Wichita is among the top summer travel destinations in the US, analysis says. Here’s why

Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle

Wichita has recently been named one of the top five summer travel spots in the U.S. by personal finance site WalletHub.

The list was compiled by ranking the most affordable destinations in the country that are the easiest to reach. WalletHub looked at 100 metro areas in six categories: travel costs/hassles, local costs, attractions, weather, activities and safety. Each category had a point system that could total 100 points.

Wichita was named No. 4 on the list with 63.5 points. It ranked right below Washington, D.C., and right above New York City.

Source: WalletHub

Can’t-miss attractions in Wichita

Wichita boasts dozens of museums and local attractions. Some popular attractions downtown include the Keeper of the Plains, the Exploration Place, the Mid-America All-Indian Museum, the Wichita Art Museum and the Old Cowtown Museum.

Outdoor attractions include Botanica, which offers gardens and events, and the Great Plains Nature Center for those looking to learn more about the environment. Wichita is also home to the Sedgwick County Zoo, where you can see more than 3,000 animals, according to its website.

Wichita also has a busy foodie scene, with more than 1,000 restaurants to choose from, according to tourism authority Visit Wichita, many of them local.

As the “air capital of the world,” another popular attraction is the Kansas Aviation Museum. Wichita gained the title in 1928 and is the site major aircraft companies Cessna, Beechcraft, Learjet and more began, according to WichitaAviationHistory.com.

Visit Wichita reports 35% of all planes built in the U.S. are delivered by Kansas.

A summer trip to Wichita can also include seeing a Music Theatre Wichita show.

In 2018, tourists visiting the city contributed more than $1 billion in economic impact to the area, Visit Wichita reports. The coronavirus pandemic in 2020 resulted in a decline of around $500 million in Sedgwick County, but Visit Wichita says the area saw an increase of about 28% in hotel occupancy in the first quarter of 2022.

Top 10 summer travel destinations in the US

Here are the top 10 places to visit in the U.S. summer, according to WalletHub:

  1. Atlanta, Ga.

  2. Honolulu, Hawaii

  3. Washington, D.C.

  4. Wichita, Kansas

  5. New York, N.Y.

  6. Chicago, Ill.

  7. Tampa, Fla.

  8. Orlando, Fla.

  9. Richmond, Va.