By Mike Thayer
It's been awhile since I posted a travel piece. When I worked in the corporate world, I would do reviews of hotels, list gas prices, searched for the best travel stops when on the road, etc., but I haven't really traveled much since leaving the corporate job to do my own thing.
Which got me to thinking, aside from traveling around the metro area to check out the Wichita food scene, it's been awhile since I took the time to re-visit some great non-food spots. There are some fantastic places to visit in Wichita, or re-visit if you haven't been for awhile. I've listed some of my favorites below, to include a link and a blurb from the respective sites.
When is the last time you 'traveled' the Wichita Metro?
Botanica - Botanica, The Wichita Gardens is open year-round and repeat visits offer new surprises as The Gardens change with the seasons. In spring, more than 50,000 tulip bulbs and 120,000 daffodil bulbs bloom along with an assortment of wildflowers and flowering shrubs. Later bloomers include azaleas, irises, roses, peonies, and other perennials. More than 20,000 annuals combine with beautiful perennial color in the summer along with spectacular prairie wildflowers. In autumn, you’ll find asters, liriope, sedum, and more than 5,500 chrysanthemums amongst the backdrop of fall color from trees and shrubs. In winter, The Gardens feature 12,000 pansies, red-twig dogwood, witch hazel, and berried hollies.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Allen House - The residential structure at 255 N.Roosevelt, Wichita, Kansas was designed for the prominent Journalist and Statesman Henry J. Allen and his wife Elsie J. Nuzman Allen, who was active in local art organizations. The Allen’s were referred to Frank Lloyd Wright by their close friend William Allen White of Emporia, Kansas. The design ideas date from 1915 and the House was occupied in 1918. The Allens continued to live in the house until late 1947.
Great Plains Nature Center - The Great Plains Nature Center is a cooperative project between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Kansas Wildlife & Parks, City of Wichita, and the Friends of the Great Plains Nature Center. These Partners share a common goal of providing opportunities for the public to investigate, understand and develop an appreciation for wildlife and the environment, while promoting sound stewardship of natural resources.
The Keeper of the Plains and the Mid-America All-Indian Museum - The Keeper of the Plains is a 13.4 metres Cor-Ten steel sculpture by Kiowa-Comanche artist Blackbear Bosin. It stands at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers in Wichita, Kansas, adjacent to the Mid-America All-Indian Center. The Mid-America All-Indian Museum (MAAIM) is a unique cultural museum located on the shores of the Arkansas River in downtown Wichita, Kansas. Visitors from around the globe pass through our doors to learn about the American Indians. Established in 1969, the goal of the MAAIM is to educate the community about the art, culture and heritage of American Indians while recognizing the important role they play in today's society.
Old Cowtown Museum - Old Cowtown Museum's collections reflect aspects of life on the frontier in the late 1860s and 1870s. They include historic structures and their period furnishings, clothing and domestic textiles, tools and machinery, farming equipment and rolling stock. An archival collection of photographs, letters, and documents also provide primary source material for historical research. A separate study collection and reproductions are used by costumed history interpreters to bring this historical period to life.
Sedgwick County Zoo - The Sedgwick County Zoo is home to 3,000 individual animals of nearly 400 species. These residents are grouped geographically and in settings that duplicate their natural habitats. Exhibits include: Africa, North America, Tropics, Children’s Farms, Amphibians and Reptiles, Koch Orangutan Chimpanzee Habitat, Cessna Penguin Cove, Downing Gorilla Forest, Slawson Family Asian Big Cat Trek and South America/Australia, which is among the largest walk-through aviaries in the United States.
There are so many things to check out and do in Wichita, exploring right here in town is fun!