Wichita Uncovered: A Traveler’s Guide to the Heart of Kansas
Have you ever wondered what makes Wichita, Kansas, tick? Wichita isn’t just a city—it’s a hub of culture, education, and leisure, all rolled into one vibrant community. So grab your adventure hat, because we’re about to take a tour! Downtown Wichita is the pulse of the city, where the modern meets the history. Stroll through Old Town, an area brimming with red-brick warehouses converted into chic lofts, bustling coffee shops, and a nightlife that lights up the plains. Here’s a little secret: it’s the perfect spot to savor local brews at cozy breweries. Museums dot the landscape, offering a window into the past and a glimpse of the future.
START PLANNING YOUR TRIP
In Wichita, you’re not just a visitor; you’re part of the community. Getting around is a breeze with the Q-Line Trolley. And hey, don’t miss out on the bike paths; just hop on a rental bike and explore at your own pace. Each corner of the city tells a story, and it’s waiting for you to write the next chapter. Don’t just pass through—dive in and experience the heart of the heartland.
Three Fun Facts About Wichita
Aviation Enthusiast’s Dream
Wichita isn’t called the “Air Capital of the World” for nothing. This city played a pivotal role in the aviation industry, where many iconic planes were born. Imagine staying just moments away from where some of the most important aircraft were developed.
Birthplace of Pizza Hut
The world-famous pizza chain Pizza Hut was founded in Wichita by brothers Dan and Frank Carney in 1958. The original location has been turned into a museum on the campus of Wichita State University.
The Keeper of the Plains
This iconic 44 foot tall steel sculpture by Native American artist Blackbear Bosin stands at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers. It’s a sacred symbol for the local Native American community and a popular attraction in Wichita.
Must-See Attractions Around Wichita
Sedgwick County Zoo
Home to over 3,000 animals, it’s a wild encounter to say the least! Did you know it’s one of the largest zoos in the state? You’ll see everything from exotic birds to majestic tigers.
Got a curiosity for science and a love for interactive exhibits? This science museum is your go-to spot. Make sure to explore the hands-on areas where you can learn through play.
Wichita Art Museum
It’s a visual feast with collections of American art. The exhibits here span across multiple eras, giving you a snapshot of America through the ages.
Dining & Shopping
Step back in time in this historic district filled with red brick warehouses now transformed into shops, restaurants, and nightspots. On the weekends, Old Town is a buzzing spot you wouldn’t want to miss.
Keeper of the Plains
A stunning 44 foot steel sculpture sitting at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers. It’s a sight to behold, especially during the Ring of Fire lighting at night.
Old Cowtown Museum
Fancy a trip to the 1800s? This open-air museum revives the pioneer spirit with its historic buildings and live re-enactments.
Popular Lakes Near Wichita
Imagine the feeling of a cool breeze on your face as you paddle across a serene lake. Sounds tempting, right? Let’s dive into some lake destinations that are perfect for your next escapade. Are you picturing yourself in a kayak already? Or maybe you’re all about that picnic life, enjoying snacks by the water. Well, the lakes near this aircraft city give you prime spots to do just that. And if romance is on the agenda, a lake view adds that extra sparkle to any evening. Remember, always respect public parks to keep them clean and enjoyable for everyone. Ready to dip your toes in? Pack up, and don’t forget your sunscreen!
Wellington Lake, Wellington, Kansas
Found a hop, skip, and a jump away (specifically near Wellington), this lake isn’t just about size. Do you have a fishing pole? Because Wellington Lake is a fishing paradise. Cast from the accessible pier and wait for the tug of diverse fish species.
Distance from Wichita: 46 miles
Activities: Boating, swimming, fishing (handicapped-accessible pier)
Size: 674 acres
Anthony City Lake, 3, Anthony, Kansas 67003
Anthony Lake, approximately an hour’s drive southwest of Wichita, Kansas, is a charming and serene destination known for its recreational offerings. The lake is popular for activities, making it an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts and families seeking a peaceful retreat.
Distance from Wichita: 60 miles
Activities: Fishing, boating, camping, picnicking
16000 N.E. 50th St. Cheney, Kansas 67025
Cheney Reservoir, situated west of Wichita, Kansas, is a significant water source and a popular recreational area known for its extensive shoreline and diverse outdoor activities. Anglers frequent the reservoir for its excellent fishing opportunities, while boating, camping, and wildlife observation also contribute to the reservoir’s appeal as a nature oriented destination.
Distance from Wichita: 35 miles
Activities: Fishing, hiking, boating, camping
Size: 38.65 km²
Secret Fishing Destinations Near Wichita
Have you ever wanted to escape the city buzz for a peaceful day by the water? If you’re nodding yes, then you’re in for a treat! Near Wichita, Kansas, there are charming fishing spots that feel like the city’s best kept secrets. Let’s reel in some of these hidden gems together, shall we? And don’t worry about the crowds; these places offer a serene escape where you can enjoy the sounds of nature and the thrill of the catch. So, grab your tackle box, pick a spot, and see what you can reel in. Who knows, you might just land the big one!
Timber Hills Lake Ranch
1369 Valley Rd, Mapleton, Kansas 66754
Just imagine yourself casting a line amidst the tranquility of a 40 acre private lake. Now, this isn’t any old fishing hole—it’s a prime spot for catching bass and crappie. You can indulge in this angler’s haven free with cabin rentals, or opt for a self-guided experience at $50 per adult.
Species: Bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish
Family friendly: Yes
Fishing Tip: Bring your own gear to Timber Hills and enjoy the self-reliance of fishing on your terms.
Lake Afton, Goddard, Kansas (20 miles SW of Wichita)
Lake Afton awaits you just a short drive from Wichita. Encircled by the expansive Lake Afton Park, it’s a picturesque setting for not only fishing but also, boating and picnicking.
Species: Largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, white perch, catfish
Family friendly: Yes
11367 SW Shore Drive, Augusta, Kansas 67010
Santa Fe Lake is a popular recreational area offering a serene escape with its picturesque lake surrounded by natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy activities such as fishing, boating, hiking, and picnicking, making it a tranquil destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Species: Largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, sunfish
Family friendly: Yes
Best Hiking Trails Within 1 Hour From Wichita
Wichita is a stone’s throw away from some of the most picturesque and accessible hiking areas, perfect for a quick escape to nature. Before you step out, just a friendly tip: remember to check the weather forecast and put safety first. Dress in layers, bring water, and get ready to enjoy the great outdoors. Remember, these hiking spots are a quick drive from Wichita, so you can easily turn a free morning or an afternoon into an adventure. Who knew that escaping into the wilderness could be so easy and close by? Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking to casually explore, the trails near Wichita are calling your name.
Prairie Sunset Trail
Garden Plain, Kansas 67050
Love spotting wildlife and birds while you hike? Pawnee Prairie Park offers a variety of trails suitable for all levels. The nature trails meanders through woodlands and along creeks, perfect for more experienced hikers.
Distance: 12 miles
Type: Point to point
Elevation Gain: 37 m
Time to Complete: 2.5 – 3 hours
Chisholm Creek Park Trail
Chisholm Creek, Wichita, kansas 67220
Chisholm Creek Park Trail, located in Wichita, Kansas, is a scenic and popular multi-use pathway that winds through the beautiful Chisholm Creek Park. This trail offers visitors a serene environment for walking, jogging, and cycling, while providing picturesque views of natural landscapes, wildlife, and the creek itself.
Distance: 1.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 8 m
Time to Complete: 30 minutes
Sedgwick Outer Loop
6501 Horseshoe Lake Dr, Wichita, Kansas 67212
The Sedgwick County Outer Loop is a planned transportation project in Wichita, Kansas, designed to enhance connectivity and traffic flow around the metropolitan area. This project aims to create a loop around Wichita to facilitate easier movement, reduce congestion in the city center, and support future growth in Sedgwick County.
Distance: 3 miles
Elevation Gain: 8 m
Time to Complete: 1 hour
Best Golf Courses Around Wichita
Remember, each swing brings a new chance for a hole in one. So, pick a course that feels right, gather your golf buddies, and may your drives be straight and your putts be true. The perfect Wichita golf getaway awaits!
Reflection Ridge Golf Club
7700 W Reflection Rd, Wichita, Kansas 67205
Reflection Ridge Golf Club is a well-regarded golf facility situated in Wichita, Kansas, known for its challenging 18 hole championship course. Designed by award-winning architect Steve Forrest, the club offers golf enthusiasts a picturesque setting with water features, mature trees, and meticulously manicured fairways, providing a memorable and enjoyable golfing experience.
Designer: Karl Litten, 1989
Holes: 18, Par 72
Amenities: Club rentals, fittings, private events
Fairways and Greens: Bent grass
Vibe: Impeccably maintained.
Visit their website for more information
Auburn Hills Golf Course
443 S 135th St W, Wichita, Kansas 67235
Auburn Hills Golf Course is a prominent golfing destination in Wichita, Kansas, featuring an 18-hole championship course designed by renowned architect Perry Dye. Golfers at Auburn Hills enjoy a challenging layout with undulating fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and scenic views, making it a popular choice for both casual and serious golf enthusiasts in the area.
Designer: Perry Dye
Scenery: Native grasses, wetlands
Visit their website for more information
Willowbend Golf Club
8001 E Mulberry Dr, Wichita, Kansas 67226
Willowbend Golf Club in Wichita, Kansas, is an exclusive private golf club known for its meticulously maintained 18 hole championship course, elegant clubhouse, and top tier amenities, catering to members who seek a premium golfing and social experience.
Designer: Donald Sechrest
Amenmities: Dining, golf store
Visit their website for more information
Tips on Renting a Vacation Property in Wichita
Begin your search well in advance to have a broader selection of available properties. Wichita may have peak seasons, so booking early increases your chances of finding the ideal property.
Check for Hidden Costs
Be aware of additional fees such as cleaning fees, service fees, and taxes. Ensure these are transparently communicated before booking.
Confirm that the property has all the amenities you need, such as a fully equipped kitchen, Wi-Fi, parking, and any other specific requirements.
Check for Insurance
Consider purchasing travel insurance that covers unexpected cancellations, property damage, or emergencies.
Finding the perfect vacation rental in Wichita can be as delightful as discovering a wheat field golden at sunset. Want a cozy cabin or perhaps a chic loft with a rooftop patio? Wichita’s diverse offerings have got you covered.
Decide on Amenities and Space
First things first, what comforts can’t you live without? Is a fully equipped kitchen for your culinary experiments a must-have, or are you more concerned about snagging a spot with fast Wi-Fi for streaming? And let’s talk space—how many bedrooms and bathrooms will keep peace among your travel companions?
– Bedrooms: Any
– Bathrooms: Any
– Air Conditioning
Whether you want to be amidst the hustle and bustle or in a safe area away from the noise, choose a location that aligns with your activities. Staying on the East Side? You’re within reach of Towne East Square.
Check Arrival Essentials
Remember, the little things make all the difference. Does the rental offer a private entrance, or will you be sharing? If you’re bringing your furry friends, ensure your stay is pet-friendly.
Wichita’s got diversity—from a charming East Side Home to a tranquil guest house. Here are a few popular types:
Entire Little House with Vintage Airplane Theme: Unique and thematic
Modern Boho College Hill Home by Indigo Moon: Stylish and central
Your Private Garden Escape: Peaceful retreat in nature
Renovated Luxury 2 Bedroom Guest House: Upscale and comfortable
Read Real Reviews for Real Insights
Always, always read the reviews. Cleanliness, comfort, and the rental’s condition are factors previous guests will shed light on. It’s like getting advice from a good friend—trust it.
Ensure you book through reputable platforms like Airbnb or Vrbo to secure your perfect Wichita stay. They often have comprehensive listings and provide additional assurances such as guest support and ratings.
Seeking something out of the ordinary? A separate tranquil guest house or an executive ready apartment could offer that unique experience you’re after. So pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and get ready to create memories in your temporary Wichita home away from home!
Stay and Play
Just a 3 minute walk to golf courses, there are rental homes such as a 4 Bedroom home with a cozy patio in Derby, perfect for golf groups. Imagine starting your morning with a short stroll to the fairway—sounds like a dream, right?
Frequently Asked Questions about Wichita
Certainly! If you’re in need of a longer stay, Wichita has options that won’t break the bank. Check out rental websites for listings that cater to longer visits and enjoy all the comforts of home without sacrificing your budget.
For a relaxing getaway, look for vacation rentals with hot tubs. On platforms like Airbnb and other rental websites, you’ll find homes equipped with hot tubs that offer a spa-like retreat.
Don’t worry about leaving your furry friends behind! Several vacation rentals in Wichita welcome pets. Websites like cozycozy can direct you to the best pet-friendly rentals in town.
Absolutely! For a touch of extravagance, look for luxury rentals that offer unique experiences, such as waking up to a view of cheetahs at a wildlife park Airbnb, or homes that come with high-end amenities.
Yes, you can! Dive into the listings on popular vacation rental sites; some properties in Wichita do boast private pools. These are perfect for those hot Kansas days when a cool dip is just what you need.
Your best bets for snagging that ideal short-term rental are Airbnb and Rent By Owner. These platforms are known for their wide selection of properties, including those praised for their prime locations and cleanliness.
The spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) months are generally considered the best times to visit Wichita, with milder temperatures and pleasant weather.