When I was in college, living on campus without a car, it could often feel like living on an island. It was pretty self-sustaining. Everything you could really need within a two block plot of land. And it was mostly pretty okay—until it wasn’t. You never knew when it would happen but suddenly, out of nowhere, you’d be overcome with that unmistakable thirst that could only be quenched with getting the heck off campus! Immediately—if not sooner.
Well, sometimes that feeling hits when you’re in your thirties, too. It hit my partner and I a few weeks ago at the exact same time and we decided to just hop in the car and go spend the night in Wichita. Wichita is our usual go-to when we want to go—but not too far. It’s a little less than an hour away. It’s a city that we’re familiar with but there’s enough constant newness to bust you out of that mundane bleh feeling.
Here are some of our favorite places to eat, drink, hang, shop, and stay during your weekend in Wichita, KS!
Places to hang:
Botanica Community Gardens: super beautiful for warm, spring days.
Old Cowtown Museum: pretend you live in the old west.
My fave: Museum of World Treasures: I love the MWT because it’s got it all. We’ve got dinosaurs! We’ve got mummies! We’ve got military memorabilia! Interested in early Hollywood? Yeah, we’ve got that. But my favorite is the top floor with the hall of correspondence (maybe that’s what it’s called? That’s what I’d name it anyhow.). Anyway, as a lover of handwriting and snail mail, I love reading all these letters from presidents, authors, and other super cool historical figures.
Places to shop:
Watermark Books and Cafe: a great bookstore with an incredible selection and a cool staff. Lots of author visits.
The Workroom: dreamy home goods store that leans hard on it’s local, ICT vibe.
My fave: Vortex Souvenir is such an incredible, beautifully curated shop. Bright white with big graphic punches on the walls and ceiling. Support local artists by buying their stuff from this shop.
(Full disclosure, while all these shops are incredible spaces to spend your time and money, they’re also coincidentally, all places that carry my magazine, &/Both.)
Places to drink:
Wichita Brewing Company: home of the V-6 IPA
Hopping Gnome Brewing: I’m really, really into their branding, personally.
My fave: Central Standard Brewing. In this family we stan hard for CSB. Not only is it just a super fun place to hang out, but the beers are top notch. So good. Last time I was there, I had the Keef Richards which was a dark beer that featured coconut on coconut on coconut and simply, completely delicious.
Places for breakfast:
Dempsey’s Biscuit Co.: for those of you who need something fun but familiar.
Founders Bakery/ Reverie Coffee Roasters: Gorgeous, beautiful space for when you want something light but with an incredible vibe.
My fave: The Beacon is the best place to go for that diner feeling that we’re always craving. At least in our house. At least after all the time we spent at breweries the night before. It’s got your hangover breakfast on lock! You will have to wait, I promise. It’s worth it. I promise. People have been waiting in line to eat at The Beacon for the past eighty years.
Places for lunch and dinner:
District Taqueria: I love the simple, pared down, still delicious menu. Also, tres leches.
Public at The Brickyard: I prefer this spot for dinner since the cocktail menu is insane and perfect. So delicious. I recommend just blindly ordering whatever the special is. It will be delicious, I promise you. Also, if you are staying at the Hotel at Oldtown, you can get a little extra sloshy on Gordon’s Cups and walk back to your room without having to take off your heels.
My fave: We almost never go to Wichita without visiting The Anchor. It’s our long-time favorite. By now, between the two of us, we’ve tried nearly everything on the menu (which, to be fair, is ever rotating). I recommend the Salmon BLT and I can say with about 80% confidence that my partner, Ryan, would recommend the Poutine Haystack. (This spot was also in the running for the breakfast column because their brunch menu is pretty great but, personally, I think they really shine in the PM.)
Places to stay:
My fave: The Ambassador Hotel is where we stayed last time and we were completely blown away. Completely blown away. We just drove past this hotel and were like, “hey let’s stay there.” We did a quick google and booked a room real fast without doing much research at all. I don’t know how it happened but for around the same amount that we pay at our usual hotel, we ended up in what I’ve just learned is called the “premium king corner suite”. Maybe it was a fluke? I don’t know how we got that space for that price but I’m definitely going to try to make it happen again. (See if you get lucky here). I kid you not, that room has the same square footage as our whole apartment. It was glorious. Have I oversold it yet? Let’s wrap up.
Booking through this widget helps The Voyageer produce high quality content at no extra cost to you: