9 Quaint Nebraska Cities That Showcase The State’s Tale

Table of Contents AshlandValentineTekamahNebraska MetropolisPurple CloudDavid CityCroftonNiobraraTaylor Nebraskans have extensive been happy of a condition…

Nebraskans have extensive been happy of a condition motto that is been employed for decades: “The Excellent Life.” You’ll uncover it on condition welcome signs, t-shirts, and other tourism-related souvenirs. When the state’s tourism fee announces a new slogan, many people today go on to foyer for aged trusty.

So, what makes Nebraska the Excellent Daily life? It is a sensation that at the time individuals check out, they fall in adore with the state and its communities. The very best way to discover Nebraska is to get off the interstate and go to its towns, which are typically house to unique sights.

Below are nine quaint cities you need to go to that assistance explain to the Nebraska tale.


Positioned halfway between Omaha and Lincoln, Ashland features a mix of smaller-city daily life with significant tourist points of interest. The globe-class Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum explores the Chilly War and includes outstanding plane displays, from Entire world War II to the 1990s. The museum is property to a classic B-25, the SR-71 reconnaissance jet, a Soviet MiG jet, and a lot more.

Continue to be inside of your vehicle as you travel as a result of the Lee Simmons Conservation and Wildlife Park, looking at elk and bison herds roam inches from you. The park has viewing spots where by you can stroll and acquire in the sights of the bison — and birds, these kinds of as sandhill cranes, swans, and pelicans. Mahoney State Park also gives outdoor things to do, such as climbing, fishing, boating, and horseback using.

But to get a true really feel for Ashland, head downtown. With typical storefronts, Ashland’s principal road gives a picturesque perspective. Boutiques and modest stores provide a various buying knowledge, from Salt Creek Mercantile’s property decor add-ons to Postscript for stationery, greeting playing cards, and gifts.


Outside lovers like the Valentine area. No matter whether you hike the space at Smith Falls Condition Park — web site of the state’s tallest waterfall — or Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, you’ll appreciate the natural surroundings with a chance of wildlife viewing. The spot is also best for kayaking, canoeing, camping, and fishing. The Cowboy Trail, with its legendary wood bridge together an abandoned rail line, premiums as a single of the most common bike and going for walks trails in Nebraska.

Valentine proudly embraces its function as Nebraska’s Coronary heart Town. Hearts dot the sidewalks in front of downtown stores. You can even take a selfie in front of a Valentine coronary heart. Deliver an envelope to the downtown write-up office for a postmark you simply cannot get any place else in the earth. Talk about a correct souvenir.

Tim Trudell


A person of my preferred towns in the state (I grew up in cities within 20 minutes of here), Tekamah is residence to Master’s Hand boutique. Starting with handmade candles, the venture has developed into a giant on the prairie, featuring residence decor, apparel equipment, and handmade sweets and fudge. They extra a cafe showcasing breakfast and lunch possibilities, which include “world-famous” cinnamon rolls. The shop also sponsors seasonal festivals that appeal to countless numbers of folks from a a few-point out region.

When Master’s Hand on your own is value the vacation, a check out to Silver Hills Winery and Winery provides to your practical experience. Increasing grapes in the middle of corn place may possibly be a problem, but it pays off with excellent white and red wines. While it does not brew beer, you will have a wide variety of brews to pick out from at Chatterbox Taproom. That includes burgers and more on its menu, Chatterbox is an outstanding location to rest and love a superior food.

Tekamah is also house to the Burt County Museum, with reveals chronicling the area’s background. Positioned in a former mansion, a pay a visit to presents an impressive look into the county’s previous. The town also celebrates its most famous resident with the Hoot Gibson Memorial Rodeo every single June. The three-day party honors the one particular-time rodeo winner and early 1900s film star.

Historical murals at Memorial Way in downtown Nebraska City.
Tim Trudell

Nebraska Metropolis

Considering the fact that this is home to the founding of Arbor Working day, you may perhaps consider there are only trees to see. While there’s a lot more to see in Nebraska Metropolis, a prevent at Arbor Working day Farm is a must. A well known place in the course of the fall for apple finding, Arbor Day Farm is a 12 months-spherical attraction, thanks to Treetop Village. With an impediment training course that normally takes you high above the trees, adventurers of all ages navigate rope ladders and tightropes properly, as netting guards you from falling.

If you favor your ft firmly on the ground, going to Arbor Lodge Point out Historical Park features an opportunity to tour a 52-place mansion crafted around a four-room cabin. When J. Sterling Morton settled in Nebraska Metropolis, he manufactured the cabin. Then, as the loved ones grew, he and his spouse extra on to it. Eldest son Joy, who started Morton Salt, accomplished the mansion, made to resemble the White House in Washington, DC. Arbor Lodge anchors a point out park, which incorporates a botanical backyard and a number of trees.

A wander together Central Avenue gives a glance at the area’s historical past by means of a series of murals. Masking about a 9-block spot, historic murals highlight Morton Salt, Woolworth’s, and Argo corn starch. A downtown park contains a collection of murals exploring the city’s heritage as nicely as locals’ armed forces support.

Willa Cather's childhood home in Red Cloud, Nebraska.
Tim Trudell

Purple Cloud

Purple Cloud is the hometown of Pulitzer Prize–winning creator Willa Cather, and readers can get pleasure from a tour of destinations about city that inspired figures for her books. Guided tours of the city, including Cather’s childhood property, are provided by the Willa Cather Basis. The tour also attributes the Opera Property and bank.

Acquire a walk as a result of record with a visit to the Starke Barn, a 3-level round barn developed in 1902. Named to the Countrywide Register of Historic Spots, the barn is one particular of the biggest and oldest in the United States. You can tour the barn 1–4 p.m. on the initially and third Friday of each individual month, or by appointment.

With extra than 600 acres of prairie grass, bouquets, and crops, the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie is the excellent location for hen looking at or golden sunsets.

Take pleasure in a cup of espresso though you store for boutique-fashion and handmade gifts at the Corner Nook. Classic collectors adore examining out Pine Tree Antiques, where by you are going to uncover a variety of common wares to just take household.

Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art main gallery, David City, Nebraska.
Tim Trudell

David City

David City’s historic downtown consists of an chance to recognize buildings that are far more than 100 decades aged, this sort of as the Thorpe Opera Property. The metropolis is residence to the nation’s lone agriculture artwork heart, the Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Artwork. Concentrating on nearby artist Dale Nichols’s do the job painting the rural landscape, the museum also showcases modern day agrarian artists.

For far more than 15 years, Jisa’s Farmstead Cheese in close by Brainard has been manufacturing cheese for Nebraska retailers and dining places. At first a dairy procedure, the Jisa farm — established in 1946 — welcomes visitors to their cheese industry.

Pro suggestion: For a genuinely Nebraskan working experience, order a runza sandwich (bierock) or burger at Runza’s indoor generate-through cafe.

The main seating room at the Historic Hotel Argo, Crofton, Nebraska.
Tim Trudell


A continue to be at the Historic Lodge Argo Bed and Breakfast combines history with pop society. The Argo is deemed the most haunted hotel in Nebraska. It has skilled a range of lives, including serving as a hotel for coach travellers and a health care clinic, providing rise to tales of ghosts haunting the halls. It was also the childhood summertime property of actress Leslie Brooks, who has a suite named after her.

Only a few minutes’ travel from town, out of doors enthusiasts get pleasure from expending the day at Lewis and Clark State Recreation Location in the vicinity of the South Dakota border. Gavins Stage Dam was developed to assistance regulate the Missouri River, developing the 35-mile very long lake. Boating, snowboarding, fishing, and swimming are well-liked functions at the lake.

Antique collectors love checking out Jeanne’s Antiques for the great antique, from stained glass to classic china. Situated a mile east of town, the antique shop has been a Crofton staple for additional than five a long time.


As the ancestral property of the Ponca (Unsi) individuals, Niobrara is house to the tribe’s cultural museum and schooling path. People learn the record of the Indigenous American tribe, which was forcibly relocated to Oklahoma in the 1870s but returned in the course of the 1990s. A pay a visit to to the tribal museum characteristics a headdress and other items repatriated from the Smithsonian Museum. The education and learning trail contains an earth lodge, powwow grounds, and placards with tribal information and facts, all foremost to a statue of Main Standing Bear. The chief received the very first civil rights circumstance involving Native Individuals in 1879, when a court publicly acknowledged that Native People had been lawfully people today.

Character fanatics get pleasure from trekking the trails at Niobrara Condition Park. Overlooking the confluence of the Niobrara and Missouri Rivers, the point out park presents boating, fishing, swimming, and horseback driving.

The Taylor Villagers in Taylor, Nebraska.
Tim Trudell


Positioned in the heart of Nebraska’s Sandhills, individuals in the village of Taylor like to joke they doubled its populace when the Taylor Villagers were launched. The community art undertaking attributes more than 150 picket cutouts resembling people from the 1890s to 1920s. Painted in black and white, the parts are found about city. Attracting website visitors from Nebraska and other states, the challenge has aided with escalating tourism past the yearly Loup County Truthful.

Longtime homebrewers extra to Taylor’s points of interest when they opened Bootleg Brewers in 2015. With a 20-barrel procedure, Bootleg provides beer for its taproom as perfectly as stores all-around the state.