Travel and outdoors product reviews and trips


Fun Travels Across the United States

NEBRASKA 

News
Ashland
Beatrice
Blair
Bridgeport
Brownsville
Columbus
Crawford
Ellsworth
Freemont
Gering
Gretna
Harrison
Hastings
Kearney
Lincoln
McCook
Minden
Nebraska City
Neligh
North Platte
Omaha
Pawnee City
Seward
Thedford
Valentine
Venice
Winnebago

Note: Nebraska is full of fun things to do and places to visit. For details, contact the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, 301 Centennial Mall South, P.O. Box 94666, Lincoln, NE 68509-4666

NEWS (Cities & Towns Follow the News, below)

Travel the world at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo.

Golf in Nebraska.

Nebraska’s diverse landscape is an ideal canvas for golf course designers to create their materpieces, and golfers will find challenging courses scattered across the state. From east to west, well-manicured greens and rolling fairways welcome you. With nearly 200 courses available for public play, you’re never too far from a memorable round.

Take some time to veer just a bit off the main thoroughfare and travel along one of Nebraska’s nine scenic byways. Plenty of unique attractions, outdoor activities, and breathtaking views are waiting to be discovered. As you go, be sure to stop for coffee and homemade pie at one of several local cafés.

Lewis & Clark Scenic Byway

Stretching 82 miles along U.S. Highway 75 from north Omaha to South Sioux City, this byway is a history lover’s paradise. Retrace the path of Lewis and Clark’s 1804 expedition and journey through the Winnebago and Omaha reservations. www.visitnebraska.org is now available! Request yours today and discover more than 175 pages brimming with striking photography, top attractions, outdoor activities, helpful maps, and splendidly useful information. In this year’s issue, you'll find new feature stories on arts and culture, scenic byways, nature-based excursions, frontier history, family-friendly adventures, plus more. It’s everything you need to plan the perfect Nebraska getaway. Go to web site www.visitnebraska.org to order

Visit NebraskaVisit Nice

The leaves are changing and each day is getting shorter. October is the perfect month to enjoy some fun, fall activities before it gets too cold.

Nature

State parks, scenic byways and hiking trails are all awesome ways to get back to the Great Outdoors.

Recreation

Fishing tubing horseback riding and more. Here in Nebraska, fun activities are endless.

Shopping

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Get Your Free Travel Guide

Find out how you can experience Nebraska Nice moments tailored to your interest. The 2015 guide is full of information about top attractions, some hidden gems and much more.
Request One Today

For your 2016 Guide, or information on the above events, contact the Nebraska Tourism Commission · 301 Centennial Mall South · PO Box 98907 · Lincoln, NE 68508 · USA

ASHLAND

Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

Nestled on nearly 700 acres along the picturesque Platte River, the popular winter retreat offers a restaurant, a lodge, sledding hills, and an ice-skating rink.

BEATRICE

Homestead National Monument of America

A tribute to the Homestead Act of 1862, the historical hot spot features a state-of-the-art Heritage Center, a one-room schoolhouse, and a hiking trail through the tallgrass prairie.

BLAIR

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge

In addition to spectacular wildlife viewing, discover fishing, hiking, and a remarkable display of century-old artifacts from the sunken steamboat Bertrand.
www.visitnebraska.org

BRIDGEPORT

Bridgeport State Recreation Area

A welcome water retreat near historic Chimney Rock; experience picnicking, swimming, camping, and fishing.

BROWNSVILLE

John G. Neihardt State Historic Site

The Neihardt site is a museum, research library and education center dedicated to the life and work of John G. Neihardt, Poet Laureate of Nebraska. Visitors can even explore the study where Neihardt wrote the first volumes of A Cycle of the West and many of his earlier work.
Brownsville

COLUMBUS

Andrew Jackson Higgins National Memorial

View this unique war memorial and its full-size replica of a WWII Higgins boat. Columbus native Andrew Jackson Higgins created the vessel often described as “the little boat that won the war.”

Discovery Island Water Playland

Experience year-round fun at this recently opened indoor water playground. Climb aboard historic ships, plunge down two slides, shoot water canons, and laze about the lagoon.

CRAWFORD

Trailside Museum of Natural History

View the Clash of the Titans exhibit featuring two huge mammoth fossils fatally and forever joined in battle.
Fort Robinson State Park

Toadstool Geologic Park

Large sandstone slabs perch atop eroding clay pedestals, resembling mushroomlike toadstools. An interpretive walking trail puts you in the midst of the wonder.

ELLSWORTH

Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Discover your wilder side amongst 45,000 acres of refuge and lakes. Hunting, fishing, and bird-watching opportunities are plentiful.

FREMONT

Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area

Twenty sandpit lakes beckon you to apply sunscreen and hit the water. The area is a favorite for boating, swimming, water and jet skiing, camping, and picnicking.

GERING

Scotts Bluff National Monument

The imposing landmark blocked the pathway of American Indians, fur traders, and Oregon Trail travelers. Today visitors can drive to the top, take a shuttle, or hike a variety of trails.

GRETNA

Holy Family Shrine

Situated atop a grassy hill overlooking the scenic Platte River Valley, the captivating glass chapel welcomes people of all faiths to relax and reflect.

Aksarben Aquarium Outdoor Education Center

Experience this aquarium with native Nebraska fish, a fish management museum and nearby geologic display, along with a picnic area and hiking trails. Open Memorial Day weekend-Labor Day, daily, 10am-4:30pm. Labor Day-Memorial Day weekend, closed Tue and holidays. Admission: $1 adults, $.50 ages 6-15, children age 5 and under free. Group tours are available and the museum is handicapped accessible.

Located at 21502 W. Highway 31 in Gretna in the Metro Region. For more information call 402-332-3901 or E-mail: tony.korth@ngpc.ne.gov

HARRISON

Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

Eroding tablelands of agate provide a natural stage for fossil displays and American Indian artifacts. www.visitnebraska.org Harrison

HASTINGS

Hastings Museum of Natural and Cultural History

From prehistoric inhabitants to the early pioneers, experience life on the Plains. View several species of animals, including the world’s largest display of whooping cranes. www.visitnebraska.org

KEARNEY

Museum of Nebraska Art

The museum—housed in an elegant old post office—presents a dozen exhibition galleries featuring paintings, photographs, and sculptures.

LINCOLN

What to See & Do

State Capitol

Experience architectural splendor as a wonderland of mosaics, murals, and symbolic works recount the story of Nebraska. Daily tours are offered.

Historic Haymarket District

Check out the capital city’s downtown area and discover a popular hub of unique restaurants, brewpubs, antique malls, booksellers, nightspots, galleries, and gift shops.

International Quilt Study Center & Museum

Discover a kaleidoscope of color, craftsmanship, and history! The facility features exhibits and a virtual gallery of quilts from around
the globe.

Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden

Enjoy 20th-century American art. One of the most comprehensive collections on a university campus. Tue-Thu, 10am-5pm; Fri, 10am-8pm; Sat, 10am-5pm; Sun, noon-5pm. Closed major holidays. Group tours by appt. Free, donations encouraged. Open for group tours and handicapped accessible.

Located in the Metro Region at 12th & R Streets. For more information call 402-472-2461 or e-mail sheldon@unl.edu.

McCOOK

Red Willow State Recreation Area

A top spot for water fun, the 1,600-acre lake is also popular with fishing fanatics. So grab your towel and tackle box and bring your tent or camper too.

MINDEN

Harold Warp Pioneer Village

Considered the largest private collection of Americana anywhere, this museum offers more than 50,000 historical items—including automobiles, airplanes, toys, and more.
www.visitnebraska.org

Minden Opera House

The Minden Opera House is known for bringing the arts to south central Nebraska. Constructed in 1891, this historical tribute to arts and culture was renovated to serve as a community center for theatrical productions, conferences, weddings and more.

NEBRASKA CITY

What to See & Do

Arbor Day Celebration

Celebrate Arbor Day where it all began—in Nebraska City, home of founder J. Sterling Morton. Tour the family mansion and experience the Nature Explore Classroom and 50-foot Canopy Tree House on Arbor Day Farm. Enjoy live entertainment, great food, games, crafts, and plenty of family-friendly activities. Festivities take place each April on a different date..

AppleJack Festival

Celebrate the area’s apple harvest by taking part in this annual weekend event ranked one of the Top Ten Fall Festivals in North America by the Society of American Travel Writers. Enjoy a parade, car show, fun run/walk, craft show, and great food! It’s fun for the entire family Held during September.

NELIGH

Starlite Drive-In

Providing nostalgic family entertainment since 1952. Only a few hundred drive-in theaters remain in the entire United States, 3 of which still operate in Nebraska. Open Apr-Labor Day. Shows begin at dusk, 7 days a week. 402-887-5584 or 402-887-5021. Located in the Lewis and Clark Region 1 mi. E. on US Hwy 275, Neligh, NE, 68756

For more information call (402) 887-5584

NORTH PLATTE

 What to See & Do

20th Century Veterans’ Memorial www.visitnebraska.org

Make a stop at this one-of-a-kind U.S. military display and pay homage to the men and women who have bravely served their country.

North Platte Area Children’s Museum

Head inside for hands-on entertainment and educational fun. Explore the wonders of science, technology, art, and culture.

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park

The home of Buffalo Bill Cody, this ranch features a three-story Victorian house, barn, and outbuildings replete with Wild West memorabilia and artifacts.

OMAHA

What to See & Do

Coco Key Water Resort

Take the plunge at this indoor water haven featuring waterslides, a dip-in theatre, cabanas, whirlpools and tons of activities.

Joslyn Art Museum

A world of beauty and inspiration in a magnificent art deco building—the awe-inspiring museum displays exquisite artwork from antiquity to the present.

River City Star Riverboat

Sit back and enjoy the sunshine as you ply the waters of the Missouri River near Omaha. Tours, meals, and charter cruises are available.

Florence Mill

Constructed during winter in the mid-1800s as Mormon pioneers made their way west, the mill today is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo

Discover your wild side at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, home to some of the biggest and best exhibits, including the world’s largest indoor rain forest, the world’s largest indoor desert, and Hubbard Orangutan Forest and Gorilla Valley. Named the best zoo in America by Reader’s Digest, the zoo also features a must-see aquarium and walk-through shark tank, a butterfly pavilion, and an overhead tram.

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
3701 S. 10th St, Omaha, NE 68107
(402) 733-8401

Travel the world at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo.

Visit the renovated Suzanne and Walter Scott Aquarium featuring the largest aquarium inside of a zoo. Walk on the bottom of the ocean and come nose to nose with sea turtles as sharks circle above. Discover rare and endangered animals as you journey through Expedition Madagascar. See Hubbard Orangutan Forest and Gorilla Valley where gorillas roam and visitors are on display. Discover the mysteries of the night in Kingdoms of the Night, the world's largest nocturnal exhibit. Immerse yourself in wildlife in America's largest indoor rainforest, the Lied Jungle and the world's largest indoor desert, the Desert Dome. Plus enjoy tigers, lions, bears, rhinos, giraffe and so much more. Rides available include a live steam train, tram, carousel and aerial tram. Please visit OmahaZoo.com for hours and admission details.

Sunday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Monday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Coco Key Water Resort 

A great place to take the plunge, this indoor water haven features waterslides, a dip-in theatre, cabanas, whirlpools, and tons of activities.

Durham Western Heritage Museum

Uncover the history of Omaha via high-tech and hands-on exhibits that retell the city’s story as it grew from cow town to boomtown. Omaha www.visitnebraska.org

Strategic Air & Space Museum

Check out 3,000 square feet of planes, missiles, and artifacts from
the Cold War and WWII eras. A great stop for hands-on fun.

PAWNEE CITY

What to See & Do

SchillingBridge Winery & Microbrewery

This unique winery/microbrewery combination offers 14 wines (including one international award winner) and five microbrews.

Pawnee County Old McDonald Roads Tour

Take a weekend and lose yourself in the unique history and natural wonders of Pawnee County. This two-day getaway is a great opportunity to relax and rejuvenate in the small-town charm and wide-open spaces of southeastern Nebraska.

This package includes:
•    One night’s stay and full breakfast at My Blue Heaven Bed & Breakfast or Convent House Bed & Breakfast
•    Vouchers for 2 farm tours
•    Vouchers for 3 museums
•    $50 in Pawnee City Bucks for meals

Start the day out with a guided tour of sustainable farms in the area. The tours are your chance to learn more about crop production and the art of raising chickens, cattle, and even bison. If you’re looking for an afternoon snack, try some locally produced bison jerky. And you’ll want to bring the camera for this outdoor adventure because the wildlife is abundant.

After enjoying a delicious meal at one of our local restaurants, you can settle in for the night at My Blue Heaven Bed & Breakfast. This 1920s home is a cozy retreat complete with antique furnishings and handmade quilts.

In the morning, a complete breakfast awaits as you prepare for a day of historic buildings, pedal cars, and silent cinema. Tour the Pawnee City Historical Society Museum, home to 19 buildings filled with pioneer memorabilia, an experimental tailwind airplane, an extensive salt and pepper shaker collection, and 800 different types of barbwire. More than 400 pedal toys will take you back to yesteryear at The Pedal Clinic. And take some time to learn more about Harold Lloyd, 1920s silent movie star, at his childhood home.

In addition to the historical places and outdoor spaces, Pawnee City also offers excellent shopping including Heavenly Treasures quilt shop, Memory Magic Scrapbook Store, Home Comforts, Creative Thoughts gift shop, and so much more.

The cost for this two-day package is $150 for two adults. For one child under 12, the cost is an additional $88. For two children under 12, the cost is an additional $119. For reservations and more information, please contact Yvonne Dalluge at 402-852-3131 or at my.blue.heaven@alltel.net . One week advanced notice is necessary.

SEWARD

Junto Vineyard & Winery

Inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s club in 1700’s Philadelphia, the Junto is a vineyard and winery located between Seward and Lincoln. The rolling Garland Hills offer great views and provide the opportunity to craft excellent wine.

THEDFORD

Thedford Art Gallery

Experience the history and culture behind the town of Thedford through featured original bronzes, pottery, paintings and photography from local artists at the Thedford Art Gallery.

VALENTINE

Smith Falls State Park

Reconnect with nature at Nebraska’s newest state park. The area offers spectacular views of the state’s highest waterfall and the Niobrara National Scenic River.

VENICE

More soon!

WINNEBAGO

Woodland Trails 

Enjoy a colorful display of American Indian crafts and artwork. Three large studios house pottery, painting and drawing, and quilting and beading workshops and exhibits.

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