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Hays Tourism & Sightseeing

Hays Tourism and Sightseeing
Hays is famous for being a frontier town with a colorful history that features the legendary “Wild Bill” Hickok, “Buffalo Bill” Cody and General George Custer. Hays City was founded in the fall of 1867 when the Union Pacific Railroad reached the military post of Fort Hays along the banks of Big Creek. Because many of the first citizens were railroad workers, saloon owners, soldiers and even desperados, the early days of Hays City were wild and dangerous. During several months in 1869, “Wild Bill” Hickok served as the acting sheriff after several incidents prompted the citizens to form a vigilante committee. Many of the outlaws were buried at the original boot hill cemetery, which was located on a hill just north of Hays City. Historic Fort Hays and the Ellis County Historical Museum feature many displays and provide tours for visitors to relive the exciting frontier history.

During the late 1870s, German immigrant arrived from Russia and began to bring their culture, strong religious values and work ethic to this area. In 2003, Ellis County was name the German Capital of Kansas and has a proud reputation of being a friendly place to enjoy a great Oktoberfest, listen to a good polka band and enjoy some tasty beer and brats with the local Volga Germans. The Volga German Haus, annual polka fest, Liquid Bread Brewing Company and a tour of the impressive historic native stone German Churches all provide an enjoyable experience of the German Heritage of Ellis County.

Visitors are truly amazed when they enter the 100,000 square foot dome shaped Sternberg Museum of Natural History and see one of the most impressive displays of Cretaceous Period fossils, rocks and educational material. The centerpiece exhibit features a full-scale recreation of the sea and land environments from 70-80 million years ago. Full scale models of plants and animals, some with realistic motion, allow visitors to encounter the world of the Pteranodons and Tyrannosaurs.

With attractions like the Stone Gallery, Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art, The Hays Arts Center and 711 Studio, Hays is the arts and entertainment mecca of western Kansas. The crown jewel of the Fort Hays State University entertainment scene is the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center. This historic, yet modern facility has a seating capacity of 1100, and is used for both college and community events.

Top Hays Attractions

From historic sites to agricultural tourism and a charming German Heritage, Hays has an extensive variety of attractions including twenty art galleries a military fort from the 1870s and the most impressive museum of natural history between Denver and Kansas City. There are eight self-guided walking/driving tours that allow visitors to explore the downtown area, historic landmarks and see beautiful displays of public art.

Fort Hays State Historic Site
Chestnut Street District
Ellis County Historical Society Museum
Blue Sky Miniature Horse Farm-Hays, Kansas 67601
Historic Church Tours - Ellis County, Kansas

View all Hays tourist attractions. All attractions in Hays

Top Places to Stay in Hays

Stay at the best rated hotels in Hays. To ensure accuracy, our Hays hotel guest scores come only from actual customers! That way, you can count on accurate reviews from real guests! These places to stay in Hays, KS are scored the highest by our customers View the hotel to see the comments and scores. With over 14,000 reviews of hotels in Kansas alone, you can't go wrong!

Comfort Inn And Suites Hays
Guest Score:
From $89 / night.

Fairfield Inn by Marriott Hays
Guest Score:
From $99 / night.

Hampton Inn HaysNorth of I70
Guest Score:
From $115 / night.

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Hays
Guest Score:
From $116 / night.

Super 8 Hays Ks
Guest Score:
From $59 / night.

View all places to stay in Hays. All places to stay in Hays

Best Time to Visit Hays

The best time to visit Hays is in the summer and fall. Summer temperatures are mild with averages in the mid 70's and highs in the upper 90's. Nights are cool with lows in the 60's to 70’s. Fall temperatures are pleasant with averages in the upper 50’s and 60’s with highs in the low 70's. Fall nights are cool with lows in the mid 40's.

Spring Visit Hays in the summerSummer Visit Hays in the fallFall Winter

Monthly Temperatures in Hays

Month Low Avg High
January 14.6 27.0 39.4
February 19.5 32.6 45.7
March 28.9 42.1 55.3
April 40.0 53.1 66.2
May 50.9 62.8 74.7
June 60.8 73.5 86.2
July 65.9 79.1 92.2
August 63.9 76.9 89.9
September 54.2 67.7 81.2
October 40.7 55.2 69.7
November 27.3 40.2 53.1
December 18.3 30.5 42.7

Hays Weather

More Information

Stop at the Hays Welcome Center at 27th and Vine to pick up local and regional tourism brochures, maps, and ask the staff for ideas to help you plan your trip. Free coffee, clean restrooms and free Wi-Fi is available at the Hays Welcome Center which has offices for the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau, Hays Chamber of Commerce and the downtown Hays office for the Chestnut Street District.

Hays Visitor Bureau

Hays Convention & Visitors Bureau

Hays Convention & Visitors Bureau

Free Hays Visitor Guide

Take Advantage of Hays Visitors Packet

Take Advantage of Hays Visitors Packet

Other Destinations Near Hays To Visit

With-in an hour’s drive from Hays you can see the Post-Rock Capital of Kansas, the Grass Roots Art Capital of Kansas, the Czech Capital of Kansas, The Bass Fishing Capital of Kansas and the Hamburger Capital of Kansas. See the Boyhood home of Walter P. Chrysler (founder of the Chrysler Corporation) and several attractions that are part of the 8 Wonders of Kansas including the Cathedral of the Plains in Victoria, Kansas.

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