tourist attractions in Wichita

12 top tourist attractions and things to do in Wichita

As the largest city in Kansas, Wichita has an impressive mix of history, nature and western culture. More recently, the city has experienced a fresh wave of modernization, with unique monuments, modern museums and community revitalization.

Downtown Wichita evolved from an old Western trading post to a vibrant city. With over 33 museums, 22 attractions, eight shopping centers, 22 theaters and festivals all year round, there are always plenty of things to do. The city is also gaining prominence as a foodie destination. More than 1,000 restaurants are in town, including a boom of creative farm-to-table options. Wichita’s central location in the state makes it an easy place to get to by drive or flight, and downtown is just 10 minutes from the airport.

1 Keeper of the Plains

Keeper of the Plains
 

One of the most breathtaking and memorable tourist attractions in Wichita is the Keeper of the Plains, a steel skeleton 44 feet high that is most impressive at night. The statue stands on sacred land, where the Big and Little Arkansas rivers meet. The plaza surrounding the sculpture has benches and walkways for pedestrians. If you’re visiting during the day, take time to see the Mid-America All-Indian Center , which has historical information about the area and the statue. The most impressive time to visit is in the evening when you have the beautiful backdrop of the Wichita sunset and the ‘Ring of Fire’ that sits below the Keeper of the Plains statue.

Read also: 12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Tampa

Address: 650 N. Seneca Street, Wichita, Kansas

Official Site: https://www.wichita.gov/Government/Departments/Arts/Pages/Keeper-of-the-Plains.aspx

2 Wichita Botany

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Image
 

Botanica Wichita | Photo Copyright: Botanica Wichita

Spring and summer are popular times to visit Botanica Wichita, when more than 150,000 tulips and daffodils color the gardens. This community garden in the heart of Wichita has more than 30 sections to explore. Two of the most popular gardens are the Butterfly Pansy House, which showcases butterfly habitat, and the Downing Children’s Garden, which features large, colorful statues among the flowers, trees, and shrubs that children touch. During the holidays, Botanica Wichita is decorated with a million lights in its 18 acres of gardens.

Address: 701 Amidon Street, Wichita, Kansas

Official site: https://botanica.org/

3 Sedgwick County Zoo

Sedgwick County Zoo larabelle / photo modified
Sedgwick County Zoo larabelle / photo modified
 

The Sedgwick County Zoo is one of the top attractions in Wichita. It is home to over 3000 animals. Exploring the zoo is easy, as the animals are grouped into regions laid out geographically within the grounds. The exhibits allow you to get the best view of hippos and lowland gorillas in the Africa region, a grizzly bear in the North American area, and the ever-entertaining penguins in the Cessna Penguin Cove. If you notice a zookeeper in the elephant exhibit during your visit, stick around and watch the elephants respond to their name during feeding time.

Address: 5555 W. Zoo Blvd., Wichita, Kansas

Official site: https://www.scz.org/

4 Museum of World Treasures

Museum of World Treasures | Photo Copyright: Museum of World Treasures
Museum of World Treasures | Photo Copyright: Museum of World Treasures
 

You can go on a scavenger hunt through history at the unique Museum of World Treasures. It is a vast collection of artifacts and information from ancient civilizations and countries around the world. There are three floors that feel like a time capsule, such as Ivan the T. Rex (one of the most popular exhibits in the museum), religious art from Asia, an exploration of royal dynasties, and Egyptian mummies. It’s worth looking at the event calendar to see if an opportunity to have a coffee with a curator coincides with your visit.

Address: 835 E. 1st Street North, Wichita, Kansas

Official site: https://www.worldtreasures.org/

5 Arkansas River Path

Arkansas River Path Mark Goebel / photo modified
Arkansas River Path Mark Goebel / photo modified
 

The Arkansas River Path is a scenic way to see downtown Wichita as you stroll or bike along the Arkansas River. The 3.6-mile paved trail follows the river and takes you past the All-American Indian Center, Cowtown, and the Keeper of the Plains statue. You can download a route map from the Wichita Parks and Recreation Department to your phone for easy navigation and to find your parking spot. This is one of more than 125 greenways and 26 miles of bike paths throughout the city if you want to spend time outdoors during your stay.

6 Century II Performing Arts Center

Century II Performing Arts Center G. O'Graffer / photo modified
Century II Performing Arts Center G. O’Graffer / photo modified
 

You can enjoy Wichita’s rich cultural scene with a theater or symphony performance at the Century II Performing Arts Center. The theatre, concert hall and exhibition center always has something on the calendar, from concerts to plays. Take in a performance by the Wichita Symphony Orchestra or enjoy local talent at a show by the Wichita Music Theater . For a truly special experience, catch a performance from the Wichita Grand Opera , which often features international opera stars.

Address: 225 W. Douglas Avenue, Wichita, Kansas

Official site: https://www.century2.org/Pages/default.aspx

7 Tanganyika Wildlife Park

Tanganyika Wildlife Park | Photo copyright: Tanganyika Wildlife Park
Tanganyika Wildlife Park | Photo copyright: Tanganyika Wildlife Park
 

The Tanganyika Animal Park is one of the more unique things to do in Wichita. The park’s open space allows you to enjoy wildlife such as lemurs, alligators, giraffes, and hundreds of other animals in a wildlife-rich environment. The park is focused on conservation and conservation, so you’ll find these animal encounters different from what you will find at the zoo. Interactive experiences with the animals range from sunset walks or swims with penguins to behind-the-scenes encounters and painting experiences with baby leopards or other animals.

Adres: 1000 S. Hawkins Lane, Goddard, Kansas

Official Site: https://www.twpark.com/

8 Old Cowtown Museum

Old Cowtown Museum Photator / photo modified
Old Cowtown Museum Photator / photo modified
 

Step back into the Wild West at the Old Cowtown Museum. When you step onto the dirt roads in the 1870s village, you get a sensory introduction to the days of frontier settlement. As you explore the 54 historic replica buildings, you will see artifacts from the eras to clothing and understand the way of life in the early days of Wichita Settlement. Some of Cowtown’s highlights include the buffalo hunter trading area, costumed interpreters, a blacksmith, and cowboy street fights that take place most days.

Adres: 1865 W. Museum Blvd., Wichita, Kansas

Official site: https://www.oldcowtown.org/Pages/default.aspx

9 Exploration site

Exploration site | Photo Copyright: Gavin Peters
Exploration site | Photo Copyright: Gavin Peters
 

Delve into cowboy history, observe Kansas on a miniature scale, or put your mind to work making an invention come to life at the Exploration Place. The Science and Discovery Center has real-world examples that explore the details of how things work in our homes and bodies, but it also has unique exhibits that look at the American West and life in Kansas. Make sure to schedule a time for one of the shows at the Dome Theater and Planetarium or take in one of the live science shows.

Adres: 300 N. Mclean Blvd., Wichita, Kansas

Official site: https://exploration.org/

10 Wichita Art Museum

Wichita Art Museum | Photo copyright: Wichita Art Museum
Wichita Art Museum | Photo copyright: Wichita Art Museum
 

Located on the river, the Wichita Art Museum is the largest art museum in Kansas. As you walk through the galleries, you will view one of the top collections of American artwork in the United States. The museum has 28 galleries, one of which is an artist cooperative. There are extensive displays of sculptures, paintings and glassware throughout the museum. The Art Garden surrounding the museum is worth seeing. It’s eight acres of lush landscaping with flowering trees and plants and 13 outdoor sculptures, making it an artistically tranquil setting. For an equally artistic lunch or snack, stop by the cafe, The Muse, for a bite of locally grown food.

Adres: 1400 W. Museum Blvd., Wichita, Kansas

Official site: https://www.wichitaartmuseum.org/

11 Kansas Aviation Museum

Kansas Aviation Museum ginosalerno.com / photo modified
Kansas Aviation Museum ginosalerno.com / photo modified
 

If you are an aviation enthusiast, you will love what Wichita has to offer, starting with the Kansas Aviation Museum. The Art Deco-style building is actually the former terminal of the Wichita Municipal Airport, which served as one of the busiest airports in the United States during the 1940s. The museum features unique aircraft, historical information and records, and the Kansas Aviation Hall of Fame . You’ll want to make your way to the control tower for a unique perspective that you won’t find in other aviation museums. For a truly themed day of aviation, take a short drive from the museum to Stearman Field Bar & Grill, where you can enjoy a meal right next to a private airstrip and watch planes arrive and depart from the city.

Adres: 3350 South George Washington Blvd., Wichita, Kansas

Official Site: https://kansasaviationmuseum.org/

12 Frank Lloyd Wright Allen House

Frank Lloyd Wright Allen House | Photo Copyright: Anietra Hamper
Frank Lloyd Wright Allen House | Photo Copyright: Anietra Hamper
 

The Frank Lloyd Wright Allen House is one of the more unique displays of the famous architect’s work. This was one of the last prairie homes designed by Wright. The Allen House showcases the genius behind Wright’s work by fusing the outside with the inside through the specific placement of windows. A large backyard and fountain are the backdrop to the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room. Across the street is a small museum with a detailed history of the house and Wright’s work. The museum is open to the public, but you must sign up for a guided tour to see the inside of the house.

Address: 225 N. Roosevelt Street, Wichita, Kansas

Official Site: https://flwrightwichita.org/

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