Summer is fast approaching! Sunny days, free time to visit family and friends, and an open road ahead of you. Visiting Garden City can be at the top of your summer to-do list. The community has grown and people are ready to get outside. Grand openings and great shopping are just a few of the reasons to visit Garden City this summer!

Great Summer Weather

When the weather report calls for a month straight of sunny days, then we must be in Kansas! Garden City is blessed with an average of 40 more days of sun than the US average of 205 days. If you were worried about the weather ruining your summer visit, then you can say goodbye to summer stress! Southwest Kansas is known for its arid landscape and weather extremes.

Garden City natives are no stranger to heavy snowfall. However, during the summer months Garden City falls below the average on rainfall. The state-wide yearly average of rainfall is 35 inches; while Garden City has a beautiful 19 inches of rainfall per year. This means more time in the summer sun and less of your vacation time stuck indoors. With all this wonderful weather, your summer schedule will be full with the outdoor activities that Garden City provides!

Garden Rapids Grand Opening

Speaking of outdoor activities, Garden Rapids at the Big Pool is the perfect place for fun! This historical, manmade swimming pool has had a modern makeover. In 1922, the original Big Pool opened its doors and held the title of the largest municipal swimming pool in Kansas. Now, the city commissioners have headed a plan to revamp The Big Pool into a waterpark wonderland. The park has been renamed Garden Rapids and will had its grand opening in the summer of 2021.

They have installed multiple waterslides including the Dolphin Dive and the Splashtacular stand-up slide. You’ll be able to take it easy down the Otter Rapids lazy river and have a picnic at the Lion Lounge. The elements of the waterpark have an animal theme in conjunction with their neighbors at the Lee Richardson Zoo. The admission is a very reasonable $3 a day. If you are driving through southwest Kansas and want a place to cool off, then visit Garden Rapids. You can head over to their Facebook page for more details on construction progress and upcoming events.

The Downtown District

Planning a vacation with everyone in mind can be stressful; but the quaint downtown streets of Garden city are a crowd pleaser. The unique store fronts will be buzzing with summer deals. The ladies can head to one of the many salons located along N. Main street for well deserved relaxation. Meanwhile, no one could turn down a classic malted milkshake from Traditions Soda & Sandwich Shop. Bargain shoppers can discover the perfect upcycled clothing from Tumbleweed Thrift Shop. Imagine that the whole family could be entertained within a few blocks of charming brick-paved roads.

Next, add in a quick history lesson with a visit to the Historic Windsor Hotel. This Garden City icon is a short walk from the downtown shopping district. Constructed in 1877, it has seen the streets of Garden City develop to what they are today. Today, this timeless relic is owned by the Finney County Preservation Alliance; and there are hopes to restore it to its former glory. Tours are available this summer. Get a glimpse of life in the late 1800s, and help support the future of this historic building.

The Finney County Flea Market

Be sure to save space in your suitcase, because the annual Finney County Museum Flea Market will be held this July. This outdoor market has over 50 vendors and will be running for its 12th consecutive year. The festival is not limited to flea market finds; it includes antiques, collectibles, arts and crafts. The Finney County Museum is devoted to keeping the show running. In pandemic times, Covid restrictions are being kept in mind and the booths are limited to local vendors only. Vendors spread out along the front of the Finney County museum and through the arches of the Lee Richardson Zoo. This summer, the event will be held on July 10th and entrance is free.

Terrific Golf Courses

Enjoying a summer breeze and the Kansas sun is easy with a view of the 18-hole fairway. Garden City is home to the annual Southwest Kansas ProAm. This professional golf tournament is held as a charity event for the newborn intensive care unit at St. Catherine Hospital. The Southwest Kansas ProAm has been running every summer since 1979, and found its home at the beautiful golf courses of Garden City. You can get involved in the exciting atmosphere of this charitable event. This year’s competition will be held June 7-12th.

Which course should you visit?

Buffalo Dunes Golf Course is known for its challenging, yet laidback atmosphere. This summer, the regulation golf course is open to members and visitors alike. Your family can join them for a round of golf or register for one of their many leagues throughout the year. This course is home to a junior golfers clinic that supports young entrepreneurs. They have recently renovated three of their holes, and look forward to seeing you on the course.

The Golf Club at Southwind hosts members-only events and pride themselves on high-quality service. This golf club is more than the manicured 18-hole, Par 71 course. After perfecting your short game, head to the 100,000-gallon pool and enjoy a poolside sandwich. This golf club facilitates a rich atmosphere for dining and socializing.

Do you have your bags packed yet? Make sure you remember to bring your bathing suit for Garden Rapids and loungewear for your day at the salon. All joking aside, Garden City is a wonderful summer destination for the whole family. The doors are beginning to open anew and the sun will shine in on our quarantined faces. Support local businesses and remind your kids what a summer vacation really is!

Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau

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