Trains, Planes, and Climbing in the Sunflower State
Say one of your besties suggested a girl’s weekend to Kansas City. Would your next question be, “The one in Missouri or Kansas?” Or would you be like us at My Girlfriendships®, who’d figure it had to be Kansas, since sunflowers are one of our favorites, and that’s their state flower, or because we’d want to venture to the state that gave us the trailblazing pilot, Amelia Earhart? We wouldn’t be traveling to all these great places without her!
Our research (you know we love to research) on this week’s destination, Kansas, says that the duplicate name comes from the Kansa Native Americans who lived along the banks on both the KS and MO sides of the Kansas River.
Well, this week we are going to Kansas, Leavenworth, and Wichita. That should keep it simple!
What to Do
Known as the “First City”, Leavenworth conjures images of independent, strong people who took the initiative to create a place where they could be together. Sounds like it’s ideal for your group of friends to gather, doesn’t it? Once there, here’s what we suggest doing:
- Fred Harvey Museum | The museum is dedicated to an innovative restaurateur and marketer, Fred Harvey, who’s credited with creating the first restaurant chain in the United States. The museum, recently restored to its historical magnificence, is housed in the Harvey House Mansion and contains historical artifacts and information about the man and the restaurant chain. Here’s their Facebook page.
Much of what people know about Fred Harvey comes from a 1947 Judy Garland movie: The Harvey Girls. (What?! You haven’t seen it? It’s a girlfriendships® must! It’s a story about women who became girlfriends as they worked in Fred Harvey’s restaurants.)
For our girlfriends who love to read, an excellent book is: “Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West-One Meal at a Time.”
- Melissa Etheridge Hometown Tour | Hometown to one of My Girlfriendships’ favorite singers, the Melissa Etheridge Hometown Tour is a must. It includes local spots that impacted Ms. Etheridge as a young girl, and she’s featured in her songs such as “Shriner’s Park”, “High and Dry Like a Kansas Sky”, “Nowhere to Go”, “Meet Me in the Dark”, and so many more. A tour definitely worth taking.
Where to Stay
- The Leavenworth Local Trademark Collection Hotel | A converted 1923 high school in the heart of downtown Leavenworth, this historic hotel has rooms that include kitchenettes (if you want to cook) while you look at the many views of historic Leavenworth. It’s close to Fort Leavenworth (for My Girlfriendships military history buffs) and tours along the Missouri River. It’s also walking distance to restaurants, boutiques, and antique shops.
- Union Park Guest House | This 1900’s bungalow has two fireplaces and its own kitchen to prepare those delicious Let’s Eat recipes, or you can sleep here and enjoy any one of the restaurants in Leavenworth. An outdoor patio is perfect for relaxing after a day of sightseeing with your tribe.
Wichita is the birthplace of Pizza Hut, White Castle, and is known as the “Air Capital of the World” because in 1916, Clyde Cessna (as in the Cessna) signed a contract to start manufacturing planes in Kansas. Since then, the greater Wichita region has pioneered aviation and manufacturing with a culture of innovation building iconic planes. And who can forget Rebecca, owner of “Cheers?” Yes, actress Kirstie Alley, best known for her role as Rebecca Howe in "Cheers," was born in Wichita.
Looking for girlfriend fun and adventure in Wichita? Here are a couple of suggestions:
What to Do
- First Friday Gallery Crawl | Joining a national push to celebrate art and creativity, Wichita switched from Final Friday to First Friday to welcome new exhibition openings. Recognizing the importance and beauty of art of all kinds, local galleries, museums, restaurants, and shops all around Wichita stay open late to welcome visitors. This free event brings the community together in an appreciation of creativity and uniqueness. Find them on Facebook.
- Bliss Climbing and Fitness | Looking for something more adventurous? Bliss Climbing and Fitness has the answer. Book a fun girlfriendships party that will include personal and group goals, all while creating a deeper group bond.
Where to Stay
Staying in Wichita? Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Hotel at Old Town | This boutique hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Old Town Wichita. Built in 1906, the four-story Hotel at Old Town was originally a warehouse facility for the Keen Kutter brand of tools, silverware, dishes, and sporting goods. A century later, local hotelier Jack DeBoer, founder of the Residence Inn, purchased the Keen Kutter warehouse with the idea of creating a truly unique hospitality experience. Showcasing history, the Hotel at Old Town searched for Keen Kutter brand items, resulting in the largest assembled now displayed on each floor in museum-quality cases alongside photos of early Wichita. The collection serves as a tribute to the hotel’s history一and you know how much My Girlfriendships loves history.
- Delano Bed and Breakfast | Located in the quiet, historic Delano District of Wichita, this 106 year old historic bungalow was originally built by automobile dealer pioneer Morris Schollenberger, President and co-founder of the first car dealership in Kansas. Once inside, you’ll feel yourself leaving the hectic pace of the 21st century behind. The Delano features historically preserved interiors, antiques, original fine art, and mission-style furniture. Outside enjoy a covered front porch or take a stroll through the cottage garden.
There will be no confusion on the memories you and your besties will make in Kansas. Let’s go!