A Guide to Central Nebraska

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Welcome to Nebraska! While you are in the area for the sandhill crane migration, you may find yourself with some free time between viewings. We invite you to explore all the adventures our state has to offer. The attractions listed here are a sampling of the many opportunities available to enrich your experience in central Nebraska. For more detailed information about events, attractions, outdoor recreation, places to stay and more, go to www.visitnebraska.com.

Nebraska History/Historic Sites

Dowse Sod House – Built in 1901 and located southwest of Comstock between Ansley and Sargent, this original “soddy” is listed on the National Register of Historic Places – to arrange a tour, call (308) 628-4370 or (308) 215-0076

Fort Kearny State Historical Park – 1020 V Rd., south of Kearney, (308) 865-5305 – www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov

Frank House – 2010 University Dr. Cir., Kearney, (308) 865-8284 – www.frankhouse.org

Historic Dawson County self-guided tour – maps are available at the Chamber of Commerce, 302 E. 6th St., Ste. 2, Lexington, (308) 324-5504

Kearney County self-guided tour – maps are available at the Kearney County Historical Society Museum, 530 N. Nebraska Ave., Minden, (308) 832-1789

Martin Brothers marker – located three miles south of the Alda Exit 305 on I-80, this marker commemorates the Martin Brothers incident of August 1864

Oregon Trail Historical Marker/Susan O. Hail Grave – take Shelton/Kenesaw Exit 291 on I-80, travel south one and one-half miles to a STOP sign (Shelton and 24th roads), turn left (east), follow the road which curves to the right (south) for three-and-one-half miles; there is a historical marker on the left (east) side of the road just before the intersection; turn left (east) and travel one-half mile on gravel road to gravesite

Starke Round Barn – 1643 Hwy. 136, Red Cloud – this National Register property is the largest true round barn in the world; tours available by appointment; call (402) 746-4165 and leave a message – www.starkeroundbarn.com

Wagon ruts from the Oregon/California Trail – a swale left from the passage of hundreds of wagons is visible on the east edge of the sandhill just west of the Susan O. Hail gravesite (see above); look for the vertical “Oregon/California Trail” marker in the fence row; look to the north-northwest to see the ruts; this is private land; do not trespass

Wagon ruts from the Morman Trail – at  the Alda Exit 305 on I-80, travel four miles north on Alda Rd. – Guenther Rd. is at the top of a ridge; turn left (west) and park along the edge of the road; public access is allowed; interpretive markers tell the story

Willa Cather historic sites – Red Cloud, (866) 731-7304; guided tours of the Cather historic sites are offered daily; self-guided tour information is available on the website – www.willacather.org

Willa Cather Memorial Prairie – five miles south of Red Cloud on Hwy. 281

Wright Morris historic sites – Central City – www.wrightmorris.org

World War II Naval Ammunition Depot – Hastings – for information, contact the Adams County Convention and Visitor Bureau, (800) 967-2189 – www.visithastingsnebraska.com

Museums

Classic Car Collection – 3600 E. Hwy. 30 (next to Cabela’s), Kearney, (308) 234-1964 – open daily noon to 5 p.m. through March 17; open Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m. from March 17–May 30 – www.ccckearney.com

Dawson County Historical Museum – 805 N. Taft St., Lexington, (308) 324-5340 – open Tues.–Fri. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. – www.dchsmuseum.com

Gibbon Heritage Center – 2nd and Court streets, Gibbon – the museum is housed in the oldest standing church in Buffalo County – open by appointment; call (308) 468-6109

Great Platte River Road Archway – 1 Archway Pkwy., Kearney, (308) 237-1000 – open daily 9 a.m.–4 p.m. – www.archway.org

Hastings Museum/Lied Super Screen Theatre/ J. M. McDonald Planetarium – 1330 N. Burlington Ave., Hastings, (402) 461-4269 – open Sun. noon–6 p.m., Tues.–Thurs. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 9 a.m.–8 p.m. – www.hastingsmuseum.org

Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles – 606 Heartland Rd., Lexington, (308) 324-6329 – open Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 1-5 p.m. – www.heartlandmuseum.com

Kearney County Historical Museum – 530 N. Nebraska Ave., Minden, (308) 832-1789

Merrick County Historical Museum – 211 E. St., Central City, (308) 946-2867

Museum of Nebraska Major League Baseball – 619 Howard Ave., St. Paul, (308) 754-5558 – open Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. – www.nebraskabaseballmuseum.com

Nebraska Firefighters Museum – 2434 E. 1st, Kearney, (308) 338-3473 – open daily 10 a.m.–4 p.m. – www.nebraskafirefightersmuseum.com

Nebraska Prairie Museum – North Hwy. 183, Holdrege, (308) 995-5015 – open Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 1–4 p.m. – www.nebraskaprairie.org

Pioneer Village – 138 E. Hwy. 6, Minden, (308) 832-1181 – open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. daily – www.pioneervillage.org

Shelton Historical Interpretive Center & Lincoln Highway Visitor Center – Hwy. 30 and C Street, Shelton – open by appointment; call (308) 390-4123

Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer – 3133 W. Hwy. 34, Grand Island, (308) 385-5316 – open Tues.–Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. noon–5 p.m., closed Mon. – www.stuhrmuseum.org

Trails & Rails Museum – 710 W. 11th St., Kearney, (308) 234-3041 – open Mon.-Fri. 1–5 p.m. – www.bchs.us/museum.html

Webster County Historical Museum – 721 W. 4th St., Red Cloud, (402) 746-2444

Art Galleries/Artists

Graham Gallery – 617 W. 2nd St., Hastings, (402) 463-2555 – open Mon.-Fri. 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

Jorn Olsen Photography Gallery – 726 W. 2nd St., Hastings, (402) 462-2811 – open Thurs. 1–5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. – www.jornolsen.com

Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) – 2401 Central Ave., Kearney, (308) 865-8559 – open Tues.–Sat. 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. 1–5 p.m., closed Mon. – mona.unk.edu

Prairie Winds Art Center – 112 W. 3rd St., Grand Island, (308) 381-4001 – open Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. – www.prairiewindsart.com

Sculptures by Sally – 1388 41 Rd., Heartwell, (308) 830-0489 – open by appointment – www.sculpturesbysally.com

Wild Rose Gallery, 932 S. E St., #5, Broken Bow, (308) 872-6345 – open Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. – www.wildrose-gallery.com

Wineries/Microbreweries

Cedar Hills Vineyard – 48970 375th Rd., Ravenna, (308) 452-3181 – www.cedarhillsvineyard.com

Mac’s Creek Vineyard – 43315 Rd. 757, Lexington, (308) 324-0440 – www.macscreekvineyards.com

Miletta Vista Winery – 1732 Hwy. 281, St. Paul, (308) 754-4416 – www.milettavistawinery.com

Moonlight Ridge Vineyard – 8150 N. U.S. Hwy. 281, Grand Island, (308) 381-2337 – www.moonlightridgevineyard.com

Thunderhead Brewing Company –18 E. 21st St., Kearney, (308) 237-1558 – www.thunderheadbrewing.com

Platte Valley Brewery – 14 E. Railroad St., Kearney (308) 237-0751

Prairie Creek Vineyards – 2254 13th Rd., Central City, (308) 940-1370 – www.prairiecreekwine.com

Superior Estates Winery – 200 W. 15th St., Superior, (402) 879-3001 – www.superiorestateswinery.com

Three Brothers Vineyard and Winery – 812 Lincoln St., Farnam, (308) 320-0020 – www.3brothersvineyard.com

Other Wildlife Viewing

Chicken Dance Trail – chickendancetrail.com, scroll down to Adventures – the Rainwater Basin and Republican River Adventure are in the Central Nebraska Flyway region

Harlan County pelican viewing – thousands of American white pelicans arrive at the Harlan County Reservoir during March and early April, along with migrating ducks, geese and other shorebirds – for more information, contact Harlan County Tourism, 311 Main St., Alma, (800) 762-5498 or (308) 928-2992 – www.harlantourism.org

Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center – 9325 S. Alda Rd., Wood River, 6 miles west on the south side of I-80 Exit 305, (308) 382-1820 – www.nebraskanature.org

Rowe Sanctuary – 44450 Elm Island Rd., Gibbon, (308) 468-5282 – www.rowesanctuary.org

Walking/Hiking

Bader Memorial Park, 898 Bader Park Rd., Chapman, (308) 986-2522 – three miles south of Chapman (east of Grand Island on Hwy. 30) – admission $3 per day per car

Bassway Strip Wildlife Management Area – southeast corner of Minden interchange, I-80 (Exit 279)

Cheyenne State Recreation Area – northeast corner of Wood River interchange, I-80 (Exit 300), (308) 385-6210

Fort Kearny State Historical Park and Recreation Area – 1020 V Rd., south of Kearney – 1.8-mile Fort Kearny Hike/Bike Trail (permit required), (308) 865-5305

Gasteyer Nature Sanctuary – just south of Loup City along the Loup River on Hwy. 10 (45 miles north of Kearney)

Kearney Hike/Bike Trail – 17-plus miles of 8-foot-wide concrete paths located throughout Kearney – trails map at www.cityofkearney.org, then go to Departments, Park & Recreation, Parks, Hike/Bike Trail

Pioneer Spirit Hike/Bike Trail, Hastings – 5.5 continuous miles starting or ending at Libs Park, near 14th St. and Burlington Ave. – for a downloadable map, go to www.visithastingsnebraska.com, click on Sports and scroll down to the Pioneer Spirit Hike/Bike Trail

War Axe State Recreation Area – northeast corner of Shelton interchange, I-80 (Exit 291), (308) 468-5700

Windmill State Recreation Area – northeast corner of Gibbon interchange, I-80 (Exit 285), (308) 468-5700

Entertainment

The Historic Grand Theatre – 316 W. 3rd St., Grand Island, (308) 381-2667 – www.grandmovietheatre.com

Merryman Performing Arts Center – 225 W. 22nd St., Kearney, (308) 698-8297 – www.merrymancenter.org

Minden Opera House – 322 E. 5th St., Minden, (308) 832-0588 – www.mindenoperahouse.com

Red Cloud Opera House – 411 N. Webster St., Red Cloud, (402) 746-2641 – www.willacather.org/opera-house

Tassel Performing Arts Center – 1324 Tilden St., Holdrege, (308) 995-2717 – www.thetassel.org

—Compiled by the Nebraska Tourism Commission, and Prairie Fire

Immigration in Nebraska