20 Reasons We Love Kansas
With its past as an Old West cow town and a launchpad for the aviation industry, Wichita--Kansas' largest city (metro population: 357,000)--strikes an interesting historical balance, reflected in the city's mix of museums.
Clyde Cessna, Walter Beech and Lloyd Stearman were among the adventurers who launched the city's aircraft industry in the early 1900s. Visitors can learn more about the area's high-flying heritage at the Kansas Aviation Museum, the former terminal of the Wichita Municipal Airport, built in the Art Deco style of the 1930s. Pictured at left. (316) 683-9242; kansasaviationmuseum.org
The Old Cowtown Museum (slide 6) captures the rowdy mood of Wichita's early days, while the Mid-America All-Indian Center showcases Native American heritage. (316) 262-5221; theindiancenter.org
At the Wichita Art Museum, glasswork - both historic and contemporary - makes up a big part of the collection. (316) 268-4921; wichitaartmuseum.org
Exploration Place lets visitors try their skills in two flight simulators and explore other hands-on exhibits. (316) 263-3373; exploration.org
Ivan, said to be one of the world's most complete T. rex skeletons, is among the artifacts on display at Museum of World Treasures. (316) 263-1311; worldtreasures.org