Top 10 Best Thing To Do In Nebraska

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Often overlooked as a tourist destination, Nebraska is a state of warm people, exciting natural attractions, and fascinating cities. The Nebraska landscape ... read more...

  1. Scotts Bluff National Monument ranks first on the list of the best things to do in Nebraska. Scotts Bluff National Monument, a must-see for travelers on the Oregon and Mormon trails, features geological and paleontological history. Scotts Bluff, which rises 800 feet above the North Platte River, has been a natural landmark for many peoples and served as a path marker for those on the Oregon, California, Mormon, and Pony Express Trails. Scotts Bluff National Monument protects 3,000 acres of unusual land formations that rise above flat prairieland. The monument museum houses exhibits about the area's human and natural history, as well as a one-of-a-kind collection of watercolor paintings by frontier photographer and artist William Henry Jackson.

    This massive natural structure can be seen from all over the Nebraska prairies. Native Americans who lived in the area used it as a landmark, as did travelers passing through in the mid-nineteenth century, including pioneers traveling west on the California, Oregon, and Mormon Trails. On weekends, rangers dressed in period costume roam the park, providing historical insights and stories.

    Google rating: 4.8/5.0
    Address: 190276 Old Oregon Trail, Gering, NE 69341
    Phone: +1 308-436-9700

  2. Anyone who has ever loved trains or been interested in trains will understand why the Golden Spike Tower has received Buffalo Bill's Buffalo of Approval. The tower provides the best view of the world's largest rail yard, Union Pacific's Bailey Yard, where approximately 10,000 railcars are sorted and sent on to their next destination every day. The tower also has multimedia exhibits about the railroad's history, orphan trains, and the North Platte Canteen, but the real treasure here is the volunteers.

    Every day, friendly volunteers, almost always retired Union Pacific employees, man the tower, ready to educate visitors on the logistics and choreography that take place at Bailey Yard. Visitors will discover that these knowledgeable volunteers can explain just about everything going on in the rail yard and how it affects the big picture of getting raw materials and consumer goods where they need to go.

    This is no easy task; it has been said that by paying attention to Bailey Yard, you can get a pretty good picture of how the entire US economy is doing because of the sheer volume of freight that is shipped through this yard. With everything going on, from the exhibits, to the knowledgeable volunteers, and even the unique gift shop, it’s no wonder that the Golden Spike Tower gets Buffalo Bill’s coveted Buffalo of approval. So if you’re planning on coming through North Platte make sure you stop at the Golden Spike Tower.

    Google rating: 4.7/5.0
    Address: 1249 N Homestead Rd, North Platte, NE 69101
    Phone: +1 308-532-9920
  3. LHDC was founded as a non-profit organization in 1985 by Haymarket businesses and property owners, along with community leaders. The LHDC was formed primarily to apply for participation in the National Main Street Program, a revitalization program run by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Haymarket was chosen as one of nine districts in the country that year to be a Main Street Program site. This prompted the District and LHDC to create a broad-based revitalization plan, which was overseen by the National Main Street Center. LHDC also devised a strategy for financially implementing the program over a long period of time.

    The Haymarket
    area is a fun place to visit at any time of year, thanks to its lively atmosphere, great restaurants, and restored historical buildings. Visitors can stroll the inlaid brick streets, peering into the windows of eclectic shops, or stopping in for coffee and snacks at one of the numerous cafés and restaurants. The restored water tower and town clock are two of the area's tourist attractions. While there is always something going on in the Haymarket District, it can be especially crowded on days when the local university sports teams play.

    Google rating: 4.7/5.0
    Address: 335 N 8th St B, Lincoln, NE 68508
    Phone: +1 402-435-7496
  4. Carhenge ranks 4th on the list of the best things to do in Nebraska. Carhenge, one of Nebraska's odder attractions, is a replica of the more well-known Stonehenge, but it is built with automobiles. Thirty-nine cars jut out of the prairie grasslands, perfectly replicating the real Stonehenge, and the summer solstice event takes place here in the same way it does in England. Although Carhenge is the main attraction, the site also contains a number of other one-of-a-kind works. A metal fish emerges from the ground in one area. Carhenge is an entirely free attraction. If you want to bring home a souvenir, the Pit Stop gift shop sells a variety of one-of-a-kind items.

    Carhenge is unique in that it is constructed entirely of cars rescued from nearby farms and dumps. Reinders noticed that the monolithic dimensions of 1950s and 1960s cars nearly equaled the Stonehenge stones, so he built his monument with a 96-foot diameter to match the proportions of the original. Bill Lishman had the same idea a year before and built a similar Autohenge south of Port Perry, Ontario. However, there is no evidence that Reinders and Lishman knew each other. It appears that two creative thinkers independently had the same revelation around the same time (Autohenge rusted and was torn down in 2001).

    Google rating: 4.6/5.0

    Address: 2151 Co Rd 59, Alliance, NE 69301

    Phone: +1 308-762-3569

  5. Nebraska's Sandhills region is a nature lover's paradise. It covers one-quarter of the state and is made up of dunes, some of which reach 300 feet in height, grasslands, and shallow lakes. The emptiness of the Sandhills, like the sea, provides a strange sense of comfort to the traveler. Highway 2 is more than just another road that leads somewhere. Highway 2 can be found somewhere."

    A driving tour through the Sandhills, which are often described as one of the most scenic in the United States, is an excellent way to get to know the area. Highway 2 winds through the countryside, taking visitors on a 272-mile journey past a variety of interesting natural and man-made sights, including the quirky Carhenge. The majority of visitors begin their journey in Grand Island and end in Alliance.

    Outdoor enthusiasts, especially bird lovers, will want to make sure they plan a visit to Valentine National Wildlife Preserve. This spectacular refuge located within the Sandhills region is home to thousands of waterfowl who make their homes in the shallow lakes spread across the area.

    Google rating: 4.6/5.0
    Address: 301 Centennial Mall SouthPO Box 98907Lincoln, NE 68509-8907
    Phone: (402) 471-3796
  6. The extensive collections on display at this museum in Ashland, midway between Omaha and Lincoln, will impress fans of aircraft and aviation technology. The museum, which began as the Strategic Air Command in 1959, grew over the years and moved to its current location in a modern facility in 1998. The name was changed to the Strategic Air and Space Museum a few years later.

    The museum covers 300,000 square feet and displays a wide range of airplanes, spacecraft, and changing special exhibits. The massive B-17G "Flying Fortress," the B-25N "Mitchell," and the MIG-21F "Fishbed-C" are among the aircraft highlights. Several ICBMs are stationed outside the main building (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles). These missiles were designed to deliver nuclear warheads but were never used, fortunately for humanity. A planetarium with seasonal astronomy shows and motion rides (for a fee) that simulate being in a helicopter and riding a roller coaster are also on-site. A visit here can be combined with a trip to see the Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park & Wildlife Safari.

    Google rating: 4.5/5.0
    Address: 28210 W Park Hwy, Ashland, NE 68003
    Phone: (402) 944-3100
  7. Old Market in Omaha ranks 7th on the list of the best things to do in Nebraska. The Old Market is a great place to shop, eat, and get a sense of what Omaha might have looked like in its early days. The area has a quaint and historical feel thanks to cobblestone streets and renovated old buildings from the early part of the nineteenth century. A diverse set of retail establishments, ranging from galleries to coffee shops and fine dining establishments, are housed in these interesting buildings.

    The Old Market is located in downtown Omaha and is within walking distance of many other tourist attractions and top things to do in Omaha, including the Durham Museum and the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. While the Old Market is generally open every day, the individual schedules of each business vary. The Old Market Association is run entirely by volunteers, with assistance from the Downtown Improvement District. They are a one-of-a-kind, eclectic, and independently owned collection of businesses. Please confirm current days and hours with a business, especially on holidays.

    Google rating: 4.5/5.0
    Address: Harney to Jackson Sts and 10th to 13th Sts Omaha, NE 68108
    Phone: +1 402 513 5500
  8. Omaha is the most populous city in Nebraska, and it is known for its charm and hospitality. Explore Omaha's historic Old Market, where the streets are still made of brick and horse-drawn carriages can take you from one shop to the next. During the warmer months, it also serves as a farmer's market. Culture enthusiasts will find a plethora of options in Omaha. The Joslyn Art Museum is a top choice, with a world-class collection that includes works by everyone from Degas to Renoir. Gene Leahy Mall, one of the many public green spaces in downtown Omaha, offers views of the skyline.

    The aquarium exhibits are interesting, and you can touch stingrays as they swim by. Take a camel ride if you want to do something completely different. The Lozier IMAX 3D theater is a great place to unwind after a long day of walking, with a constantly changing lineup of movies. You can also get a bite to eat and let the kids play on the lighthouse at Glacier Bay Landing, a replica Alaska seaport area.

    Google rating: 4.5/5.0

    Address: 3701 S 10th Street, Omaha, Nebraska

    Phone: 402.733.8401

  9. Chimney Rock was the most well-known landmark along the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails during the 1800s. The Chimney Rock formation, which dates from 25 to 24 million years ago, rises 480 feet above the surrounding countryside. This dramatic rock spire was a well-known landmark for pioneers traveling west in the early to mid-nineteenth century. The landscape today resembles that of the great western migration, when wagon trains traversed this route. Visitors can get a sense of what the pioneers must have felt like when they arrived here. On-site, a visitor center provides information on the geology of the formation as well as the history of the Overland Trail.

    As the emigrants passed by this rock, the majority of them wrote in their diaries or journals that they were relieved to see that they were on the right track, and that it spired to the heavens. The emigrants were so intrigued that thousands climbed the cone to carve their names on the tower. Though no inscriptions are known to have survived, there is ample written evidence that the rock once bore thousands of names.

    Merrill Mattes, a historian, concluded that Chimney Rock was by far the most mentioned landmark after reviewing over 300 journal accounts of settlers moving west along the Platte River Road. Although no special events were held at the rock, Mattes notes that it took center stage in the minds of overland trail travelers. Many people thought the geological marker was an optical illusion. According to some, Chimney Rock can be seen from up to 30 miles away, and even when traveling toward the rock-spire, Chimney Rock always appeared to be off in the distance.

    Google rating: 4.4/5.0
    Address: 9822 County Rd 75, Bayard, NE 69334
    Phone: +1 308-586-2581
  10. One of nature's most impressive avian migrations takes place in the plains of Nebraska. Each March and the first week or so of April, thousands and thousands of sandhill cranes stop in the cornfields for a bit of rest and to gorge themselves on leftover corn kernels. The best place to see this spectacle is in the area east and west of Kearney. As you drive along Interstate 80, keep a close eye out for tall, gangly birds standing in farmers' fields, or circling above looking for places to land. They won't be hard to spot, the number of birds is astounding.

    It's worth stopping in Kearney to get a local map with the best viewing spots marked. The town and surrounding area have done an excellent job of providing visitors with lookout platforms and highway pull-offs. For a more in-depth experience, travel about 20 minutes from Kearney to the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary.

    Google rating: N/a
    Address: 301 Centennial Mall South PO Box 98907 Lincoln, NE 68509-8907
    Phone: (402) 471-3796

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