Destination Kansas: Discover the hidden gems of Hutchinson with Cosmosphere and Strataca

Destination Kansas
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HUTCHINSON, Kan. – If you’re looking for a one-stop destination, Hutchinson is filled with adventure for the entire family to enjoy.

Hutchinson has been home to salt mines since 1887 and has earned the nickname “Salt City” offering visitors the opportunity to go back nearly 280 million years to explore what’s beneath the surface.


“It’s a great way to get away from daily life,” said Tonya Gehring, Strataca operations manager. “When we take you underground, it’s 650-feet underground where it’s 68 degrees, and while we do have WiFi, phones stop ringing. We don’t pipe in music. It’s very quiet, very calm and we take you back through geological timeframes.”

The salt mine is like a time capsule, which lets you see the salt beds that were left behind from a time when Kansas was underwater.

Strataca gives visitors a 45-minute walk-through tour of salt mining, plus a train ride to show what was once a miner’s break room. Visitors can see items that were left behind by the mining staff in 1953. Guests can also take a 30-minute ‘Dark Ride’ to see all the different aspects of the mine.

The fun doesn’t stop there, visitors can even check out their display of iconic movie props, plus much more.

“Some history, some geology, some rides, some fun, and just some plain entertainment,” Gehring said. “We are teaching them through video, through touch. They even get to dig through a salt pile and collect their own souvenir salt rock.”


Admission: Age:Price:
Seniors 60 +$17
Reno County residentsN/A$14
Strataca student membersN/A1/2 price
Prices do not include sales tax. **No children under the age of 4 are allowed underground.**

For more information on hours of operation, limitations and COVID-19 guidelines, visit Strataca’s website.


Hutchinson not only takes visitors underground, but it also gives visitors an outerspace experience with the Cosmosphere.

It’s the only Smithsonian-affiliated museum in Kansas and holds the largest collection of combined U.S. and former Soviet space artifacts in the world.

The space history museum focuses on the lead up to and through the space race, which is also a science education center. The Cosmosphere is home to spacecraft that have flown to space from all three early manned U.S. programs: the Mercury capsule Liberty Bell 7, the Gemini X, and the Apollo 13.

“They’re going to see the space race unfold before them,” said Jim Remar, Cosmosphere president and CEO.

The Cosmosphere has an X-plane gallery, a hall of space filled with Apollo 13 artifacts, plus Doctor Goddard’s Lab where visitors can take a journey through the history of rockets.

“The Cosmosphere is the place for space for Kansas,” he said. “It’s where you can come and see the three early manned American spacecraft. You can also come and experience exciting educational opportunities.”

Visitors that intend to visit both the Cosmosphere and Strataca can get $5 off by clicking here.


Adults13 – 59$22.50
Children3 and underFree
Prices do not include sales tax.


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