About Salina

Things you'll want to know

  • It's located in the middle of the U.S. – the same distance – 1,490 miles from Los Angeles and New York City.
  • Salina is located in Saline County, which has a population of 51,000.
  • There are 23 parks, four golf courses (two public), eight museums and galleries and 240 civic clubs and organizations.
  • The climate is typical for the Midwest: average annual rainfall is about 30 inches; average high temperature during the winter months is 39 degrees, and the average high temperature during the summer months is 91 degrees.
  • There are about 70 churches representing nearly every denomination.
  • The Bicentennial Center, with a 7,200-seat arena and 40,000 square feet of exhibition space, is the home for a variety of entertainment performances, trade shows and sporting events.
Back to Top

Famous Residents

  • Thomas Braniff – an aviation pioneer who founded Braniff Airlines in 1928.
  • Glenn L. Martin – another aviation pioneer who founded the Martin-Marietta Corporation.
  • Paul Harvey – News commentator Paul Harvey, who once managed a radio station in Salina.
  • H.D. Lee – an entrepreneur whose businesses came to include Lee Jeans.
  • Steve Hawley – an astronaut who made five space shuttle flights.
Back to Top

Well-known attractions

Seven sites in Salina have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts. The art deco-style building was constructed as a movie theater in 1931. It recently underwent a complete renovation that restored it to its former glory and now stands as a showpiece of downtown Salina, hosting live performances of all kinds and a historic movie series.

An oft-repeated comment for those new to Salina is that they're amazed at the variety and quality of what the city offers in arts and entertainment. From live, national award-winning productions at the Salina Community Theatre and provocative exhibits at the Salina Art Center to the exotic animals and incredibly life-like exhibits at the zoo and wildlife museum at Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure, Salina truly has entertainment to amaze.

Nestled in the beautiful Plains, Salina is a midsized city that offers many of the benefits of a larger urban area, without such problems as a high crime rate or traffic jams.

Back to Top

Places to visit and things to do

Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure, located six miles west of Salina, is home to a 65-acre zoo and 64,000-square-foot wildlife museum. The zoo has more than 85 species of animals, including chimpanzees, leopards, orangutans, tigers and two species of rhinos. Guests can walk along a 1.5-mile paved path to view the animals or take a narrated tram ride. The zoo also features a restaurant and gift shop. Visitors to the museum view seven regions of the world while seeing natural settings, including animals, human-like robots, waterfalls and more. The domed ADM Theater immerses you in a 360-degree virtual 3-D movie experience, and the Children's Education Center has hands-on interactive ways to explore and learn about our planet.

The Smoky Hill River Festival is a four-day extravaganza of entertainment, art and food. It annually brings thousands together in Oakdale and Kenwood parks on the first full weekend of June. The festival starts Thursday evening with the Festival Jam, which features a variety of bands. From Friday through Sunday there is more music, entertainment, fine art, games, athletic contests and food to please everyone.

Tri-Rivers Fair is a celebration of country living every August. The fair includes a downtown parade, rodeo, demolition derby, draft horse show, carnival, antique appraisal, petting zoo and 4-H events and exhibits.

Santa Fe Day, in September, is a celebration of Salina's heritage. It features a downtown parade, chili cook-off contest, pancake feed, road race and plenty of entertainment. The Smoky Hill Museum sponsors the event which features historical performances and old-fashioned demonstrations of blacksmithing, butter churning and corn shelling.

The Prairie Festival is sponsored by the internationally known Land Institute. The Land Institute's mission includes research and education toward ecologically sustainable natural and human communities. Writers, artists, musicians, farmers, scientists and others come from all over to perform or show at the festival, which also includes prairie and bird walks, music, a barn dance and children's activities.

The Salina Community Theatre produces five main stage productions a year, two onstage shows and four "Theatre for Young People" productions. The theater's production of "Wit" was judged the best show in the nation at the 2001 ACT Festival.

Art a la Carte is a showcase for local, area and regional talent. Performers present free lunch-hour concerts during the spring and fall in downtown Salina.

Great Plains Theatre Festival in Abilene is a regional professional theater that produces eight shows a season, including six main stage productions, a preseason show and a children's show.

Salina Municipal Band performs free concerts including marches, Broadway show tunes and classical overtures on Tuesday evenings from June through mid-August in Oakdale Park.

Salina Chorale presents programs of classical and contemporary music in the fall and spring. It is open, by audition, to all singers.

Salina Symphony is a volunteer orchestra that performs five concerts each season, from October through April. It plays its home dates in the Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts.

A strong youth symphony program offers young musicians the opportunity to play with other talented youth under the direction of a professional conductor.

The public library has about 220,000 items for circulation. It recently underwent an expansion and renovation and now features a coffee shop and expanded tech center. A large children's library includes an area for puppet shows and storytelling.

The Salina Art Center features museum-quality exhibits, national art shows and local artist exhibitions. It also sponsors classes, workshops and the Art Center Cinema.

  • The Smoky Hill Museum has exhibitions of cultural and historical importance. The museum in 2006 finished an extensive renovation project to enhance the exhibit and education areas.
  • The Yesteryear Museum showcases the areas agricultural industry with displays of antique machinery and restored historic buildings. The museum hosts the Bygone Days festival every April. Bygone Days includes arts, crafts and skills of the past, including loom weaving, butter churning, rope making, wood carving, spinning, wheat weaving, a candy store, 1800s steam engine, a petting zoo and more. The museum also has an antique engine show and tractor pull each October.
Back to Top