A Publication of Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport

Fly Away to La La Land

You've dreamed of this summer vacation

Dream Summer Vacation Dream Summer Vacation

If you're a first-time visitor to LA, prepare for a déjà vu experience. So much of what you see, you've witnessed before in movies and on TV. So perhaps instead of vacation planning, you should think of your preparations as fashioning your own private movie.

What will it be? An action-packed blockbuster or a laid-back romantic comedy? Whatever, make it your own. The elements are all there. Jog on palm-studded beaches. Hike the San Gabriel Mountains. Explore hot new happenings. Connect with rich colonial history. Visit the theme park where it all began: Disneyland. Check out the movie studios: 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Paramount, Columbia and Universal.

Visit Mels Drive in Sunset Boulevard

Mel's Drive-In on Sunset Boulevard

Visit Hollywood Walk of Fame - See the Stars

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Cruise Sunset Boulevard and pop into the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where "Pretty Woman" was shot. Shop till you drop on Melrose Avenue. Check out the more than 200 celebrity handprints and autographs in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Catch a game at the iconic Dodger Stadium. Get a snoot full of culture by taking in everything from the fantastic (and free) mountaintop Getty Museum to an outdoor concert at the historic Hollywood Bowl.

Don't let the the sprawling freeways deter you. Stay off them as much as you can, and you'll find L.A.'s really a tightly clustered collection of trend-setting neighborhoods that are easy to get around in. Venice Beach. Santa Monica. Westwood. Beverly Hills. Hollywood. Studio City. It's a long list, sure to include experiences you'll love. So, schedule your flights. Plot your just for-you adventure. And, action!"

Go to disneyland california

Disneyland

Find and get celebrity autographs at Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Grauman's Chinese Theatre

L.A. Offers Something For Everyone

Santa Monica Pier -100 year old landmark

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

Have a whale of a time at this 100-year-old landmark, the only true amusement pier left in Southern California. Visit the aquarium, ride the historic merry go-round, or just walk over the waves.

Melrose Avenue

Explore small, vine-covered boutiques in a diverse district that borders Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. Shop vintage and designer clothing, textiles, one-of-a-kind home furnishings, and more.

Point Dume State Beach

Swim, surf, scuba dive and fish while enjoying vast beach access, ocean views, tide pools, cliffs and rocky coves. Point Dume juts out into the Pacific at the northern end of Santa Monica Bay.

The Groundlings Theatre

Laugh at the latest improvisation and sketch comedy at this intimate venue. It's launched countless careers, from Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig to Will Forte and Maya Rudolph. Whom might you discover?

Disney Concert Hall

Catch the L.A. Philharmonic at this Frank Gehry-designed concert hall. Or at least drive by. The way light hits this landmark's stainless-steel curves gives it an ever-changing, almost magical look.

Getty Center

Spend time taking in the stunning gardens, open spaces and spectacular views from the Getty's perch atop the Santa Monica Mountains. Not all the artistry is inside the Richard Meier-designed museum.

Disney Concert Hall

Disney Concert Hall

Point Dume State Beach

Point Dume State Beach

Now's a cool time to go

L.A.'s moderate, Mediterranean-like climate makes it a year-round getaway. It especially appeals to Midwesterners wanting to beat the summer heat.

Mediterranean-like climate - visit L.A. Venice Beach in Los Angeles

How to get there

Fly nonstop this summer on Allegiant Air (schedule below). Arriving in the evening allows you to wake up in L.A. and have a full day ahead of you. And, when it's time to go, a midafternoon flight means you have time to wrap up some of your bucket-list items.

Naples Zoo Trip Flight Times

All times subject to change.

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Wichita - A Port City

Underway with Chris Angel Gomez

Miami transplant Chris Angel Gomez is director of guest sales and services for Celebrity Cruises, which is a nice title but an odd one for land-locked Wichita. But then, he has an interesting take on the place he now proudly calls home — it's a port city.

"The Wichita airport is a gateway to the globe," he says.

He's in a position to know. As part of his job, once a month or more he's at Eisenhower Airport, where they know him by name, boarding a flight to some place with ships in the harbor. Seattle, Houston, Baltimore, New York. From there he boards ships for faraway destinations with islands or icebergs or castles. You could easily do the same thing.

Travel anywhere from Wichita with Royal Carribean

The Wichita airport is a gateway to the globe

"When you are traveling, there is nothing better than easy," he says, extolling the virtues of the airport. The parking, the limited lines, the Wi-Fi, the open seats even on busy mornings. "I don't see why anyone wouldn't use it for themselves to go and explore the world and enjoy and see what is out there. It helps you grow spiritually and as a human being."

Eisenhower Air caught up with him by phone from Miami where he was about to board a ship for three days of business meetings, meals and ocean breezes. Sounded rough. The topic of his presentation would be on what the Wichita office was doing so right.

The Celebrity Cruises contact center in Wichita is tops in the industry for conversion rates and has the highest employee morale, globally, in the company. Other lines under the Celebrity Cruises umbrella — including Royal Caribbean and Azamara — want to know how he does it.

We had a similar question. How does a Miami-born young man of Cuban descent with a taste for the arts and culture keep up his morale in working-class Wichita?

"When you surround yourself with the right people, anywhere becomes home," he says. He's involved in the community through supporting the arts and local nonprofits and attending parties where everyone there too seems to now know his name. "I don't think it was hard to adapt to Wichita," he says. "It would be hard to adapt back to the East Coast."

Visit Cuba and see the Arts and Culture

Havana, Cuba

Cruise Adventures for Travellers

Jackson Groves, Haiti

He's still a fast talker but it doesn't sound like sales patter. He believes in his company, though he never thought he'd find himself there. He studied microbiology and cell science in college.

"My dad said to me, you have to get a job. You can't just get a degree and hang out at the house all day. My friend said to me, 'Why don't we work at Royal Caribbean? We'll answer phones from 3 p.m. to midnight. After work we'll change and go clubbing. In the morning, we'll work out and then go back to work.' And I was like, 'That's an amazing idea.'"

The 33-year-old executive has been there ever since, rising from the ranks of the phone banks to the corner office. He's a company man these days and a big believer in cruisers for travelers seeking an experience.

"You get a lot for you money," he says. "You're visiting a different country every day. You're having a luxurious experience onboard, with Broadway-style shows and top chefs. Those types of types of things start becoming priceless. They would cost thousands more if you were trying to do them on your own." And then there is the voyage itself.

Relaxing at the beach

St. John

"If you haven't done it before, you're really missing out on a relaxing, spiritual moment with yourself," he says. "The breeze against your face, the sound of the ocean, your eyes closed indulging in a moment of tranquility, peacefulness. It's true happiness. You feel like you have the whole world to yourself when you are at sea."

The sea is the "one and only thing" he says that he misses now that he lives in Wichita. But not often and not for long. He knows how easy it is to get there.

Top Cruise Destinations

The Caribbean

Pina Coladas and pirate hideouts. White sand and jewel blue surf. The islands are a paradise that feel a world away from Wichita. Week-long cruises or even three days of island hopping between San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis offer plenty of opportunity to take it all in. Bring us back some rum.

Alaska

Glaciers and fjords and whales, oh my. Alaskan cruises are the most popular ocean-bound destination from here. Makes sense. Majestic views of mountains, the deep, green wild, the Northern Lights. You won't be in Kansas anymore.

St. Kitts Paradise in the Caribbean

St. Kitts

Alaska Vacation Destination

Alaska

Europe

The Old World ain't the Wild West. That's what makes it such a must-see, at least once in your life. Tour Spain, Italy, France and England. Or book a tour of Scandinavia and Russia, a visit that Gomez highly recommends. Bring us back some vodka.

Bermuda

The Sargasso Sea sounds like a mythical place. It's not. But it's beautiful and the reefs make it a diver's delight. You'll find it surrounding Bermuda and the small chain of islands you'll visit on this tour. With stately mansions, lush gardens and fine restaurants, this island destination offers everything you're looking for in an island destination.

Amalfi Italy Vacation

Amalfi, Italy

Bermuda Vacation

Bermuda

Plan Your Cruise

Bermida Cruise Airline Information Caribbean Cruise Airline Information
Europe Cruise Airline Information Alaska Cruise Airline Information

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Credits

Editor Valerie Wise, Wichita Airport Authority
Creative Agency Greteman Group
Creative Director Sonia Greteman
Art Director Meghan Smith
Contributing Writer Barry Owens, Deanna Harms
Photography Jyle Dupuis, Jeremy Thompson, Wolfgang Miller,
Sergei Gussev, Royal Caribbean

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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