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A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of traveling to Wichita, Kansas for a blogging event held at the Tanganyika Wildlife Park. There, I not only got to mix and mingle with tourism boards from all over the state…but I got to tour the park.
If you haven’t seen the Ellen episode where Kristen Bell meets a sloth, you’ve got to open up a new tab and head over to Youtube right now to watch it.
Kristen Bell starts crying happy tears over a sloth brought onto set for her.
Not only does Tanganyika have a sloth, but they have one named CHEWBACCA.
You see, for a really long time now I’ve felt that a sloth is my spirit animal. We’re both fond of sleeping, eating, and lookin’ cute.
While there, you can even feed the giraffes! This is one of the babies sniffing my hands — clearly, she’s still smelling the cinnamon roll I devoured only minutes before.
If adorable isn’t your jam, you might love their albino alligator!
After we were done at Tanganyika Wildlife Park, we needed some coffee for a pick-me-up. We stopped at Leslie Coffee Co, and were so impressed! They pay their baristas appropriate wages and don’t accept tips. This does make the prices a little higher, but I’m all for supporting this!
I got a 16 oz Iced Honey Lavender Latte, and it’s the best latte I’ve ever had.
If you’re short on time, you can place your order online.
After getting coffee, we rushed over to Botanica for a private tour of the botanical gardens. Some of my favorite flowers were all of the tulips, and if you’re lucky, you can pick up their bulbs they’ve got for sale ($.50/bulb I believe!).
There are so many kid-friendly things to do at Botanica, as well. My favorite is the kid’s dress up area. Inside of the little caterpillar are clothes for the kids to play with!
B-29 Doc Hangar & Education Center
Doc is a restored B-29 Superfortress, and one of only two that are currently flying. Not only can you actually go inside of Doc, but you can also go for a ride in it!
Equally impressive, I had the pleasure of getting to meet Connie Palacioz, now in her mid-90’s, who was a riveter on the old planes during WWII. When she heard they were going to start restoring Doc, she was quick to volunteer. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear her tell a story or two.
Where to stay
We stayed at DoubleTree by Hilton Wichita Airport, which is super convenient and arguably one of the nicest Hiltons I’ve stayed at (I’m a gold member!).
I regret that I didn’t bring my bathing suit to swim in their pool — it’s huge! That’s not the best part though…the sheets on these beds were the softest sheets I’ve ever had the pleasure of sleeping in.
Considering I used to sell $300+ sheets, I know a thing or two about them. THESE are the best.
There’s also a really nice restaurant right at the hotel called Chisholm’s American Beef and Ale House.
If DoubleTree is sold out (it’s right near the airport, so it could be!), there are a lot of other properties in Wichita. As a gold member, though, I’m partial to Hilton!
Where to eat
In the mood for something local, we went to River City Brewing Co. in Old Town for dinner.
I like my alcohol to taste like kool aid, so at the suggestion of the waiter, I got The Ol Razzle Dazzle, which was perfect for me! I also recommend their Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Homemade Cheesy Creamed Corn, Bread Pudding, and Cast Iron Snickerdoodle.
Other things to do in Wichita
If you have more time, there are so many other fun things to do in Wichita:
- Keeper of the Plains
- Old Cowtown Museum
- All Star Adventures
- Blade & Timber
- Bliss Climbing & Fitness
- Exploration Place
For more, be sure to check out Visit Wichita.
I LOVE that you did things that a tourist would do, but mixed in stuff that only a local would know, too. I’ve been wanting to make a list of random places to visit and the best things to do while there, I’ll add it to my list!
Kathy Haan says
That’s exactly how I love to travel! See the popular places + those off the beaten path!
Rachel Johnson says
I have never seen an albino alligator before, but I have seen that Ellen episode! I would probably react the same way. I will have to check this place out!
Kathy Haan says
This was my first time seeing one, too! I’d love to know what you think once you visit!
Melinda Smith-Stine says
Hands down, I would totally react the same way if I saw that sloth! #spiritanimal for sure!
Kathy Haan says
Pretty sure it’s my spirit animal, too 😉