Nebraska boasts a bounty of natural wonders – and since it’s often overlooked as a travel destination, you won’t have to fight any crowds to enjoy them! From majestic monuments to epic bird migrations, the Cornhusker State has you covered. Scroll down to explore some of the best things to see in Nebraska.
Things to See in Nebraska
When you drive past Chimney Rock, do yourself a favor and imagine, for just a moment, that you’re a pioneer heading westward in the early 19th century. It’s easy to do because this eye-catching rock formation looks almost exactly the same as it did then, with a spire that juts 480 feet up from the surrounding countryside. If you’re near the North Platte River Valley, it’s a must-see.
Scotts Bluff National Monument
First founded in 1919, Scotts Bluff National Monument has served as a landmark for Americans for centuries, from Native Americans to pioneers to modern vacationers. The area, which comprises 3,000 acres and reaches 800 feet above the North Platte River, is rich with history. Consider driving the Summit Road, hiking the four miles of trails, or learning a bit more about the area’s geology.
Indian Cave State Park
Within Indian Cave State Park, you can enjoy hiking, biking, picnicking, camping, and more, but don’t miss out on the large sandstone cave that gives the park its name. It includes prehistoric Native American petroglyphs, which can be viewed from a wooden boardwalk that runs along the cave wall.
Sandhill Crane Migration
From late February to early April, about half a million sandhill cranes feed and rest along the Platte River, near Kearney. Whether you’re a bird enthusiast or not, it’s quite a sight to see the gray birds moving en masse from the fields, where they forage, to the sandbars, where they sleep.
For a scenic drive with a sprinkle of history, head to Outlaw Trail, a scenic byway also known as Highway 12. Along the 231-mile route, which stretches from South Sioux City to Valentine, you’ll find three state parks, interesting museums, charming towns, and beautiful countryside.
Toadstool Geologic Park
Toadstool Geologic Park is known for its unique geological formations, some of which resemble toadstools, as well as important fossil deposits. When you visit, you can choose between three hiking trails, which range from an easy one-mile loop to a more strenuous five-mile trek. To learn more about the park’s fascinating geology, check out this brochure: Time Travel Through Toadstool Geologic Park.
Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park
A 360-acre park with great scientific importance, Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park has been called the Pompeii of prehistoric animals by National Geographic. Why? Approximately 12 million years ago, volcanic ash engulfed the watering hole at this site and entombed numerous animals. Today, paleontologists dig at the park to unearth amazing fossils. Whether you’re a science nerd or not, this is undoubtedly one of the top things to see in Nebraska.
This list only scratches the surface! We restricted it to mostly natural wonders, but of course there are numerous cultural attractions in Nebraska as well. Whether you’re moving to Nebraska or just passing through, we hope these ideas prove helpful.
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