Editors note: This is part two of a two part series on tourist attractions Dodge City offers.
National Travel and Tourism Week is May 5 through 11, and Dodge City is celebrating all the great attractions it have to offer.
We all know tourism is important to our local economy, but did you know that for every 217 visitors in Kansas, one job is created? Did you know that each U.S. household would pay $1,060 more in taxes without the tax revenue generated by the travel and tourism industry?
It's easy to forget sometimes all the great attractions that are right here in Dodge City, so the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is inviting Dodge City residents to take advantage of this week, or whenever they have some free time, to familiarize themselves with all these great attractions.
Wright Park-Liberty Garden and Zoo
Wright Park is a great place to spend the afternoon with your family. There is a playground, garden and lots of space for kids to run around, have a picnic or just relax and enjoy some nice weather.
Also located in Wright Park is the Dodge City Zoo, which boasts over 45 mammals and birds to view. Some of the animals on display include bears, Siberian tigers, longhorn cattle, a buffalo, monkeys and much more.
Fort Dodge and Kansas Veterans Cemetery
Originally established to protect railroad workers and travelers from local Indian tribes, Fort Dodge is now a retirement community and nursing facility for retired Kansas veterans.
Visitors can enjoy a historic library or take a self-guided walking tour to learn all about the Fort's history.
Connected to the fort is the Kansas Veterans Cemetery, which is open to the public seven days a week.
Historic Trolley Tours
The name says it all. Climb aboard the city's new trolley and tour historic Dodge City. The tour goes through downtown, out to the feed yards, and back, and is narrated.
During the summer there are four rides a day at 9:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. but, rides may be scheduled in the off-season as well.
Kansas Heritage Center
The Kansas Heritage Center, located at 1000 N. 2nd Ave., is the place to go for any information on the history of Kansas, the Great Plains and the Old West.
The location offers information available in books, microfilm and vertical file materials to view at the center. Books, posters, stickers, and maps are sold there too.
The Kansas Heritage Center is open year-round from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame and Gunfighters Wax Museum
The Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame is dedicated to the early and present day teachers who devote their lives to teaching others. Some of the unique features of this museum include a memorial book, information on each inductee, early classroom items and a new computer system that allows visitors too look up any inductee and learn about where they taught, when they were inducted, and more.
Page 2 of 2 - The Gunfighters Wax Museum is connected to the Teachers Hall of Fame and allows visitors to see life-size wax figurines of several famous western personalities.
More commonly known as the Home of Stone, it's the oldest building in Dodge City still on its original site.
The parlor, kitchen, bedrooms and exterior of the home are still decorated as they would have been when the home was first built in 1881.
The Home of Stone is open for tours June through August, but may also be toured by appointments. Call (620) 227-6791 to schedule an appointment.
Santa Fe Trail Tracks
Travel just nine miles west of Dodge City to see the Santa Fe Trail Tracks. The trail served as the pioneer highway for over 50 years and allowed goods to be transported safely and easily.
Trail ruts are still visible nearly 150 years later at this historic site.
Southwest Kansas Veterans Memorial
Located on 14th Ave. and Division St., this is the only veterans memorial honoring both armed forces and reservists.
Second Ave. Art Guild
On the last Friday of every month, Second Ave. Art Guild participates in the Final Friday celebration which celebrates and highlights a different local artist each month.
If you stop in any other time of the month, there will still be plenty of art on display in Dodge City's newest art gallery, owned and operated by the local art guild.
Some of the art on display includes ceramics, drawings, jewelry and photography.
Western State Bank Expo Center
Another new attraction to Dodge City is the Western State Bank Expo Center, home of the 3i show and much more.
Although many people associate the expo center with the 3i show, the location hosts events all year long. Several trade shows have been held on the cement side; horse and rodeo events are hosted on the dirt side. The building can also be rented for private parties.
Recently, the Expo Center purchased fans to better cool the building when large events are taking place, as well as movable stalls to hold animals for livestock events.
For more information about any of the attractions Dodge City offers or to find out even more things to do while in Dodge, contact the CVB at (620) 225-8186 or visit www.visitdodgecity.org.