This travel blog acts as a travel guide that helps you to discover the best things to do in Dodge City KS. You will find the most popular and best places to visit in Dodge City KS. Also, you will read the best time to visit in Dodge City KS, shopping spots, best cheap restaurants, best hotels in Dodge City KS and also our travelling tips.
If you are a person who enjoys the nightlife, then read the places marked as “Things to do in Dodge City KS at night”. In case, if you are travelling with kids, then make sure that you read places marked as “Things to do with kids in Dodge City KS”
You don’t need to search for “tourist destinations near me” on google once you land at Dodge City KS, because you can find the nearby tourist attractions/places in this post itself.
So let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
- Dodge City, USA – Google Map
- Dodge City, KS – General Information
- History of Dodge City
- Tourist destinations Dodge City, KS
- Places to eat in Dodge City, KS
- Best hotels in Dodge City, KS
- Transportation in Dodge City
- Climate in Dodge City, KS
- Conclusion to “Things To Do In Dodge City KS”
Dodge City, USA – Google Map
Dodge City, KS – General Information
|GMT||UTC/GMT -6 hours (Central Standard Time)|
Video On “Things To Do In Dodge City KS”
History of Dodge City
Dodge City is located in Kansas State, Ford County. The city is named after Fort Dodge which is also named after General Grenville M. Dodge.
Grenville M. Dodge was a Major General in the American military, he thought of establishing a military site near Fort Larned to protect wagon trains that travelled on the Santa Fe Trail.
Fort Dodge was established in 1865. In 1871, a rancher came to the site of Fort Dodge and build a house to watch over his cattle. The site soon became a meeting point for passing-by traders and buffalo hunters.
After one year, the city was founded near the site of Fort Dodge, the railroad arrived and the city became a trading center in Kansas.
The city was famous for the buffalo bones and hides trade, and it soon became known for the cattle trade too.
In 1882, Fort Dodge was closed, cattle and buffalo trading gradually stopped, but the history of the city remains.
Boot hill museum and other top sights in Dodge City preserve its history. Tourists can come and visit these places to get a grasp of the city’s history and know more about famous gunfighters, lawmen, and buffalo hunters who were living there at that time.
Rich in history as you can see, Dodge City is a place you would like to visit. So, let’s find out what is there to do in Dodge City, Kansas.
Tourist destinations Dodge City, KS
One of the most famous tourist spots in Dodge City, it is located in the center of the city and very near to the train station.
Once you step your foot into the museum, you will feel you are back in time to old Dodge City where cowboys were settling and buffalo hunting was the main activity there.
The museum has several buildings, they are all connected from inside, so you can tour them all without having to go out from one building to the other.
Each building is full of history, some have exhibits of old tools used by cowboys at that time. The museum in all will give you a sense of how life was at the time of cowboys.
You will have to go through the buildings yourself, there won’t be a guide with you on your tour. However, the museum staff is there to help you if you need.
If you are going to tour the whole museum with all the exhibits, it will take you about 2 hours. You won’t want to miss the gunfight at 6 p.m. every day. There are different variety shows along with the gunfight every day too and all of them are included in the admission ticket.
Speaking of admission, tickets are sold at the entrance of the museum, you don’t have to reserve anything. A one-day admission ticket is 15$ and 11$ for children. Bring your children if you have, it will be so much fun and one of the informative things to do with kids in Dodge City.
The museum welcomes visitors all year holding several events from time to time. The most notable one is the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame where elected cowboys are honored in a ceremony every year. Their photos will be introduced to the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame based on their significant contributions to the preservation of the cowboy culture.
Having a celebration like a birthday or a wedding or even a formal conference or meeting? Think of the Boot Hill Museum as a place to hold your event, great, isn’t it?
The nearest hotel to the Boot Hill Museum is Holiday Inn Express & Suites Dodge City, have a nice stay there with prices starting from 108$ for a single room. They offer services like free WIFI, pool, breakfast included, and free parking.
While the nearest restaurant is Applebee’s Dodge City, it is a casual restaurant offering sandwiches, pizzas, and other American dishes. They also have to go service through which you can order your food and take it while in your car.
Ask about the happy hour when they have special discounts and offers on different food and the 2 for 22$ menu where you can get two entrees and one appetizer for only 22$.
Bella Italia is also a nice Italian food restaurant minutes walking from the museum. Go for the Lasagna or one of their chef specials. You can get an Alfredo pasta with prosciutto and shrimp at 15$ or a Chicken breast with shrimp seasoned with paprika lemon sauce besides some pasta at the same price too.
Walk several steps away from the Boot Hill Museum and you will find yourself facing another great historical site featuring old Dodge City.
This Hall of Fame or actually this museum is unparalleled. Seldom will you find a museum dedicated to teachers only.
The museum has desks, books, and other things related to old schools at Dodge City. Although it is not that big it definitely worth the visit. You will get an idea of how the education process was at old Dodge City and you will also see notable teachers on the Hall of Fame.
Just like the Kansas Cowboy Wall of Fame, inductees are nominated and added every year to Kansas Teachers’ Hall of Fame for their outstanding achievements in the teaching profession.
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with tickets at 8$ for adults and 4$ for children. For this ticket, you are allowed to enter the teacher’s museum and the Gunfighters Wax Museum located inside.
At the Gunfighters Wax Museum, you will see wax replications of famous old people from Kansas in their original life-size. People like the lawman and gunfighter Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Buffalo Bill, and others are sculptured in wax there.
This city has done so much to pride its people. On the opposite side of the Teacher’s Hall of Fame, you can see the Dodge City Trail of Fame Office.
This time, you have one of the free things to do in Dodge City, KS. You just need to head to the office to get a free brochure to know exactly where to walk and what you will see.
The trail of Fame is a walking journey in Downtown Dodge City, the whole tour will last for an hour on average. You will see statues of famous habitants of Dodge City and also the statues of actors who presented their roles in TV series and movies.
The trail itself is marked, so along with the brochure, you will be able to complete the whole tour without missing any statuary.
Since Dodge City is known for being the trade center of cattle, especially Texas longhorn, you will find a huge bronze Texas longhorn cattle statue in the real size. There is also a cowboy statue in appreciation to this era and this part of Dodge City’s history.
If you still have extra 30 or 40 minutes, pass by the home of stone. Not very far from the Boot Hill Museum and the Dodge City Trail of Fame.
The story behind this house is that it was the home of John Mueller who was a boot maker, he was a cattle rancher too but he had to sell his home with all it furnishing after he lost all his trade in a blizzard. The home was then owned by Adam Schmidt who sold it again to the county and then it became a tourist destination.
You are allowed to visit the home during summer only from June to August, but if you can’t make it during summer, you can view Mueller-Schmidt House panorama virtual tour to see a typical house with all the furniture and clothing from this era.
The entrance fees are 3$ only, at other times in the year rather than summer months, you have to make an appointment to visit the home.
From numerous tress on the Arkansas River to a huge park full of activities and sights, this is the Wright Park.
The park is named after the person who first planted these trees in that place, Robert M. Wright. Years after, the country passed with economic turmoil so he had to donate the park to the city on condition that they name it Wright Park forever.
Inside the park, there are different things to do, the Dodge City Liberty Garden, Long Branch Lagoon Water Park, Hoover Pavilion, Wright Park zoo, and City Of Dodge City’s Dog Park.
Dodge City Liberty Garden
A memorial for September 11 tragedy. The garden features a model of the World Trade Center Twin Towers. It also has some wreckage from the 4 sites of the attacks; a steel piece from the World Trade Center, a sandstone piece from the Pennsylvania field, and a wreckage piece from the Pentagon.
The visit to the liberty garden will only take you a couple of minutes, but seeing real wreckage from this massive attack will leave you with sympathetic feelings.
Dating back to 1920, the Lagoon water park was first a large swimming pool, after years particularly in 2016, it became the Long Branch Lagoon Water Park full of thrilling aquatic activities.
Some of the water activities are suitable for children and others are for elders. Doc’s Plunge and The Gunslinger are double ride games you can enjoy with a friend, while the Fort Splash is an interactive kind of pool with 20+ games suitable for children.
The Cowboy Creek Lazy River is a quiet water ride through a creek. For swimmers, there is the Ol’ Swimming Hole which is a 50-meter swimming pool.
Long Branch Lagoon Water Park accepts visitors every day from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. except on Sundays till 6 p.m. with a safety break at 4 p.m. every day.
For those who want to enjoy night swimming, Tuesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. is the time to do it at the park.
A day at the park with all the activities included is 7$, for a whole season pass it will cost you 70$.
Renting part of the Water Park during working hours or even after working hours is available at special prices according to the part you will rent.
One of the notable buildings constructed after World War 1, it was built in 1919. It has a nice attractive Spanish style.
Now, the venue is rented for weddings and engagement parties. Children will find a space outside to play in.
A small zoo that started with two North American black bears back in 1926, after that, more and more animals were brought to the zoo. Now it has about 126 different animals from different species.
The zoo is open in both winter and summer although it is better to visit in summer to avoid a surprising rainy day.
Operating hours are every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. except Sundays in winter from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and in summer from 1 p.m. also but till 7 p.m.
The entrance, unlike other places, in Wright Park is free for kids and elders.
City Of Dodge City’s Dog Park
Dogs have fun things to do in Dodge City too! A space in the park allocated for dogs to play and chase after whatever tiny animals or insects they can find.
There are tables and shade in the Dog Park for dog owners to stay and watch over their dogs. Water and poop bags for the dogs are available too.
A multi-purpose place where you can attend an event or have some activities to do.
The arena has a conference center with 6 sections, you may attend an event in one of these sections, or the 6 sections altogether can be combined into one big hall for big events.
There are around 3 or 4 events every week, they vary from concerts, trade shows, sporting events, rodeos, private events, and others. So, it is better to always check their events calendar for upcoming events.
They also provide a place for ice skating, it costs 7$ for an hour ice skating session and 5$ for students or people having their own skates.
Places to eat in Dodge City, KS
Want to eat and drink very well? There are lots of cheap restaurants in Dodge City. Most of them are located on the two sides of Wyatt Earp Street from the east to the west of the country.
If you are a fan of fast food, you have all the famous fast-food chains all around the area as MacDonald’s, KFC, papa johns, pizza hut, subway, and other takeaway and dine in fast-food restaurants.
There also other options to satisfy your taste buds, think of whatever kind of food you crave now, you will find it in Dodge City.
When in a hurry and need a fast yet filling meal, get some BBQ sandwiches from Billy Sims BBQ.
This restaurant is a local fast-food chain, it can be a kind of change from the usual fast food you are used to.
Billy Sims BBQ has around 40 other branches in seven different states around the USA. They pride themselves on serving top quality BBQ unmatched to any other place.
How do they prepare it? Well, they say they use the best for their BBQ, they have an on-site smoker in every branch where they cook the meat. They have their special seasoning used to season meat for 14 hours every day. After that, they can use this meat for preparing the best BBQ sandwiches ever.
They have two signature BBQ sandwiches beside other normal options; The Heisman which is mainly bologna with pork or brisket according to your choice and other additives as pickles and onions.
The other signature sandwich is The Triple 20, it is made of pork meat blended in coleslaw and a special kind of cheese. The sandwich is topped with some of their secret sauce for extra delicious taste.
Both sandwiches come with a side and the special BBQ sauce, and both of them will cost you around 9.5$.
Sometimes all you need is a good breakfast and a nice cup of coffee. IHOP is a place where you can get exactly what you desire.
You may have heard about IHOP before as it is a well-known restaurant located in different countries, not just the USA, the restaurant is best known for the breakfast options it offers.
Breakfast at IHOP includes omelet either alone or with your choice of additives as cheese, mushrooms, olives, vegetables, or bacon.
When you order any of their omelet plates, be sure that you will have a perfect dish cooked right.
Other options for sweet tooth are pancakes and waffles. They are baked fresh to perfection every day.
Start off your morning with your favorite type of breakfast paired with a hot cup of tea or coffee from IHOP, this exactly what a nice morning should be.
Another thing that should be noted is the welcoming staff at IHOP. You will really feel comfortable staying there.
You will probably need something with more food selection for lunch. After a long day of hanging out and visiting attractions, you may want to award yourself with a huge meal.
Guymon Petro Restaurant & Bar is located just across the street from the Boot Hill Museum. It offers grilled plates, ribs, and steak. They also have a wide variety of cocktails and beer in their bar to complement your meal.
Located between the three tourist destinations, boot hill museum, home of stone, Kansas teacher hall of fame, you will find this small nice café so you can stop by when you are in the area.
As the name indicates, Dodge City Brewing Company sells handcrafted beer. They have a wide variety of in-house brews. You may get lost in the different selections you have but the staff there will help you choose the best drink for you.
This time you will need something to complement your drink, that’s why they started to serve pizzas.
Their pizza is a brick-oven one, they have around 10 different options, all of them are good enough to meet your expectations.
Less than one mile from Dodge City train station, this bar, grill, and dance club is located with a vintage design to feel back in time to old Dodge City.
The restaurant has two dining-in areas, one in an old train car, and the other one is a normal dining area for more privacy and comfort.
The menu is full of options. The restaurant is known for its very well-seasoned steak options. All of them come with salad, potatoes, and your choice of vegetables. Prices of steak meals range from 24$ to 30$
There is also a bar for drinks, they refer to it as a sports bar as it has more than one large TV screens to broadcast big sports games.
The last thing you can do here is the dance club, they have live music on Fridays and Saturdays with other events and concerts on other weekdays according to the schedule on their website.
The whole restaurant and bar are closed on Sundays.
Casey’s Cowtown Club
On the other side of the railway, you will find this steak house. Just like central station bar & grill, they are also known for their steaks.
When you order a medium-well or medium-rare steak, you will easily spot the difference between both orders. Chefs there really know how to cook steaks.
Every day they have a lunch special which features one or two menu items for a discounted price, you can check their Facebook page to know what is on for the particular day.
They also care for the design, the try to make everyone in place feel the mood of old Dodge City with the cowboys around, and everything is made of brown cattle leather.
So, whenever you feel in need of fresh steaks for great prices, go for Casey’s
Let’s go a little far from Wyatt Earp Street, west of the city at Mariah hills golf course. Prime on the nine is another worth visiting restaurant overlooking the golf course with big floor to ceiling windows.
As you guessed, steaks again. What do you expect from a city that was famous for cattle trade?
Actually, you won’t want to leave Dodge City without trying more than one of its steak houses, you may even want to try the whole menu.
If in doubt, consider having a rib eye. You can also try seafood for a change.
We are still in the same area near Mariah hills golf course, Boot Hill Casino & Resort is a place you should pay a visit.
Now, it is time to have some fun. This is an old themed casino with more than 600 electronic gaming machines you can enjoy with a group of friends or family.
It also features a poker room and 18 different table games So, you will have so many things to do here at this place. There are also daily promotions on the games
The casino is not just for playing, it has two dining options too. A casual restaurant named firesides with two menus; one for lunch and the other for dinner. The restaurant also offers everyday food specials.
Another option is the Cowboy Café for a cozy affordable outing to have some drinks or a light dessert.
Enjoyed the place? You still have the united wireless arena next to the casino. You can also book a night at Hampton inn & suites at an average price of 97$ per night. The hotel is a walking distance from the casino and united wireless arena.
Best hotels in Dodge City, KS
Of course, you want a comfortable stay near to the best tourist attractions in Dodge City, luckily you have many options to choose from.
If you want to be at the center of everything where you can easily reach your destination, you have is Holiday Inn Express & Suites Dodge City, minutes walking from the Boot Hill Museum, and Best Western Plus Country Inn & Suites also with nearly the same average prices of Holiday Inn starting from 102$.
Some other hotels will provide a convenient stay with more affordable prices as Quality inn, it combines convenient location, good services, and affordable price starting from 60$ for a night. The hotel will provide you with a clean room with all amenities of a luxurious hotel as a refrigerator and microwave.
For the budget-friendly options, you have Wyatt Earp hotel, prices are as low as 40$ per night. You will still enjoy a nice clean room at a location near to everything while still saving your money.
All of these hotels are located along Wyatt Earp Street. You can choose whatever suits you more according to your priority whether it is having a luxurious stay, saving money, or being the nearest to the center.
Best Western North edge inn is a little bit far from the city center but it is also another hotel worth considering with lesser prices that Best Western Plus Country Inn.
Transportation in Dodge City
Dodge City regional airport is a few miles away east of the city. You can take flights from anywhere to Denver International Airport and then connect to Dodge City regional airport through the daily flights on United Airlines. Check their schedule and flight prices on their website as it changes according to the time of the year.
When in the USA, you can use the train to reach Dodge City, Amtrak Passenger Rail Services has two train trips twice a day from Chicago to Los Angeles and vice versa.
The first train arrives at Dodge City at 12.12 a.m. and departs at 12.27 a.m., while the second one arrives at 5:19 a.m. and departs at 5:25 a.m.
For transportation inside the city itself, you have the public transportation bus lines. There are 3 bus services including the D-train, para-train, and R-train.
The D-train has three routes with 55 stops all around Dodge City. It operates every day except Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The para-train is a service dedicated to people with some disabilities and special needs who can’t walk or move to the normal bus stops. The bus is door-to-door transportation working on the same routes of the D-train but with extended ¾ of a mile on each side of the routes.
To use the para-train, you should have some medical certifications allowing you to use this service and you have to make a reservation a day before using the bus.
The last service is the R-train which is also for those who are eligible to use the para-train buses. It serves 2 miles outside the city borders. This service doesn’t need a reservation, it a first come first served based service.
For all the buses, there is no Service on Saturdays and Sundays. The fare is 1$ for adults and half fare for children under 18 years.
Climate in Dodge City, KS
Winters in the city are cold with snow falling on different times of winter months and sometimes in springs too.
In spring the weather becomes warmer and the snow starts to become lesser.
During summers, humidity goes down especially in the middle of the summer season in July, the weather is so good but it sometimes rains.
Thus, the best time to visit Dodge City is typically the summer season so you can enjoy all of the activities and tourist attractions of the city.
|Hottest month||July (27 °C avg)|
|Coldest month||January (1 °C avg)|
|Wettest month||June (38.0 mm avg)|
|Windiest month||April (21 km/h avg)|
|Annual precip.||216.0 mm (per year)|
Conclusion to “Things To Do In Dodge City KS”
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