Wichita has a split personality. On the one hand, it still feels like the Old West cow town of its early days. On the other, it has the fondness for progress and technology of a city once known as the “air capital of the world.” Nice thing is, there’s no need to pick a side.
Wichita has been an aviation powerhouse since the 1920s, when it built Cessnas and Beechcraft (it still does). Production ramped up during World War II when the city made parts for Boeing bombers. Trace this history in all its glory at the Kansas Aviation Museum.
Old Cowtown Museum revisits the city’s beginnings – it’s a living history museum, complete with wagon rides, blacksmiths and the occasional gunfight. Don’t miss the Museum of World Treasures, covering everything from the Ice Age to the Berlin Wall. Work by Plains Indian artists is on display at the Indian Center Museum. Stroll through the lovely Botanical Gardens, and check out Old Town’s revitalized warehouse district for dining and lively bars.