Wichita, the largest metropolitan area in the state contains nearly one-fifth of the state’s population. It is located on the banks of the Arkansas River and was first settled in the late 1860’s. Wichita has a history of development from its origins as a major trading post along the Chisholm Cattle Trail, to its present status as the largest city in Kansas. Along the way, the city’s residents have enlivened their hometown with a wealth of culture, unique attractions, and entertaining things to do. Wichita welcomes visitors at any season of the year.
A visit to Wichita offers an opportunity to view outstanding museums and galleries, to enjoy the symphony or live theater, to cheer for one of the numerous sports teams, to experience a wide range of dining possibilities, and to shop in local stores. The streets are easy to navigate, and the city is fun to visit for the entire family.
Wichita presents a history lesson in a fascinating and beautiful setting. For example, Botanica, a nature center is filled with colorful plants native to the Kansas prairie. Stroll among hundreds of beautiful butterflies enjoying their own oasis of serenity amid plants that attract and nourish many butterfly species. The Great Plains Nature Center features exhibits interpreting the animals, plants and habitats of the Great Plains of North America. Included are a 2,400 gallon aquarium, a wildlife observatory and nine interactive displays.
The Sedgwick County Zoo is Kansas’s most popular tourist attraction with nearly half a million visitors each year. Its collection of over 2,600 animals is grouped geographically, and includes the African Veldt, Asian Steppes, Jungle, South American Pampas, Australian Outback, North American Prairie.
Visitors are rewarded with a Western belt buckle at the completion of a self-guided tour of the Old Cowtown Museum, Mid-America All-Indian Center Museum, Keeper of the Plains Statue, Charles M. Russell Gallery, A Prairie Garden, North American Prairie Exhibit at the zoo, the Chisholm Trail Exhibit , the Buffalo Bill Monument, the Chisholm Trail Marker and Sheplers Western Store.
In addition, Wichita, is home to classic, western and art museums, a remarkable symphony, classic ballet, music theatre, classic comedies and is a popular convention site. Wichita is conveniently accessible by air or interstate highways. It combines the excitement and imagination of a large metropolitan city with clean air, blue skies, friendly people and excellent food.
Be sure to include Wichita in your travel plans; you will enjoy the time spent in this delightful city!
B- City Information:
Population: 330,000 people living in neighborhoods scattered over 120 square miles.
Area: 120 square miles
Time Zone: Wichita is in the central time zone. When it is noon in New York City; it is 11:00AM in Wichita.
Fire, Ambulance, Police, Sheriff 911
Kansas Road Conditions (800)585-7623
Travel and Transportation
Eleven airlines provide air service to Wichita through Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. You will also discover your many options for getting around Wichita using public transportation.
Wichita Mid-Continent Airport is located 6 miles southwest of Wichita.
As the largest airport in Kansas, Mid-Continent serves more than one million passengers a year. The facility is large enough to handle major airlines but small enough to avoid the confusion of major airports.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority offers bus routes providing service to within one-quarter mile of 90% of the residents within the city limits.
Regular routes beginning at the Transit Center (214 S. Topeka) operate weekdays from 5:45 a.m. through 6:25 p.m., and on Saturdays from 6:45 a.m. through 5:25 p.m. Schedules are available from the Transit Center, City Hall, Wichita State’s CAC, or by calling MTA at 265-7221.
Downtown Trolley Service
During the week the trolley is a principal form of transportation downtown.
On Saturdays, the trolleys run from the Farm & Art Market in Old Town to the Museum District with stops at Cowtown, Botanica, the Wichita Art Museum, and the Mid-American All-Indian Center.
Metropolitan Transit Authority
1825 S. McLean
Wichita, Kansas 67202
Taxis are available at the airport and throughout the city.
Shuttle services available between Wichita and Kansas City with stops in El Dorado, Emporia, Ottawa, and Kansas City. 1-866-838-1419 and 838-1419 (Local).
Greyhound Bus Lines
Provides inter-city transportation with 13 departures daily. Greyhound can be contacted at (316)265-7711 in Wichita or (800)231-2222.
Rates will depend on availability, size and type of car.
C- Attractions/Things To Do:
11120 W. Kellogg
Opened January 1, 1887 as the Carey House, this early landmark was considered to be the finest, most luxurious hotel between Kansas City and Denver, Colorado.
One of the hotel’s most famous visitors was prohibition crusader Carrie Nation, who on December 27, 1900, smashed the hotel’s swank basement level Carey Annex bar. The bar was removed during later year renovations.. The six story hotel is located near the newly restored Old Town area of shops and restaurants and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Douglas &Washington Streets
Wichita KS 67212
Free parking. Trolley service. Store and restaurant hours vary.
This revitalized historic warehouse district features the charm of turn-of-the-century buildings, brick streets, street lights and boardwalks. Over 200 businesses concentrated in a one-block area create a shopping, dining and entertainment center. Old Town features antique shops, specialty retail shops, restaurants, night clubs and dinner theatres.
Great Plains Nature Center
6232 E 29th St North
Wichita , KS 67220
Monday to Saturday, 9 – 5 Closed Sundays and Holidays.
Chisholm Creek Park is open every day from dawn to dusk.
Learn about the beauty and diversity of the North American prairie at the Great Plains Nature Center. Conveniently located at the corner of 29th Street north and Woodlawn in northeast Wichita – just 1/2 mile south of the K-96 bypass.
Kansas has woodlands, wetlands, rivers, streams and lakes. these environments are featured in the Koch Habitat Hall. State-of-the-art interactive displays and a 2,000 gallon aquarium featuring native fish are highlights of the exhibits.
Just outside the front door is a paved trail system over 2 miles long that allows you to explore the 200+ acres of Chisholm Creek Park
Botanica, The Wichita Garden
The Wichita Botanical Gardens is a beautiful and peaceful place. There are fountains, gazebos, ponds and thousands of flowering plants. The garden is divided into several areas, including the Shakespearean Garden, the Rose Garden, the Aquatic Collection, etc. Recently a butterfly house was opened which operates seasonally.
Omnisphere and Science Center
220 S. Main
Wichita, KS 67202
The Omnisphere & Science Center is a delight. Choose from a variety of hands on experiences, from live science shows to the science museum. The Science Museum has exhibits dealing with perception, electricity, chemistry, astronomy, and physics to help students discover the magic of science.
Wichita Air Heritage Tour
Wichita, KS 67202
The Past, Present and Future of Aviation in Wichita, Kansas “The Air Capital of the World!” Visit Boeing Wichita, and go inside Bombardier-Learjet or Raytheon Aircraft factories! See the building of the finest commercial and general aviation aircraft in the world!
Old Cowtown Museum
1871 Sim Park Drive
Wichita , KS 67203
daily March – October. Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm; Sunday, noon – 5
Experience the Old West at Old Cowtown, a seventeen-acre living history museum near downtown Wichita. See how nineteenth-century residents lived and worked in early Sedgwick County. Stroll wooden sidewalks and visit over thirty exhibit areas including Wichita’s first jail, a one room school, six historic homes, a pioneer church, railroad depot, working blacksmith shop, 1870’s newspaper office, saddlery and harness shop, general store, grain elevator, saloon, drug store, law office, and numerous other nineteenth century businesses. Texas Longhorn cattle, horses, and chickens add to the frontier atmosphere.
Lake Afton Public Observatory
MacArthur Road at 247th Street West
across from Lake Afton Park
Wichita , KS
Telescopes and micro teaching tools provide a means of exploring the galaxies and the mysteries beyond.
The huge silver dome opens up to 13 degrees above the horizon and up.
Also located behind the Observatory building are stands where amateurs can set up their own telescopes.
Museum open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm; Sunday 1 – 5pm
Closed Monday, January – March
Special rates for ages 6-12, Children under 6 free
Distant drums still call Native Americans to this special meeting place. Located in the Mid-America -Indian Center, this museum preserves and showcases the heritage of the many native tribes of North America.
Permanent and rotating exhibits of art and artifacts depict the joy, hardship and determination of Native Americans before, during and after the coming of the European settlers. Also located in the building is a unique and colorful display of Native American tribal flags called the “Gallery of Nations”. Gift shop features authentic Native American arts and crafts.
A Prairie Garden
Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm; Sunday, 12 noon to 5pm.
Lunch served Tuesday – Friday, 11:30am – 1:30pm.
Sunday brunch, 12 noon – 2pm.
Free admission, except to selected traveling shows.
A total of 26 original paintings, watercolors, drawings and bronzes by the frontier’s most famous artist are included in the outstanding M.C. Naftzger collection. In an era before photography was common this “old master of the old west” captured both the romance and the detail of his time.
The museum also contains the famous Frederic Remington “Bronco Buster” bronze. Prints and related books available in the museum gift store.
Chisholm Trail Exhibit
Open Tuesday – Friday, 11am – 4pm
Saturday & Sunday, 1 – 5pm
Children under 6 free
Jesse Chisholm was the very embodiment of the collision of two great societies. Born in 1805 as the son of a Scottish father and Cherokee Indian mother, Jesse was an in-law of Sam Houston and ancestor of Will Rogers. He established a trading post near present day downtown Wichita. His ancestry enabled him to blaze a trail south to Mexico through the Indian Territory of what is now Oklahoma. The “Chisholm Trail” would make possible the great longhorn cattle drives from Texas to the railroads in Kansas. ( A marker on the grounds of the Metropolitan Baptist Church at Douglas and McLean Boulevard indicates where the trail crossed the Arkansas River).
Buffalo Bill Monument and Gravesite
His home, at the time of his death, is located at 1047 North Market. (The home is a private residence and is not open to the public)
An impressive monument, on the high ground of this pioneer cemetery, marks the final resting place of William Mathewson, the original Buffalo Bill and last of the old scouts.
Born January 1, 1830 in Broome County, New York, Mathewson was an adventurer, entrepreneur, sharpshooter, linguist (he spoke 14 Indian languages) Indian fighter, hero and ultimately Indian peacemaker. (A marker at 61st N. & Seneca streets commemorates the Little River Peace Treaty, one of his peacemaking efforts.)
Chisholm Trail Historical Marker
Douglas & McLean Blvd
Wichita, KS 67202
Marker indicates where the trail crossed the Arkansas River.
This weathered limestone monument marks the spot on the Chisholm Trail where the “walking river” of Texas Longhorn cattle met the Arkansas River, the final natural barrier on their epic journey. The inscription notes that between the years 1865 and 1874 over 3,000,000 Texas Longhorns were driven up the trail. For the saddle weary drovers, many 100 days and 1,000 miles from home, crossing the river signaled that the end of the trail was near. At trails end lay payday and the legendary cow towns.
Keeper of the Plains Statue
Created by Wichita artist Blackbear Bosin this 44 foot tall, 50 ton metal sculpture stands in silent tribute to the native Americans who lived and hunted here. Symbolically located at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers, the “Keeper” reminds us all that history, like the flow of the waters, is never ending.
300 North McLean Boulevard
Wichita , KS 67203
Exploration Place, located on the scenic banks of the Arkansas River in downtown Wichita, stimulates exploration in people of all ages and interests in an informal, enjoyable environment. unique sweeping architecture with its indoor and outdoor interactive exhibits and theaters, all contained in a 20-acre park setting.
D- Family Fun Attractions:
Sedgwick County Zoo
5555 Zoo Boulevard
Off I-235 at Exit 10
Sedgwick County Zoo is Kansas’ most popular tourist attraction with nearly half a million visitors each year. The nationally renowned zoo is among the top 25 largest in the U.S and is considered one of the best-managed and maintained zoos of its size in North America. Sedgwick County Zoo has an animal collection of 433 species and nearly 2,700 animals. Grouped geographically, the Zoo’s exhibits include the African Veldt, Asian Steppes, Jungle, South American Pampas, Australian Outback, North American Prairie,Herpetarium, Children’s Farms, Apes & Man, and the highly acclaimed Koch
Orangutan and Chimpanzee Habitat. The Zoo’s newest exhibit, which opened in May 2000, is Pride of the Plains, a 55,000-square-foot exhibit designed to look like an African savannah.
Great Plains Nature Center
6232 E. 29th St. N
Wichita, KS 67220-2200
1/2 mile south of the K-96 bypass at the intersection of N. Woodlawn and 29th Street in NE Wichita.
Mon-Sat 9am-5pm; Closed Sundays and Holidays
New nature-education facility located in the northeast part of Wichita. It focuses on interpreting the animals, plants and habitats of the Great Plains of North America. The $1.5 million exhibit hall features a 2,400 gallon aquarium, a wildlife observatory and nine interactive displays including Tallgrass Prairie, Wetland, Woodland, and Riparian Habitats. Natural History audio/visual programs including live animals may be seen in the 190-seat auditorium. Just outside the front door is a 278-acre nature preserve with a paved trail system over 2 miles long. The Center combines state-of-the-art hands-on displays with the option of taking a nature hike.
Great Plains Transportation Museum
700 E Douglas, Upper Lever
Wichita, KS 67201
The railroad museum of Kansas
Apr 1-Nov Sat 9am-3pm; Sun 1-4pm
Omnisphere & Science Center
220 S Main
Wichita, KS 67202
Hwy 54 to Central Business District. Turn North on Main Street. Located at 220 S. Main.
Tues-Fri 8am-5pm; Sat 9am-5pm
Planetarium shows, hands-on science exhibits. An enjoyable experience for the whole family.
300 North McLean Boulevard
Wichita, KS 67203
Located on the banks of the Arkansas River in the downtown Wichita river district, at 300 N. McLean Boulevard.
Exploration Place is open noon-5pm Monday and 9am-5 pm Tuesday—Saturday. Closed Mondays after Labor Day and on December 25. Call for specific hours of operation. Hours and prices are subject to change.
Exploration Place is a place to discover the extraordinary. A place where you can fly a plane, create your own river and tornado, visit a troll and fight bacteria in the human body, all in the same day. The exhibits and theaters are all contained within a beautifully landscaped 20-acre park. Discover hundreds of interactive exhibits, three theaters and more. Exploration Place symbolizes the community’s commitment to inspire a sense of exploration in people of all ages and interests in this informal, enjoyable environment.
Western Heritage Tour
100 S Main Ste 100, Wichita CVB
Wichita, KS 67202
Earn a Western belt buckle by visiting the sites on this self-guided tour. Sites include: Old Cowtown Museum, Mid-America All-Indian Center Museum, Keeper of the Plains Statue, Charles M. Russell Gallery, A Prairie Garden (Botanica), North American Prairie Exhibit (Sedg. Co. Zoo), Chisholm Trail Exhibit (Historical Museum) Buffalo Bill Monument & Gravesite, Chisholm Trail Marker and Sheplers Western Store.
E- Events & Entertainment:
Annual Wichita Garden Show
Late February – early March.
Kansas State Fair
September: Hutchinson, KS
Walnut Valley Festival
annual Blues Festival held in early June in nearby Newton, KS
Celebrating the Christmas Season
Wichita offers many activities for young and old alike. Whether it’s decorating your home with Christmas wreaths or waving to Santa as he passes by in the Christmas Parade, you are sure to find something that your whole family can enjoy. Be sure to check our Santa Sightings for times and locations where Santa will be appearing around Wichita.
Arts and Entertainment
The Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art
2 noon – 5pm daily
Admission is free
This museum is recognized among university museums for its outdoor sculpture collection and for the quality of its exhibition program.
The art collection, owned by the Wichita State University Endowment Association and managed by the professional staff of the museum, now numbers more than 7,500 objects. Nineteenth and twentieth century European and American paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints form the core of the museum’s collection.
Wichita Center for the Arts
9112 E. Central
Wichita, KS 67206
Tuesday – Sunday 1:00pm-5:00pm
Professional and thought-provoking theatre, off stage productions for family, and cutting edge film series. Extensive galleries host national and regional shows. Year-round school of visual arts. Call for current schedule.
Wichita , KS
Wichita, Kansas 67201
Class AA, 1992 Texas League baseball champions. Affiliated with the Kansas City Royals. Season runs April through early September.
Wichita Thunder Hockey
Address: Kansas Coliseum
North of Wichita at I-135 & Exit #17Wichita All, KS
One of eleven teams in the Central Hockey League. Thirty-five home games played October through April.