Wichita Hidden Gems - My Family Travels

When Kansas is thought of (if ever), it is generally not viewed as a tourist destination. All we have to offer are airplanes and wheat. Right? Wrong. Welcome to Wichita, Kansas where adventure is hidden in every corner, activities that  can't be found anywhere else. Hopefully this travel guide will help to uncover some of Wichita's hidden excitement.


First stop, breakfast. (Or really, dessert). I highly recommend The Donut Whole on 1720 E. Douglas. It is not your average donut shop. Their selection far surpasses the customary glazed Krispy Kreme, including flavors such as Smore's, Root Beer Float, and much more. Also offered are high quality coffees and Vietnamese boba tea, for a more unusual taste. The best aspect is the live music on friday and saturday nights, which creates a pleasant atmosphere. The Donut Whole's website can be visited at donutwhole.com

For lunch, I suggest experiencing a new culture. For authentic greek food, go to Kosta The Greek on 2308 S. Meridian and order a gyro and a galaktoboureko (custard pastry). You won't regret it. For phenomenal sushi, go to Old Town Sushi Bar by Wasabi on 912 E Douglas Ave. I suggest the Alaskan Roll for fresh sushi and the Stonehenge Roll for tempora sushi. Afterward you may even want to take a stroll through the quaint streets of Old Town.

Sitting down at "hole in the wall" Taste & See on 3825 E Harry is an absolute must for dinner in Wichita. It is not well-known, which makes the food even more special. It is upscale, fine-dining for sure and the best part: watching the chefs prepare your food. The head chef/owner is likely to come chat with you during your meal. I highly recommend the bacon-wrapped, blue cheese-stuffed medjool dates as an appetizer. Visit their website at www.tasteandseeict.com and let the pictures prove the quality of the meals.

Summer Entertainment

Wichita is a lively locale during the summer months. Make sure to purchase a $5 RiverFest button. River Fest is a week-long summer celebration in downtown Wichita. Bring extra money for side events such as zip-lining and riding the "water wagon" as well as for interesting fair food such as red velvet funnel cake with cream cheese frosting. Fortunately, the best entertainment is free: listening to the live concerts and more importantly, people-watching (the outfits get wild!). The festival is schueduled for May 30-June 7 in 2014. Check out it's website at wichitariverfest.com.

After a more relaxed setting? Attend the Wichita Farm and Art Marker, hosted every saturday from 7am to noon from May 4 to October 12. You can find the market at 1st Street and Mosley in Old Town. A multitude of vendors are set up for your viewing pleasure, including homemade artisanal crafts, a variety of fresh food, and live music. The food vendors are ven likely to let you sample! The market's website is www.oldtownfarmersmarket.com.

General Entertainment

A widely unknown source of entertainment, The Vertical Violet, can be found on 665 N. Volutsia St. The Vertical Violet is a laid-back "hang out" centered on its various musical acts and food. It is a very unique musical experience. Check their facebook page (www.facebook.com/verticalviolet) for more information on coming bands and events.

If trip to the zoo is right up your alley, but you're looking for an elevated animal experience, go to Tanganyika Wildlife Park on 1000 S. Hawkins Lane. A step up from your average zoo, Tanganyika allows you not only to view and learn about different pecies, but also to have the chance to feed and interact with the wildlife. Tanganyika has more details on it's website www.tanganyikawildlife.org.


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