Disclosure: Visit McPherson sponsored this post, however, all opinions are my own. All of the photos were taken by me.
McPherson, Kansas is one of those towns you wish you had visited sooner and can’t wait to return to again. A short drive from Wichita, the central Kansas town is the perfect getaway for a day trip. If you’re in search of Main Street shopping, diverse dining options, historical museums and buildings, phenomenal artwork, and fun outdoor activities, then McPherson is the ideal place to spend time exploring.
For me, the heart and soul of a town are its people and the residents of McPherson are incredibly welcoming. Each business owner and employee made me feel like I was the only person in the room. Whether they were enthusiastically telling me about Main Street or the town, they wanted to make sure that I enjoyed my visit.
Like me, it won’t take you long to realize that McPherson is not just another Kansas town. It’s exactly where you want to be either for the day or perhaps longer. It’s time you discover what McPherson has to offer!
FOOD & DRINK
CRAFT COFFEE PARLOR
The best way to start your day in McPherson is to sip on a freshly brewed cup of coffee and enjoy a cinnamon roll at Craft Coffee Parlor (120 N. Main), a space that reminds you of a big city café. The interior of the coffee shop is designed with a modern, industrial aesthetic. They considered every detail in its design from the restored wood floors to the artistic details of the latté art. I appreciated the paintings on display while enjoying my coffee in the good company of strangers who studied nearby or were chatting with friends.
I recommend asking the friendly employees about their high-end coffee selection as well as kombucha on tap. Visiting on a good weather day? Take your coffee outdoors to enjoy on the front patio situated under string lights to enjoy the view of Main Street. View Craft Coffee Parlor’s hours here.
NOFFY’S SANDWICH SHOP & PUB
A fan of hoagies and charcuterie, I knew I wanted to eat lunch at Noffy’s Sandwich Shop & Pub (210 N. Main). Known for serving authentic east coast-inspired meals and cocktails, they use only the freshest most flavorful ingredients. The menu is loaded with a selection of hoagies, salads, charcuterie boards, and beverages. Don’t forget to leave room for dessert as they serve Sweet Italian Cannolis – ask about the flavor of the day!
A takeout-only restaurant, we ordered the Traditional Italian 12″ hoagie and created a charcuterie board with a choice of three items: butcher’s choice meat (yummy salami!), smoked gouda, and assorted nuts. I’m still craving the artisan cheese! It made for a delightful meal while seated at Lakeside Park (500 W. Lakeside Drive). What could be better than enjoying a delicious lunch surrounded by the picturesque landscape of a beautiful city park? View the restaurant’s hours here or get a glimpse of the menu here.
THREE RINGS BREWERY
You know you’re in the right place when you see the food truck chef delivering a hot pizza to customers seated inside a brewery. Three Rings Brewery (536 Old U.S. 81) is known for serving tasty craft beer and for having a visiting food truck on-site. Stop by to enjoy a beer on the patio or belly up to the bar inside the taproom.
During our visit, we swapped stories and learned more about the great people that make McPherson what it is while sipping on a Vertigo IPA and their latest recipe, Summer Breeze Lime Gosé. Already a fan of one of their flagship beers, Wanderlust, a Scottish Red, I had always wanted to visit the taproom. Just as we suspected, we left with a full growler in hand and great memories of our time spent there. It’s easy to see why the brewery has a regular following of craft beer fans after five years of business. I recommend visiting Thursday-Saturday to experience it first-hand. View the taproom hours and food truck schedule here.
Main Street in McPherson is a shopper’s paradise. The town’s storefronts beg for passersby to stop inside and discover the specialty shops. As I strolled along Main Street, I couldn’t resist checking out these stores:
TWICE TOLD TALES
Within minutes of your arrival inside of Twice Told Tales (104 S. Main), you’ll be picking up books to take home with you. The boutique second-hand store is stocked with a large inventory of gently used books, a small collection of new books, and gift-giving items ranging from journals to greeting cards. The owner, Libby, and her friendly staff are always ready to help you find the book you’re searching for or even the unexpected selection – ask her about Blind Date with a Book.
As you peruse the bookcases, you’ll quickly be impressed at the high-quality selections. Of course, my eyes darted right for the cookbooks and travel guides, but I also found myself gazing at the rest of the gently-used books. The backend of the story is dedicated to the littlest shoppers while the rest of the story carries books for all ages. Not able to make it to the store? You can buy any book you see on the store’s Instagram page over the phone. View the bookstore’s hours here.
The Sunflower Mercantile (106 N. Main) offers shoppers a chance to purchase home decor items while paying it forward, a win-win! Its mission is to provide services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Every dollar spent at the store goes back to the non-profit to serve these individuals and provide job training and employment.
I quickly spotted several items that I wanted to take home with me including hand-poured, scented candles and a bag of Buckskin Road Coffee roasted in McPherson, Kansas. I love supporting Kansas businesses and the Sunflower Mercantile makes it easy! View their hours here or shop online.
THE COOK’S NOOK
By far one of my favorite stores in Kansas, The Cook’s Nook (219 N. Main) is the quintessential store for anyone who loves to live in the kitchen. Considered the “largest independently owned kitchen store” in the state, they stock everything from pots and pans to small appliances and specialty food items to home decor.
Operated by the daughter of the original owner, Jonna and her staff are committed to helping you find just what you need to add to your home collection or as a gift for someone special. The Cook’s Nook is more than a retail store. It also provides cooking classes taught by a chef and access to specialty foods you won’t find easy access to like the gourmet olive oils and vinegar made by Olivelle. Jonna and her staff are incredibly helpful and willing to answer any questions you have about their inventory. I left with a goodie bag full of ingredients to prepare fish tacos! Give in to your inner chef and shop until your heart’s content at The Cook’s Nook! View their hours here.
THE PINK FLAMINGO
Calling all candy lovers! Satisfy your sweet tooth at The Pink Flamingo (300 N. Main St.) where you can grab a brightly colored bucket and fill it with every kind of sweet treat you can think of from retro hard candies to sour gummies. Remember Big League Chew or Beemans Chewing Gum? I left with both items in my bag!
A visit to The Pink Flamingo isn’t complete without purchasing a macaroon or chocolate truffle made in-house by the owner. Delightful! Spending time inside the candy store is a walk down memory lane as you are certain to find yourself reminiscing about the candy you used to eat, so grab and a bucket and fill it up! View their hours here.
A must-stop on Main Street is The Clayworks at Disability Supports, a non-profit that sells one-of-a-kind works of art made by individuals with disabilities and by local professional artists. Each handcrafted piece for sale includes the story of the individual who created it. Nestled inside a historic building, The Clayworks includes the artists’ work area, a gallery, and a retail shop.
They are committed to enriching the lives of their clients. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of their merchandise go to providing income adding to their independence and self-confidence. Wait until you see the quality of the pieces! I was blown away by the craftsmanship. While shopping The Clayworks, be sure to step inside their gallery, One Door North. View their location and hours here.
THE STONE CHIMNEY
Only a short drive from Main Street, shoppers who love home decor and silk florals will also appreciate visiting The Stone Chimney (1500 E. 1st Street). The ideal shopping spot for someone looking to purchase a housewarming gift or to create a custom gift make from botanicals, the friendly staff at The Stone Chimney is happy to accommodate shoppers.
I also enjoyed spending a few tranquil moments watching the waterfall and stocked koi pond outside the shop. It’s a nice place to take a photo while visiting McPherson. Inquire about their hours here.
MUSEUM & PUBLIC ART
To truly get to know a town, I always visit its museum. If I hadn’t toured the McPherson Museum & Arts Foundation (1111 E. Kansas Avenue), I would have never learned about the town’s first gold medal basketball team, the Globe Refiners, or viewed ice age fossils from Kansas dating back 40,000 years. Where else would I have discovered the work of notable artists like Birger Sandzén or touched a 126-pound meteorite? All of these exhibits and more help visitors connect the history of the town to what it is today.
For me, I appreciated learning about the boys that made up the Globe Refiners amateur basketball team in the early 1930s. They went on to represent the United States at the 1936 Olympic Games in Germany where they played against Canada on a rain-soaked outdoor clay court. They played their hearts out while covered in mud and went on to win the first-ever gold medal in basketball. The “tallest team in the world” made McPherson proud.
The home to numerous murals, McPherson celebrates its history with a collection of paintings displayed around town. Using this listing, you can take a self-guided walking or driving tour. A few that caught my eye were All Schools Day Mural (123 S. Main) and The Globe Refiners (Ash Street and Kansas Avenue). Keep your eyes peeled and your camera poised to capture all six murals. View the brochure here.
TURKEY CREEK GOLF COURSE
An 18-hole, golf course designed with native grasses and water features, Turkey Creek Golf Course (1000 Fox Run Drive) is just the place to polish your game. Each hole includes four sets of tees. Need to practice your drive before taking to the links? You’ll appreciate the 300+ yard driving range. Open since 1990, the course is manicured to perfection.
I hadn’t played golf since my early days when I played on the varsity team in high school. It didn’t take long before I knocked the rust off. I certainly appreciated having a golf cart, a slight rate upgrade. Perhaps the next time I visit, I’ll schedule a golf lesson! If you’re a golf enthusiast, be sure to book a tee time at the beautiful Turkey Creek Golf Course here.
TAKE THE TROLLEY
Another entertaining way to explore the city is by renting McPherson Trolley with a group or enjoying it during one of their themed tours. It’s a fun way to enjoy the town whether you’re interested in a holiday lights tour or want to take in the town during a private group tour. I’d love to include a trolley tour for my return trip to McPherson.
For small Kansas town, McPherson celebrates outdoor parks in a big way. With 300 acres of city parks brimming with beautiful landscaping and sitting areas, the town has a park for every visitor. A dog-lover? Make your way to Bremyer Dog Park (1000 S. Centennial)! Visiting with the kiddos? Take them to Homeside Park for a game of t-ball or to climb the playground. To view all of the parks, visit the listing here.
No matter the reason you find yourself in McPherson, you’ll find it hard to leave. The people, the attractions, and the scenery make for a day trip getaway. I look forward to returning to the quaint town to chat more with the locals and refill my growler at Three Rings Brewery. Trust me, the short drive to McPherson from Wichita is worth it – plan your visit!