The African American experience in Wichita is rich and worth exploring. People in the Heart of the Country are nice and approachable, friendly and caring. It’s what makes Wichita so special.
When you visit, be sure to take in the vibe at some of these great Black-owned businesses and unique experiences.
Music and libations, count me in
Wichita is a vibe and finding the hot spots is easy. Looking for music and cocktails?
Check out these places and businesses.
Greatness Vodka was created by Wichita native Troy Brooks. This smooth vodka tastes great on its own or in a cocktail. Troy often can be found serving his vodka, made of 100% US-based corn, at local venues like GROW Giesen Plant Shop/Botanic, which features a martini bar.
Music lovers, you have to hear Rudy Love, Jr. He is a rare artist who defies genres, audience expectations and any other boundary imaginable. You can find Rudy performing locally at venues like Mort’s Martini & Cigar Bar in downtown Wichita or WAVE and the Brickyard. Check out this video of Rudy performing in his hometown of Wichita.
C’s Place Elk Lodge is a Black-owned nightclub. It’s a great place to listen to R&B music in a cool, laid-back atmosphere. Be sure to check out Soul Food Sunday. You’ll find dishes like beef tips over rice, smothered pork chops, meatloaf and more.
Simply Sangria is where you’ll find handcrafted, premium sangria blends.
Shopping and playing, yes please
When you leave home, do you really have all that you need? Maybe you do. But leave some time to shop at these Black-owned shops and pop-ups in Wichita.
- Jewel Angels Boutique located on East Douglas Avenue. The free Q-Line bus runs right in front of this charming store. Here you will find stylish clothing, jewelry, handbags, hats and other accessories. If you need to up your energy after all of that shopping, grab lunch or dinner in the nearby Clifton Square Shopping District, Vora’s European Restaurant or Belmont Restaurant.
- Boutique 5 Stationery & Petite Gifts is located in the Douglas Design District. Here you can find agenda planners, journals, books, home essentials, stationery, skin and beauty plus so much more. It’s also on the complimentary Q-Line route.
- Dead Center Vintage sells beautiful and hard-to-find vintage clothing. The labels are so cute, letting you know the era - 80s, 90s or 2000s. The store has clothes, hats, shoes and other accessories. Dead Center is also located in Douglas Design District.
- Bringing It Black unites Black-owned entrepreneurs in these indoor and outdoor markets. You can find them at Naftzger Park, Gallery Alley and other fun venues. Follow on Instagram to see what they are doing next.
Slow down and relax
Key 2 Touch Massage Therapy offers body wraps, hot stone massage, and aromatherapy services to name a few. Book some time just for you.
Located in the Delano District, Lola Candle Company has a variety of eco-friendly candles to make your home a perfectly scented sanctuary. Plus, the bar features a variety of special events, including DIY candle making.
Owner Sashia Beard brings the relaxation to you at The Princess in Me Kids Spa, a mobile kids spa service.
Want to experience Wichita’s vibe? We’ve got you covered
Wichita is a vibe. It flies under the radar, even though it is the Air Capital of the World. But if you really want to see what Wichita is all about, explore a few of these attractions.
- The Kansas African American Museum houses the collective Black experience of Wichita. It is a regional arts and cultural museum dedicated to the education, identification, research, presentation and preservation of the African American life and culture. The museum has plans to move from its current location at 601 N. Water Street to the former Sunflower Bank building expanding its footprint and mission.
- Wichita honors its Native American culture at the Keeper of the Plains Plaza, a 40-foot steel statue that welcomes all to the community. The nearby Mid-America All-Indian Museum tells the story of the artist Blackbear Bosin, who created the towering steel statue. The plaza area that surrounds the statue has exhibits and educational panels. But the apex of the experience is the nightly 15-minute Ring of Fire.
- Botanica Wichita has more than 30 themed gardens and exhibits. Depending upon the time of the year, you will find a traveling exhibit or millions of lights if you visit during the holidays. These beautiful gardens are spread out over 18 acres.
- Few people know that Hattie McDaniel, famed actress from “Gone with the Wind”, was born in Wichita. Check out the memorial for her across from her childhood home. McAdams Park also honors other Black athletes from Wichita – Lynette Woodard and Barry Sanders. The Redbud Trail features 11.5 miles of biking and walking trails and three art, history-filled rest plazas that share more Black history.
- Other entertainment districts that feature restaurants, shops and attractions that you can’t miss include: Museums on the River, Old Town District, Historic Delano District and Douglas Design District.
No trip is complete without eating where the locals go. Check out this blog on Black eateries and other businesses in Wichita. Or explore our complete list of restaurants. It doesn’t matter which experience you dive into first, you are bound to find unexpected treasures around every corner. Get even more inspiration with this guide to Black Wichita.