Nebraska is a place where the past and the present merge to create a truly unforgettable experience, where visitors can follow the paths of the pioneers and discover new opportunities for adventure. Explore ancient artifacts and modern marvels that will inspire young and old alike, and experience a land where family traditions can be reborn and enjoyed by the next generation.
There are an incredible number of places to see and things to do in Nebraska. Follow in the footsteps of the great explorers, pioneers, and Plains Indians, and discover wildlife from the prairie and around the world. Get in touch with the area's rich cultural heritage at one of the many summer festivals, or tap into the state's natural wonders and sleep out under the stars.
Make plans to recapture the thrill of the road trip. Cruising Nebraska’s highways and scenic byways, the road traveler will encounter countless natural wonders, exhilarating outdoor adventures, and worthwhile attractions. Many spectacular road trips are mapped out, throughout the state, such as the Lewis and Clark scenic byway. Drivers can follow in the footsteps of these two famous explorers on a trip through the bountiful cropland and beautifully wooded bluffs that frame the Missouri River. Wildlife takes center stage on this stretch of road with plenty of nature preserves including Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge and DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge. Migrating snow geese, bald eagles, and ducks are some of the animals that cross the trail’s path. Or try the U.S. Highway 385 route which mirrors a well-travelled path that was used in the 1800’s for transporting gold bullion out of the Black Hills. Today, those in search of gold will find it in the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets that spill across the rugged landscape.
Fans of natural history will enjoy Nebraska’s verdant selection of paleontological sites. The Agate Fossil Beds National Monument boasts an incredible display of Miocene era fossils, as well as American Indian artifacts, all captured in the upper Niobrara River wetlands preserve. Children can indulge their dinosaur fantasies at the Dinosaur Museum and Heartland Haunt in Milford, which features more than 65 life-sized dinosaur replicas, an interactive fossil dig, and more.
Human history has quite the heritage in Nebraska as well. The Nebraska History Museum includes exhibits that help the visitor to interpret more than 12,000 years of human habitation on the plains. View the American Indian gallery and other exhibits, such as “The First Nebraskans”, “Nebraska Joins the Union”, and more, but don’t forget to bring the youngest travelers into the hands-on Investigation Station, particularly designed for young and inquisitive minds. Visitors with a flair for a slightly more modern, historical experience will enjoy the Classic Car Collection in Kearney, where they can view an expansive collection of fine automobiles, memorabilia, and interactive multimedia.
The arts have a permanent home in Nebraska, too. The Great Plains Art Museum in Lincoln features changing exhibits and resident collections, including an impressive collection of 7,500 historic books about the west and the Great Plains. The Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art is another popular draw. Showcasing the work of some of America’s most celebrated, agricultural artists, the museum is a national center for preserving, viewing, and learning about agrarian art.
Of course, Nebraska’s outdoors are about more than just farming. Trail enthusiasts should try Chadron State Park – nestled in picturesque pine ridges – or the Niobrara National Scenic River area, suffuse with amazing cliffs, waterfalls, and diverse plant and animal species. Wanderers interested in a more refined experience should visit the Bruce Park Arboretum in Creighton, a relaxing, green oasis that contains more than 200 labeled species of plant life, as well as butterfly and flower gardens.
Whether its wild places, explorations into historic cultures, or indulging artistic desires, it’s all here in Nebraska, and waiting along the state’s highways and scenic byways. Come and rediscover the road trip in Nebraska!