Explore Wichita with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!
Wichita is the biggest city in Kansas, and a busy place that hosts a thriving aviation industry. More than half the world’s planes are built here and the locals are big plane fans, with a surprising amount holding a pilot’s licence of their own. Tear your eyes away from the skies for just a second, though, and you’ll discover plenty of ground-based attractions that make it a worthy addition to any Kansas itinerary.
It’s a good idea to book a rental car in Wichita. It’s a big, sprawling city and can be difficult to get around on foot. Plus, with hire car keys in hand, you’re free to set out across the Kansas plains in search of adventure. And there’s plenty to see around here – you could go south past Wellington and Arkansas City to Oklahoma, about an hour and a half away, or take the road to Kansas City, about three hours north. Whichever direction you head in, you’ll find plenty to enjoy.
Planning a trip to Wichita? Your best bet is to fly into Wichita Dwight D Eisenhower National Airport, Kansas’s largest airport. It’s not far outside of the city to the southwest, about 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre.
When you book a hire car in Wichita, you’re free to choose from a range of popular providers. Well-known brands include Dollar, Hertz and Thrifty, and they all have a wide selection of vehicles to choose from, including compact city cars and SUVs.
Wichita has not one but two brilliant wildlife attractions, the Sedgwick County Zoo and the Tanganyika Wildlife Park. At the former, you can come face to face with animals including chimpanzees, orangutans and elephants. The second is a much larger outdoor place, which hosts giraffes and rare white tigers, among others. They also host drinks nights and parties: check the website for more information before you travel.
The city also has a stunning botanical garden, the Botanica Wichita. It’s a beautiful place to while away an afternoon, with more than 30 themed gardens featuring plants local to the region, as well as some from even further away. The Chinese Garden of Friendship is a highlight; as well as oriental flowers and trees, it includes some traditional Chinese architecture and art, all created with the help of Wichita’s Chinese sister city, Kaifeng.
Wichita’s best known attraction is the Keeper of the Plains, a 44-foot tall steel sculpture that marks the point where the Big and Little Arkansas rivers meet. Footbridges let you walk right over to the plaza it stands on, and each night in spring and summer it comes alive with a glowing Ring of Fire display.
Driving in Wichita is no different to driving in the rest of the US. Drive on the right, and remember to allow priority to traffic joining from the right. You’re required to keep your licence, ID and insurance documents with you at all times.
Feeling inspired to visit Wichita for yourself? Start with this Wichita city guide, and then use the Expedia search tool. It can help you find the best deals on flights and hotels, and to research the best attractions and activities.
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