Wichita’s distinct districts each offer unique attractions, museums, shopping and dining experiences you won’t want to miss. The city meets at the crossroads of history and innovation, with a vibrant past and bright future. Explore Wichita’s districts below.
Located along Douglas Avenue on the west bank of the Arkansas River at the end of the Chisholm Trail, the Historic Delano District was established during the days of the Chisholm Trail cattle drives as a place for the cowboys to blow off steam after months on the trail from Texas. They would spend their pay in its many saloons, gambling houses and brothels. Eventually incorporated into Wichita, Delano is now a thriving shopping district with more than 250 businesses, including dining and shopping. Several notable businesses are Bungalow 26, Hatman Jack’s Wichita Hat Works and Bohemia Healing Spa. If you’re looking for a bite to eat or a place to find a microbrew or specialty drink, try Delano favorites like Monarch, Aero Plains Brewing, Ruben’s Mexican Grill, Delano Barbecue Company and others.
Wichita’s downtown is a place where you can experience the sights and sounds of the city and find unique attractions like the Wichita-Sedgwick Co. Historical Museum located in the original 1890 City Hall, exciting entertainment every day of the week and historic landmarks nearby like the Keeper of the Plains.
Downtown Wichita has spearheaded place making projects like the ICT Pop-Up Urban Park, an outdoor space and regular gathering spot for food trucks and lunch-goers, and Gallery Alley, an under-utilized alley that is now a vibrant public space, complete with a local art, a portable concert stage, a screen for outdoor movies and outdoor seating. They’ve also assisted in making getting around effortless, affordable and convenient.
Old Town is nestled in the heart of Wichita, just east of downtown. Among the brick-lined streets and historic lampposts are a collection of converted brick warehouses dating back to the late 1800s. Built with brick and native limestone accents, these distinctive architectural features define the character of Old Town.
Don’t miss the Museum of World Treasures, River City Brewing Co., Public at the Brickyard and Mort’s Martini & Cigar Bar, plus many more eateries, sports bars and entertainment venues while you’re exploring Old Town Wichita.
Douglas Design District
Douglas Design District has more than 300 locally-owned businesses with an emphasis on design, located along Douglas Avenue between Washington and Glendale. It’s a wonderfully diverse community of businesses, retail and residential neighborhoods, including the popular and historic College Hill, which is home to the Frank Lloyd Wright Allen House Museum and Study Center.
Also in the area is Clifton Square, a collection of unique Victorian-era houses transformed into a shopping and dining village. The area is chock-full of eateries like Tanya’s Soup Kitchen and Piatto Neapolitan Pizzeria and breweries including Hopping Gnome Brewing Company and Central Standard Brewing.
Explore more than 75 unique, hand-painted murals showcasing local artists’ creativity, most of which are curated and created during the annual Avenue Art Days celebration. The initiative happens in conjunction with Open Streets ICT, a yearly event shutting down a 4-mile stretch of Douglas Avenue in an effort to activate the downtown area.
Museums on the River District
Located just north of Douglas Avenue in the heart of Wichita flows the scenic Arkansas and Little Arkansas River, a centerpiece of the city that connects all it surrounds. As you follow the river's path you will encounter five entities that have grown from this wellspring of life: the Museums on the River, comprised of Botanica, Exploration Place, Mid-America All-Indian Center, Old Cowtown Museum and the Wichita Art Museum. Near the Mid-America All-Indian Center, is the Keeper of the Plains.