The accolades are building. Dubbed by Thrillist earlier this year as “One of the Coolest Cities in America that Doesn’t Even Know It Yet” and “The best surprise in the Midwest,”
by ESPN writer Myron Medcalf, Wichita,
Kan., is making its presence known.
“A thriving downtown and new openings
and initiatives in art, dining, entertainment
and craft beer are revving up Wichita’s
status as an up-and-coming, ‘must-visit’
Midwest city,” said Moji Rosson, vice presi-
dent of sales for Visit Wichita. “The city has
expansive cuisine choices, unique land-
marks, friendly residents, lively nightlife
and a free, convenient downtown trolley.
Big-city amenities at Midwestern prices
make Wichita a destination where groups
can explore any time of the year.”
Aside from its central location and ease
of accessibility, Kansas’ largest city has
more than 33 museums, 22 attractions, 22
live theaters, eight shopping districts and
more than 1,000 restaurants, as well as an
eclectic mix of meeting spaces.
“To name a few, meeting planners can
host an event among wild animals at Sedg-
wick County Zoo or Tanganyika Wildlife
Park; in a Western setting at Old Cowtown
Museum, which features a large Great
Room with a magnificent fireplace, out-
door patio and amphitheater; or under the
stunning Confetti Chandelier by world-re-
nowned glass artist Dale Chihuly in the
Great Hall at the Wichita Art Museum.”
Wichita is also adding inventory to its
more than 8,000 hotel rooms. A four-story
Hampton Inn Wichita Northwest opened
in January with 85 guest rooms and a
550-square-foot meeting room, and three
other new hotels are in the works for 2018:
a 98-room Tru Hotel by Hilton; 107-room
Home2 Suites by Hilton; and 120-room
Hilton Garden Inn.
CLOSE-UP Wichita, KS
The Kansas African American Museum // www.tkaamuseum.org
Housed in the former Calvary Baptist Church—built in 1917 and once the
cornerstone of Wichita’s black community—the museum debuted in 1997.
Today it tells the tale of the Civil Rights era and local African-American
community through artwork, photography and sculptures, among other
disciplines. There are two meeting rooms and a total capacity of 250.
Kansas Aviation Museum // http://kansasaviationmuseum.org
Nicknamed “Air Capital of the World” for its aircraft production facilities,
Wichita can host groups at the Kansas Aviation Museum. Located in the
original Wichita Municipal Airport Terminal Building, it offers flexible venues
surrounded by historical aircraft and features a conference room as well as
an atrium for 240, lawn for 300 or buyout options.
Mid-America All-Indian Center // www.theindiancenter.org
The culture of the Native American Plains Indians is on display at the
All-Indian Center, which sits beside the iconic Keeper of the Plains
sculpture. The Gallery of Nations level offers a view of the monument and
downtown, while the facility itself overlooks the Arkansas River. Indoor and
outdoor spaces are available for up to 350, including Keeper of the Plains
Plaza and the Outdoor Learning Center.
Museum of World Treasures //
Spanning three floors and some
4,000 artifacts ranging from Egyptian
mummies to dinosaur bones, this
museum offers a banquet room that
can host events or a dinner for up to
170, and two meeting rooms. The
entire facility is available for group
buyouts of up to 800.
Old Cowtown Museum //
The Wild West comes to life at one of the country’s oldest living-history
museums, showcasing Wichita’s transformation from a bustling cattle town
on the Chisholm Trail into the booming manufacturing city of today. Three
meeting rooms can host up to 225 while rental spaces include a Victorian
hall, 1870s-style saloon, outdoor gazebo and fairgrounds, or the entire site.
By Marlene Goldman
Unassuming hipness in Kansas’ major metro
Wichita is located three hours southwest
of Kansas City, two and a half hours north
of Oklahoma City and six hours north of
Dallas, and is easily accessible by major
highways. Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower
Airport is the largest airport in the state and
has nonstop service from more than 12 U.S.
cities on six major airlines.