With the longer, warmer days of summer comes even more reasons to fall in love with Wichita Falls. With events and attractions to meet every lifestyle, the time is right to make us your road trip destination for a quick summer getaway.
Travelers may start by venturing onto the red brick road of The Depot Square Historic District encompassing six city blocks. The landmark serves as a reminder of Wichita Falls’ rich history from the “boom days” of oil discovery to the turn of the century railroad development. The former headquarters for the Kemp and Kell Railroads still houses a collection of old railcars. Visitors will also find an abundance of shopping and restaurant destinations all centrally located.
These local businesses can only be found in the revitalized downtown Wichita Falls, businesses like Re:Supply, which specializes in low-waste, sustainable living products. The charming shop, featuring exposed brick and industrial furnishings, also partners with local experts to extend a variety of workshops year-round. Workshops are provided on topics keeping with Re:Supply’s sustainability focus such as candle making, fermenting foods, herbalism, beeswax wraps.
Also nestled in the Historic Depot Square, The Speakeasy Distillery offers patrons a glimpse of the decadent life by stepping back into the roaring 20s. The boutique distillery and cocktail lounge provides a sleek and romantic ambiance where their craft cocktail bartenders create tempting prohibition era cocktails using their hand-crafted Vodka, Gin, and Bourbon.
The Depot Square Historic District also houses the Downtown Farmer’s Market where shoppers can pick up local honey, homemade salsa, fresh produce, and more. A staple of the Downtown Farmer’s Market, Morath Orchard brings their bountiful produce from their 90-acre family farm weekly. Daytrippers can seek a closer look at life on the farm by attending one of Morath Orchard’s Farm-to-Table Dinners.
For the past eight years, the Morath family has been serving up comfort food with a side of southern hospitality. After a tour of the farm, diners are seated family-style in the wide open spaces of the Morath Orchard where they are encouraged to enjoy the scenery, fellowship, and the freshest food available. The carefully-curated menu features home cooked meals planned around the fresh produce grown on the farm and includes a starter, main entree with sides, and dessert.
The sunshine also brings cyclists to Wichita Falls, a bronze-level bicycle-friendly community. Every year more than 10,000 professional and amateur cyclists descend upon Wichita Falls to compete in the Hotter ’N Hell Hundred, one of the oldest and largest cycling events in the nation. In addition to watching some of the premier cyclists in the country through scenic downtown, spectators enjoy ample parking and shopping.
As the sun sets on the Hotter ‘N Hell, the Hotter ‘N Ale block party kicks off in front of Wichita Falls Brewing Company. In addition to enjoying local craft beer, the free event encourages partygoers to participate in yard games, giant tricycle races, and a DJ’ed dance party.
Downtown provides plenty of other opportunities for eventide explorers. The After Hours Artwalk exhibits local art and music every first Thursday of the month from 5:30 to 9 pm. As excursionists enjoy musical acts ranging from red dirt to indie to symphony set up throughout the square, the downtown community unites to extend entertainment, shopping, services, and food and refreshments. Local artists set up booths to sell wares and businesses open their doors for after-hours shopping and family-friendly activities.
For adventurers who desire being more grounded in nature, River Bend Nature Center’s twenty-acre environmental education facility is the perfect spot to soak up the sun and fresh air. The Ruby N. Priddy Butterfly and Nature Conservatory is a state-of-the-art 7,000-square-foot glass structure stocked with native butterflies and plants. Guests are also encouraged to walk the River Bottom Forest Trail and United Children’s Garden, and picnic under the open-air pavilion. The Riverbend Nature Center partners with Balance Yoga + Barre to offer outdoor yoga classes where participants vinyasa amongst the beautiful tree-lined space.
Yoga at the Riverbend Nature Center is not the only unique experience available to yogis. Several studios offer drop in classes and special events. One such event is Hip Hop Beer Yoga where participants are encouraged to get flexible on the streets of downtown while sipping local craft beer and grooving to the latest mix by the on-site DJ.
Summer in Texas is too pretty to stay indoors. When the open road calls, Wichita Falls is the answer to cure summertime wanderlust.