Day three begins with a one hour drive to Hutchinson, northwest of Wichita. Your first stop will the Kansas Cosmosphere and Discovery Center, ranked second only to the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum in Washington. It is one of just three museums in the world to display flown spacecraft for all three of the U.S. space programs, Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. Want to see the real Apollo 13? Cosmosphere. Want to see Gus Grissom’s Liberty Bell 7 that ended up on the bottom of the ocean and the dimes that Grissom brought on board? The Cosmosphere raised it and restrored it. Fan of Chuck Yeager and The Right Stuff? You’ll see the actual engine that propelled Glamorous Glennis past the sound barrier. Jack Ridley is even memorialized.
They even have a real V-1 and V-2, the rockets that terrorized London in WWII. All of this is designed to be enjoyed in a walking tour of the museum (you don’t need a guide).
After the Cosmosphere, have lunch at the Lone Star Cafe. Then, you have two choices for the afternoon. If you have children, don’t miss the Sedgwick County Zoo back in Wichita. I have been to zoos all over the United States and our zoo is one of the best. Clean and easy to walk, the entire family will love it.
If it is adults only, stay in Hutchinson and visit the Underground Salt Mine Museum (click the link the read the numerous 5-star reviews). Because of the extremely stable, dry environment, it is the storage location of numerous original prints of Hollywood movies, TV shows and historical documents. It is an amazing tour that gets rave reviews.
To cap off your visit, have dinner at one of the many restaurants in northwest Wichita then end your visit with a movie at the Warren Theatre’s IMAX screen, the largest screen of its kind in the world. If you time your visit just right, you may be able to see “Tornado Alley” in IMAX 3-D.
After the movie, have an ice cream treat in the theatre’s restaurant or, if you are from a part of the country that does not have Sonic restaurants, go east on 21st a short distance and enjoy dessert at the drive-in.
That concludes Three Perfect Days in Wichita. I’ll have some concluding remarks tomorrow.