Salina’s unmistakable cityscape of towering grain silos stand like skittles on the flat, fertile plains of Kansas. Corn cob doesn’t come fresher than in the diners here. It’s now a hub for manufacturing as well as of agricultural transportation, and the city welcomes many business travelers.
Things to see
Landmark ground zero is the Sacred Heart Cathedral in the town center, which honors the city’s wheat-based heritage. It’s no coincidence that its unconventional design of gleaming white cylinders mimics grain silos.
Lakeside Recreational Park, set 10 miles from downtown, is the city’s green lungs. Locals flock here in the summer to splash around in the lake, with its sandy beach and water slide. There’s 63 acres of shady woodland to complement the fishing and boating for a quintessential prairie recreation experience.
A curious museum in this cross-country stopover is the Greyhound Hall of Fame – nothing to do with buses but actually a homage to the dog racing sport. You’ll be surprised at the history of ‘the track’, with its canine stars and national trophies.
‘You’re not in Kansas anymore Dorothy’ – the Wizard of Oz famously alluded to this state, and you learn a lot more about it at the cool McPherson Museum, with it shiny new building. Trace the pioneer days of Kansas through a collection of Americana, including textiles, crafts, everyday household objects, toys, and games.
Hotels in Salina
Salina is well-served by hotels at 3-star and budget levels, including a selection of well-known US chain accommodations. Modern, low-rise buildings with business facilities and family rooms predominate, and are spread out all over the city and its suburbs.
A curious selling point of many Salinas hotels is their ‘dog friendly’ policy. Those traveling overland with pets find this useful. Families might prefer to book at one of several suite hotels around town and take advantage of self-catering as well as more space for the kids.
Where to stay
Salina is set on Interstate 40, a short distance from Abilene on the same highway. Hotel locations vary between Salina itself, Abilene, McPherson, and nearby Ellsworth, with a choice of mid-range and budget options.
If you’re in town on business, Econolodge Salina and the Courtyard by Marriot Salina are the best bets for their business amenities and transportation options. Business centers, meeting rooms, and Wi-Fi internet access are provided, and the restaurants are good for a business dinner.
For a romantic weekend, accommodation close by Lakeside Park is great idea, and the area is also good for family visits. The beach and swimming pool at the park is fun for kids and walks in the woods give a chance to introduce youngsters to the great outdoors.
How to get there
If you’re on a self-drive vacation, Salina is a convenient stop on Interstates 40 or 135 through Kansas.
A modest sized airport at Salina has connections with regional hubs such as Chicago O‘Hare and Denver. Taxis and a bus service whisk passengers efficiently into the nearby city.
Both the Kansas Pacific line run by the Union Pacific Railroad and the Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad’s Salina Subdivision offer train services to Salina and its surrounding cities.
Getting around Salina is by way of CityGo, a local bus service with four routes around the city. Greyhound provides long-distance buses, and NCK Express runs routes to nearby towns. Taxi and hire car companies offer more direct ways to travel in the region.