Wichita Falls

A thriving arts scene, fun annual events, beautiful historic architecture, and gorgeous parks can be found in the dynamic city of Wichita Falls. Known as the “Gateway to Texas,” this charming town sits on the border with Oklahoma about two hours northwest of the Dallas and Fort Worth area.

Home to three colleges and an air force base, Wichita Falls is a bustling city that still retains its small-town allure. If you’re looking for a romantic weekend getaway, an escape to the great outdoors, or a retreat from all the hustle and bustle of the big city, Wichita Falls is a fine choice.

The early stirrings of the city of Wichita Falls began when the first settlers arrived to start cattle ranches in the 1860’s. Twenty years later, the Fort Worth & Denver City Railway rolled into town and Wichita Falls was made the county seat, and commercial hub, of Wichita County. The town’s early progress was interrupted when a flood destroyed the city’s namesake falls in 1886, yet the resilience of the locals helped Wichita Falls recover and prosper.

Many fascinating pieces of Wichita Falls’ early days still remain, from historic neighborhoods and homes to buildings and museums. For the latter, the Kell House Museum provides an in-depth look inside the home of Frank Kell, one of the men who helped build Wichita Falls. The Museum of North Texas History also showcases the lives of the area’s earliest settlers, and those who came after to help grow the city into what it is today. Wichita Falls has a long history as cattle and oil town, but today its arts and culture scene is the star of the show. There are two acclaimed live theater troupes - Backdoor Theatre and the Wichita Theatre Performing Arts Center - as well as a ballet school, the Wichita Falls Ballet Theatre. Explore the art galleries of the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU and the Kemp Center for the Arts and you’ll find the best works to come out of North Texas in the past 50 years. Looking for a concert? The Wichita Falls MPEC (or Multi-Purpose Events Center) regularly presents some of the biggest stars in the world, and also hosts some of the most popular local events throughout the year.

Of course, you don’t want to spend your entire visit indoors. Wichita Falls offers nearly 40 parks perfect for playing sports, swimming, picnicking, wildlife watching, and riding horses, bikes, or skateboards. The River Bend Nature Center is sure to be a hit with the animal-lovers in your family. Come summertime, everyone will be onboard for a refreshing visit to Castaway Cove, the local water park.

Add to all this some great shopping locales and a diverse crop of restaurants, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a fantastic road trip. Visit Wichita Falls and experience this unique Texas gem!

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