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, Kansas, 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 president of sales for Visit Wichita. “The city has expansive cuisine choices, unique landmarks, 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 Sedgwick County Zoo or Tanganyika Wildlife Park; in a Western setting at Old Cowtown Museum, which features a large Great Room with a magnificent fireplace, outdoor patio and amphitheater; or under the stunning Confetti Chandelier by world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly in the Great Hall at the Wichita Art Museum," Rosson said.
Earlier this year, Mark Arts, the community’s oldest cultural institution, opened a 40,000-square-foot facility, including studios for teambuilding activities, a premier gallery space, an outdoor sculpture garden and event space. Also, Design Build Fly debuted a 5,100-square-foot permanent aviation exhibit gallery at Exploration Place. Groups can learn what it takes to create an aircraft and enter a 10-foot-long 737 fuselage theater to experience stories about the area’s storied industry.
Wichita is also adding inventory to its more than 8,000 hotel rooms.
A four-story Hampton Inn Wichita Northwest opened in January 2018 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.
5 FANTASTIC OFF-SITES IN WICHITA, KANSAS
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 // https://worldtreasures.org
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 // www.oldcowtown.org
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.
GETTING TO WICHITA, KANSAS
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.
WICHITA CVB CONTACT INFORMATION