Places to Go
Each community in Western Nebraska has its own personality and unique attractions. Find your next adventure.
Alliance has a long lineage of agriculture, business, industry and railroading. Rogues, rascals and visionaries have colored the town’s history since its very beginnings in 1888. Alliance has grown from a frontier town to a bustling community of 9,000 residents and is the largest city for 50 miles.
Scotts Bluff National Monument is closer to the city of Gering than it is to Scottsbluff. Folks living around here call it “The Monument,” a name as matter-of-fact as its wise Native American moniker, Ma-a-pa-te, which translated means “hill that is hard to go around.”
North Platte is home to the largest classification rail yard. Catch a glimpse with a view from the 8-story Golden Spike Tower that also overlooks the rest of North Platte. Don't miss out on our other attractions or recreational areas!
If this were an 1870s travel guide, we’d advise you to go around Sidney. Outlaws, gamblers and other riffraff made this railroad town one of the toughest places in all of the American West. With the discovery of gold in the Black Hills, Sidney became a trailhead for gold seekers.
The first and largest robbery of a Union Pacific train happened here in 1877. Texas outlaw Sam Bass and five companions made off with $60,000 in gold and currency. The town is named for a natural spring. From the town’s founding through 1950, the spring supplied water for Union Pacific steam locomotives.
Courthouse Rock and Jail Rock are prominent in pioneer history and ancient legends. The area is five miles south of Bridgeport on Highway 88. The rocks are visible from many miles away. Courthouse and Jail Rock Golf Club, a nine-hole public course, is nearby.
History abounds at Crawford. The Army scout known as Little Bat was killed on Main Street. Not far away, MJ’s Ranch House is said to be haunted. Crawford’s post office has a mural commissioned by the government during the Great Depression. The Crawford Historical Museum chronicles this history.
Hemingford features year-round holiday events, including the Harvest Moon Festival and the Avenue of Flags. Hemingford displays more than 200 American flags along its streets during various holidays, such as July 4th weekend, Flag Day, Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.
Kimball began as a railroad construction camp. Because of large herds of pronghorn in the area the new village was called Antelopeville. In 1885, the settlement was renamed for railroad executive Thomas Kimball. Kimball’s history is displayed downtown at the Plains Historical Museum.
As the only town within Hooker county, Mullen sits at the geographic heart of the Sandhills. The area offers astounding views of rolling hills and waterways. The land is beneficial to the renowned golf locations in the area.
In the 1870s and 1880s, Ogallala was the end of the trail as cowboys drove herds of longhorns up from Texas to be shipped east on the Union Pacific Railroad. After several long, hard months in the saddle, cowboys were ready for a rip-roaring good time when they reached town.
Oshkosh is known the world over as the Goose Hunting Capital of Nebraska. Several local hunting outfitters accommodate sportsmen from around the world. Oshkosh also is a point of departure for Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge, located deep in the remote and beautiful Sandhills Lakes country.
Downtown Potter is just a minute’s drive from I-80. Unwind at city parks or at the Reading Garden beside the library downtown. In one of several restored historic buildings, Potter Sundry is an old-fashioned soda fountain serving homemade food and ice cream desserts.
The “Heart City” is near the Niobrara National Scenic River. Five miles east of Valentine on Highway 12, bison and elk roam Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge. Attractions include, Smith Falls, Merritt Reservoir, McKelvie National Forest and Valentine NWR.