Let’s be honest, most of us don’t consider Kansas a particularly exciting or even worthwhile destination. For this reason, this state—like so many others in the middle of the country—tends to be driven through without even a thought about stopping to explore.
This is understandable. At first glance, most of the state doesn’t really look like much more than a bunch of fields and cows. However, if you take the time to look a little deeper, you might just find that this place is worth a stop when passing through. In fact, some parts of Kansas could even be destinations on their own.
Wichita, KS is a good example of this. We had the opportunity to spend some time in this cute little city over the summer and came away with lots of great new memories. Our family will definitely visit again, and we will recommend this place to travelers every chance we get.
Why do we love Wichita? Here are the top 4 reasons we highly recommend it.
1. Great camping options
One of the most frustrating things is deciding on a destination, only to find out there are no RV campgrounds nearby. Most RVs can’t easily be parked just anywhere, making a campground or RV park essential when one wishes to spend time in a city. Fortunately, while Wichita doesn’t have a ton of RV camping, it does offer a few really great options both within the city and just outside of it.
Here are our favorite campgrounds in the Wichita area:
- Air Capital RV Park — This park is located right in the middle of the action surrounded by many restaurants. It provides level, paved pads, and is surprisingly quiet for the area.
- All Seasons RV Park — If you don’t mind staying a little bit outside of the city, All Seasons RV Park is a great, slightly cheaper option. They offer amenities such as a playground and walking trail, and the staff is friendly and helpful.
- 4 Mile Creek Resort and Campground — Even further outside of town, 4 Mile Creek Resort and Campground is another great option. The park is basic yet quiet and lovely.
- Cheney State Park — Finally, there is the nearby Cheney State Park. While this park is about 40 minutes away from Wichita, it’s a great place to escape into nature, and you can’t beat the low price of state park camping.
2. Surprising attractions
Wondering what there is to do in Wichita? Actually, there are lots of surprisingly fun attractions in this little city. We had a blast checking these attractions out, and even learned a thing or two while doing it.
Our top three favorites include the following:
- Sedgwick County Zoo — An adorable zoo with a large number of animals, Sedgwick County Zoo is the place to go on a nice day. The zoo is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, meaning members of fellow AZA zoos will be given a discount.
- Exploration Place — Looking for a place to go with kids? Exploration Place is the perfect hands-on science museum and it’s fun even if the weather isn’t cooperating. This museum is a member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC). This means those who hold memberships at participating museums will receive free admission to Exploration Place.
- Old Cowtown Museum — An outdoor living history museum, Old Cowtown Museum is the perfect place to be transported back in time and learn about the past. Our family learned all about the Chisholm Trail and the towns along it while having a great time.
3. Delicious food
Food tends to play a starring role in our travels. We love seeking out new eateries and make a point of trying some local restaurants anytime we can.
We found the following delicious food stops in Wichita and would recommend them to anyone.
- Los Pinos — This teeny-tiny, family-run restaurant doesn’t look like much at all. However, the food is absolutely fantastic. I especially enjoyed the delicious taco shells, which were made using flour tortillas and had an unusual yet enjoyable texture.
- Barn’rds Roast Beef — We’d never come across a restaurant where the main focus was roast beef—until we found Barn’rds. Serving incredible roast beef sandwiches as well as a delicious beef stew, this place was top notch. In fact, it was so good that we returned a second time before our trip was over.
- Picasso’s Pizzeria — This awesome pizza place serves pizza by the slice. They have a variety of topping combinations with fun names such as The Picasso (Basil Pesto, Roma Tomato, Spinach, Feta, Romano) and The Big Island (Canadian Bacon and Pineapple). The decor is super artsy and eclectic, and the slices are enormous.
- Spangles — It’s kinda silly that this one made the list considering it’s a fast food restaurant. However, this local Kansas chain was actually quite good. Not only that, the prices at this eatery were very affordable, making it the place to go when you want to eat out on a budget.
4. Amazing coffee shops
We also really love checking out local coffee shops. Not only does this give us an opportunity to try some delicious coffee beverages, but it also gives us a place to get work done outside of the RV and helps us connect with the community.
We found several great coffee shops in Wichita. In fact, there were more awesome coffee shops here than most places. Here are our favorites:
- Reverie Coffee Roasters — This is one of those places that take their coffee seriously. They serve a fantastic latte and we loved the downtown location. It’s also pretty cool to look through the window next door where they roast their beans.
- Churn & Burn — Do you enjoy quality coffee and housemade ice cream? Churn & Burn gives you a chance to try both at the same time. This eclectic spot serves all the usual coffee drinks alongside plenty of ice cream flavors. However, they also have some coffee drinks and treats that use their ice cream as a base. Go with one of those options!
- Fairmount Coffee Company — We spent a few different mornings at Fairmount. The drinks were quite good and the staff was lovely. However, the thing that made this place stand out was the abundant seating and plentiful outlets, which made working here a breeze. We also really appreciated the huge game collection in the corner.