Looking for things to do in Nebraska? Here are a few options for you especially if you are passing through along I 80.
Nebraska, located in the heart of the United States, is a state known for its vast plains, friendly communities, and rich agricultural heritage. With its capital in Lincoln and largest city in Omaha, Nebraska offers a balanced blend of urban amenities and rural charm. The state is home to diverse landscapes, from the rolling Sandhills to the fertile farmlands of the Great Plains. Nebraskans take great pride in their strong work ethic, traditional values, and commitment to family. The state’s economy thrives on agriculture, with corn, soybeans, beef, and pork being major contributors. Nebraska also boasts a flourishing sports culture, with avid support for collegiate teams, particularly the University of Nebraska’s Cornhuskers. Whether exploring the vibrant city life or enjoying the serene beauty of the countryside, Nebraska offers a welcoming and down-to-earth experience for residents and visitors alike.
We took a road trip to check out the sandhill crane migration in Kearney but also spent some time exploring what else was in the area. There are a few of the things to do in Nebraska that we discovered.
Witness the Sandhill Crane Migration
Every year, Nebraska becomes a spectacular host to one of nature’s most awe-inspiring events—the Sandhill crane migration. These magnificent birds, with their distinctive red crowns and elegant long necks, make their way from southern wintering grounds to the breeding grounds in the Arctic.
During the spring months, an estimated half a million Sandhill cranes converge on the Platte River valley, creating a breathtaking sight and sound. The shallow waters and extensive sandbars of the Platte River serve as a crucial stopover for the cranes, providing them with rest and sustenance before they continue their arduous journey.
The cranes’ arrival in Nebraska marks the beginning of a captivating ritual, as they engage in intricate courtship dances, fill the air with their unique bugling calls, and gracefully soar across the skies in massive flocks. This remarkable migration has become a major draw for birdwatchers, nature enthusiasts, and photographers who flock to the region to witness this natural spectacle firsthand.
The Sandhill crane migration in Nebraska is a testament to the enduring beauty and resilience of the natural world, reminding us of the remarkable journeys that take place right in our midst.
Grain Bin Antique Town
Nestled in the hills just outside of North Platte, Nebraska, the Grain Bin Antique Town is a charming and unique destination that offers a glimpse into the state’s rich agricultural past. This enchanting open-air store showcases a collection of historic grain bins that have been lovingly transformed into an antique shopping village.
Each grain bin is meticulously restored and filled with a diverse array of treasures, from vintage furniture and collectibles to retro clothing and nostalgic memorabilia. As visitors meander through the rustic pathways, they are transported to a bygone era, where the spirit of rural America comes alive. The Grain Bin Antique Town not only provides a delightful shopping experience but also serves as a testament to the resourcefulness and ingenuity of Nebraskans.
It celebrates the state’s agricultural heritage and invites visitors to immerse themselves in the stories and artifacts that shaped the region’s past. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an antique lover, or simply seeking a unique outing, the Grain Bin Antique Town offers a memorable and captivating experience in the heartland of Nebraska.
Golden Spike Tower
Rising above the Nebraska plains in North Platte, the Golden Spike Tower stands as a symbol of both history and innovation.
This towering structure provides visitors with an unparalleled vantage point to witness the bustling activity of Bailey Yard, the world’s largest rail yard.
From the top of the tower, visitors can marvel at the intricate choreography of trains as they navigate the labyrinthine tracks below. The panoramic view showcases the immense scale of the railroad industry and the crucial role it plays in connecting communities and transporting goods across the country.
Inside the Golden Spike Tower, informative exhibits delve into the history of the Union Pacific Railroad and its significant impact on the development of the American West. Visitors can learn about the challenges faced by railroad workers, the engineering marvels that shaped the rail network, and the pioneering spirit that built a nation. A visit to the Golden Spike Tower is a captivating journey through time, offering a fascinating glimpse into the past, present, and future of rail transportation in Nebraska and beyond.
Runza, a beloved Nebraska restaurant, holds a special place in the hearts and taste buds of locals and visitors alike. This iconic dining establishment is renowned for its namesake dish, the Runza sandwich—a delectable combination of seasoned ground beef, onions, and cabbage, all lovingly enclosed in freshly baked bread.
The Runza experience goes beyond the mouthwatering sandwich, as the restaurant also offers a variety of delicious comfort foods, including hand-braided onion rings, crispy fries, and flavorful burgers. With its inviting and casual atmosphere, Runza warmly welcomes patrons of all ages, creating a sense of nostalgia and community.
As a Nebraska institution since 1949, Runza has become synonymous with the state’s culinary heritage, evoking a sense of pride and tradition. Whether enjoyed as a quick meal on the go or as a gathering spot for friends and family, Runza’s dedication to quality ingredients and satisfying flavors continues to make it a cherished dining destination in Nebraska.
Fort Cody Trading Post is a captivating retail emporium that celebrates the spirit of the Wild West. This iconic store, adorned with a larger-than-life buffalo sculpture and a towering replica of the historic Fort Cody, transports visitors to a bygone era of frontier adventure and exploration.
Inside, an eclectic array of Western-themed merchandise awaits, including cowboy boots, Native American crafts, Western wear, and an extensive selection of cowboy hats. The store also features a remarkable collection of historic artifacts and memorabilia, showcasing the rich history and heritage of the American West.
Visitors can immerse themselves in the Old West ambiance as they browse through the store’s well-curated displays and experience the thrill of discovering unique treasures. With its welcoming atmosphere and dedication to preserving the Western spirit, the Fort Cody Trading Post offers a delightful blend of retail therapy and cultural immersion, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic Wild West experience.
PALS Brewing Company
PALS Brewing Company, located in North Platte, Nebraska, is a vibrant and community-focused craft brewery that has quickly become a local favorite.
Known for its exceptional brews and inviting atmosphere, PALS offers a diverse range of handcrafted beers that cater to every palate. From hop-forward IPAs to rich stouts and refreshing lagers, their rotating selection of beers is sure to satisfy beer enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike. PALS Brewing Company takes great pride in sourcing high-quality ingredients and using traditional brewing techniques to create their flavorful and distinctive brews.
Beyond the beer, PALS also serves up delicious food options, perfectly paired to complement the brews on tap. The brewery’s welcoming taproom provides a cozy and relaxed setting where friends, families, and beer aficionados can gather to enjoy great company, live music, and engaging events.
With a strong emphasis on community involvement, PALS supports local causes and hosts fundraisers, further solidifying its role as a hub for social connection and celebration in North Platte. For beer lovers and community enthusiasts alike, PALS Brewing Company offers a warm and inviting space to enjoy fantastic brews and create lasting memories.
Cabela’s World HQ
Cabela’s, located in Sidney, Nebraska, is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise that has earned its reputation as the “World’s Foremost Outfitter.” This sprawling retail destination is a haven for those seeking gear, equipment, and supplies for hunting, fishing, camping, and other outdoor pursuits.
Cabela’s impressive store boasts a vast array of products, ranging from firearms and ammunition to fishing rods, hiking gear, and everything in between. Visitors can immerse themselves in a world of adventure as they explore the meticulously crafted wildlife displays and awe-inspiring dioramas that showcase the beauty of nature. Cabela’s goes beyond being just a retail store, offering a unique experience with features like an indoor archery range, a gun library, and a conservation-themed museum that educates and inspires visitors about the importance of wildlife conservation.
The store’s commitment to customer service and expertise is evident, as knowledgeable staff members are always ready to assist and provide valuable insights to outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels. Whether stocking up on supplies or seeking inspiration for the next great outdoor adventure, Cabela’s in Sidney, Nebraska, is an unmatched destination that fuels the passion for exploration and the love for the great outdoors.
The Potter Sundry
The Potter Sundry, nestled in the charming town of Potter, Nebraska, is a delightful gem that harkens back to a simpler time. This small-town sundry store exudes a nostalgic charm, offering residents and visitors a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.
Inside the store, shelves are lined with a curated selection of everyday essentials, locally sourced products, and unique treasures. From pantry staples to handmade crafts and artisanal goods, Potter Sundry is a haven for those seeking a touch of authenticity and a taste of community spirit.
However, what truly sets this quaint establishment apart is its famous specialty, the Tin Roof Sundae. Locals and travelers from far and wide flock to Potter Sundry for a chance to indulge in this delectable treat. The Tin Roof Sundae combines velvety scoops of premium ice cream, typically vanilla or chocolate, with a generous drizzle of warm chocolate sauce and a sprinkling of crunchy peanuts. Topped with a cherry on top, this classic dessert is a true delight for the taste buds.
Potter Sundry’s reputation for serving up this heavenly creation has become legendary, and visitors often leave with a satisfied smile and a newfound appreciation for the simple pleasures of life. With its warm ambiance, friendly staff, and iconic Tin Roof Sundae, Potter Sundry captures the essence of small-town living while providing a delicious experience that lingers in the memories of all who savor it.