To be honest, I wasn’t sure how much of Wichita I would get to see when I got off the plane for three days of meetings. It was going to be a busy few days and I was sure I’d be exhausted by the end of every one of them to the point where I’d just want to go to sleep after grabbing the nearest dinner I could find. Much to my surprise, those three days of meetings lasted only two days, so I had 24 hours to do what I wanted to do in this beautiful city. I wasn’t sure what to do about a hotel as the only Wichita hotel I’d ever stayed at was the one I was leaving that morning. Fortunately, I logged onto HotelTonight and found several choices for Wichita hotels. I chose the one that seemed the best fit for me and within minutes I was all set.
I rented a car and drove towards the hotel. I wasn’t sure what I was going to see or where I was going to go, but I’m one of those people who prefers to just mix myself in with the locals. I’m not all that interested in the touristy things. When I got to the hotel I realized immediately that I had made a great choice. It was conveniently located, it was comfortable and the staff members were extremely helpful. I asked them what I should do if I wanted to see Wichita in 24 hours, and I got some really good tips. It was time to head out on my day of exploration.
Downtown in any city is a logical place to start exploring, as this is usually the center of it all and will give you an overall vibe of what a place is like. It was the last Friday of the month as it turned out, which is Final Friday in downtown Wichita. It’s as if the city gets together and throws a big party once per month. Art galleries and museums, among many other operations, were vibrant with people going through them and having a good time. I was told these places would all stay open late, as they do for every Final Friday. It was really something to see.
Nestled into the downtown Wichita area is Old Town, and as the name suggests this is an historic area to say the least. The streets are lined with bricks. Even the lampposts are seemingly from a bygone era in history. A lot of the buildings were old warehouses that had been converted for modern use, and one person told me many of these buildings dated back to the 1800’s. I shopped at a few stores for gifts and then stopped in for a coffee at a local café. It was a wonderful break in a day that was shaping up to be filled with memories.
I ventured out a bit after seeing a lot of great things in Old Town into College Hill. This is your classic “Americana” neighborhood with tree-lined streets, children playing and beautiful homes. It’s also a part of Wichita with a lot of choices for great restaurants, and that was a good thing because I was extremely hungry. They seem to like their hamburgers here in Kansas, and I went to an actual burger pub. There aren’t many places left in the country where you sit down and order hamburgers like you would in a full-scale restaurant. My lunch was unbelievable. I had to almost force myself not to order more food. It was probably good that I didn’t, as I had a lot more to see around town.
I drove into Indian Hills Riverbend, which is a place as nice as its name is unique. This is a neighborhood with several beautiful parks, and that was a good thing because I had a huge lunch to walk off before I could really do anything else. I walked into a little zoo and strolled some more and then stumbled upon a shop that sold different kinds of nuts. I love nuts, but since I was so full from lunch I just bought some and decided to save them for later.
Orchard Park is a neighborhood that seems to be moving in the right direction. There are a lot of homes here and a lot of different places to eat, drink and shop. It’s also a place that is seeing quite a bit of reinvestment, so you’re likely going to be hearing more and more about Orchard Park in the future. It was also time for dinner, and I had done a lot of walking so I was ready to do what needs to be done when you’re in this part of the country – feast on some barbecue. It was worth the wait, and that’s really all there is to say about this memorable dinner.
It had been a fun, interesting and frankly delightful day in this lovely city. I was glad I spent the day here to get to know it a bit, because the next time I come I’ll have a better idea of where to go and what to do. I’ll also have an easy time finding a Wichita hotel, as HotelTonight will have whatever I need ready for me in an instant.