Wichita, the Heart of the Country, is featured in hundreds of articles each year showcasing the largest city in Kansas’ allure as a leisure travel destination as well as a great place to hold a reunion, meeting or other special event.

Earlier this summer, Wichita was named as one of 2023′s Best Summer Travel Destinations by Wallet Hub. They found that Wichita was one of the safest and least costly travel destinations for travel this summer. Also this summer, Wichita was ranked as the 5th-most affordable city for family vacations in a study by Forbes Advisor.

While these accolades are notable, one that really means a lot to us is being included in Travel Await’s list of 18 Midwest towns that the site’s writers said you should visit in 2023. It stands out because the writer, Jill Robbins, who touts Wichita in the article, had the chance to visit Wichita the year before. She designated Wichita as a must-visit Midwest destination based on her first-hand experiences, which we find invaluable! She says Wichita is a good fit for those seeking a stop on a summer road trip, a break from city life or someone trying to cross all 50 states off their travel list.

Here is a look at even more of the Wichita accolades garnered from various sources in 2023.

A pretzel and meats are served on a board at Prost

Wowed by Wichita

One of the best aspects of traveling is trying the local cuisine. Travel writer Jennifer Billock spent two days eating her way through the Heart of the Country. One of her favorite places was Prost. “The atmosphere is like Oktoberfest every night, with beer steins slamming on the tables,” she said. See the rest of her picks for the best Wichita eateries in her article, “8 Wichita restaurants and cafes not to miss.”

Billock was also wowed by the first art gallery in the United States created by and for the visually impaired community - the Envision Arts Gallery and Community Engagement Center. In her Thrillist article, “Inside the first art gallery for blind artists and audiences,” she says, “When I visited, I ran my fingers along the textured interiors of large kintsugi bowls in the Golden Repair exhibit, featuring work by Black and disabled artists Ciara McCaughy, Larrida Murphy, and Brandon Murphy. As part of the Wrap, Cross, Repeat exhibit, I squished around sculptures wrapped in rubber by blind artist Monte Arst, who has always loved the smell of fresh rubber, and felt the ripples of repeating patterns in paint by artist Jenny Knapp—patterns that represent the repeated daily behaviors of visually impaired people that allow them to have control over their lives.”

A family looks at a T-Rex fossil at Museum of World Treasures

Content creators Jeff and Crystal Bryant of the travel blog Our Changing Lives say anyone can be a kid at Wichita's Exploration Place in their article, “Act like a kid at Exploration Place.” Their follow up article, Enjoying Wichita’s East Side, showcases the unique eateries and things to do in east Wichita. They even provide an insider’s look at where to stay when you visit Wichita. “The Hilton Garden Inn-Bradley Fair is conveniently located right behind the shopping center. A short drive and we were there. After checking into our room, we decided to explore the small lake that we spotted behind the hotel. A paved path leads walkers around the water and offers views from all angles. What a nice perk to discover on Wichita’s east side.” 

Bob Bales' article, “Museum of World Treasures in Wichita, Kansas: an amazing venue,” details his time at the Museum of World Treasures, which pleasantly surprised the self-proclaimed history lover. “There are museums, then there are really fantastic museums,” he writes. “Located in Old Town, this is one fantastic museum. Imagine a place that showcases dinosaur fossils, artifacts from Africa, Asia, Europe, ancient Egypt, medieval times and military artifacts from the major conflicts in U.S. history and you have the Museum of World Treasures.” See what else Bales, owner of The Traveling Fool, says are must-visit spots in Wichita in his second article, “Uncover the hidden gems in Wichita, Kansas: Unveiling the 17 best things to do.”

When travel journalist Charlene Scott of Roadrunner Journeys visited Kansas, she made sure to spend some time in Wichita. One place she particularly enjoyed was the Nifty Nut House. “This place needs to be experienced. I don’t know how they keep track of all the candy and nuts. How can anyone not leave there without something in hand? I didn’t,” she said. Read her article, “A journey to discover the many wonders of Kansas,” to see what else she loved about Wichita.

Kids in KC at Tanganyika

Gabrielle Isom, owner of Kids in KC, and her family spent a weekend in Wichita and fell in love with the Heart of the Country. “From dinosaur adventures to interactive zoos, botanical gardens, and aviation history, Wichita has it all,” she said. Her blog post, “Visit Wichita, a perfect family getaway from Kansas City,” gives families an itinerary and plenty of ideas on how to spend a weekend in Wichita.

Cindy Ladage, a travel writer and owner of Traveling Adventures of a Farm Girl, attended the 2023 Kansas Tourism Media Event in August and shares her many, varied experiences of her time in Wichita and surrounding areas in her article, “Wonders of Wichita.” One of her most memorable stops was seeing the “Ring of Fire” at the Keeper of the Plains. “It is fitting remembering the area at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas rivers was first settled by Native American peoples that the visit should end with a commemorative tribute. There is none better than this beautiful 44-foot steel statue with hands raised in supplication to the Great Spirit,” she said.

Want an in-depth guide to visiting Wichita? Look no further than the article, “Wichita: Getaway for history buffs and nostalgia lovers,” by Chicago-based freelance travel journalist Pam McKuen. She gives you the scoop on where to stay, what restaurants to try and attractions to visit. She says, “Wichita boasts a cultural heritage that ties Native Americans, airplanes, Pizza Hut, Frank Lloyd Wright and cows into the same guidebook.”

If you are looking to weave wellness into your adventures, travel writers Steve and Ann Teget of Postcard Jar say Wichita is a great place to visit if you want to stay active, find healthy cuisine or just unwind. “Whether you need to relax and de-stress, or you’re looking for ways to get active and healthy, Wichita has something for you,” they say in their article, “Things to do in Wichita on a wellness weekend,” which summarizes their time in the Heart of the Country.

A couple holds shopping bags while shopping at Bradley Fair

A great place to live

Craving the culture and options of a big city, but also want the affordability, comfort and ease of a smaller city? Wichita is the answer! According to Forbes, Wichita is the third best (and most affordable) city to live in the United States and Wichita ranks as the 12th best place in the country for young professionals.

Wichita is home to several higher education institutions, including Wichita State University. See why the university landed on WorldAtlas' list of best college towns in Kansas. The publication also names Wichita as one of the eight most charming cities in Kansas.

The Heart of the Country was also named one of the 10 Best Metros For First Time Home Buyers in 2023 by Zillow.

Take note, animal lovers. Forbes Advisor compared the 91 most populated cities with available data across 13 key metrics and found that Wichita ranks #4 among the best cities for pet owners.

Patrons sip on craft beer on the outdoor patio at Central Standard Brewing Co.

If you are on the hunt for the top brewery in the state of Kansas, look no further than Wichita. INSIDER named Wichita’s Central Standard Brewing as the best in the state.

Wichita ranked #11 on CoworkingCafe's list of Top 50 Medium-Sized Metros for Team-Building Events, touting the Heart of the Country as a great destination for corporate events and retreats.

For the 10th straight year, the Ambassador Hotel Wichita has retained its AAA Four Diamond rating. The luxurious hotel sits in downtown Wichita, complete with 117 artfully designed rooms and suites, a full service restaurant and upscale speakeasy style cocktail lounge, Dockum.

For the second time, Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (ICT) has been voted as a top five small airport in the U.S., coming in as the #3 Best Small Airport in the country from a list of 20 nominated airports for USA TODAY's 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award. Wichita also received the #3 ranking in 2020.

Botanica Wichita's Illuminations has been selected as one of USA Today’s 10Best botanical garden holiday light displays for the past three years and is in the running again for 2023.

Looking for more ideas on how to spend your time in the Heart of the Country? Read even more articles or download our digital visitor’s guide.