Good eats, fun adventures, wine sipping, and uncovering hidden gems is what great girlfriend getaways are made of. I found all of this in the Heartland. In fact, there are 28 girlfriend getaway experiences in the Heartland from Wichita to Kansas City (KCK), Kansas that I want to share with you.
Girlfriend getaways are those journies we take together as girls to indulge in experiences. Quality time bonds friendship. In friendship, we seek out places that are safe, and fun to travel to and then light it up.
Kansas, the heartland offers the quintessential of the perfect girlfriend getaway: wine, a vast range of culinary experiences, adventures, shopping, and surprises within each city. When you mix all of this together, you come up with a perfect trip.
Call it the something for every and anyone. A girlfriend trip waiting to be uncovered awaits you in the Heartland. We came and experienced and now I want to share it with you. Want to know the 28 girlfriend getaway experiences in the Heartland? Read, then plan your own getaway to Wichita and Kansas City, Kansas.
28 Girlfriend Getaway Experiences In the Heartland
From the moment we landed in Wichita, until the minute we were wheels up and departing to Kansas City, Kansas, we literally never stopped experiencing the Heartland. Everything we tried, was unique to the area,
My guess is before I am done with all 28 experiences in the Heartland, you will experience fernweh and rightly so. That feeling of homesick over a place you have never been will meet your passion for wanderlust. It’s time to visit Wichita and Kansas City too!
Staying Central To It All – Hilton Garden Inn (1)
We truly were in the Heart of the Heartland with our lodging accommodations. In fact, it was a small touch of heaven to me because an extensive shopping plaza was a one minute walk from the hotel!
The Hilton Garden Inn at Bradley Fair Parkway is what we called home for 3 nights! In between our last afternoon activities and dinner we would run n and out. Our room had everything we needed from a refrigerator to a hair dryer!
Parking was never an issue at the Hilton Garden Inn at Bradley Fair Parkway, which was another plus.
As I mentioned it was close to everything and our first romp was to a less than a minute away breakfast that we will not soon forget. Get your breakfast bellies ready! It’s time for some serious food consumption.
HomeGrown Wichita (2)
Do you know the word hygge? It means you are comfortable, living in the moment with friends. HomeGrown in Wichita capitalizes on the definition through eating and drinking while being together in a comfortable environment.
Happy faces greeted us at the front door, seated us and then served us. Food, that was ‘Dana-esque’ and that met Kallie’s groove was served up fresh and fabulous. Starting out with a round of freshly crafted beverages ranging from Orange Juice to Power Drinks.
Of course, no meal would be complete without a Sunrise Margarita. Famous for homemade ‘Poptarts’ that are IMO better than any ‘Poptart’ I’ve eaten, I gotta say try them.
Follow that order up with either the Bowl that Kallie ate or my incredible discovery of food away from home “Avocado Toast!” Think me silly if you want, but I’m a total avo gal and I eat this in my home every morning.
Finding it on the menu sealed my affection for HomeGrown. HomeGrown is a culinary experience to enjoy in the morning until early afternoon.
Board & Brush (3)
Next, it was off to a morning of discovery around Wichita. The rain kept coming down but that did not dampen our girlfriend getaway spirit. we traveled to Board and Brush. This totally ‘nailed’ my interest (pun intended).
My DIY Experience
For those that love farm-like board signs Board and Brush is where it’s at. We spent about 2 hours here (and easily could have spent more ) crafting our board projects. Craft your own DIY wood sign in the workshop.
Suddenly you will have a new decor piece for your home! It takes a few hours and the end result feels so good to just stare at. Your hands are the crafters and the tools are all in the room!
One thing I learned is that creativity here has no boundaries but colors will make a difference. Listen to the instructions and be prepared to enjoy. I sure did and so did Kallie.
Choose colors carefully or your messaging won’t show. Trust me, I experienced Meraki here.
These ladies are the true definition of industrious and women with hustle. Why? It is noteworthy that they not only own this franchise of Board and brush, but they also own a cupcake food truck and are full-time doctors.
Buckets of Chips & Salsa with a side of Crunch (4)
Our next stop within walking distance of Board and Brush was District Taqueria. Its a must stop foodies and a preview of other food you might try ‘elsewhere’ in the Heartland. Read on for more!
Stop here for ‘street-style’ Mexican eats, but really go for the chips (ok, so that’s my reason, lol!). Truly a ‘gotta try hot spot ‘ offering a very large bar area and plenty of tables.
Oh My Buckets of Chips – Delish
Our server was so upbeat that he made us even more happy to be there. We mentioned we were ravenous with hunger and that chips and salsa were our jam. His return on our words was a continuous flow of the buckets of chips.
Never did we have to ask, they just delivered. I gotta talk about these chips just for a second because they were remarkable. The chips offered a very crisp texture with a fair balance of salt, with some that curled into one another.
I got shrimp street tacos in fact, I ordered just one, because you can but 3 arrived. I shared. Shrimp, Napa Cabbage Slaw and striped with a Chipotle Pineapple Crema.
The Keeper of the Plains & The Troll (5 & 6)
Since the rain was really consistent we would not have the good fortune of enjoying the nighttime illuminating of the fire. However, we just adjusted our schedule and went during the day! I think this might have been the best decision ever.
Walking across the bridge allows for some great views of the area as well as The Keeper of the Plains from a different vantage point.
Water locking arms (the Big and Little Arkansas River) exactly in front of the Keeper made for some intense photo oops. Also, it really was amazing to see where the water joined and how it flowed.
Did Someone Say Troll? (6)
After visiting the side of the Keeper we walked back across the bridge, turned right and we up the path. Don’t follow the water instead just go up towards the buildings. Here you will find a large grate and if you look in you will see the Troll.
I gotta admit snapping this picture is a challenge, so you really just need to go and see it to really comprehend the Troll. He’s there and he’s a bit scary! The famed hidden Troll of Wichita is not under a bridge but rather in and under a grate. Walk around the trails of the Keeper of the Plains and find him!
Pickle Ball & Fun (7)
As a tennis-lovin kind of gal, having the option to play pickleball was a big ‘Yes!’ Now Kallie has never played either before but by the time we were done playing (3 hours later) she has figured it out.
We played with Dale one of the employees who ran the courts. He gave us a few pointers and then hung with us. Unfortunately, the rain kept us from enjoying the outdoors.
Very worth knowing, is that outside of the Chicken N Pickle were bocce areas, corn hole, and areas to sit a performance pavilion. It’s a really nice family location, date location and girl’s night out destination.
Across from the courts is the food and bar area enclosed and huge. There are plenty of areas to sit and enjoy, just find the spot you love best and sit in it! After playing for hours we decided to head back to home base.
Letting Out Inner Wine Diva Out (8)
Exhausted, hungry and ready for a fun night out, we got cleaned up and headed to The Wine Dive in historic College Hill. Upon entering I saw a large bar area and I think I could have lingered there all night. However, we were there to eat and drink so a table was more appropriate.
A wine list so extensive I can’t even recall how many were in it. You could enjoy selected wines by the glass, or bottle.
I mean there’s no better way to figure out how delicious the food is than trying an appetizer. We got the Queso Fundito which was a blend of exotic cheese blended served up with crostini and veggies. Wow was the cheese dip good and the veggie chunks were substantial.
Two jumbo Crab cakes served over asparagus & shrimp risotto topped with lemon beurre blanc and local micro greens. It was sinfully perfect and I had leftovers. The Lemon Burre stole the show.
My two cents: we could have just eaten that and we would have been filled. Of course, as true foodies, we proceeded to order 2 very different main course meals.
I ordered shrimp lemon – it is presented with 3 servings on one plate. If I had not eaten the veggie platter I might have had room for more, but my stomach was full.
Perhaps, the only thing better than all the food we already tried was the S’more table campfire. Honestly, it’s elegance on a table, complemented by homemade (refrigerated pieces of salted chocolate just stole the show.
Take a look, at the in-house crafted salted dark chocolates pieced, big fluffy marshmallows, and a candlelit mini hibachi for those marshmallows. Surely this meal will bring out the Diva in you!
Day 2 – Discovering Wichita
Breakfast at Beautiful Day Café (9)
Ready to take on more of the rich Wichita we headed to breakfast at a very vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurant. Trust me, this is the hidden gem I was searching for. Breakfast at Beautiful Day Café
You can’t help but have a Beautiful Day when you eat here with so many healthy options. Fun fact: Outside of the restaurant is a garden where they grow much of the produce ‘in-season’ as possible.
Walk-In – Order
A chalkboard on the wall provided the offerings and you then proceed to the register to order. I ordered a chai tea with coconut milk and avocado toast. Kallie tried out another bowl since she had one the day before.
It’s an interesting breakfast spot, and really tasty. The guys in the kitchen work hard to get your food to you fast.
Nifty Nut House (10)
You can watch the video of my behind the counter moments on my Facebook Page to get an in-depth look. But here’s a quick peek, and you definitely want to go here. Kind of iconic in Wichita.
Color Makes Life Happy (11)
The Botanica, The Wichita Gardens easily could have been a place to spend hours upon hours. However, since we were on a really tight schedule we did a quick one hour tour. Majestic in color, even in Spring, it was all breathtaking.
There is a lovely, activity-filled kids area and we enjoyed it too. Saunter, listen, play, and enjoy.
Tip: Make sure to seek out the large eagle’s nest it’s a great photo opp and cool to see!
Public at the Brickyard (12)
Public at the Brickyard was our lunch destination. The area that Public is located on is known as Old Town Wichita. Brick streets, ivy climbing the walls, it is just picturesque maybe even Instagram- worthy!
The food produced in the kitchens here consists of ingredients that are all locally sourced! Our meal consisted of Buffalo Cauliflower – which was lightly fried (it did not seem that it was fried) and tossed in wing sauce.
We also had a house-made pickle tray with Yoder salami, horseradish cheese, and toasted baguette. I gotta admit, the toasted baguettes were delicate and delish. Yes, I loved the pickles too.
Wine with Really Cool Labels (13)
Grace Hill Winery
Our next stop took us a bit out of the downtown Wichita area, get ready because we traveled to Whitewater, Kansas. Get in your car and drive. It’s only about 1/2 hour out of the downtown area.
The entrance road is magnificent and sprawling. When you get out of the car, just stop and listen. The birds are chirping and happy and you might even see the cats that roam the property (3 of them!).
Two brothers run their dad’s original dream. Their dad is a doctor who purchased the acreage the winery sits on years ago to use as a hobby. Fast forward and his sons changed up his hobby to a large producing winery known Kansas-wide!
The wine is good, and that’s without a question. I tried the reserve collection and I need to reserve myself a date to car trip there and load up! No plane will allow my quantity purchase, LOL!
Their unique bottling practice keeps them moving and also is mobile. The bottler comes In and works on 7000 bottles at a time. When he’s done he leaves. Totally trendy and efficient.
While you are there, be sure to see Georgia the dog!
Dinner Il Vicino (14)
Previously mentioned staying at the Bradley Park airway which had shopping and food options. We had been fairly well traveled today, so our option to dine around our hotel was perfectly acceptable.
We parked at Il Vicino and mosied on over to Cocoa Dolce and got some chocolates (OMG) and then Into I’ll Vicino for pizza!
TIP: Il Vicino offers Wine Wednesday so all wine no matter how you ordered it was half-price. A great find for a wine-loving kind of gal. Kallie and I kept things simple, we ordered single serve pizzas and salads.
While our adventure in Wichita was ending, we were getting on the road early the next morning to go to Kansas City, Kansas. Who’s ready to road trip?
Breakfast Before Departure (15)
A lovely breakfast send-off was how our morning ended. Doo∙Dah’s Diner was a fun stomp and offers some great foods. Referred here by locals, we knew we had to try it. I am glad we did. The inside is basic diner looking motif. Nothing that will sweep you off your feet.
Your eyes will be greeted by an extensive menu and everything sounds delicious. Choose wisely. We taste-tested Monkey-Loaf bread and Cheddar Tater Tots. these are fried hash browns, filled with cheddar and mash potatoes and then fried. Insanely good, but ONE is more than enough. They are heavy and fill you up quickly.
Kansas City, Kansas
No, I’ve never been to Kansas before, so going across the state to Kansas City, Kansas was a new and exciting experience. It’s basically rolling hills and water indentation paths where you can see pastures of cows and horses. Nothing too exciting!
The drive is very easy and the destination is fun, perfect for those that love a good adventure. The food is out of this world. In fact, you might even think you used a passport and traveled to another country when I show you what I uncovered.
This leg of the trip is going to be a total foodie trip, and while I will mention a few other stops, the spotlight is food. What I discovered here, has me ready to travel back and just do a single story on it.
A little known fact, that I have asked my other travel friends about and none of them new. I’ve even asked people in my family that have passed through the area and they are clueless about what I am going to reveal. Don’t expect me to talk about BBQ stops, that is not the story. My next trip will be all food and very intense! Get ready, but for now, here’s a glimpse!
Lodging Is Centrally Located (16)
I love when we are in a destination and we are close to everything. Our hotel in Kansas City, Kansas was exactly that! Homewood Suites Hilton Kansas City Speedway. From outdoor grill facilities to plentiful parking and proximity to shopping, it has it all!
Our room was large, clean and filled with amenities. We had a full-size fridge, a kitchen, desk, large bathroom, sitting area and easy access to getting in and out of the hotel.
Thieves of Flight (17)
Kallie got a lesson in flight. The Thieves of Flight offered an intro to aerial silks and my girl did it! I took photos because gotta be honest, this was not my thing! The people taking the class were all so nice to each other, maybe supportive is the better word. Friendly. Helpful. Love this!
Flexibility is a gift so is coordination and it takes both of those to get this aerial stuff going. The instructor is incredibly athletic.
1889 PIZZA NAPOLETANA (18)
What a great find! 1889 Pizza Napoletana was cranking when we arrived around 7p. Walk in, order right at the counter, and then pay. Of course, we ordered salads, water, and single-serve pizzas.
There were a lot of families in here as well as couples. It is definitely the ‘hot spot’ for wood-fired pizza, but the ambiance/decor is part of this story too. It is open seating concept, so after you pay and get your beverage (wine and beer too) find a seat and your pizza will follow.
We got the chopped salad without the bacon on top. The salad had hearts of romaine, mixed greens, red cabbage, gorgonzola, diced tomatoes, Ditalini pasta, green onion, and a delicious white balsamic vinaigrette.
My honeybee pizza was interesting. Offering fresh pear and gorgonzola, with olive oil and atop was arugula with a light drizzle of honey. Fresh made and a nice pizza crust.
Conversely, Kallie opted for meat, ordering pepperoni and sauce with mushrooms. I don’t eat meat, but she does and she loved this pizza combination. It is so fresh! Made to Order!
Wyandotte County Museum (19)
We met a true ‘dot’ when we visited the museum. That is a person who has lived in Wyandotte his whole life. It’s a compliment to be called a ‘dot’ as there are not a lot of them! Jeff. He has a lot of insight into the area and truly gave us some great information.
You want to visit here to gain perspective on the area. I would guess you can spend about 1-2 hours learning if you read and experience it all.
Moon Marble Company (20)
Here’s a great place to visit if you have kids with you or love science. Watch a marble get made by the owner Bruce Breslow, it is pretty and different art. Bruce is very entertaining to kids watching the show.
Lunch & Shopping (21)
For those that love to shop (Me!!) Legends Outlets are a must. In addition to shops, there are plenty of places to eat and that is what we did here as we joined up with Maila our KCK friend! Our lunch stop was Jazz a Lousiana Kitchen.
I got a Po’ Boy but the Onion rings stole the thunder of the Po’ Boy. Really good and the inside is pretty, and I felt like I was in New Orleans!
After lunch, we made a complete itinerary change and headed to what I will refer to as Mexico inside of the USA. In fact, let me call this segment Trouvaille.
Hidden Gem- No Passport Required
Trouvaille is beautiful and discovered by chance, and that is exactly what happened. I am a foodie and I love to uncover a destination piece by piece. What I love most about destinations are those untold stories and this one has gotta be told.
Once our itinerary got jiggled around a bit, we had the food fest that deserves the Gold! What you won’t believe is the type of food we found. Keep reading!
First Stop – Original Juan (a.k.a Spicin Foods) (22)
The top right is Kent. He is awesome and loves when a sauce brings the heat. Truly the best in his business and beyond knowledgeable. Can’t wait to meet up with him again. He’s ‘saucy!’
For anyone that loves BBQ sauces, gourmet hot sauces, condiments, spices, and items of the like, you gotta go here. Now on this particular day, I got lucky. As I was moving through the showroom, a man walked in, named Kent. Kent is not generally in town, so it was my very lucky day.
We taste-tested, by the spoon, some of the sauces, and discussed heat. What else I learned? There is a way to tame the hottest stuff that goes into your mouth, you just need to have it ready before you attempt a food sampling.
Later, you will find recipes created by me with some great gourmet sauces that came from this location, compliments of Kent! I also have to tell you, that people from all over Kansas City come here and purchase these sauces in bulk. Why? The pricing is dirt cheap and the sauce is perfection in every way!
Welcome TO Mexico in The USA
If you have read my travel posts, you know I have visited many different destinations in Mexico. I love it there. The food stops the show for me and Mexican food, well, Authentic Mexican food captivate my attention.
Finding out, that inside of Kansas City, Kansas, is what I will term Little Mexico, creates a moment that is both beautiful and discovered by chance or trouvaille. It’s that moment. Suddenly the Food Gods provided a tasting afternoon like no other and I just got a small sampling. I am going back for more!
When you find a place that is virtually an untold tale, you have achieved Wanderlust and traveled deeper. The reality is, getting to all the good places requires caring and curiosity. It’s what I am loaded with. I care to find those places others don’t generally talk about! Mission Accomplished.
El Camino Real (23)
Plop this address in your GPS – 903 N 7th St., Kansas City, Kansas and park your car. Walk in, and you will feel like you are on the streets of Puerto Vallarta and entering an eatery.
At the front counter, and the kitchen (it’s all there right in front of you) are flour tortillas being crafted right before your very eyes. Meat is being cut, cooked and served and it is all authentically Mexican.
The tables are full of customers, it’s a revolving door (not really but the expression fits). As soon as a table empties another group enters. There are small groups, large groups and everything in between.
Let’s talk chips. Crunch. Crunch. Can you refill them, please? This is just the beginning of our discovery, but I want to eat everything. I have to pace my appetite. My adventure is incredible and this place rocks the food you crave!
Paletería Tropicana (24)
There are options here that will just blow you away. Eat breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert here, but definitely come here. It’s busy, so busy, but it does not matter. The people behind us are friendly so I interview them.
What I find out through chattering, is that they drive more than an hour every Friday to eat here, because they love it. Now it’s our turn to order. It’s pressure to decide. I totally wimp out and get the Fruit Bar.
But, Maila and Kallie go big with the orders. Kallie gets a smoothie (something they are known for), and Maila orders Churros filled with chocolate, strawberry and cajeta syrup. Sugarfest is about to begin and I don’t care.
The crunch of the Churro against the smooth of the fillings is crazy good. Bite after bite we demolish them. And now it’s time to go to the next foodie stop. I need a bigger stomach, but we gotta keep on going!
Bonito Michoacan Bakery (25)
I’ve never experienced anything like this. We are driving through an area, I don’t know, but I can read all the signs because they are all in Spanish. The area is colorful, loaded with people, lively and inviting. We are headed to 1200 Minnesota Ave, Kansas City, KS 66102. In case you are curious.
Excitement builds as we attempt to find parking. It’s busy, and people are carrying stuff in bags. What is in their bags? I am so curious. Where are we going? What are we about to see? Maila knows and she has not divulged the secret.
We arrive at the Bakery. I learn that on some days, the line is out the door, it is that busy. Once I enter I totally understand why. It’s loaded with fresh baked goods. Don’t be shy, grab a metal platter, and tongs, and start going case to case.
Pick stuff you will love. Circle around all the cases. Nothing tastes the same and it’s not expensive at all. Don’t worry if you can’t speak Spanish, it does not matter. The food talks for itself. Your cashier will know what you owe and will tell you.
Try everything. Its all good and I know because we ate a lot of it. The cookies are fantabulous and not too sugary. Light. Airy. Fluffy. Some cookies are jelly-filled, others have sprinkles, they are all good!
Why don’t we have anything like this in Pittsburgh? This is a GEM of a find. If you live in KCK you know about it, but if you don’t, and visit, stop here!
Meat market/deli, Bonito Michoacan (27)
We put our cookies in the car and walk right across the street. Here, we see a grocery store, but that is not the only thing it is. Get ready because you will be baffled too! Inside is a grocery store. In fact, there are a lot of foods you won’t see anywhere else.
As I walk through the store, I notate that it’s all in Spanish. The meat case, the vegetables, everything is marked in Spanish. Then, it happens. I stumble back up front. and it’s food. What you would expect to find in Mexico. A Taqueria, so not what I expected and so perfect.
There’s a cafeteria-like area, with a line of people in it. Yes, a huge line and it is the middle of the day. Street tacos, burritos, tacos, gorditos, barbacoa (beef cheek), Pastor tacos, Asada, Carnitas, and more.
Did I love it here? Yes, absolutely and I had a Quesadilla that outdid anything I have ever eaten to date. Yum, and may I please have another. I did mess up with the topping bar, getting the wrong green sauce, but that is ok because it was good anyway.
I’ll be back because I need to go hungry to do some serious food intake. Incredible. Fascinating. Friendly. Speaking the language helps but is not a necessity. Ole to an amazing foodie experience.
Rowe Ridge Winery (28)
Last stop in KCK was the Rowe Ridge Winery. It’s a really pretty destination, and perfect for Girlfriends, and weekends and fun! We spent a bit of time with Pam the owner, sampled some great wines and then went on our way back to our hotel.
The ride to the Rowe Ridge is one you want to take. I love seeing beautiful homes and properties and that is part of the experience.
28 Girlfriend Getaway Experiences In the Heartland
I am going back to the Heartland. With 4 full days under my belt, I have not even licked the surface of things to do, places to eat and people to meet. Uncovering a destination layer by layer is what I love to do and there are tons of layers in Kansas.
What I love best is that no day is the same, no eatery has a common food and the gems of the area are all over. Kansas, the Heartland, truly has plenty to offer for a fun girlfriend getaway. Stay tuned, as there is more to come on the food. ~ DANA XO
My trip was sponsored by Visit Wichita and Visit Kansas City, KS. Opinions and images are my own based on my personal time spent all over the destination. ~ DANA XO