Disclosure: Visit Wichita sponsored this post. However, all opinions and photographs are my own.
I love to brag about Wichita for its many things to do and genuine people. And for those of us who call the city home, 316 Day is a little extra special. Most people think 316 is just an area code, but 316 Day is another excuse to discover what the city offers. To celebrate it, I’ve included three classic destinations, a can’t-miss experience, and six popular places you must visit.
3 CLASSIC DESTINATIONS
NuWAY Burgers (1416 W. Douglas, 6404 E. Central)
A crumbly burger and fries. A frosty root beer float. There are many reasons to dine at one of Wichita’s longest-running eateries. I’ve eaten at NuWAY since I was a little girl. The food is a classic mainstay of the Wichita food scene.
The original owner Tom McEvoy was on to something when he made the burgers and root beer fresh daily. NuWAY’s slogan Crumbly is Better!®, is true. The loose meat sandwiches prepared with mustard, onion, and pickle have drawn locals and tourists to the restaurant since 1930. It’s common to see out-of-state plates on cars in the parking lot at the original location on West Douglas.
Wichita Brewing Company (535 N. Woodlawn, 8815 W. 13th Street, Suite 100)
Wichita Brewing Company (WBC) is where locals go when they want to enjoy quality craft beer and a food menu that rivals the best breweries in the state. On any given day, the dining room at either location is packed with guests seeking hand-crafted beer and thin-crust, wood-fired pizza. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve visited WBC. A Cooperstown pizza paired with a V-6 IPA keeps me coming back.
Since 2009, the brewing has evolved from five beers on tap to over a dozen and counting. Beer enthusiasts will appreciate barrel-aged brews and seasonal rotators, and casual beer drinkers will enjoy approachable house brews like WuShock Wheat.
Better yet? The brewery supports local causes with every beer they serve. Proceeds from the Wichita State Alumni Association Mug Club fund scholarships, and every time beer drinkers order The Pride of Wichita, they support the Sedgwick County Zoo.
Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum (204 S. Main)
If there is a singular place in the city that tells Doo-Dah’s story the best, it’s the exhibits at Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum.
One look at the building, built in 1892 as City Hall, and visitors will quickly understand why it’s nicknamed the Palace of the Plains. The four-story structure of native limestone, stained glass windows, and a bell tower is an inviting space. Inside, the museum’s collections include over 80,000 artifacts.
Take a self-guided tour to step into “A Child’s World” to imagine a time of one-room schoolhouses and tour “A Wichita Cottage” to see a Victorian-era interpretation of what a middle-class home looked like in 1890. The third floor’s “Wichita the Magic City” displays help visitors learn the heritage of the Wichita Indians that gave the city its name, the days of booming downtown businesses, and the rise of The Air Capital of the World.
Check the Facebook events page for upcoming Senior Wednesday presentations, holiday parties, and discount admission days.
1 CAN’T-MISS ATTRACTION
Keepers on Parade (Various Locations)
Do you love scavenger hunts? The vibrant public art scene is one of the best things about living in Wichita. Artists’ talents are displayed on every side of town, and the Keepers on Parade are a true example. These mini versions of the iconic Keeper of the Plains statue launched when Together Wichita collaborated with artists to celebrate the city’s 150th birthday.
Today, there are dozens of statues installed around town. Finding each of the 10-foot tall fiberglass replicas makes for a free, family-friendly activity. Use the online map to locate one near you – don’t forget to tag @onedelightfullife on Instagram when you find one.
6 POPULAR PLACES
Aroma Coffeehouse (7348 W. 21st St.)
What sets Aroma Coffeehouse apart from the other cafés on the city’s west side? An unmatched welcoming vibe and a long list of menu favorites ranging from mochas and macchiatos to lattes and frappés. Classic coffee drinkers will also feel right at home with delicious drip coffee like Aroma Blend, and guests avoiding caffeine can select from over a dozen beverages. If you arrive hungry, ask about the café’s avocado toast, breakfast burrito, or BLT sandwich.
I chose the Cinnamon Dolce Chai Tea Latte served over ice during my visit. I didn’t mind the short wait for my iced coffee because I was keen to sit in a tiny alcove of the café decorated with modern finishes and seating for two people. It provided a private space to enjoy my beverage while using free Wi-Fi to catch up on work.
Aroma Coffeeshop received top honors in The Wichita Eagle’s “Best of Wichita” contest for a good reason. Check their Instagram page for seasonal coffee drinks and Friday Night entertainment updates.
Topgolf (2976 N. Greenwich Rd.)
If you want to try something out of the ordinary, why not hit golf balls from the side of a building? Topgolf offers beginner and experienced golfers the chance to work on their swing. Participants rent climate-controlled hitting bays complete with complimentary golf clubs. The fun starts when high-tech balls land in outfield targets allowing you to score points and compete against friends or family.
But Topgolf is more than an elevated driving range. It’s a gathering place where you could spend hours dining on sports bar-like food, enjoying drinks, watching the game, or perfecting your golf game. During my recent visit, I noticed several private parties rented VIP areas and individual golf bays. Topgolf makes the party extra fun by serving drinks like $20 Golfbags served in a take-home mug for parties of two more.
1400 Elderslie (1400 Museum Blvd.)
The latest addition to the Elderslie Farm business is 1400 Elderslie, a beautiful restaurant inside the Wichita Art Museum. With views of the Art Garden, I devoured the highly recommended Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. Other menu options included salads, bakery items, entrees, and breakfast skillets. Afterward, patrons can enjoy the museum’s American art collection. Admission is always free.
Fans of 1400 Elderslie will want to also check out Everyday by Elderslie for grab-and-go bites and Elderslie Farm in Kechi, Kansas, to tour and experience the Bramble Cafe, Creamery, and Woodworks shop. The farm’s restaurant is a dining and shopping destination using a farm-to-table concept serving guests in a country setting.
Dōma (7703 E. Douglas Ave.)
One of the most popular places to dine with friends in the city is Dōma. Located near Towne East Square, it’s the ideal gathering place to sip a cocktail in the lounge or enjoy a meal of American fare with a global twist in the restaurant’s dining room.
We appreciated the upscale atmosphere during our visit while indulging in Pork Belly Bao Buns and a bowl of Lobster Bisque as appetizers. The Fancy Grilled Cheese with Tomato and a Fattoush Salad with Grilled Chicken exceeded our expectations for dinner. Another bonus? Chef Harvey updates the menu often. The restaurant serves Sunday Brunch for $35/per person.
If you’re stopping by for a cocktail, the bar with covered lounge space is ideal for unwinding while listening to live music. Wichita-based musicians like Harrison Steele and Rudy Love and the Encore are known to perform sets under a canopy of lights.
The Selfie Spot (1811 E. Douglas Ave.)
Sometimes you need to let loose and laugh a little, and The Selfie Spot is the place to do it. The self-serve photography playground allows participants to use their phones to take selfie photos in 14 different thematic spaces. Each is designed with unique backdrops and props, making for memorable photos of yourself or when taken with a group.
We had a blast interacting with the spaces during my visit. It was easy to mount my phone to the provided ring light stand and set the timer to shoot photos. Planning a family night out or an evening with friends on the town? Reserve tickets for a weekend session here.
Riverfront Stadium (275 S. McLean Blvd.)
Home of the Wichita Wind Surge, Riverfront Stadium allows spectators to watch the city’s Double-A affiliate team run the bases. The stadium seats 10,000+ roaring baseball fans and hosts theme nights like Thirsty Thursday, Sunday Family Day, and Two for Tuesdays. And it’s always a good time when the stadium gifts attendees with free merchandise, discount concessions, and fireworks on Opening Night. Plus, the stadium is an attraction, offering a stunning view of the downtown skyline, murals, and public artwork to admire.
When not rooting for a team win, game fans will appreciate touring the stadium’s Wichita Baseball Museum, housing artifacts showcasing the city’s baseball history. A section of the original Lawrence-Dumont Stadium sign and a turnstile is a part of the exhibit. Admission is free Monday-Friday from 9 am-5 pm – remember to call in advance at 316-221-8000 to schedule a visit.
I know I’m biased when I tell others there is always great dining and fun entertainment in Wichita, but it’s true. Let this guide be a starting point for your adventure touring the city on #316Day or any day of the year. For more travel inspiration, head to Visit Wichita.