I took a much-needed Heartland girlfriend getaway and enjoyed so many fun experiences, I can’t even count.
Over the span of 5 nights and 4 days visited the Heartland to discover Wichita and discover KCK (Kansas City Kansas).
Why You Will Want To Experience A Heartland Girlfriend Getaway
Good eats, fun adventures, wine sipping, and uncovering hidden gems are what great girlfriend getaways are made of.
I found all of this in my Heartland girlfriend getaway experience over a few days, and traveling from Wichita to Kansas City.
Today, I’ll overview my itinerary so you can decide if you want to discover Wichita, or discover KCK, or both!
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.
I would call the Heartland girlfriend getaway, ‘something for every and anyone’ in your girl tribe.
Don’t take it too slow: there’s a lot to discover in the Heartland
Everything we tried, was unique to the area, and made a perfect heartland girlfriend getaway experience.
My guess is before I am done sharing all of the different Heartland experiences, you will experience fernweh, and rightly so.
That feeling of homesickness over a place you have never been will meet your passion for wanderlust, when you enter the Heartland girlfriend getaway and visit Wichita and Kansas City!
Heartland Experiences: Let’s Discover Wichita
Where to Stay So You Are Central While You Discover Wichita?
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 late afternoon activities and dinner we were able to get there and on to the next stop very easily due to its central location.
Staying in the middle of everything is a great suggestion, especially on girlfriend getaways, it keeps you from getting harried!
I’ll double down and tell you that our room had everything we needed from a refrigerator to a hairdryer and that parking was never an issue at the Hilton Garden Inn at Bradley Fair Parkway!
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.
Rather than driving, walk because, after your breakfast, you’ll want that 2-minute walk to digest.
Locally Sourced Breakfast Eatery
Destination: HomeGrown at Bradley Fair Shopping Plaza
Now, if you want the full experience details of dining here, I’ve written a separate post on this eatery because it is so good, I just wanted to share my top 7 food tasting options with you!
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.
At HomeGrown you’ll be able to enjoy:
- fresh orange juice
- power drinks
- homemade Pop Tarts
- margaritas (yes there is a bar)
- pastries and sweets like coffee cake and more.
Again, read more about this stop on my article to learn all the great options.
You will find that HomeGrown is a culinary experience to enjoy in the morning until early afternoon.
Let’s DIY With a Board and A Brush
Next, it was off to a morning of discovery around Wichita.
While the rain kept coming that didn’t challenge our discover Wichita moments!
Instead, we headed to Board and Brush. This totally ‘nailed’ my interest (pun intended).
Create and take your own farm-like board signs right at Board and Brush is where it’s at.
Your hands are the crafters and the tools are all in the room!
Here, creativity has no boundaries but colors will make a difference.
Listen to the instructions and be prepared to enjoy your time here.
Noteworthy of Board and Brush: A women-owned business and they are the true definitions of industrious 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.
Street Taco Cravings Satisfied at the Mexican Hipster Taqueria
Our next stop within walking distance of Board and Brush was District Taqueria.
It is a must-stop foodie 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.
We ordered the following Items:
- continuous flow of the buckets of chips
- shrimp street tacos (Shrimp, Napa Cabbage Slaw and striped with a Chipotle Pineapple Crema)
- a margarita of course
After Lunch Meet the Troll and The Keeper of the Plains
During our trip, the rain was really consistent, but we were more persistent.
While we would not have the good fortune of enjoying the nighttime illuminating of the fire by night, we did manage to visit during the day!
Walking across the bridge allows for some great views of the area as well as The Keeper of the Plains (above) 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?
Can you see the troll beneath the grates?
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 Craziness
As a tennis-lovin kind of gal, having the option to play pickleball was a big ‘Yes!’
Neither of us had played this before, but by the time we finished, about 3 hours later, we had it figured out!
Tip: 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!
Historic College Hill For A Trendy Upscale Dinner
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 and you can enjoy selected wines by the glass, or bottle.
Above you can see the appetizer we started with: 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.
Diving Into Wine and The Entrees
Two jumbo Crab cakes served over asparagus & shrimp risotto topped with lemon Beurre blanc and local microgreens.
It was sinfully perfect and I had leftovers.
S’mores by Table Hibachi Please!
Truly this was well-placed elegance on a table, complemented by homemade refrigerated pieces of salted chocolate.
Day 2: Wichita Here We Come!
We are going to have a very busy day today, from going nuts to enjoying nature at its best, and dining in a very quaint, eclectic area, with a fun, and unique twist on foods.
We’ll end the day at a winery and sip, our way through some fabulous wine!
But we are not done, yet, that is just a dash of what there is to do, as the Heartland experiences will outdo the hours you have to spend! Let’s go!
Nuts About Our The Heartland Girlfriend Getaway
You guessed it if you thought we headed to the Nifty Nut House.
This place is over-the-top fun for foodies.
You can watch the video of my behind-the-counter moments on my Facebook Page to get an in-depth look.
Kind of iconic in Wichita.
Stop and Smell the Roses and Anything Else That’s Blooming
In my opinion, no visit to Wichita or on a Heartland girlfriend getaway could be complete without a trip to The Botanica, The Wichita Gardens.
Spend at least an hour if not more.
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!
Spend Lunchtime In Old Town Wichita (12)
Public at the Brickyard was our lunch destination.
The area that the Public is located in 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 a toasted baguette.
I gotta admit, the toasted baguettes were delicate and delish and so were those pickles!
The salad I chose was the Casablanca and inside my bowl:
- spiced and roasted garbanzo beans,
- kalamata olives,
- feta cheese,
- red onions,
- and romaine
That bowl was just packed with yum!
No Heartland Girlfriend Getaway Would Be Complete Without a Winery Visit!(13)
Not only will you love the winery, but the wine labels seal the deal!
Grace Hill Winery is your destination and it is just about 1/2 hour away from the downtown Wichita area.
You’ll find an entrance road that is not only magnificent, but it’s also sprawling and upon exiting your car, just stop and listen to your surroundings.
Here, you’ll experience, birds chirping, bees buzzing, maybe wind chimes, and you might even see the cats that roam the property (3 of them!).
The story of how Grace Hill Winery became
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 awesome, and that’s without a question, as I did all the heavy lifting for you and well bought some nice wines to go home with!
I tried the reserve collection you’ll love it as much as I did when you visit, I am sure!
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!
Wine & Chocolate For Dinner!
As I had previously mentioned we stayed in the Bradley Park areas, which offers a plethora of 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 took a quick walk to Cocoa Dolce.
No trip to Wichita would be complete without some of their chocolates.
TIP: Il Vicino offers Wine Wednesday so all wine no matter how you ordered the wine 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 for a road trip?
Breakfast Before Heading to KCK
A lovely breakfast send-off was how our morning ended.
Doo∙Dah’s Diner is a must, and if you don’t you are missing, so fit it into your itinerary!
Referred here by locals, we knew we had to try it. I am glad we did.
The inside is a basic diner-looking motif, and while it’s nothing that will sweep you off your feet, the menu is extensive and will keep you seated!
We taste-tested Monkey-Loaf bread and then Cheddar Tater Tots.
OMG foodie heaven, as these morsels of fried hash browns are filled with cheddar and mash potatoes and then fried.
While they are insanely good, ONE is more than sufficient, because they are fried and they are stomach sinkers. Split a batch!
Discover Kansas City, Kansas Part 2 of Your Heartland Girlfriend Getaway
No, I’ve never been to Kansas before, so going across the state to Kansas City, Kansas was a new and exciting experience.
Remember I had said we were going on a Heartland Girlfriend Experience and having fun in 2 cities?
We are about to enjoy an all-out foodie fest (like we haven’t been already right??) and some epic exercise as we discover Kansas City Kansas and continue on our Heartland girlfriend getaway!
The Journey from Wichita to Kansas City Kansas is Slick and Uncomplicated. We Drove!
Basically, you will uncover 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.
Where We Stayed in KCK was Centrally Located
We were staying at the Homewood Suites Hilton Kansas City Speedway and the hotel offered proximity to shopping, and plentiful parking, and yes it was clean!
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
Kallie got a lesson in flight in an intro to aerial silks and I can tell you I DID NOT.
I took photos because I 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.
Heartland Girlfriend Getaway Foodie Experiences in KCK
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 a great find! 1889 Pizza Napoletana was cranking when we arrived around 7p. Walk-in, order right at the counter, and then pay.
This is a total ‘hot spot’ for wood-fired pizza, but the ambiance/decor is part of this story too, accompanied by the open seating.
Wyandotte County Museum
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. I love meeting people and I could have listened to JEFF talk all day.
His adorable accent and his stories are what made the trip here, more in-depth! Thank you 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.
Lose your Marbles Then Go To Lunch
I’ll be honest on this one visit, you can go here to the Moon Marble Company but it is more for kids than a girlfriend getaway.
It was however cool to watch a marble get made by the owner Bruce Breslow, it is a pretty and different art.
From Moon Marble Company we headed to the Legends Outlets and enjoyed a quick lunch, where we thought that we had transitioned into a Lousiana Kitchen and we did: Jazz a Lousiana Kitchen.
Our Heartland Girlfriend Getaway Now Heads to Mexico inside of the USA.
The hidden gems I am about to share require no passport to visit, but you will literally feel as though you have gone to Mexico.
Get Hot & Bothered and I don’t mean menopause ladies! Visit, Original Juan (a.k.a Spicin Foods) if you love BBQ and spicy hot sauces!
Somehow or another we ran into KENT! Well, he is quite saucy and fun!
For anyone that loves BBQ sauces, gourmet hot sauces, condiments, spices, and items of the like, you gotta go here.
We taste-tested, by the spoon, some of the sauces, and discussed heat.
What else did I learn? 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, use that popcorn to stop the burn!
Tip: Come here to buy the sauces, they can be bought in bulk, without labels and they are dirt cheap, you’ll see a lot of people doing this while you visit!
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 captivates 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!
Use 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 grab desserts + frozen treats!
There are options here that will just overwhelm, as will the endless lines!
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 interviewed them.
What I find out through chattering, is that they drive more than an hour every Friday to eat here, because they love it.
We grabbed a mango fruit bar, as well as churros filled with chocolate, strawberry, and cajeta syrup.
Sugarfest is about to begin and I don’t care.
The Epic Center of Mexican Baked Goods: Discover KCK
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.
Put this address in your nav system: 1200 Minnesota Ave, Kansas City, KS 66102. In case you are curious.
The frickin’ epicenter of Mexican baked goods is at the Bonito Michoacan Bakery!
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.
These are fantabulous cookies 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!
It’s a Market + A Restaurant + Dirt Cheap KCK Eats
I am already in a food coma, and trying to manifest what is going on, as in “how did we find Mexico in the USA” it is crazy amazing and so good!
As I walk through the store, I notate that it’s all in Spanish, from the meat case to the vegetables.
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.
End the Heartland Girlfriend Getaway with 1 last Winery Visit in KCK
Rowe Ridge Winery was our last stop in KCK.
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.
Girlfriend Getaway Experiences In the Heartland
I left the Heartland, Wichita, and KCK with 4 full days under my belt, I have not even scraped the top of the iceberg, of things to experience and 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. ~ 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