A Publication of Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport

June 2018


Catch a flight to Vacation at the National Parks Catch a flight to Vacation at the National Parks

Catch a Local Flight
to National Parks

When was the last time you took a walk in the woods? The real woods, with towering trees and streams and wildlife bounding through the meadow. Or saw a forest of stone, the light in a canyon, found true north in the stars over the desert. There are natural treasures out there just waiting for you in national parks, far away from your troubles and free of signs and noise and traffic. You should go, and you should fly. It's the fastest way out of town and into wonder.

Here's a look at two great parks to visit, Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah and Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. Everything you need in a vacation — including an outfitter for camping or fishing gear, or a rental car, and plenty of fresh air, fun and relaxation — will be waiting for you when you arrive.

Horseback Riding at Bryce Canyon

Horseback Riding at Bryce Canyon

Here's a look at two great parks to visit, Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah and Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. Everything you need in a vacation — including an outfitter for camping or fishing gear, or a rental car, and plenty of fresh air, fun and relaxation — will be waiting for you when you arrive.

Bryce Canyon
National Park (UTAH)

Hike Navajo Loop Bryce Point Sunrift Gorge Hike Navajo Loop Bryce Point Sunrift Gorge

With its stunning hoodoos, sand-castle like spires and otherworldly vistas, Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah looks like no other place on the planet. You can still hike, bike, camp or ride horses like an earthling.

What to do:
  • Hike the Navajo Loop and descend through the narrow Wall Street canyon or climb Sunrise Point.
  • See Bryce Point, where from the top you can marvel at everything else for miles.
  • Sunrift Gorge. It is known as the "last grand sanctuary of natural darkness."

Nearest airports: McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas, LAS); Salt Lake City International Airport (Salt Lake City, SLC)
Via: Allegiant, Southwest (both non-stop) to Las Vegas. American, United, Southwest (one-stop) to Salt Lake City.

Navajo Loop

Navajo Loop

Sunrise Point

Sunrise Point

What is a Hoodoo?

Hoodoo is a funny name for the odd-shaped pillars of stone left standing after eons of erosion. They can be found on every continent, but the largest collection of them in the world, a literal forest of stone, are in Bryce Canyon National Park.

The name originates in Africa, where the rock structures with strange animal shapes were thought to embody spirits. Perhaps they do. You'll feel something in their presence. They are also natural habitats for strange animals, including the Pronghorn. It is often mistaken for an antelope, maybe because it's rare to get a closer look. They are the fastest animal in the world, behind only the African Cheetah.

The park is also home to prairie dogs, mule deer, black bears, golden eagles, mourning doves, snakes and lizards and other desert dwellers that you won't find around these parts. Keep an eye out for them between, below, behind and atop the hoodoos.

Hoodoo Pillars in Bryce Canyon National Parks

Mount Rainier
National Park (Washington)

Mount Rainier National Park Mount Rainier National Park

The mountain is half-a-million years old, but you'll feel like a kid again. Hiking, climbing, camping, cooling off with a dip in Snow Lake. It's nature and the Pacific Northwest at its best.

What to do:
  • See Paradise. It's brimming with wildflower meadows and glorious views of mountain peaks. You won't want to leave anytime soon. Plan a day hike, or several.
  • Hike through an old-growth forest at Ohanapecosh. Marvel at the deep woods that tower with Douglas firs, western red cedars and western hemlocks. Cross the suspension bridge that spans the river. It's wooden, too.
  • Narada Falls is a waterfall with wow factor. It plunges more than 175 feet. You can get as close and as wet as you wish by traversing the slippery rocks down to the pool.

Nearest airport: Sea-Tac Airport (Seattle, SEA)
Via: Alaska Airlines

Wildflowers at Mt. Rainier

Wildflowers at Mt. Rainier



Volcano Vacation

Mount Rainier is a volcano, but rarely active — at least not lately. It last erupted 150 years ago. But over the past half million years, it has erupted again and again, alternating between quiet lava flows and blowing its top with explosive debris.

What makes it unique, and uniquely dangerous, is that it is packed with glacier ice. The lava melts the ice and forms volcanic mud flows called lahars. About 5,600 years ago, two giant lahars made it all the way to Puget Sound, pushing its shoreline out by several miles.

You're in no danger as a tourist, really. But the volcano towers over a population of more than 3 million in Seattle and Tacoma, making it one of the potentially most hazardous volcanoes not only in the Cascades, but in the country. You might notice the volcano evacuation route signs along the roadside, a novelty for flatlanders. Take a photo. And take heed.

Volcano Vacation at Mount Rainier

End Plane

Sweet Home, Chicago

A firsthand look at the second city with David Kamerer

For David Kamerer, Chicago is a nice place to visit. And to call home. The former Wichita State University associate professor took a gig at Loyola University a few years back, teaching public relations and digital media, and was recently named program director for the university's global strategic communication master's program. These days he splits his time between Wichita and the other windy city.

Summer in Chicago

David's Top 5

  • Millennium Park


    Millennium Park

    Think Central Park, but more modern. And more fun. Next to the reflective Cloud Gate is Crown Fountain. Get in and play yourself or just watch the kids interact with the 50-foot tall towers on either end of the reflecting pool. Faces projected on big towers open and close their eyes – and periodically spit water at the (squealing) people below. Catch the free summer evening concerts at Pritzker Pavilion, all surrounded by a stunning city skyline. "As the day falls, the buildings illuminate and you get this magical sky," Kamerer said.

  • Architecture Foundation River Cruise


    Architecture Foundation River Cruise

    You'll get the best view, and best history, of Chicago from the river. Book an Architecture Foundation River Cruise and see more than 50 buildings, including iconic skyscrapers that define the city, and get the full story of how Chicago rose from a settlement to such heights. "The docents are very well trained," Kamerer said. "And it's 90 minutes riding on cool water and giving your feet a rest."

  • Divvy Bike on the Lake


    Divvy Bike on the Lake

    There's 23 miles of lakefront path, and you're not likely to travel that all by foot. Rent a Divvy bike. There are stations everywhere, and you can return your bike to any station. Pay for a single ride or get a cheap day pass. Divvy is the best way to travel at your own pace.

  • Art Institute of Chicago


    Art Institute of Chicago

    The collection rivals anything you'd see on the coasts or abroad. The nation's second-largest art museum is filled with impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, sculpture, and more. For even the casual art lover passing through, it takes hours to take in. The serious art lover could make a day (or week) of it.

  • Take in the Wrights and Other Beautiful Sites


    Take in the "Wrights" and Other Beautiful Sites

    Chicago is home to historical and handsome homes, including the pristine Prairie Style homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. See Unity Temple and the spectacular mansions of Oak Park, built by Wright and his contemporaries, and get a walk-through of Wright's own home and studio.

Cloud Gate at Millenium Park Cloud Gate at Millenium Park

Cloud Gate at Millenium Park

Eisenhower Air caught up with him during spring break, hoping to learn where to go and what to do in Chicago this summer. It's an easy non-stop flight from ICT that should be on your list of places to vacation. It has all the urban energy of New York City, but it's closer, more accessible, more midwestern, and far more family friendly. Kamerer offered advice on not only where to go and what to do, but how to do it like a local.

"Chicago is one of the world's great cities," he said. "I love it. Of the great cities, it is one of the friendliest and most affordable."


Chicago is one of the world's great cities

Many of the attractions can be found in and around public parks or on the lakefront — Lincoln Park, Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, Navy Pier — freely accessed and easily walked or biked, letting you experience the city at eye-level. Embrace convenient, affordable public transit — starting the minute you arrive.

"Take the 'L' from the airport," Kamerer said. "Whether you fly into Midway or O'Hare, there is only one train so you can't get on the wrong one. You'll save money, get a great view, and the kids will love it."

Field Museum

Field Museum

Instead of queuing up for a cab outside the airport, buy a Chicago Transit Authority pass at the clearly marked vending machine right at the airport. You can purchase an unlimited pass that will get you on the trains, buses and subway.

While you're at it, download the Transit App. It will give you real-time information about everything from how many minutes away the next train or bus is to where the closest Divvy stand is with available bikes. Take a fun water-taxi ride across the lake from the Navy Pier to the Museum Campus (Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum and Adler Planetarium).

Lincoln Park Conservatory Lincoln Park Conservatory

Lincoln Park Conservatory

And here's one more tip: The 151 bus is your friend. It goes up and down Michigan Avenue, through Lincoln Park and the skyscraper-lined Magnificent Mile. This eight-block stretch of premium shopping and dining, also offers a link to the past. It's most recognizable structure is the now-iconic castle-like Water Tower, spared by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Enjoying a city is about street life, not car life. Walk through Millennium Park and see yourself reflected on Cloud Gate, a stainless-steel, mirror-like sculpture that residents call The Bean. Lunch at a sidewalk café, try some Chicago-style deep-dish pizza or snack on Garrett Popcorn. Stroll along the lakefront past the trapeze school.

chicago-style deep-dish pizza

Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza

Visit a world-class museum. Catch a free concert in Millennium Park, or the fireworks at Navy Pier. Chicago offers way more than most cities, and at a price you can afford.

"When I go to New York, sometimes it just exhausts me to get from place to place," Kamerer said. "Chicago has just as much to offer, but it's easy to navigate."

Navy Pier fireworks show in Chicago Navy Pier fireworks show in Chicago

Navy Pier

Chicago is the best place to visit

Even More to
do in chicago

  • Taste of Chicago

    You'll find all the flavors of the city at Taste of Chicago. It's the world's largest food festival, featuring local chefs and ethnic delights and live entertainment. It's held in Grant Park, July 11-15. Admission is free. The food is not, but it's worth it.

  • Catch a Ballgame

    It's summer and baseball season. It's a good time to catch a Sox or Cubs game. The Kansas City Royals will be in town July 13-15 to play the White Sox. The Chicago Cubs play at iconic Wrigley Field, which is worth a visit no matter who is playing.

  • Willis Tower Skydeck

    From the top of Willis Tower you'll see all of Chicago and part of four states. Step out on The Ledge, a glass balcony that extends from the 103rd floor, if you dare.

  • Ravinia Festival

    Every summer, from June through September, the Ravinia Festival features near nightly open air concerts and performances that range from Yo-Yo-Ma to John Legend. Get tickets, pack a picnic, bring wine and a blanket, listen and unwind.

  • Dinner cruise on Lake Michigan

    Here's an elegant escape: A dinner cruise on the Lake Michigan. You'll get a fine three-course meal and some of the best views of the Chicago skyline the city has to offer.

  • See the Field Museum

    In the heart of the city you'll find one of the world's most stuffed natural history museums, the Field Museum of Natural History. You'll see everything on the planet, from mummies to meteorites, to all the once living things found in between.

  • Navy Pier

    The Navy Pier is more than a few boats in the water, it's fifty acres of parks, gardens, shops, restaurants, family attractions and museums. And it's home to the Centennial Wheel, a massive Ferris Wheel that is as iconic in Chicago as the skyscrapers.

  • Go to Greektown

    Visit the Old World in the big city. Greektown is the best sampling of Greek heritage outside of Athens. It's not Disney. It's an authentic neighborhood that has retained its ethnic identity — real fare, nightlife and feel — over the past century.

Daily Flights
to Chicago

Book with Southwest

Schedules subject to change.

Lincoln Park Lagoon

Lincoln Park Lagoon

Lincoln Park Lagoon

Lincoln Park Lagoon

End Plane

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Editor Valerie Wise, Wichita Airport Authority
Creative Agency Greteman Group
Creative Director Sonia Greteman
Art Director Meghan Smith
Contributing Writer Barry Owens
Photography Sean O'Neill, Andrew Smith, Giuseppe Milo,
Yancy Hughes Dominick, Sharon Mollerus, Diego Delso,
Choose Chicago, Phil Roeder, Jennifer Morrow,
David Bjorgen

Eisenhower Air is published for the traveling public by the Wichita Airport Authority. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Please direct them to Valerie Wise at vwise@wichita.gov. We also encourage you to share articles through social media and email. Help us spread the word about the good things happening at our airport.

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