Just two hours north of Dallas, Wichita Falls is an ideal getaway with its revitalized downtown, historic charm, and engaging events and experiences.
Here’s what you need to know about visiting:
Follow the red brick road
The Depot Square Historic District is a slice of the city’s rich history from the “boom days” of oil discovery to the turn-of-the-century railroad development.
Its red brick road encompasses six city blocks of charming boutiques and restaurant destinations, along with historic sites like the former headquarters for the Kemp and Kell Railroads, which still houses a collection of old railcars.
Look for local indie shops like Re:Supply which specializes in low waste, sustainable living products and hosts a variety of workshops year-round on topics like candle making, fermenting foods, and herbalism.
Also nestled along the way is The Speakeasy Distillery, which sends you back to the Roaring Twenties with a retro-decadent ambiance and Prohibition-era craft cocktails.
Confection wonderland B Cocoa Artisan Chocolates is manned by chocolatier Brooke Willis, who uses her experience gained from living overseas to import the finest chocolates from around the world. Pro tip: Get the Texas Rita Bite — it’s an irresistible combo of white chocolate, lime, and sea salt.
Once a month, downtown also celebrates its artsy side with the After Hours Artwalk. Explore the galleries, studios, and booths while sampling local wine and listening to live music.
And on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, the Downtown Farmers Market sets up shop with everything from local honey to homemade salsa, fresh finds, and more.
Morath Orchard is a market staple with their bountiful produce from a 90-acre family farm. You should know that the orchard also hosts home-cooked farm-to-table dinners periodically that are must-attends — if you can snag tickets.
Savor the scene
Speaking of farm-to-table experiences, Fox Hill is a reservation you need to have in your life. This American farm-to-table restaurant is located in a beautifully restored 1922 house that sits on eight acres of land, where on-site urban gardens supply the produce for the seasonal, ever-rotating menu.
More good food (with a side of historical surrounds) comes in at the Karat Bar & Bistro that’s located in the first-ever Zales jewelry store. Locally sourced dishes are made from scratch, and they specialize in steak and chops as well as elevated iterations of classic faves like osso bucco, shrimp and grits, and brick chicken.
Hook and Ladder is a firefighter owned-and-operated urban winery that specializes in unique wines and single-origin coffee. They also have artisan flatbread and charcuterie boards that can be enjoyed either inside the cafe or on the patios while listening to the artists and bands that perform at the venue.
Get grounded in nature
The River Bend Nature Center is a great place to get outside with 20 acres of trails, including the River Bottom Forest Trail, and a state-of-the-art butterfly and plant conservatory. They also host outdoor yoga classes in a beautiful tree-lined space outdoors.
For biking, the Wee-Chi-Tah Trail is a scenic jaunt along the Wichita River that has been voted the best urban off-road trail in Texas with switchback climbs and wooden bridges.
In August, more than 10,000 professional and amateur cyclists descend upon the city to compete in the Hotter’N Hell Hundred, one of the oldest and largest cycling events in the nation. It’s capped off by the Hotter ‘N Ale block party, hosted in front of the Wichita Falls Brewing Company (a destination in its own right), with local craft beer, yard games, and a DJ dance party.
Summer is berry season, and you can pick your own strawberries and blackberries at The Kings Good Vineyard and Berry Farm.
Release your inner child
Maniac’s Mansion is a one-of-a-kind arcade and toy museum that takes a trip down nostalgia lane with meticulously maintained vintage machines. For a snack, head to their unparalleled cereal bar that’s fully stocked with treasured classics and obscure options, along with various milks and toppings.
With swanky speakeasy decor. The Depot Axe Throwing Lounge boasts 14 throwing lanes along with pool tables and shuffleboard, plus craft cocktails like any speakeasy worth its salt.
Plan your escape to Wichita Falls — and find more reasons to fall in love with it — here.