(Header photo credit: DroneTography, LLC)

Wichita is constantly expanding and welcoming new hotels, restaurants, attractions, events and more. 2024 promises an ever-expanding footprint of new flavors and things to do.

Check out our guide to some of the recent additions in 2023 and what’s coming to the Heart of the Country in 2024.

A photo of the exterior or Niche

New flavors to try

A wide variety of restaurants, pop-up eateries and mobile food options opened in the Wichita area throughout the last year. While we don’t have the space to list them all, get a taste of what has opened recently and what is on its way.

From new breweries such as The Leprechaun’s Lab and local eateries like The Envision Bistro at NICHE, to recently opened national attractions and chain restaurants such as SCHEELS and Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, Wichita welcomed lots of new places to visit in 2023, including:

  • Amore Italian Restaurant – Wichita’s newest Italian restaurant
  • AVI Seabar & Chophouse – planning a second location in 2024
  • Burdette’s Bierocks – specializing in creative, handcrafted bierocks – a meat pie popular in Kansas
  • Hawaiian Bros Island Grill – fast casual chain restaurant serving plate lunches and other Hawaiian fare
  • iTzcali Tapas & Tequila – tacos, shareable tapas and a large selection of tequila
  • KVH Chophouse, Wine & Whiskey Bar – upscale chophouse, wine and whiskey bar coming to Wichita’s west side
  • Lottē – Wichita chef Josh Rathbun’s fine dining restaurant in downtown Wichita
  • Oliver’s Lounge – social lounge focused on cocktails, mocktails, small bites and charcuterie boards
  • Paris Banh Mi – Vietnamese sandwich chain
  • Pennant Coffee, Good Company Taps and Spirits and Fox & Ash barbershop – three businesses currently housed together in Revolutsia; opening a second location in historic Delano, which will become primary coffee operation’s new home
  • Red Bird – upscale sandwiches, salads, soup, cocktails and spirits
  • Social Tap Drinkery – gourmet burgers, fries and more alongside local beers by Nortons Brewing Co.
  • The Mango Tree – locally owned Indian restaurant blending both traditional and modern aspects of Indian cuisine
  • Umi Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar – Japanese grill serving Hibachi dishes cooked live on the grill as well as sushi, sashimi and more

A collage of photos shows the property at Diamond Springs Ranch

Experiences to seek out

Not only can you find lots of new places to eat in Wichita, but you can expect to find even more fun things to do. One celebration in 2024 you won’t want to miss is the 50th anniversary of the Keeper of the Plains. Keep checking back for more details on how the community plans to commemorate this special milestone. Here’s what else you can expect:

Embrace the cowboy lifestyle in the Heart of the Country at Diamond Springs Ranch. Located north of Wichita, this picturesque ranch has a luxurious treehouse and can accommodate 175 people – making it a perfect venue for special events! Guests can go horseback riding or simply take in a beautiful Kansas sunset from the ranch’s patio. 

New additions are coming to Exploration Place, both along the river and inside, as soon as 2024. The premier science center plans to expand with an amphitheater, an outdoor destination playscape and various indoor renovations.

Enjoy a relaxing evening listening to the sweet sounds of jazz music in Wichita’s Old Town District at Walker’s Jazz Lounge. You’ll find elegant cocktails plus a great selection of beer and wine. Small bites such as a seasonal charcuterie board and hummus board are also on the menu.

TapNPaddles, a 35,000-square-foot pickleball venue, is scheduled to open in 2024 in Wichita. Twelve professional-level indoor courts, a full-service restaurant and bar, a pro shop, outdoor gathering space, a 1,000 square-foot event space and more are planned.

The Ridge, a new entertainment complex, is in the works for 2024. Set on five acres, the venue will include a 32-lane bowling center with a large arcade and sports bar and grill. In addition to the bowling lanes and arcade, there will be an outside area for dining and more games.

It’s no secret Wichita is a hub for shopping in the region. Whether you’re looking for one-of-a-kind shops or got-it-all shopping centers with national chains, you’ll find it here. What’s opened recently? Outdoor lovers will find a great selection of hiking, camping and climbing gear at Rendezvous Adventure Outfitters. On the hunt for unique vintage finds? Visit Hudson Antique Market in east Wichita. Find cheeky and fun clothing, accessories and other items at Main Street Co. Find more options with our shopping guide.

A man surfs on a surfing simulator at Blast Off Bay Water Park

New hotels in the works

A Hampton Inn in Goddard, just west of Wichita, opened in 2023 as a part of Blast Off Bay

A Broadway Plaza AC Marriott is underway in the historic Broadway Plaza, located at Douglas Avenue and Broadway Street in downtown Wichita. The hotel is being developed in conjunction with the Kansas Health Science Center - Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine and is expected to have 118 rooms. Developers plan to blend modern aesthetics with the building’s unique, historic elements. The 11-story hotel will feature a ground-floor bar that will be open to the public and a covered entryway for valet parking.

A dually branded Homewood Suites and Hilton Garden Inn is under construction near Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport. It will have 140-plus rooms, an indoor pool, restaurant and bar, convention center and more. The anticipated completion date is early 2025.

Although Wichita’s Hilton Garden Inn – Downtown opened its doors in 2019, the property recently added two new amenities. Guests can now enjoy a glass-bottom, rooftop pool, which extends over one of Wichita’s most popular downtown routes, Douglas Avenue. The whole pool area can be reserved for private events. Also new is a robot assistant named “Dougie,” who can deliver items to guest rooms and can even sing and dance! 

Figure skaters perform on the ice

Big events coming in 2024

Keep an eye out for dates of Wichita’s annual festivals like Riverfest, which takes place each summer, and Illuminations, an annual holiday light display. Find more inspiration for your visit to Wichita with our visitor’s guide. Are you a meeting planner looking for new venues and more information about planning your next meeting in the Heart of the Country? Go here for more details.