themed gardens including a butterfly garden and a sensory garden.
If you’re looking for ways to keep the children happy, go to the Sedgwick County Zoo to see more than 3,000 animals or head to the Exploration Place science center.
Driving is the best way to get around in Wichita, although there is a public bus service with stops near most of the major sights. Hit the highway and follow the Arkansas River out of town to explore the beautiful prairies and woodlands surrounding Wichita.