Off The Beaten Path | Nebraska
Nebraska is a state filled with history, prairies, farmland, communities, art and culture. Visitors to this state will always find plenty to do, whether in the city or in the country. Here are a few of the interesting and fun places to visit during a trip to Nebraska.
Orpheum Theater, Omaha
Visitors to Nebraska looking for some arts and culture, should stop to enjoy a show at Omaha's Orpheum Theater. This theater has a long history of hosting excellent local and national performing arts. The Orpheum Theater was constructed in 1927, and originally served as a vaudeville house. Since that time it has evolved into one of the great performing arts centers in Omaha, and the recent restoration has brought it back to its original splendor. The Orpheum Theater is an excellent venue for visitors to enjoy a great show and experience some of Omaha's history.
Scotts Bluff National Monument
Scotts Bluff is an important geologic and historic landmark in Nebraska. The bluff stands 800 feet above the landscape below. Visitors to the park have the opportunity to learn how the bluff has been a landmark for travelers throughout history, including those on the Oregon Trail and the Pony Express Trail. There are a wide variety of ways for visitors to explore the park including driving the Summit Road, taking the guided Summit Shuttle, hiking on the Saddle Rock, North Overlook and South Overlook Trails. Those visitors that want to experience the history of the area can walk on the Oregon Trail Pathway to see what remains of the trail.
Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha
A visit to the zoo is always a fun family trip. For visitors to Nebraska, the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, is a great destination during a family trip. This zoo is a leader in animal conservation and research. Visitors to the zoo can enjoy a wide variety of exhibits and even rides. Visitors can see aquatic life, included a variety of species of penguins at the Scott Aquarium, or watch polar and sun bears at Durham's Bear Canyon. The Henry Doorly Zoo also has the largest indoor rainforest in the US, called the Lied Jungle, which allows visitors to truly experience the rainforest. In addition, the zoo has the world's largest indoor desert and nocturnal exhibit, the Desert Dome and Kingdoms of the Night exhibits have an amazing variety of animals.
Chimney Rock National Historic Site, Bayard
Chimney Rock is one of the most famous landmarks in the American West. Americans that traveled west on the Oregon Trial, the Mormon Trail and the California Trail all noted this natural formation as an important and awe-inspiring landmark along the way. Today visitors can experience this same sense of awe during a visit to the Chimney Rock National Historic Site. Beyond exploring the site or taking a guided tour, Chimney Rock National Historic Site also has a wealth of information about the history of the natural formation, as well as information about the migrations west.
Strategic Air & Space Museum, Ashland
Visitors to Ashland should be sure to visit the Strategic Air & Space Museum. This fascinating museum is full of exhibits and information about aviation and space. Visitors to the museum can explore both temporary and permanent exhibits. The Museum has a wide collection of aircraft, displayed in the museum for visitors to see up close. There are also space travel exhibits, as well as Flight Simulators, Trainer Rides and a Mobile Planetarium for visitors to the museum to enjoy.
The Cowboy Recreation and Nature Trail
This recreational trail was once the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad right-of-way, now it is the longest rail-to-trail conversion in the country. Visitors to Nebraska can travel along the 195 miles of completed trail. Once complete the trail will travel for 321 miles. As visitors travel along the Cowboy Trail they will have the opportunity to explore many communities, as well as truly experience the beautiful Nebraska scenery.
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
Visitors to Nebraska should be sure to visit the Agate Fossil Beds. At this amazing site visitors can enjoy the exhibits at the Visitor Center, or explore the history of the area and the fossil beds on two trails. The Visitor Center has many reconstructions of the ancient animals who once roamed the landscape, and who's fossils were preserved for millions of years. Visitors can also explore exhibits with important artifacts in the Cook Collection of American Indian artifacts. In addition, visitors can explore the two trails in the National Monument, the Fossil Hills Trail and the Daemonelix Trail, which showcase actual fossils and locations where fossils have been found.