15 Best Things to Do in Salina Kansas
Visit the Smoky Hill Museum
The Smoky Hill Museum is a must-see for travelers visiting Salina, Kansas. Located at 311 W. Iron Avenue, the museum brands itself a gateway to the west and allows visitors to learn about the people and events that make up the area’s rich history.
The museum has daily tours available which provide an in-depth exploration of the Ash Creek district focusing on local geology, topography and pioneer life in this part of Kansas. They also have exhibits near the entrance showcasing Native American artifacts, period clothing and toys from Salina’s past. With life sized displays divided into multiple rooms the exhibits tell stories that are sure to captivate young visitors as well as older patrons looking for a more immersive experience of this part of the Great Plains.
Be sure to make some time during your trip for a visit to Smoky Hill Museum for a unique learning experience during your stay in Salina Kansas.
Take a Tour of the Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure
Take a tour of the Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure located in Salina, Kansas and explore an interactive, world-class zoo. The zoo houses more than 25 different species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Enjoy close-up views of animals like giraffes, rhino, grizzly bears and cheetahs in their habitats. Learn about their amazing capabilities while they demonstrate natural behaviors.
Get up close to the majestic tigers at their carnivore enclosure where they can be “tamed” by keepers with treats during enriching training sessions. Programs featuring exotic animal demonstrations occur frequently within the zoo’s amphitheater too!
You can also take part in some hands on activities including:
- Brushing an elephant with a licorice whip
- Bottle feeding a baby wallaby on your tour.
Explore Stiefel Theatre
Take a step back in time by visiting the historic Stiefel Theatre in Salina, Kansas. Located in downtown Salina, the theatre was originally built in 1931 as a movie house – complete with elaborate lighting and decorations – rising to prominence as a live theatre venue in the late 1950s. The landmark 400-seat theater is now home to a variety of community events and performances.
The Stiefel Theatre features art deco and Spanish revival style, giving visitors unique insight into Salina’s history. Guided tours are available for those interested in seeing behind the scenes of the theatre. During public performances, visitors can enjoy balcony seating where they can see both the stage and lobby areas.
In addition to hosting local performances, 3-hour songwriting workshops are offered monthly giving aspiring songwriters an opportunity to collaborate and record their original compositions for up to twelve people each session.
From bringing your family together over classic movies or enjoying one of Salina’s most beloved performance halls live, exploring Stiefel Theatre is easily one of the best things to do while visiting Salina, Kansas!
Visit the Salina Art Center
The Salina Art Center is located on the historic Santa Fe Depot and features a range of rotating exhibitions, events and classes. The center has over 11,000 square feet of gallery space in two galleries, the Trevor; Reece & Sabatini Galleries.
In addition to contemporary art exhibitions, the Salina Art Center hosts film screenings and hands-on art-making opportunities for visitors to explore a variety of mediums, from ceramics to painting and beyond. A gift shop allows visitors to take home a piece of original art or one of their signature handmade items. Visitors can also tap into their creative side with one-time classes or by signing up for multi-week sessions during their visit.
Check out the Salina Bicentennial Center
The Salina Bicentennial Center is a charming entertainment center that hosts a variety of events and gatherings, from community meetings to private parties. Opened in 1997 and located in the heart of downtown Salina, the Bicentennial Center will provide endless fun for visitors of all ages.
The facility on site is multi-functional and includes a 3,000-square-foot hockey arena with retractable seating for up to 500, 1,500-seat theatre area ensures plenty of space to accommodate most shows and events hosted by the center. In addition to popular entertaining events such as plays, dances, live music concerts and more, the complex houses multiple concessions stands and souvenir shops making it an ideal place for shopping sprees during your visit.
A great spot for families wanting to explore some local culture during their trip to Salina!
Enjoy the Salina Municipal Golf Course
The Salina Municipal Golf Course is an 18-hole, 4795 yard par 72 public course located in Salina, Kansas. Established in 1923, this course is one of the oldest courses in the state, with a long and proud history. Salina Muni offers simple, no-frills amenities featuring a driving range and clubhouse. This beautiful golf course has beautifully manicured fairways and meticulously maintained greens that provide golfers of all ages with the perfect setting for a challenging round of golf.
Throughout its long history, the Slammuni’s mission has always been to be welcoming to players of all abilities by providing a place to enjoy a leisurely round or competitive tournament. The staff at the clubhouse are very friendly and knowledgeable about all things related to golf. The rates are very affordable which makes it even more enjoyable!
Whether you’re looking for a quick game or some serious competition make sure you plan your next tee time at the Salina Municipal Golf Course!
Visit the Salina Historic District
The Salina Historic District is a collection of buildings located on the north side of the Smoky Hill River, spanning 500 blocks in downtown Salina. This uniquely beautiful piece of history features a mix of Victorian and Commercial Revival architecture, as well as older structures from before the turn of the century.
The Salina Historic District’s architectural websites showcase an impressive selection of buildings dating from period styles ranging from mid- to late nineteenth century Queen Anne-style residences to early twentieth century Mission Revival and Bungalow house styles.
From its unique storefronts, industrial buildings, and gazebos to its impressive churches, libraries, and parkland, this landmark is truly a showcase for turn-of-the-century craftsmanship.
When visiting the district, visitors can discover old world craftsmanship that has been restored to its original splendor. Guided tours are available through local organizations that allow guests to marvel at these stunning examples of stonemasonry and intricate tilework within their respective facades. Visitors can also look forward to checking out a variety of preserved artifacts from each site’s heyday such as historic streetcars and early 20th century houses.
Not only does exploring this historic collection provide a dynamic visual journey through time; it also provides an opportunity for curious minds to learn about past generations who graced this district with their exemplary creativity. So don’t miss out on an incredible opportunity for self discovery – visit the Salina Historic District today!
Explore the Salina Speedway
The Salina Speedway is a hot spot during the summer months. Located just outside of Salina, it is accessible to anyone looking for a day of family-friendly entertainment. Test your skills on the dirt track as you race around its curves and straights. This track has been constructed to meet NASCAR specifications, so prepare yourself for a thrilling experience!
Don’t just watch the races, join in on the fun and compete against some of the best racers in Kansas. Whether you are an experienced driver or want to take advantage of introductory classes offered at the track, there is something for everyone here. Make sure to call ahead for rental packages or racing events before you go.
After your time spent racing around on this exciting oval, enjoy various other activities hosted surrounding locations such as:
- Live music performances
- Antique car shows
- Special attractions such as fireworks displays and carnival rides
– there is something for everyone.
Climb the Salina Highbanks
Climbing the Salina Highbanks is one of the best things to do in Salina, Kansas. There are two different ways to experience the Highbanks: hiking around the ridgeline and walking up a gradually sloping surface. The length of each trail is around one mile, making it convenient for all ages and activity levels to enjoy the scenic view.
Once at the top, you will have unprecedented sightlines into Salina’s cityscape, providing photography opportunities perfect for capturing the beauty of sunsets or capturing the city lights at night. Additionally, there are shorter walking trails located along both sides of Salina Highbanks providing an array of activities such as fishing, swimming and disc golfing that also overlook remarkable scenic views from different angles.
Finally, visitors can explore a sandstone quarry used for mining during Salina’s early development that is truly unlike anything else you’ll find locally. With plenty to see and do surrounding this natural landmark, climbing Salina Highbanks is without a doubt one of most unique attractions to explore on your next visit!
Take a Trip to the Salina Aquatic Center
The Salina Aquatic Center is a family-friendly destination located in beautiful Salina, Kansas. The center features two large indoor pools, an outdoor splash pad, six diving boards, and plenty of aquatic activities. Whether it’s your first time visiting the center or you’re a regular, there are always new and exciting things to see and do.
- From swim classes to leisurely open swims, the Salina Aquatic Center has something for everyone.
- Kids can enjoy the pool’s large slide while adults stay cool with lap swims in the heated indoor pools.
- If you get hungry while playing in the pool all day long, no worries – conveniently located onsite is a snack bar!
Come experience all that Salina’s aquatic center has to offer – make sure to bring along your swimming gear for some summer fun!
Visit the Salina Field Station
The Salina Field Station, located on the premises of Kansas Wesleyan University, is a nature lovers paradise. This outdoor laboratory provides visitors with an opportunity to view several rare and abundant wildlife species, as well as numerous plants and research projects. It also offers a variety of classrooms and lecture halls for educational programs, courses and seminars on a number of topics.
The facility’s trails wind through dozens of acres of native grasslands, wetlands and ponds teeming with diverse wildlife. The station has one of the most extensive butterfly collections in the state, serving as home to many varieties like monarchs, painted ladies, skippers and swallowtails. If you’re lucky you may even spot a bald eagle or two! The grounds are also a great place to observe birds such as red-winged blackbirds or northern harriers hunting in the wide open prairie space.
It’s easy to spend several hours exploring this picturesque destination – birdwatchers find great joy observing their avian targets through provided binoculars from designated viewing platforms scattered throughout the area overlooking ponds and wetlands teeming with life. Gardening classes are held at both the main building and greenhouse that offer students interesting insights into prairie plant ecology while learning about Kansas native wildflowers – like prairie aster and purple coneflower – that are often used in pollinator habitats to attract finches, goldfinches and bluebirds.
Whether you’re interested in studying nature or just want to explore one of Kansas’ hidden gems for an afternoon adventure, the Salina Field Station deserves your attention!
Spend the Day at the Salina Zoo
The Salina Zoo is one of the best places to visit when you are in Salina, Kansas. It is an animal park that features a wide variety of animals from North American and around the world. It is home to more than 80 species, which include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.
The zoo also has a petting zoo area featuring goats and sheep.
Visitors can enjoy various activities such as feeding the animals at designated sections throughout the zoo as well as riding on a rail car tour offered by the zoo. Educational programs are available for both children and adults to learn more about the animals and their habitats.
The Salina Zoo also hosts special events such as family days throughout the year where guests can meet both wild and domesticated animals up close. There are many interesting things to explore in this fun-filled attraction, making it worth spending at least half a day exploring it all!
Check Out the Coronado Quivira Museum
A visit to the Coronado Quivira Museum in Salina, Kansas, provides insight into the region’s past. Earn about Francisco Vazquez de Coronado, who explored the area in 1541 during his search for the Seven Cities of Gold, and discover how the Quivirans lived until their decline and eventual disappearance in 1680.
Explore a fascinating model of Coronado’s army encampment and view a diorama display featuring illustrations of native animals. The museum also houses an interesting collection of artifacts from pre-European contact through early settlement days. Learn about influences from Spanish colonial trade networks as well as trading with early French explorers, while getting to know local tribes. In addition, discover antique tools and pottery collected by Native American scouts employed by Coronado.
In addition to its historic displays, the Coronado Quivira Museum features several educational programs and activities that help visitors learn about local history including interviews with descendants from native tribal families, presentations on archaeological digs, crafts sessions for kids and special tours led by docents. Admission is free for Salina residents every Sunday afternoon and all year round for students 6 to 18-years old or anyone accompanied by a student on Free Sunday afternoons or Thursdays between 9:30am – 4:30pm (with proof of age). Plan your visit today!
Spend a Day at the Salina Public Library
When visiting Salina, take the opportunity to explore the Salina Public Library. The library’s collection includes books, periodicals and audio visual materials, perfect for all ages. You can find everything from children’s books to magazines specialized in hobbies or professional fields.
The library also offers free internet access and free WiFi hotspots. Additionally, it provides resources in other languages, including Spanish and Chinese. Other amenities include free printing, scanning and copying services as well as 3D printer access for registered members.
There are plenty of events throughout the year for people who want to stay on top of what’s happening in their community or simply looking for interesting activities such as book clubs and LEGO clubs. If you are bringing your children along with you on your trip, look no further than the Salina Public Library – it’s an enjoyable day out!
Explore the Salina City Park
Salina City Park is a beautiful and serene public park set within the city limits of Salina. It features over 80 acres of open green space, complete with picnic tables, walking trails, multiple playgrounds, an RV campground and much more.
The heart of the park is its expansive lake, which is stocked with bluegill, bass and catfish for fishing enthusiasts. The shorelines are also packed with wildlife such as deer, raccoons and numerous birds – perfect for a peaceful nature walk or birdwatching. Non-motorized boating is allowed on the lake as well.
Throughout the year there are plenty of activities to enjoy at Salina City Park such as:
- Concerts on Friday nights in summer months
- Their popular holiday light displays in December.
With its easy accessibility from downtown Salina, it’s one of the most popular parks in the area for locals and tourists alike.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the best things to do in Salina?
A: The 15 best things to do in Salina (Kansas) are: Visit the Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts, explore the Historic Downtown District, take a tour at the Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure, check out the Smoky Hill Museum, take a stroll through Oakdale Park, visit the Kenwood Cove Aquatic Park, go tubing at the Smoky River, explore the Salina Art Center, check out the Smoky Hill Vineyards & Winery, visit the Salina Bicentennial Center, explore the Salina Municipal Golf Course, visit the Salina Field Station, take a tour of the Salina Airport, visit the Salina Public Library, and take a tour of the Salina Historic District.
Q: What is there to do in Salina for families?
A: Salina offers a variety of activities that are great for families. Some of the best things to do include taking a tour of the Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts, exploring the Historic Downtown District, visiting the Kenwood Cove Aquatic Park, going tubing at the Smoky River, checking out the Salina Art Center, visiting the Smoky Hill Vineyards & Winery, taking a tour of the Salina Bicentennial Center, exploring the Salina Municipal Golf Course, visiting the Salina Field Station, taking a tour of the Salina Airport, visiting the Salina Public Library, and taking a tour of the Salina Historic District.
Q: What are some free things to do in Salina?
A: Salina has many free activities and attractions that you can enjoy. Some of the best free things to do include exploring the Historic Downtown District, taking a stroll through Oakdale Park, visiting the Smoky Hill Museum, exploring the Salina Art Center, taking a tour of the Salina Bicentennial Center, visiting the Salina Public Library, and taking a tour of the Salina Historic District.