Wichita Story Ideas
Wichita offers a unique backdrop from its western heritage to its hip, urban artwork. Below you’ll find a list of story ideas and key items that makes Wichita the place to be.
Old Cowtown Museum offers visitors a living history experience as reenactors stroll among 26 historic buildings depicting life in Wichita in the 1870s. Used for commercials, television shows and movies, the museum injects you into the Wild West by awakening your senses through a frosty-cold sarsaparilla, gunfights in the street and other cowboy adventures. After your trip back in time, zoom back into modern times and refuel at Monarch or other eateries in the historic Delano District, which was once a hangout for cowboys in the late 1800s.
Air Capital of the World
About 35 percent of the world’s (and 48 percent of the United States’) general aviation aircraft are produced in Wichita. The Kansas Aviation Museum displays Wichita’s aviation history with exhibits like the B-47 and B-52 jet bombers. See one of only two airworthy Boeing B-29 Superfortress aircraft left in the world at the B-29 Doc Hangar & Education Center. Doc is a B-29 Superfortress and one of 1,644 manufactured in Wichita during World War II. Fly in or drive in for lunch at Stearman Field Bar & Grill in nearby Benton and rub elbows with fellow aviation enthusiasts. Stroll through the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum to learn about the city’s many aviation pioneers and leaders.
The Sedgwick County Zoo is Kansas’ most popular outdoor attraction and the seventh-largest zoo in the country. Spend hours up-close-and-personal with tigers, gorillas, penguins and more than 3,000 other animals at this truly world-class facility. The remarkable Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley opened in 2016, showcasing the 3rd largest elephant exhibit in the country and the world’s largest elephant pool at 550,000 gallons.
Tanganyika Wildlife Park
From ring-tailed lemurs to pygmy hippos, you can get up-close-and-personal with many rare animals at Tanganyika Wildlife Park. This exotic destination is located just 15 minutes west of the city and features some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to interact with wildlife. You can even go behind-the-scenes with an okapi or sloth or swim with African penguins.
Keeper of the Plains
At the confluence of the of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers – pronounced OUR-Kansas locally – see where Wichita was founded, and visit the iconic Keeper of the Plains. Watch for the nightly Ring of Fire, which happens between 9-9:15 p.m. (7-7:15 p.m. during fall/winter hours) when this 44-foot-tall monument is illuminated by fire pots.
Arts & Culture
Wichita is a cultural hub with a variety of offerings, including the amazing sounds of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, and the unmatched performances of Wichita Grand Opera, one of only 110 operas in the country. Bursting with talent, there are Music Theatre Wichita alumni in nearly every Broadway production currently running. Plus, you can see comedic and musical live shows at Roxy’s Downtown and Mosley Street Melodrama. Wichita’s rich culture can be experienced at attractions like the Mid-America All-Indian Museum and The Kansas African American Museum.
Nowhere else in the world can you see The Original Pizza Hut Museum, admire the one of the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex in the country and see one of the finest collections of early 20th century art. You can spend days visiting Wichita’s museums that span from Wichita’s Wild West roots to its technologically advanced aviation heritage.
A Foodie's Dream
In a town where hummus is as popular as potato salad, Wichita is home to an incredible selection of international restaurants, fine-dining, award-winning food trucks, coffee shops, breweries and more. Spend a weekend trying authentic Mexican cuisine, delicious Mediterranean dishes, fresh Vietnamese pho and locally raised beef. You’ll leave blown away by Wichita’s more than 1,000 restaurants taking you on a trip around the world without leaving city limits.
What’s New in Wichita
Wichita is ever evolving and welcoming new features, businesses and restaurants. Below you’ll find a list of the latest gems in the city.
Booming Brewery & Urban Art Scene
In a matter of only a couple of years, the number of Wichita breweries has grown from two to 10, with a high concentration in the city’s core. Many breweries serve food, and some provide a family-friendly atmosphere. Try the dozens of local flavors and find a new favorite. Additionally, throughout the city you will see locals’ personalities on display through a variety of murals and other public art.
Wichita has evolved into a vibrant, multicultural city with tons of new features and unique experiences like Naftzger Park which is becoming a regular gathering for food trucks, and Gallery Alley, a once under-utilized alley turned into a lively public space. First Fridays are a way to experience the local art scene, which earned Wichita a spot in Expedia’s list of “Most Artistic Towns in the United States.” Additionally, expansion of the city’s free Q-Line and Bike Share ICT program has ignited vibrancy into several of the city’s core districts.
World Record-Breaking Mural
A mural painted on a north Wichita grain elevator has set a Guinness World Record. The mural has been designated the “Largest Mural Painted by a Single Artist” in the world. Project Horizontes is the program behind the mural, which depicts people of color meant to represent the culture of the North End. Fidelity Bank, Cargill and Spirit AeroSystems sponsor the mural, which is painted on the Beachner Grain Elevator near 21st Street & Broadway Avenue.
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