6 unique places in Wichita worth a stop
Plenty to see and do in Kansas’ largest city
Keeper of the Plains
Growing from a simple cow town on the Chisholm Trail to a national hub of aviation production, there’s plenty to see and do in Wichita that makes it worthy of a day trip or a weekend away.
Keeper of the Plains, 650 N. Seneca St., is a sculpture placed where the Big and Little Arkansas rivers converge in downtown Wichita. The metalwork was designed by Kiowa-Comanche artist Blackbear Bosin and was installed in 1974. The surrounding area has a dedicated interpretive plaza that talks about various aspects of Native American culture. At night, several flaming torches are lit around the base of the statue.
The nearby Exploration Place, 300 N. McLean Blvd., is a great family-oriented science center that also includes the largest dome theater in the state, a miniature golf course and a wetlands-themed outdoor park. The Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 Museum Blvd., west of the Keeper of the Plains sculpture, provides a view into the frontier life around Wichita during the days of the Chisholm Trail.
Old Town Wichita, between East Douglas and Central avenues and North Santa Fe and Washington 100 North streets, is a great place to wander, as it’s full of restaurants and shops. The Museum of World Treasures, 835 E. First St., is a world history museum known for its diversity. Exhibits range from dinosaur skeletons to Egyptian mummies to World War II artifacts. If you’re in town on Saturdays between April and October, the central square is home to a farm and art market.
4. Minisa Bridge
Northwest of downtown, near Wichita’s North High School, is the beautiful Minisa Bridge, across the Little Arkansas River. The span features unique decoration made from Carthalite, a material locally made from colored concrete and cut glass. The flagpole at the high school features similar ornamentation, too.
The Original Pizza Hut Museum, 2090 Innovation Blvd., is on the Wichita State University campus and is occasionally open for visitors. However, it’s not an active restaurant. If pizza is your thing, check out Ziggy’s. It’s family owned and operated and one of the city’s best-loved eateries with three Wichita locations.
If you are taking the quickest highway to and from Wichita from Tulsa, you’ll pass by Wellington, Kansas, on I-35. There’s a great little restaurant not far from the highway called Penny’s Diner that’s worth a stop. Penny’s, 1104 E. 16th St., is one of a limited chain of 1950s-style diners with a chrome exterior. The burgers are hand-pattied and breakfast is served all day.