Map of Wichita Kansas Area
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Wichita has come a long way from its beginnings as a trading post on the Chisholm Trail in the mid 19th century. Now a thriving metropolis known as the Air Capital of the World, it’s not cattle being driven to ‘Cowtown’ anymore, but people.
Containing a variety of attractions and opportunities, tourists near and far continue to visit Wichita. Although not the largest or flashiest city in the county, it remains a beautiful destination with a small-town feel and plenty to see and do.
Where is Wichita located?
The largest city in the State of Kansas, Wichita is the county seat of Sedgwick County, located in the south of the state. The city lies near the western edge of the Flint Hill lowland region of the Great Plains. Sitting right on the Arkansas River, Wichita’s downtown lies in the alluvial plain of the river valley.
On either side of the city are suburbs that make up the Wichita metropolitan area which has a population of 637,989, while Wichita itself has a population of 389,938.
What is Wichita’s climate?
Lying within a climate transition zone, this Great Plains city has hot and humid summers and cold, dry winters. Severe thunderstorms pummel the region in the spring and summer. Since it lies midway between the Gulf of Mexico and Canada, it frequently receives both hot and cold spells. The average temperature ranges from 32°F in January to 81°F in July.
What is Wichita known for?
Aviation manufacturers such as Boeing and Cessna produce over half the world’s aircraft right here in Wichita. Apart from that, Wichita is an upscale city with some delightful dining opportunities, lovely accommodations, and plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy.
It’s a very active city with countless things to do outside. Bike paths run for hundreds of miles throughout the city, many laid out along scenic routes and a considerable stretch running along the Big Arkansas River. All of these paths allow for easy access to plenty of parks and attractions while giving you a good tour of the city at the same time.
Interested in learning what it was like living in an Old West town? Visit the Old Cowtown Museum and outdoor living history exhibit.
It was oil money that first brought aviation entrepreneurs to Wichita, and you can learn all about it at the Kansas Aviation Museum.
The diversity of Wichita is on full display at the Keeper of the Plains Plaza, the Mid-American All Indian Center, and the Kansas African American Museum. The Keeper of the Plains is a breathtaking, 44-foot steel sculpture that stands on sacred land right where the Little and Big Arkansas rivers join.
Although it’s a comparatively small city, Wichita has a vibrant arts scene catering to a wide variety of tastes.
If you’re an opera lover, grab a ticket to performances at the Wichita Grand Opera or listen to performances of the classics by the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. Or you can attend Music Theater Wichita’s broadway inspired shows during their summer lineup. All of these can be attended at the Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center.
The talented dancers of Ballet Wichita are also a treat to watch, and the Wichita Art Museum has an impressive collection to look at.
Both the Historic Delano District and Clifton Square have excellent and eclectic shops. Miss Pearlie’s historic 1886 boarding house is the centerpiece of Clifton Square.
Visit the Paramount Antique Mall to purchase from their unique, vintage inventory. Old Town Architectural Salvage sells one-of-a-kind salvaged items and pieces of furniture, large and small.
The Sedgwick County Zoo is home to over 3,000 animals, but you get even closer to the animals at the Tanganyika Wildlife Park. Wichita’s lush Botanical Gardens are also not to be missed.
The Museum of World Treasures takes you on a scavenger hunt through time with a huge collection of artifacts from ancient civilizations and fossilized dinosaur bones.
It may surprise you to learn that, despite being the birthplace of major fast-food chains like Pizza Hut and White Castle, Wichita is a foodie city. With an extensive and diverse list of offerings, including international and local cuisine, outstanding breweries, wineries, and specialty coffee shops, it’s difficult to be disappointed.
Wichita natives love their loose meat sandwiches and crumbly burgers, a delicacy that’s a citywide obsession and specialty of NuWay, where they also make their own root beer. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, then Cero’s Candy and Cocoa Dulce offer classic and inventive confections.
River City Brewing Co. has got you covered for local suds. This popular Wichita brewpub is located in one of historic Old Town’s converted warehouses.
Is Wichita a good place to live?
Wichita is a friendly city with a small-town feel and certainly one of the best places to live in Kansas. With a low cost of living and an average home value of $133,400, Wichita is an eminently affordable place to live, with decent schools. Niche.com ranks Wichita highly on many metrics.
What are the Neighborhoods in Wichita?
Wichita has many distinct neighborhoods. Downtown Wichita is West of Washington Street, east of the Arkansas River, south of 13th street, and north of Kellog. Containing landmarks like the Century II, Epic Center, Garvey Center, and Old Town, this is the city’s best district for bars, nightclubs, restaurants, theatres, and shops.
College Hill and Riverside are Wichita’s two notable residential areas. Northwest of downtown, Riverside surrounds the 120-acre Riverside Park. East of downtown, College Hill is more upscale and, along with Midtown in the north-central part of the city and Delano on the west side, one of the more historical areas of Wichita.
Southeast Wichita is also home to several other historical neighborhoods near the Beech, Cessna, and Boeing aircraft plants. These neighborhoods serve as important examples of federally funded WWII housing developments and contain the neighborhoods of Beechwood, Oaklawn, Hilltop, and Planeview, which is Wichita’s most diverse neighborhood.
What Is Wichita, Kansas Known for?