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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Cozy up to Salina, Kan.

Courtesy Salina Area Chamber of Commerce

Where is Salina, Kan.?

Salina is in central Kansas, about halfway between St. Louis, and Denver, Colo. The city is 90 miles north of Wichita, Kan., and 180 miles west of Kansas City, Kan.

How do I get there?
Flights from Kansas City on Great Lakes Airlines arrive daily at the Salina Municipal Airport. Seven airlines serve Wichita Mid-Continent Airport; By car, visitors can take Interstate 70 or Interstate 135, both which pass through Salina.

What types of meetings best suit Salina?
Salina hosts a variety of meeting clienteles, including sports groups, associations, corporate retreats and religious groups. Because it is a shopping, entertainment and professional hub for north central Kansas, Salina has more amenities than would be expected for a town of 46,000.

Did you know?

  • The first successful solo, nonstop around-the-world airplane flight took off from Salina Municipal Airport in March 2005. The late Steve Fossett landed his Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer in Salina 67 hours later.
  • The Smoky Hill River Festival, held each June, has made the American Bus Association’s Top 100 list three times.

What’s new?
A sculpture walk through the historic Lee District in downtown is scheduled to open in 2011. Already, the area boasts interesting architecture, eclectic shops and a wide range of restaurants.

Tell me about Salina’s main meeting sites.

  • Over 21,000 square feet of floor space in the Bicentennial Center’s arena makes it the area’s main meeting location. The center includes the 7,500-seat arena, the 2,000-seat Heritage Hall and eight meeting rooms for 50 or fewer.
  • The Saline River runs through the 225 acres of land that is home to the Webster Conference Center. After meeting in the 500-seat chapel or one of the 19 meeting rooms, attendees can navigate a ropes course, climb a tower, hike trails or speed along a 400-foot zip line.
  • There’s room to convene at the 192-room Ramada Hotel’s 10,000-square-foot conference center. The 106-room Quality Inn and Suites has 6,200 square feet of meeting space; the 80-room Courtyard by Marriott has 2,000 square feet of meeting space.

Tell me about some interesting off-site venues.

  • A white camel, an Indian rhino and 100 other species of animals inhabit Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure, an attraction that is part zoo and part museum. Inside the museum, groups can meet in 2,500 square feet of meeting space.
  • From a 250-seat outdoor terrace, meeting attendees can take in the vineyard at the Smoky Hill Vineyard and Winery. Inside the winery, there’s room for events for up to 60 people. Located three miles north of Salina, the winery makes more than 20 wines and is Kansas’ largest grape-producing winery.

What are some sites worth seeing?

  • Discover the wide range of equipment needed to run a farm at the Central Kansas Flywheels Yesteryear Museum. The 20-acre complex showcases displays of agricultural machinery, interpretive displays of life on a farm, antiques and a 1860s sawmill.
  • At the Smoky Hill Museum, a full-size sod dugout allows visitors to imagine living in a house made of dirt. A general store and an operating flour mill are among the exhibits at the free museum.
  • See alternative films at the Salina Art Center Cinema. The Salina Art Center’s changing art exhibits present various genres from the region and beyond.

For a true taste of Salina…
Named one of the Eight Wonders of Kansas by the Kansas Sampler Foundation, the Cozy Inn has been serving Cozy Burgers for 87 years. Employees slide the palm-size burgers topped with onions down the counter on sheets of wax paper, hence the name “slider.” Jerry Gutierrez and his wife run the Gutierrez Restaurant, serving homemade Mexican, American and vegetarian fare. His mother opened one of central Kansas’ first Mexican restaurants in 1970.