It’s time to start thinking about vacations and getaways and you’re looking for ideas for the best road trips from Wichita. Even though Wichita is tucked away in the middle of Kansas, there are still some great options for road trips that range from easy to totally doable in a day.
Take a look at this list of the best road trips from Wichita and get started with planning your next getaway!
1. Bentonville, AR.
What’s not to love about Bentonville’s welcoming town square, complete with the original Walmart store (now a free museum.)? Bentonville has grown to be a hot spot for biking with trails popping up all over the place. Oh, and one of the coolest art museums in the country is located here! Crystal Bridges is an awesome place to spend the day! Bentonville has some great restaurants, too!
246 miles (4 hours)
2. Dallas/Fort Worth, TX.
Get two destinations in one road trip! Both Dallas and Fort Worth have plenty of things to see and do. Take a trip to the top of Reunion Tower, or visit the historic site where JFK where killed. Dallas is loaded with great museums and restaurants. Forth Worth is home to the world famous Fort Worth Stockyards, which is a great place to experience your first rodeo! You can also visit the Bureau of Engraving – one of just two places in the U.S. that prints currency. North Texas also has wineries and plenty of outdoor activities. DWF (that’s what the cool kids call it) makes our list of best road trips from Wichita!
Bill’s Advice: Dallas is the closest place to Missouri that has In-N-Out fast-food restaurants! While it’s just a personal favorite, it’s worth checking out since most of them are located in southern California.
364 miles (5 hours, 20 minutes)
3. Oklahoma City, OK.
Oklahoma City has been busy over the last few years and has become a legit travel destination. Bricktown is the hot spot for nightlife and dining, while the city’s other neighborhoods (called “districts”) all offer something interesting for visitors. The Oklahoma City bombing memorial is a must-visit and the National Cowboy Museum and Hall of Fame is pretty interesting. If you don’t know anything about banjos – don’t let that deter you from checking out the American Banjo Museum either! It’s very cool. But the best part of OKC’s re-birth is all of the food! It’s insane how many new restaurants have popped up in the city limits over the last few years. If you love good food, you will love Oklahoma City!
Bill’s Advice: While exploring, make some time to chill out at the Myriad Botanical Garden – a 15 acre urban garden downtown. Oklahoma City also has a new streetcar, although they charge a $3.00 fee to use it for the day. It’s probably worth it as the routes take you all over town and you won’t have to worry about driving.
161 miles (2 hours, 25 minutes)
4. Springfield, MO.
Springfield is one of the easier road trips from Wichita, and claims to be the “birthplace of Route 66”. (The historic highway’s first stretch of road was installed here nearly 100 years ago.) Stop into the Route 66 themed visitor center for ideas on what to see during your stay. Be sure to visit the amazing Wonders of Wildlife – voted one of the best tourist attractions in the U.S. for multiple years running; Fantastic Caverns; and even the “world’s largest fork” is located here!
247 miles (4 hours)
5. Branson, MO.
Branson is one of the best weekend road trips from Wichita if you enjoy family-friendly entertainment! There are so many great shows and things to keep the kids amused. Be sure to check out Silver Dollar City for amazing roller coasters and rides – especially during the holidays when things are fully decorated! The landing in downtown Branson has lots of shops and you’ll love the dancing fountain that plays at the top of each hour! And the giant ferris wheel in Branson was once on Chicago’s Navy Pier. It’s huge and lights up each evening.
285 miles (4 hours, 39 minutes)
6. St. Louis, MO.
St. Louis is a longer drive than the other destinations mentioned here, but still worthy on a list of best road trips from Wichita. Known as the “Gateway to the West”, St. Louis has the world’s tallest monument – the Gateway Arch, which you can go inside and all the way to the top. Take a tour of the world famous Anheuser-Busch Brewery; catch a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game; explore Forest Park and all of its free attractions like the Zoo and Art Museum; and don’t forget a stop at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard on Route 66!
441 miles (6 hours, 35 minutes)
7. Omaha, NE.
Omaha, which is about five hours away, is definitely worth a stop and ideal for a weekend away from home. Plan your visit to coincide with a concert or local festival to get the most bang for your travel buck! After eating at one of Omaha’s many steakhouses – a walk is in order around the water at Heartland of America Park – a terrific public green space, with roaring fountains. The Henry Doorly Zoo is ranked one of the best in the country, and the Durham Museum is a fun family stop. For a sports fan – consider visiting during the College World Series.
Bill’s Advice: Omaha is only 2.5 hours from Kansas City if you want to extend a road trip from KC. When you visit, check out a really great Italian cafe that has been around forever – Orsi’s. It’s more of a bakery but they have pizza that is very good! Be sure to mention you’re visiting and they’re likely to toss in some free garlic cheese bread!
300 miles (4 hours, 46 minutes)
8. Manhattan, KS.
Manhattan is a totally underrated college town that’s really quite lovely. It’s located right off of Highway 70 and known to locals at “The Little Apple” – a play on the quite larger Manhattan in New York. Head to town for a college football game and enjoy the small town vibe, or simply go to visit a couple of the museums and stroll around downtown for shopping and dining. I recently wrote an article on visiting Manhattan and things to see/do.
301 miles (4 hours, 46 minutes)
9. Little Rock, AR.
Little Rock clocks in as one of the longer road trips on our list – just under 7 hours. It’s a great city that doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Start your adventure along the river and check out sculptures as well as the bridges that light up at night. The Clinton Presidential Library is full of interesting history (no matter what your politics happen to be!) Little Rock has a terrific dining scene and is also home to America’s only purse museum!
448 miles (6 hours, 38 minutes)
10. Tulsa, OK.
Tulsa is one of the closest road trips from Wichita and full of great attractions like the new Bob Dylan Museum and the Woody Guthrie Center downtown. Take an amazing tour of Tulsa’s underground tunnels and learn about the city’s art deco architecture. Check out the gigantic Golden Driller statue for a fun photo op! Tulsa has some great restaurants as well.
176 miles (2 hours, 40 minutes)