You haven’t experienced wonder until you’ve experienced Wichita, KS. Revel in the history of the Plains Indians or celebrate the city’s rich western heritage. Discover hidden gems sprinkled throughout the area or come face-to-face with life-sized dinosaurs as you experience some of the most unique sights and sounds in the Midwest.
Explore Wichita in a way you never have before with this list of wonders you’ll only find here:
Keeper of the Plains
It’s known as the most iconic symbol of Wichita – the Keeper of the Plains sits proudly at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas ivers, keeping a watchful eye over the city. This 44-foot sculpture was created by Native American artist Blackbear Bosin in 1974, and placed atop a 30-foot pedestal overlooking Wichita.
Learn about Native American culture and the history of this beloved statue at the Mid-America All-Indian Center and Keeper of the Plains Plaza. There, you can also immerse yourself in Indian art, as well as learn about different tribes native to Kansas and the region.
Delano Clock Tower
Created to be a link from the future into the past – the Delano Clock Tower sits at the edge of the district, to welcome visitors into the city’s rich Chisholm Trail history. The four panels each showcase a different part of the district’s heritage, including Jesse Chisholm, by whom the Chisholm Trail was named, and the more than 500,000 head of cattle that was run through the Historic Delano District. Despite having an interesting past with outlaws and gunfights, the Delano District sits along the Arkansas River and holds a strong place in the hearts of locals.
Old Cowtown Museum
Wichita is the only city you’ll find with an experience as unique as Old Cowtown Museum. The historic feel of the Old West comes to life as this little western village takes visitors back to the 1860s, gunfights and all. Step onto the dirt streets or into the saloon and see why this living history museum is a favorite to travelers and locals alike. Re-enactors showcase Wichita as the cattle town it once was with daily activities, special events and educational programs.
Photo: Wesley Valentine
It’s the largest mural in the world painted by a single artist, and it sits right in the middle of orth Wichita. Painted on the side of a giant grain elevator, the piece brings solidarity in the Latino and neighborhoods in Wichita. Wichita’s NorthEnd has recently seen an increase in these awesome mural and art projects, most of which were painted by the Horizontes initiative. The people depicted in the mural either live in the NorthEnd or used to live in the NorthEnd and make up the foundation of the neighborhood. The artist GLeo, a female muralist from Colombia, painted the mural, which can be found near 21st & Broadway streets. Wichita is also home to several free public art installations.
Museum of World Treasures
Step into history at the Museum of World Treasures in Wichita’s Old Town District. With three floors packed full of artifacts dating back to prehistoric times, don’t miss one of Wichita’s most popular exhibits: Ivan the T. rex. This is the sixth-most complete T. rex skeleton in the country and one of the hallmark exhibits at the museum. Patrons can also enjoy a pathway to ancient Egypt, different war eras and the kings and queens from history.
Central Riverside Park has a lot of little features unique to Wichita, including a giant solar calendar reminiscent of Stonehenge. Stonehenge, Jr., as it’s called, sits in the park and offers an astronomical way to track the sun’s location by aligning the stones at sunrise, sunset, noon on the first day of each of the four seasons. It’s quite the sight during the Equinoxes. Wichita has 144 parks packed with hidden gems for visitors to explore.
Downtown Wichita offers a unique take on art, with a collection or urban art murals and classical bronze sculptures throughout the streets. One collection, created by Georgia Gerber is called, “Streetscape,” and includes more than 30 pieces scattered throughout a four-block area. With pieces with purpose like one commemorating the 1958 Dockum Drug Store Sit-In in Chester R. Lewis Reflection Square Park to whimsical creations like that of a child playing hopscotch on the corner of Douglas Avenue & Main Street, this collection is a testament to the artistic flair of downtown Wichita.
You can also see some of the Keepers on Parade at the ICT Pop-Up Urban Park. These smaller versions of Wichita’s most iconic sculpture each offer a taste of civic pride. See how many you can find as you travel throughout the city.