Garden City, the seat of Finney County, is located on the far west side of the state of Kansas. It is a city of nearly 30,000, and those who live there hail from so many different places, it has been called the most diverse city in Kansas.
There is good reason why Garden City receives so many yearly visitors. The summers are long and the winters are mild. It is home to a thriving business community, filled with friendly people and top of the line dining and entertainment.
But beyond that, Garden City boasts some of the best, most popular tourist attractions in Kansas. Don’t believe us? Check out the list below!
Lee Richardson Zoo
The Lee Richardson Zoo is the largest zoo in Western Kansas, and the boasts more than 300 animals, or 100 different species. The zoo is fantastic to explore on foot or in a a vehicle, and has several options for food and snacks within the grounds.
In addition to animal enclosures, the Lee Richardson Zoo also offers large outdoor seating and gathering areas, and plays hosts to many events throughout the year, from picnics to live music.
Any visit to Garden City or indeed, West Kansas, would be remiss without a trip to the Lee Richardson Zoo.
The Big Pool
The Big Pool is the nation’s largest municipal pool. It was hand dug back in 1921 and has a surface area of more than 72,000 square feet. That’s larger than a football field!
Though it gets fewer waterskiers these days (and fewer bathing elephants), during the longs summers you’ll find plenty of visitors and residents alike enjoying all the facilities the pool has to offer. Taking spins down the slides, splashing in the shallows, swimming laps or simply sunbathing.
Pools this size aren’t something you can see every day, and your visit to Garden City wouldn’t be complete without a dip.
The Finney County Historical Museum
Located close to the Lee Richardson Zoo, many visitors consider the Finney County Historical Museum as the first (or second) piece of a day well spent.
Come here to learn all about the history of the region, from the landscape to the Native Americans, from the first settlers to the dust bowl and beyond.
The museum does a great job of adding color and context to far-removed historical events, and a visit is sure to increase your appreciation for Garden City and beyond.
Sandsage Bison Range and Wildlife Area
One of our favorite tourist attractions in Kansas is the Sandsage Bison Range and Wildlife Area. The area is home to one of the largest publicly owned buffalo herds in the state, numbering over 100.
While that’s a far cry from the nearly impossible to think about numbers that used to roam this region, it is surely something uniquely American to witness, and will offer an insight into what life on these long prairies used to look like for some of America’s oldest residents.
Parrot Cove Indoor Waterpark
In general, the weather in Garden City is lovely. Summers are warm and winters are mild. That said, it does still rain occasionally. It can get a little chilly and summer days (especially in the sun) can get roasty.
That’s why we like to include Parrot Cove on any list of Garden City tourist destinations. Why? Because inside Parrot Cove, it’s always a beautiful day!
Parrot Cove is one of Kansas’s most well-loved indoor water parks. There are tons of slides, water obstacles, and things to spray and bounce and splash that you’ll find yourself wondering where the time went!
Bonus: No need for sunscreen.
World Class Hunting
If you’re a hunter, you probably already know. But at the risk of preaching to the choir, we’ve got to tell you that Garden City and outlying Finney County have some of the best hunting lands in the world, especially when it comes to hunting pheasant.
It’s true. While Kansas, in general, is renowned for bagging birds, Finney county is something special. The mix of landscapes provides cover, roost, nesting, plenty of food. Everything a pheasant needs to put a smile on its beak.
And that’s where the hunters come in.
With conditions like this, it’s hard for a hunter NOT to harvest their limit, as you’ll experience on your first visit to Finney County. We say first because we know that once you’ve experienced it, you’ll want to come back again and again (and again).
The City Itself!
One visit to Garden City, and you’ll be hooked. There are walking paths, biking trails, and parks. There are a hundred restaurants offering up world-class dining from every corner of the globe. There are escape rooms, bowling alleys, and a downtown area chock full of sweet boutiques, cute coffee shops, and delectable treats.
So take it from us, make your next vacation Garden City Kansas. You’ll be glad you did.