Wichita Group Travel Itineraries
The Chisholm Trail Experience:
Chisholm Trail was one of the most widely used routes of the great cattle drives bringing the Texas longhorns up to the railheads in Kansas. Relive the past, while enjoying modern comforts, as you travel through the unique and fascinating Kansas cattle towns.
- Caldwell - one of the most notorious towns on the Chisholm Trail. Sites include the Cherokee Strip Center, Border Queen Museum and dramatic "Ghost Rider" silhouettes on the trail south of town.
- Wichita - Jesse Chisholm’s trading post was located here at the confluence of the Arkansas River and the Little Arkansas River. Visit the ten sites on the Western Heritage Tour.
- Newton/North Newton - from 1871-1874 known as "bloody and lawless-the wickedest city in the west.” Visit their fine restaurants, historic buildings, museums, and outstanding antique shops. The Kaufman Museum houses evidence of the Chisholm Trail.
- Goessel - founded along the Chisholm Trail by German Mennonite Immigrants. The Mennonite Heritage Museum interprets the settlement of the immigrants who changed the prairie to wheat fields.
- Abilene - This was the end of the trail, boasting dance halls, gaming rooms, and 32 licensed saloons. Learn about Abilene’s colorful past at the Dickinson County Historical Museum and Old Abilene.
Arkansas City, Kansas:
Visit the Denton Art Center, Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum, and Chaplin Nature Center in this town on the edge of the Flint Hills. Arkansas City boasts a historic downtown shopping area, with plenty of public sculptures and murals for visitors to see. Scripture Hill, a large stone message built in 1897, can be seen from the US 77 bypass.
El Dorado, Kansas:
Visit where the first oil well was drilled in Kansas, Stapleton #1, and trace the collection of over 1,000 works of original art and antiques at the Coutts Memorial Museum of Art. Here you will find works by Renoir, Frederic Remington and Charles Russell. See the changes the oil industry brought to this community at the Kansas Oil Museum and Hall of Fame. Stay for fine dining, antique shops and unique craft and gift stores. Be sure to visit El Dorado Lake and State Park, where you can rent a cabin to view a breathtaking sunset over the Lake.
At the Heritage Park Visitor's Center, watch the film, "They Live in Hope" to get a glimpse of the 1870's Dutch/German immigration to the Hillsboro area. Stroll over to the Pioneer Adobe House Museum and the Friesen Mill to see how wind power grinds grain.
Be sure to visit nearby Kechi which is located on the northern edge of Wichita and is "The Official Antique Capital of Kansas.” Visit Karg Art Glass & Gallery (free glass blowing demonstrations), Turkey Creek Weaving Studio (free demonstration on 8 different looms), Kechi Playhouse (seasonal).
The most comprehensive collection of international space artifacts in the world is on exhibit at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, just 45 minutes northwest of Wichita. Featuring flown artifacts from the U.S. and Soviet space programs, the Cosmosphere is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute.