ATTRACTIONS: Garden City’s many attractions will keep you entertained whether you’re here for a daytrip or a week long stay!
Finnup Park is located at 403 S. 4th St., the park encompasses 110 acres and includes recreation for all interests. Scattered throughout the park, visitors will find the World’s Largest Concrete Municipal Swimming Pool, Lee Richardson Zoo, Finnup Center for Conservation Education, picnic areas, horseshoe pits, tennis courts and the Museum.
The Finnup Center for Conservation Education is a state-of-the-art facility which helps the zoo fulfill its primary mission of education. The beautifully crafted center is named for its benefactor, the Finnup family, long time supporters of the zoo and Finnup Park. Completed in the spring of 1996, the facility houses the zoo’s administrative and education divisions. Two classrooms, a large meeting room/auditorium, an interactive television studio and a hallway full of interactive learning stations introduce the wonders of nature to over 15,000 students of all ages annually. Teleconferencing capabilities are available with sufficient lead time. A showplace for both the zoo and Garden City, the Finnup Center is a must-see for visitors and locals alike. Open weekdays 8 am to 12 pm and 1- 5 pm and closed weekends and most major holidays. The Finnup Center is open afternoons on summer weekends as volunteer staff is available.
Our “little” swimming hole, Garden City Municipal Pool, was hand dug in 1922 and is about half a city block in size. In 2006, 5 new waterslides were added, including one in the shape of an elephant! Pool Hours: 1-6 weekdays; 1-7 weekends from Memorial Week-end through mid-August. Fee: Child 5 and under Free; Child 6 – Adult $1.00; Slide Pass - $1.00 single Phone: 620-276-1250 or 620-276-1200.
The Finney County Museum is located at 403 S. 4th Street, at the entrance to Lee Richardson Zoo. The museum features permanent and revolving exhibits, community programs, educational tours and extensive research facilities. The permanent displays include: Spirit of the Plains, C.J. “Buffalo” Jones: Last of the Plainsmen, Take Stock in Finney County, and The Sugar Beet Factory. The museum grounds feature the Pleasant Valley One-Room Schoolhouse c. 1890, and the Fulton House, the 1884 home of William D. and Luticia Fulton, plus charming flower and herb gardens. These buildings are available for scheduled tours. Located off the exhibit hall, a unique gift shop is filled with Kansas memorabilia, educational gifts, old-fashioned toys, Victorian Greeting cards, history books, and a wide range of items representing the diversity of the region. The museum offers a rewarding and enjoyable experience for all ages! A visit provides a look into the spirit, past and present of Southwest Kansas. Open 7 Days a Week except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years) Hours: Memorial Day - Labor Day 10 am - 5 pm Monday-Saturday 1 pm - 5 pm Sunday Winter Hours 1 pm - 5 pm daily. Suggested donation: Adults - $2.00 Children - $1.00 620-272-3664 email@example.com://www.finneycounty.org/history “Preserving the Past to Enlighten the Future”.
Garden City’s Airport Raceway: Location: 11 miles east of Garden City on Hwy. 50 • 620-369-0062 Hours: Races run from May through September, every Saturday Gates open and hot laps - 6:00 p.m. - Races - 8:00 p.m. Watch the excitement of modified midget race cars speeding towards the finish line at this well maintained fifth-mile high bank dirt track. The speed and quick action of modified midget racing make it an excellent spectator sport. Speeds reach as much as 70 mph on the 1/5 mile oval course. A fun way to spend the evening for the entire family! Concession stand offers refreshments. For race schedule and more information log onto: www.airportraceway.com.
Sandsage Bison Range & Wildlife Area is located south of the river bridge on Bus. U.S. 83. The range is 3,670 acres of sandsage prairie biome. Not only is this area noted for its unique vegetative character, but it is also home to the oldest publicly owned bison herd in Kansas. The herd was started when the state received one bull and two cows from an Oklahoma preserve in 1924. Other animals inhabiting the refuge are: burrowing owls, lesser prairie chickens, ground squirrels, quail, jackrabbits and deer. The refuge is managed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. Tours are available by arrangement through the Friends of Sandsage Bison Range. Call (620) 276-9400 and leave a message.
Go on safari right here in Garden City! The Lee Richardson Zoo, located in Finnup Park, offers beautiful grounds and fascinating creatures from all over the globe. Over 350 animals are displayed within the 47-acre grounds. The zoo is designed for fun, learning and discovery and is accessible by foot, car or bicycle. Pedestrians are admitted free, while non-member vehicles pay a nominal admission fee. From huge elephants frolicking in their pool to the tiniest of birds flitting like jewels through the lush aviary, the zoo offers a wonderful variety of species. Visit the Wild Asia exhibit, featuring Asian plants, architecture and animals. Don’t miss the newly completed Kansas Waters Exhibit featuring North American River otters. The zoo takes an active role in global conservation programs aimed at protecting many rare and endangered species. Look for the Species Survival Plan symbol throughout the zoo indicating species involved in our conservation program. Tours and programs are available at no cost through the education division. Trained zoo Docents (volunteer teachers) share their knowledge and enthusiasm about the zoo and its inhabitants. Advance reservations are required. Zoo staff and docents reach approximately 30,000 people annually with fun, free programs. Call to setup a program in which you can touch live animals, explore bio-facts, and indulge your curiosity. The Lee Richardson Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring visitors that this amazing facility is dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experiencee for visitors, and a better future for all living things. The Safari Shoppe is the place to shop for souvenirs, food, T-shirts and gifts. All profits go toward zoo improvements. Zoo Hours: April 1- Labor Day - 8:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Day after Labor Day - March 31 - 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. Admission: Pedestrians - Free Vehicles $3.00 from 10:00 a.m. - close, Free 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m., March - November, Free all day December - February. 620-276-1250.
Garden City offers two art galleries that display the best of local, regional, state and national talent. The Mercer Gallery is located on the community college campus and The ArtCENTER on Main is a recent addition to downtown and operated by the Southwest Arts and Humanities Council. 318 N. Main - Located in the heart of downtown, the Arts CENTER on Main offers an intriguing array of fine art, photography, textile and other revolving art exhibits for all tastes. In addition, the center conducts art classes for all ages and has a delightful gift gallery featuring one of a kind art and jewelry. The Art Center is operated by the Southwest Arts & Humanities Council. Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10:00a.m.-5:00p.m. Saturday, 10:00a.m.-3:00p.m. 620-260-9700 • firstname.lastname@example.org 801 N. Campus - Mercer Gallery is located in the west wing of the Pauline Joyce Fine Arts Building at Garden City Community College. The campus is on the east side of Garden City, west of Campus Drive and south of Kansas Avenue. Mercer Gallery is open free to the public during exhibition dates throughout the college academic year. The gallery observes regular campus holiday and vacation periods. Fine Art exhibits September through May. For schedule log onto: www.gcccks.edu/artsperform/mercer or call 620-276-9644, David Kinder, Gallery Director. Hours: Monday-Friday, Noon-4p.m. Sunday, 2-5p.m.
The Sunflower Electric Holcomb Station is a 325-megawatt coal-fired generating plant which burns low-sulfur coal mined in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. The plant uses more than one million tons of coal each year. The method of creating electricity is a complicated but fascinating one. To learn more about the process, tours are available on a limited basis with advance notice. For information call 620-277-2590.
Located at Main and Pine Streets, the beautiful, historic four story hotel was often referred to as the “Waldorf of the -Prairies”. In 1887, John A. Stevens built the hotel next to his Opera House, constructed the year before in 1886 (The Opera House was razed in 1953). The Windsor Hotel was built of native stone and brick kilned locally. The hotel contained 125 rooms and one bathroom. Gas chandeliers lit the hotel until 1898 when electricity was installed. The most remarkable feature of the hotel is an interior court in the center of the mezzanine. The atrium on the second floor extends upward for three stories and is topped by a vaulted skylight. Balconies with mahogany balustrades surround the court on three sides; and the graceful stairways on the fourth side converge on the central court floor. The hotel rooms are arranged in two rows around the court, the interior row opening onto the central court. The second floor of the hotel contained the large parlors, dining room, the Presidential Suite and John Stevens’ private living quarters. The suite opened onto the court and folding doors provided direct access to the Opera House. The Presidential Suite was a series of three rooms overlooking Main Street. One room was large enough to hold three large beds with room to spare. The most distinctive feature was a solid cherry wood fireplace decorated with hand painted Italian tile. It was reported that Lillian Russell, Eddie Foy, Buffalo Bill Cody and Jay Gould enjoyed the stately comforts of the Presidential Suite. In April of 1972, the Windsor was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was closed as a hotel in 1977. Restoration plans are currently underway. Because of its historic importance to local and state history, the Windsor Hotel is currently listed by the Kansas Preservation Alliance as one of the top five most endangered buildings in the state. The Windsor Hotel is owned by the Finney County Preservation Alliance. Tours by appointment. Call 620-275-4340 www.gardencity.net/windsor.
Few communities of Garden City’s size can boast two regulation golf courses within a couple of miles of town. While its country club course is one of the best around, its municipal course – Buffalo Dunes– is also considered to be among the top facilities, too. In the August 1989 issue of Golf Magazine, Buffalo dunes was selected as one of the top 50 Best Bangs for the Buck in public golf. Included in this elite group were Pebble Beach – California, Torrey Pines – San Diego, and Kemper Lakes – Chicago (host of the 1989 PGA Championship).
Like its younger sister course across US 83, Southwind Country Club, Buffalo Dunes is known for its rough. Across the street at Southwind, the rough is called the “gunge” because there’s no other way to describe it. The locales have a term for the rough at the Dunes. It’s called “native rough” and in places can be treacherous.
After playing Buffalo Dunes Golf Course during the Southwest Kansas Pro-Am, professional golfing great Tom Weiskopf joined the chorus of players, heaping compliments on the Dunes. Reservations required: 620-276-1210.
There’s a reason for the name at Southwind Country Club.The course was opened in 1980 with one over-riding factor in mind. In southwest Kansas, the wind blows from the south often and hard. Taking that into account, the course was laid out in the rolling sand hills south of Garden City to take advantage of that.
First-time players to the course are amazed at how demanding it is, especially if the wind is blowing. At first glance, people think the 6,921-yard course will be easy because of the obvious lack of trees along the fairway. What they don’t know, until they’ve toured the beautiful 18-hole layout, is that the rough is so thick an errant shot means almost certain disaster. But, the fairways are unusually wide and the course can be tamed.
Southwind has become a favorite among touring golf professionals. Every year it is one of the two sites for the Southwest Kansa Pro-Am golf tournament, which is one of the largest professional events in Kansas with a purse exceeding $80,000.00. (The other site of the Pro-Am is Buffalo Dunes.) Southwind remains a constant destination course for the Kansas Golf Association and Kansas Junior Golf Association. The club hosts KGA events each year, and its premiere event the Kansas Amateur every 6-7 years.
The Golden Locket Club was the original site of the Garden City Country Club. Located on East Highway 50, the 9 hole course is one of the 3 alternatives when golfing in Garden City. The clubhouse and course were constructed around 1919 and now function as a public golf course under the name of the Golden Locket Club.