things to do in Nebraska
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Things to Do in Nebraska

November 6, 2018 Nency Willims 0Comment

Nebraska has been given different accolades like “The Great American Desert” and known by nicknames such as the “Tree Planter’s State”, the “Cornhusker State” – the athletic teams of Nebraska, so called, because incidentally, the state is also the largest producer of corn.

Besides the Corn, College Football and Warren Buffett’s birthplace; Nebraska has many other recognition pinned to its name.

There is an array of things to do and see in Nebraska. The varied landscapes have 3,000 lakes and more than 80,000 miles of river most active in summers. The state offers a lot of cultural and historical opportunities, recreational activities including trailing the nature centers, visiting museums and zoo, riding, shooting, canoeing, swimming, fishing, and skiing.

“The Halsey National Forrest” near Thedford, Nebraska is the world’s largest hand-planted forest and “The Lied Jungle” in Omaha is the world’s largest indoor rainforest. “The Weeping Waters” is the nation’s largest limestone deposit and producer of limestone.

And how can one ever forget the top medical school in the world – The University of Nebraska, Omaha.

Besides these natural trails, Nebraska is also famous for the College World Series baseball championship.

Nebraska’s Cornhuskers football is the state’s religion. A game attracts nearly a million screaming fans to the Memorial Stadium. No surprise that a baby Cornhusker’s first words usually are “Go Big Red!”

The “Irish capital of Nebraska,” O’Neill hosts one of the best St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in March with parade, music, dancers, and painted green horse. Beer and Irish whiskey flow freely as Irish folk flock from all around to celebrate their heritage.

Fairbury hot dogs are voted as one of the best stadium foods which are closely associated with the cornhusker’s games. In 1995, they famously unveiled a pressurized cannon that could launch the hot dogs into the stands at the game.

Things to do in Nebraska : The cowboy trail – Nebraska

This 321 miles longest multi-use recreational trail makes for the best bicycle tour, walking and horseback riding.

The Valentine and the Long Pine high bridge in the trail overlook some of the most picturesque scenery of the prairie, the sunflower fields and blowing grass on all sides.

The ariel footage of the Cowboy Bridge; 148 ft high a conglomeration of 221 bridges on the trail amassed more than 2 million views when its video got viral. The trail also has canoeing facility on the Niobrara River.

Things to do in Nebraska : Stroll across the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge

This artsy 3,000 ft pathway on Missouri river is a part of the on-foot trail tour system with spectacular views of the Omaha’s skyline.

The 3acre nature trail Omaha Plaza has a host of entertainment from an interactive water fountain to the River Critters environmental play area. The bridge connects over 150 miles of outdoor trails. There’s amphitheatre-style live music on Fridays in the grassy meadows of the Plaza area.

Things to do in Nebraska : Riverfront – Waterfront in Omaha

The Missouri River on the eastern edge of the city creates a natural border between Nebraska and Iowa. It forms a natural oasis that includes the stunning Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge which is a prime attraction for hikers, boaters, bikers, birdwatchers liked by all who love the outdoors.

The Heartland of America Park here has abundant fountains and flowers.  

Things to do in Nebraska : Henry Doorly Zoo

The world’s largest indoor desert is here in Nebraska. Check the world’s largest nocturnal exhibit and also America’s largest indoor rainforest? These icons give it all away about Nebraska being the place of superlatives.

You can spend an entire day in the zoo sauntering through this well crafted vast wonderland that is labelled as America’s best zoo.

It extends in the area of 130 acres and embedded with many outlandish animals brought from different parts of the globe.

The zoo portion and the aquarium have the largest rainforest and the largest indoor desert.

Nebraska National Forest is the largest hand-planted forest in the world that covers more than 90,000 acres.

Things to do in Nebraska : Chimney Rock National Historic Site

This is an ancient site dating from 25 to 24 million years ago and is a symbol of the greatest voluntary migration in the history of mankind. The Chimney Rock rises 480 feet above its surrounding and the spirelike dramatic rock used to be one of the most famous and a remarkable landmark in the early 19th century for travelers heading westwards on the Oregon Trail.

The landscape is pretty much unspoiled as it used to be when the wagon trains crossed from here during the great western migration.  

Things to do in Nebraska : Indian Cave State Park

Beautiful and intriguing rock carvings depicting the wildlife and nature scenes line the walls of the cave’s state park. The picturesque setting of the park on the banks of River Missouri also makes for an ideal setting for getaway and camping.

The park also has a diverse and interesting set of hiking trails that dot the park which includes the ridge and the Lincoln Bend Wetlands.

Things to do in Nebraska : A Scenic Driving Tour of the Sandhills

The Sandhills region of Nebraska is a nature lover’s paradise covering one-quarter of the state. The land consists of mixed-grass prairie and grass-stabilized sand dunes dating 1.8 million years. Some of the dunes reach 300 ft high along with grasslands, and shallow lakes.

A driving tour through these Sandhills is often described as one of the most scenic in one in the US. The highway no. 2 winds its way past the landscape taking visitors on a 272-mile route past an array of interesting natural and man-made sights, including the quirky Carhenge.

Things to do in Nebraska : Last Great Migration on Earth

Late February to early April, 500,000 migrating sandhill cranes feed and rest along the Platte River is one of the planet’s great remaining migrations. Amidst the unyielding winds and icy rain these cranes eco the ancient call that reverberates throughout the land. These crimson crown topped birds make it to 5ft in height and are some of the biggest flying birds on earth dating back some 10 million years.

Their dance and exhibit attract thousands of bird watchers from around the world.

Things to do in Nebraska : Durham Museum

Durham Museum has a set of unique galleries with a wonderful history by its side. The exhibits include different models of train, streetcars and other things used by people during the 1940s. The museum has many permanent and temporary things for art lovers to do here.

Things to do in Nebraska : Joslyn Art Museum

This museum is a delight for art lovers with a collection of 11,000 art pieces from 18th and 19th century collected from all over the world.

The museum collects, preserves and interprets the visual art of highest quality. Colored lithograph from the most influential and widespread publisher of the 19th century and the scientific and anthropologic observations in watercolors belonging to 1833 – one of the most perceptive and compelling visual accounts are displayed here.

The museum hosts feature works from other museums, institutions, and private collections worldwide in temporary exhibitions.

Distinct garden galleries with sprawling sculpture garden showcases wonder like a 15ft high, 5000-pound bronze statue of the Sioux warrior on a rearing horse.

Things to do in Nebraska : Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

In this part of Nebraska dating some 20 million years ago used to be just like the Serengeti of Africa which was a gathering place for a rich variety of creatures.

Today the site is the reminiscent of past with bones of thousands of these ancient mammals found on the isolated site.

Displays and walks are organized regularly that detail the amazing and ongoing findings. The main attractions are the Bone Cabin and the Native American exhibits.

Things to do in Nebraska : Haymarket District in Lincon

The origin of this market was in 1867 where wagons, camping equipment, and hay were bought and sold. Now the downtown offers a unique combination of shopping, dining, arts, and entertainment experience. Over 200 storefronts ranging from antique clothing, boutiques, a licorice paradise, and restaurants serve every type of food from pizzas, Malai Koftas to satiate your craving.

Haymarket downtown, Nebraska is a bargain hunter’s delight that suits all range and tastes. Shop for local flare, fashion, accessories, furnishings, and visit the fun nightspots in the restored turn-of-the-century warehouses that sizzle with activity all night.

Things to do in Nebraska : Hot Shops Art Center

Entering into this three-story arts center which was a former mattress warehouse is like diving down a rabbit hole transporting visitors into the universe of eccentric artists displaying their artworks in the 92,000-sq-ft art center featuring glass blowing, bronze casting, pottery, and blacksmithing. Annual events are held in December which is the best time to see the Hot Shops of the Art Center.

Things to do in Nebraska : The Old Market

Here you can find anything of your interest regardless of age and gender. There are shops for appeals, jewelry, furniture, household items and bookstores selling a wide range of books.

Omaha Culinary tour created by the natives is an excellent source of getting acquainted with the local food scene. Each of these tours will teach some culinary skill if someone is interested in learning any culinary masterpiece.

Located in the heart of the old market is the Spaghetti Works, a restaurant with a difference which is a must try.

Things to do in Nebraska : Omaha Craft Brewery Tour

Omaha is gaining a nation-wide recognition as the top city for beer.  Many excellent flavors of breweries and beers are available in the city. The craft brewery tour is seen as a growing passion amongst those staying in Nebraska and for tourists visiting Omaha offering easy means of getting its people their favorite drinks.

In a big old firehouse, the beer here is also big on flavor.

There are sidewalk tables, a rooftop deck, and huge bars to enjoy a bing.

Things to do in Nebraska : Best time to visit Nebraska

Although its rainy and windy from March-May but its only drizzles occasionally. Worse times are the extremities of hot or cold weather. July and August can have temperature soaring as high as100 degrees with100% humidity so it’s not good to try and travel then and so as in Dec-Feb when the snow and wind are accompanied with extreme cold and chilly winds of 10 below occasionally.  Rest of the months are all good to travel to Nebraska.

Nency Willims

Nency Willims

Nency Willims is a writer whose words are fueled by the inspiration she gains from her surroundings. She also loves cooking, dancing and most of all traveling. She is a regular contributor to many acclaimed travel magazines and blogs. When she is not writing or traveling, you can often find her meddling with her guitar.
Nency Willims

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