30 Best Things to do in Wichita Falls Texas

Get essential tips about places to see, fun things to do, where to eat, and places to stay in this ultimate guide to visiting Wichita Falls, Texas. We learned a lot about Wichita Falls when our son was stationed at nearby Sheppard Air Force Base. Not to be confused with Wichita, Kansas, Wichita Falls, Texas has a population of approximately 105,000. It is situated in northern Texas and got its name from some falls along the Wichita River, which flows through the city.


fun things to do in wichita falls texas cowboy boots in a museum

Getting to Wichita Falls, Texas

If you are flying to Texas, the closest international airport to Wichita Falls is the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The closest regional airport is the Wichita Falls Regional Airport, which offers daily domestic flights. If you are driving to Wichita Falls, you will most likely use I-44 or US 287. 

What is Wichita Falls, TX Known For?

What are the top attractions to visit in Wichita Falls? It turns out that Wichita Falls has quite a few interesting and fun attractions. There are many fascinating things to do in Wichita Falls. When we visited, we enjoyed our stay immensely. We also heard some intriguing stories and learned many fascinating facts. Here are some of the top sights in Wichita Falls, and the first five are free. Find a comfy spot and prepare yourself for a heap of information. Enjoy!

***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.*** Already know what you’d like to get from Amazon? Here’s a handy way to get to the website, linked to a book about the history of Wichita Falls. Just click on the link, then browse around and do your shopping.

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Tour the Museum of North Texas History

The Museum of North Texas History is fascinating. Located in downtown Wichita Falls, It’s a great place to begin a visit to this small city. The facts we learned about different historical buildings, locations, and events helped shape the rest of our visit.

Wichita Falls cowboy boots
Downtown Wichita Falls, Texas: The Museum of North Texas History cowboy boots on display

Many area residents have donated interesting artifacts or collections to this well-organized facility. We were intrigued by one room devoted to cowboy boots and a vast display of cowboy hats in another location. Some of the items had been worn by celebrities in the rodeo world or well-known locals. Other items in the museum had been owned by regular folks. Like-new and well-worn were displayed side-by-side, and I enjoyed reading the information provided about some of the owners.

Where Are the Falls in Wichita Falls?

Are there falls in Wichita Falls? If so, where are they? Our questions were answered in a continuously playing video production recounting the history of Wichita Falls that was shown to us in a theater area. Overhead views of the layout of the area were shown via impressive drone photography. We learned about the original waterfall of Wichita Falls, which was destroyed by a storm in 1886. The residents of the city became tired of everyone asking, “Where are the falls?” So in 1987, replacement falls were constructed. I’ll write more about that later. All along the hallway walls of the museum are well-organized photo collections from different eras. The captions and explanations are very interesting.

Military Memorabilia

Due to the rich military history of the area, there are many collections of military memorabilia, dating back to the Civil War. Specific rooms are dedicated to different battles and wars. We actually went through the museum twice during the course of our stay in town and learned more new facts on the second visit. I highly recommend a leisurely tour of this museum if you are ever in Wichita Falls. It’s amazing!

Hunt for Vintage Treasures Galore

Armed with our historical facts, we ventured onto Lamar Street, which houses a variety of warehouses full of vintage items. We visited Heritage Antiques and Collectibles, three whole floors of reasonably-priced stock from about 70 vendors. There is also a very cool freight elevator. We had so much fun exploring! I came away with some vintage Pyrex. Woo hoo! I probably would have purchased more, but I had to keep in mind our return flight home.

Wichita Falls Lamar Street
Wichita Falls, Texas: The interesting warehouses on Lamar Street

Our next stop was just next door at Alley Cat Vintage Mercantile. While there, I encountered the largest collection of vintage Pyrex I have ever seen in a shop. I didn’t have room in my carry-on for anything else, so I had to be satisfied with just looking.

Wichita Falls Vintage Pyrex in the Alley Cat Mercantile
Vintage Pyrex in the Alley Cat Mercantile

I had hoped to have time to visit the charming-looking Down the Rabbit Hole Vintage Collectibles on Lamar Street as well. We ran out of time. On to our next Wichita Falls destination!

View the “Falls” in Wichita Falls

After learning about the new Falls at Wichita Falls, of course we had to visit them. We took a walk along the Wichita River to find them in Lucy Park. As noted previously in this post, the residents of Wichita Falls were constantly being asked “Where are the falls?” Finally, in 1987, new falls were constructed.

Wichita Falls New Falls
The new falls in Wichita Falls

According to the official website for The Falls, the height of the three-tiered falls is 54 feet. I was intrigued by a plaque affixed to a stone near the falls. It was given to the citizens of Wichita Falls by the citizens of Niagara Falls, New York, to commemorate the return of the falls to the city. What a kind gesture!

Visit a Historic Cemetery

We didn’t have time to visit the Wichita Falls historic Riverside Cemetery, which you can see by looking through the fence up above the falls at Lucy Park. A local resident alerted me to the site, and according to her, the cemetery “can be accessed from 6th Street. It features our founding fathers Joseph Kemp and Frank Kell and their family plots as well as several historical markers that help tell the story of Wichita Falls. There are headstones from the early 1800s too.” I am a huge fan of old cemeteries, so next time I visit Wichita Falls, this cemetery will be on my list!

Visit the “World’s Littlest Skyscraper”

A tour of Wichita Falls would not be complete without a stop at the “World’s Littlest Skyscraper”. It’s currently part of a chic decor consignment boutique called “Hello Again!” The owner was quite friendly and happy to share the story of the tower. In 1919, so the story goes, a man named J.D. McMahon collected $800,000 from investors to construct a building 480 feet tall. When the investors approved the plans for the structure, they failed to notice that the specifications were labeled in inches, not feet. The resulting building was only 480 inches tall, not 480 feet!

Wichita Falls Littlest Skyscraper
Downtown Wichita Falls, Texas: The Littlest Skyscraper

The investors tried to sue McMahon, but lost the lawsuit. The judge ruled in McMahon’s favor because the investors had approved the plans. When Ripley’s Believe It Or Not dubbed the building the “World’s Littlest Skyscraper”, the name stuck. We were able to venture up into the four-story tower, which is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Another fun, free feature of Wichita Falls!

Catch a Concert

Historic Memorial Auditorium in the heart of the city has a storied past. The venue has hosted celebrities such as Bob Hope and Jerry Seinfeld. On April 9, 1956, the auditorium was the site of a performance given by Elvis. You can listen to the interview he gave to the host of the “Hillbilly Hit Parade” to mark the occasion. Today, the concert hall is home to the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra. For a schedule of performances, check out the city’s Multi-Purpose Events Center website.

Get Inspired by Classical Ballet

The Memorial Auditorium is also home to the Wichita Falls Ballet Theatre. The ballet company performs throughout the year, offering classics like the Nutcracker each December. Other offerings include new interpretations of familiar family favorites. If you are looking for an artistic cultural experience, the ballet is an inspiring option.

Theater on a Smaller Scale

Located in the heart of downtown Wichita Falls, the Backdoor Theatre offers performances year round. The organization provides a variety of activities in addition to shows, including improv workshops and youth programs. Visitors to Wichita Falls can view a play, then visit one of the many downtown eateries for a complete entertainment experience.

Places to Eat

If you’re walking around downtown Wichita Falls, stop in at the atmospheric 8th St. Coffee House to have a refreshing beverage and maybe a tasty treat.

Wichita Falls coffee shop
Downtown Wichita Falls: The 8th St. Coffee House

We also enjoyed visiting many of the local restaurants, including the wonderful Highlander Public House.

Wichita Falls Highlander House
The Highlander House

We went there on a recommendation from a nice guy from the Heritage Antique warehouse. He told us we had to get the BLT. We did, and it was amazing! Another popular place to dine is McBride’s Land and Cattle. Just as the name implies, it’s a steak house. For our son, a nice, juicy steak was a welcome change from his usual meals on base.

Other Unique Wichita Falls Dining Experiences

Other Wichita Falls eateries appeal to specific cravings. In the mood for barbeque? Head for the RibCrib. Looking for some Greek food? The Hibiscus Cafe has got your covered. For a classy farm-to-table experience, check out the local, seasonal offerings of Fox Hill. Mia’s Italian Bistro offers much more than pizza. They offer a wide selection of  traditional Italian food as well. Start with a lovely caprese and end with decadent tiramisu!

Watch a Free Air Show

For our final freebie stop of the day, we journeyed out to the Wichita Falls Regional Airport. The airport shares a runway with Sheppard Air Force Base, so spectators may often witness T-38 Jet Trainers landing or taking off. In addition to the military flyovers, an exploration of the terminal building reveals another free attraction.

Wichita Falls Regional Airport
Wichita Falls Regional Airport

Carefully restored vintage aircraft and automobiles occupy the “Jenny to Jet Exhibit”. One half of the exhibit commemorates the first military training facility in the area, Call Field. The Curtiss Jenny biplane on display is one of only five in existence which can still take to the air. Vintage Model-T military vehicles are displayed as well, along with helpful narration and a variety of artifacts from the World War 1 era.

On the other side of the exhibit is the portion devoted to the modern era. A restored T-38 Jet Trainer is displayed, along with a jet engine and other modern military items. Information about the history of Sheppard Air Force Base is provided in a narrated video presentation.

Although our visit to the airport was free, we did have to pay for parking. Since we were only there for a brief time, we used a parking meter. Technically, our visit cost us 50 cents. In the interest of full disclosure, I needed to let you know about that small detail.

Quick Tip for Military Families, Fun and Games

Many of the attractions around Wichita Falls that aren’t free offer military discounts. All you have to do is ask. We laughed our way through Lunar Mini-Golf in the Sikes Senter Mall.

Wichita Falls Lunar Mini-Golf
Wichita Falls Lunar Mini-Golf

For more family fun, pay a visit to the Family Fun Zone. With 12 different Zones to choose from, there’s bound to be something for everyone in your group to enjoy. For the gamers, there is Maniac’s Mansion, an arcade complete with a cereal snack bar and board games. It’s the perfect place for some friendly competition! You will also find more gaming fun at The Deep End arcade.

Other Fun Attractions

Feel like cooling off? Castaway Cove waterpark is a great place to go for fun in the Texas sun. Another interesting place is the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. Before learning about Wichita Falls, I had no idea there was such a place. If you would like to get an education about the natural environment of Texas, the River Bend Nature Center offers many items of note, including a butterfly conservatory.

If you have time, you could create an art project and explore the free exhibits at the Kemp Center for the Arts. While you’re exploring, take a stroll by the historic Kell House Museum. Another unique attraction is the Wichita Falls Railroad Museum.

Wichita Falls Railroad Museum
Wichita Falls Railroad Museum

If you are there on a Saturday, you can take in the nearby farmer’s market as well. In fact, Saturdays are a great day to visit Wichita Falls, because you can also take in the free P’s Crazy Car Museum. Filled with classic cars, trucks, tractors, and more, it’s only open on Saturdays.

Explore the Great Outdoors

What are the best outdoor activities in Wichita Falls or near Wichita Falls? Lake Arrowhead State Park, located 15 miles from Wichita Falls, provides excellent opportunities for fishing, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, and more. Wichita Falls has extensive hiking trails that comprise the Circle Trail System. Existing trails are well-marked, and new trails are proposed to be added to complete a circle around the city.

Where to Stay in Wichita Falls, Texas

We stayed in the Comfort Inn Wichita Falls North, which was about 3 miles from Sheppard Air Force Base. It had a swimming pool (a must for us in the Texas heat) and was within easy distance of a few restaurants. If you are a fan of Choice Hotels, there is also a Quality Inn and Suites a convenient distance from the base. If you aren’t in Wichita Falls because of the airbase, there are a few hotels in the downtown area.

The Essential Handbag

When traveling in cities, train stations, bus stations, airports, or wherever there are crowds, a secure handbag that will confound would-be thieves is a must. My favorite travel handbag has been with me inside Buckingham Palace, the Vatican, the Louvre, and Wichita Falls. It’s the Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bucket Bag, and I have witnessed firsthand its effectiveness.

When traveling to Wichita Falls, I wasn’t as worried about theft. I did appreciate the roomy side pockets for water bottles. This amazing handbag has traveled to more places than I have, as it has been borrowed. My mom has the same handbag in brown, and her bag was put to the test while traveling on the Paris Metro, where she thwarted some would-be thieves.

Did the pickpockets give up because of the security features such as the locking zippers or the slash-resistant cable inside the shoulder strap? Theft happens, and the Travelon bag is the best way I know to be prepared. The main compartment is roomy (I fit an iPad in it) and the side mesh pockets are perfect for an umbrella or, as previously noted, a water bottle or two. A small compartment has RFID-blocking organization spots for credit cards and a passport. I could go on and on. It’s a phenomenal bag, and I hope to take many more trips with it.

Other Travel Essentials

Keep track of all of your belongings (even your kids) with Apple air tags. These handy devices come with a battery and are even water-resistant. Just use a simple one-step process to connect the tag to your iPhone or iPad, then use the Find My app to locate your item. Get a 4-pack and use for tracking luggage, pets, and more.

Whether you are camping or staying in a hotel, be safe with a portable carbon monoxide detector. This one has an AC-adaptor with battery backup. It’s only 2.75 by 1.5 by 4.5 inches, and could save your life.

Never Overpay for Flights Again

That is the motto of Scott’s Cheap Flights. If you want to get in on amazing deals to incredible destinations like Texas or anywhere else in the world, sign up for free flight alerts. You can save up to 90%. Try a favorite travel trick and book a flight to an interesting destination, then find all of the great reasons to visit that locale.

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Streamline Your Packing Strategy

Whether you travel to Wichita Falls or some other location, it’s always nice to be organized. Do you want to avoid overpacking on your next trip? Never check a bag again when you use this Capsule Wardrobe Packing List. It’s digital, customizable, printable, and FREE!

free travel capsule wardrobe planner

I need this list in my life!

Do You Have Any Free Travel Attractions to Share?

What about you? Do you have favorite fun, free activities you would like to recommend where you live? Have you encountered any memorable free attractions on your travels? If you like what you’ve read today, you might also like reading about scenic Newport on the Oregon coast or my visit to the historic and beautiful Wallowa Valley. For some simple travel wardrobe ideas, you can check out my post listing Wardrobe Essentials for the Savvy Traveler. Here are some other posts you might enjoy:

Ready to see some Wichita Falls scenery? If you ever find yourself in Wichita Falls, Texas, you now have some ideas about sights to see. Wherever your adventures take you, I hope you make wonderful memories. Thanks for joining me on a virtual visit and exploring fun things to do on a visit to Wichita Falls, Texas. May you have many happy travel experiences!

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28 thoughts on “30 Best Things to do in Wichita Falls Texas”

  1. I did not know about the history and reconstruction of the falls in Wichita Falls. What a lovely way to transform a visit into such a detailed and helpful travel guide!

    Reply
    • Thank you! We certainly enjoyed our visit there, but wish we had been more prepared beforehand. I hope this will help other military families make the most of a visit to Wichita Falls.

      Reply
  2. Wow, there are so many amazing things to do in Wichita Falls Texas. I love the story about the world`s littlest skyscraper – just goes to show it`s important to read all the details thoroughly and carefully. A shame you didn`t have room to pick up a piece or two of that vintage Pyrex.

    Reply
    • Yes, I agree! Oh, well. I’ll just have to visit that Wichita Falls shop again when I have more room in my carry-on!

      Reply
  3. This is a good list of the best thing to do in Wichita Falls, Texas. It’s amazing how much there is to do in some of these Texas towns.

    Reply
  4. So many things to do in Wichita Falls Texas and honestly this is the first time I have heard of this spot. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  5. Thanks for this helpful and interesting article about things to do in Wichita Falls Texas! I have never been there and enjoyed learning more about the place and what to do there. Great tips and suggestions!

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you found the travel tips helpful. Maybe you will get to visit Wichita Falls one day.

      Reply
  6. I really was surprised to see a post about my hometown!
    Thank You!
    We are so glad you got to see our great city.
    Downtown has come back to life after the 70s drew attention to the mall and south of town shopping.
    I’ve been here 62 years and yes I moved a few times but always happiest here.
    For those above who are new here, in August the Hotter Than Hell bicycle ride is returning after last yr being cancelled.
    Summer is a great time to venture to the lake.
    Thank you for sharing your story!

    Reply
    • Thank you, Patti, for the info about the bicycle ride. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting your hometown of Wichita Falls, and definitely want to return!

      Reply
  7. I was actually born and raised in Wichita Falls, it wasn’t much as akid, but as an adult it is way different. I live in Austin Tx now, but i still visit family there. We love going hiking in the Wichita Mountains. Actually Wichita Falls is a Indian city, great rich Indian culture from way back when. Wichita is actually an indian name Wee – Chi- Ta there is lots of historical Indian plaques and statues with the history of my hometown.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the extra information! What a great place to grow up. I do hope to return to explore more of Wichita Falls someday.

      Reply
  8. Hi,
    I live in Wichita Falls, Tx. SAFB is what brought me to the Falls almost 45 years ago. All of the places you mentioned are as unique as our little town and really fun to visit.
    One place that I would recommend for history buffs is Riverside Cemetery. It is situated above the man made falls on the hill and can be accessed from 6th Street. It features our founding fathers Joseph Kemp and Frank Kell and their family plots as well as several historical markers that help tell the story of Wichita Falls. There are head stones from the early 1800’s too. I know, who wants to visit a cemetery, but it is so beautiful and full of history.
    I came here as an ‘air force brat’ and stayed because of the people and uniqueness of the town. It may not be the prettiest place on earth but to me it is home. Sure glad you liked our little town of Wichita Falls. Thanks for the kind words.
    Nancy

    Reply
    • I love visiting old cemeteries! In fact, I looked through the fence by the falls and saw Riverside Cemetery, but we didn’t have time to go around to get in by the main gate. It certainly did look intriguing! Now I have one more reason to return to Wichita Falls someday. Thank you for the tips!

      Reply
  9. I just moved here from out of tor town & don’t know the area at all & when I found this article, let’s just say I’ve now got some new places to visit. I can’t wait, I’m really excited to get to know the area that us now my new home, thanks to you you’ve made it a lot easier.

    Reply
    • Oh, thank you for the kind words. I enjoyed my visit and I’m envious you get to live there!

      Reply
  10. I have heard a lot of musical history had taken place at sticks place on sheppard access rd. Such as Elvis had performed there and many more from my understanding. I wish there was a list of all the famous musical groups that had played there, and how history is being made right in front of us with the up and comming groups

    Reply
    • Thanks for alerting me to the Elvis visit, Kevin! I have now included a section about the famous Elvis concert at the Memorial Auditorium in Wichita Falls, Texas.

      Reply
  11. I am a history nerd, so it was so much fun reading about how the original falls were destroyed and the construction of the new falls. That being said, after reading it all I OBVIOUSLY need to plan a trip at some point so that I can go see the new falls first hand, right? lol

    Reply
    • Britt,

      I’m a history nerd too, and if I see a museum I just have to stop and visit! I hope you do get to Wichita Falls sometime. I don’t know if I will ever get back there, but I have some favorite places to visit if I do. Thanks for your comment, and have fun nerding out on history.

      Lisa

      Reply
  12. I would love to go and see the history and the waterfall. It sounds so picturesque. It’s wonderful to see other parts of the world that you may not even have thought to visit. Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Nyxie,

      The falls are picturesque, but as for the rest, it might depend on your perspective. Beauty can be found many places, and I wasn’t really expecting to find it in Wichita Falls, but there it was. Thanks for commenting!

      Lisa

      Reply
  13. great post! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to visit here. but, if I do I now have some great things to do! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Ronkerria,

      I never thought I would end up in Wichita Falls either, and yet, there I was! The great thing about the things we found is that in just about any place you visit, there will be a museum or some vintage shops. Thanks for your comment, and happy travels, wherever you go!

      Lisa

      Reply
  14. Oh my gosh! I’m thinking of all the amazing vintage stores Wichita Falls, Texas must have! Plus I’d have to stop at The 8th St. Coffee House and check out their coffee!

    Reply
    • Phillis,

      Yes, the 8th St. Coffee House is a must when in Wichita Falls. As one local put it, “They have good coffee AND good food.” Also, there is a fun atmosphere. I can’t believe all of the stuff there was packed into the warehouses, especially the Heritage warehouse. So much fun! I hope you get to visit someday, but if not, there are plenty of adventures to be had elsewhere. Thanks so much for commenting, and may you have fun travel adventures wherever you go.

      Lisa

      Reply

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