Places to Visit

Towns in Western Nebraska

Lemoyne
Lemoyne

Photo by Nebraska Tourism   The unincorporated community of Lemoyne, near where Lonergan Creek flows into Lake McConaughy, had its all-time high population of 90 people back in 1960. There were just a few souls less than that in the most recent census. The original community of Lemoyne was

Read More
Whitney
Whitney

Photo by Nebraska Tourism   The community of Dawes City formed in 1885. When the railroad arrived but stayed north of the White River, the town of Earth Lodge formed. Buildings were moved to the new town, and it later became Whitney. Old Fort Useless was built nine miles from town to protec

Read More
Nenzel and Cody
Nenzel and Cody

Nenzel and Cody Near Nenzel visitors taste the Sandhills at Niobrara Valley Vineyards. (402) 823-4131. Cody-Kilgore High School students helped build the strawbale Circle C Market and operate it. (402) 823-4099.

Read More
Ashby
Ashby

Photo by Alan J. Bartels   Ashby Just cross the tracks north of Highway 2 and find one of the most unique shops with Nebraska’s own “Pot Lady.” CaLinda’s Pot Shop & Art Gallery showcases owner Linda Lacy’s one-of-a-kind creations of clay and canvas. Experi

Read More
Harrisburg
Harrisburg

BeeHaven Farm Roadside Market, Photo by Alan J. Bartels Turning north from Kimball, State Highway 71 will take you past Harrisburg. The Banner County Museum is an 11-building complex that includes a 19th-century log schoolhouse, sod house, log cabin, 1910 barn, pioneer church and the old Banner C

Read More
Kimball
Kimball

Kimball began as a railroad construction camp. Because of large herds of pronghorn in the area, the railroad called the new station Antelope, and the new village, Antelopeville. In 1885, the growing settlement was renamed for railroad executive Thomas Kimball. Kimball’s history is displayed

Read More
Potter
Potter

Potter Duckpin Bowling Alley   You don’t have to go far out of your way to visit downtown Potter – it’s 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, Potte

Read More
Sidney
Sidney

Photo by Joshua Hardin 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. Stay on the train, lock the doors and you’ll be fine. Unless there&r

Read More
Lodgepole
Lodgepole

Old Settlers’ Days is the big event of the year for Lodgepole. A free barbecue, mud volleyball tournament, parade and street dance are just a few of the events that take place during the Labor Day weekend celebration. Sullivan Hills is located just north of Lodgepole and features 640 acres

Read More
Chappell
Chappell

Travelers see grain elevators along I-80, but none with a paint job like the Farmers Elevator in Chappell. An American flag 52 feet by 100 feet is painted on its south side. The nine-hole Chappell Golf Course. Chappell Lake is just north of the interchange and offers fishing, native grasses, wildf

Read More
Big Springs
Big Springs

Heading west from Ogallala on I-80, you’ll come to Big Springs. Heading west from Ogallala on I-80, you’ll come to Big Springs. 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 curren

Read More
Keystone
Keystone

  East of Kingsley Dam, Keystone is home to a most unique church. Built in 1908, the Little Church of Keystone is the result of cooperation and ingenuity. The town was too small for two churches, so this one was built as a combined Catholic/Protestant church. It has a Catholic altar at one end

Read More
Ogallala
Ogallala
Nebraska’s “Cowboy Capital”

Ogallala was the “Gomorrah of the cattle trail,” wrote Andy Adams, a trail driver who first saw the community in 1875. 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 sev

Read More
Paxton
Paxton

Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse began as a bar in downtown Paxton. Through the years, owner Ole Herstedt decorated it with more than 200 big game trophies. Great food and drink accompany the menagerie. (308) 239-4500.

Read More
Sutherland
Sutherland

  Sutherland Reservoir offers swimming, camping, birdwatching and fishing. The area has good wildlife habitat, and bald eagles use it as a winter feeding area.  Oregon Trail Golf Course is a nine-hole course on the north shore of the reservoir. (308) 386-4653. Oregon Trail Mobile Estate

Read More
Hershey
Hershey

Stones and Bones Gallery and Emporium offers a unique assemblage of Stone Age artifacts from Western Nebraska, along with western and wildlife art. (308) 368-7400.

Read More
North Platte
North Platte

Photo by Christopher Amundson   While approaching North Platte from Interstate 80, one of the first landmarks seen is Fort Cody Trading Post. When viewed from the outside it looks like a frontier log stockade complete with authentically dressed mannequins with toy rifles standing guard. I

Read More
Maxwell
Maxwell

  When Fort Cottonwood was renamed Fort McPherson in 1866, its soldiers were already accustomed to fetching cold, great-tasting water from the well of John “Mac” McCullough. Soon, other travelers heard about the well and would stop. As a community formed, it was decided to name it

Read More
Brady
Brady

Photo by Christopher Amundson On the eastern end of Wild West Country, Brady is home to several outdoor adventures. Jeffrey Canyon Reservoir is five miles south and one mile west of Brady. Potter’s Pasture in the beautiful hills south of Brady, consists of 1,300 acres of privately owned lan

Read More
Gordon
Gordon

Photo by Alan J. Bartels The community of Gordon was founded at the site of a solitary willow tree on the banks of the Antelope Creek. The lone tree served as a landmark for Indians and early pioneers and was a popular meeting place. The tree is still alive on the eastern edge of town. Cowboy mem

Read More
Rushville
Rushville

Photo Courtesy Sheridan County Historical Society The story of the aforementioned Camp Sheridan and the Spotted Tail Agency can be found at the Sheridan County Historical Museum, along with exhibits showing frontier life. The museum is at the junction of Highway 20 and Nelson Avenue. In nea

Read More
Hay Springs
Hay Springs

A newspaper story in a 1922 issue of the Hay Springs News reported the sighting of a Loch Ness-style monster at Alkali Lake. Rumors circulated of ranchers losing cattle to the hungry beast, but no physical evidence of the creature’s questionable existence was ever discovered. We can’t

Read More
Chadron
Chadron
Home of Nebraska’s oldest state park

Chadron has a rollicking frontier history including fur traders, tough cowboys, Native Americans, ranchers and railroaders. The community lies between the Pine Ridge and the High Plains. Founded in 1921, Chadron State Park was Nebraska’s first state park. It encompasses nearly 1,000 acres o

Read More
Crawford
Crawford

 Photo by Barbara Johnson East of Harrison, Highway 20 crosses High Plains country before the White River Valley appears, revealing the scenic Pine Ridge. Located in the heart of Pine Ridge Country, Crawford bills itself as the “Big Game Capital of Nebraska.” Legend Buttes Golf

Read More
Hemingford
Hemingford

Photo by Alan J. Bartels Hemingford is 18 miles northwest of Alliance and 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

Read More
Alliance
Alliance
Cowboys and Carhenge

  Photo by Christopher Amundson   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

Read More
Arthur
Arthur

About 40 miles west of Tryon on Highway 92, Arthur is the only town in Arthur County. The ranching town boasts the world’s smallest courthouse. The 26-by-28-foot white frame building was built a year after Arthur County seceded from McPherson County back in 1913. The former Pilgrim Holiness

Read More
Tryon
Tryon

Photo by Rick Neibel/Nebraska Tourism The museum of the McPherson County Historical Society includes a historic bank, sod house and area artifacts. This area sparse in human population grazes huge numbers of cattle in surrounding lands. The long history of ranching in the area is also chronicled

Read More
Hyannis
Hyannis

Photo by Alan J. Bartels Look for the windmill in the center of Main Street. Hyannis is home of the Windmill Days celebration each June. The Grant County Museum in the courthouse, 105 E. Harrison St., displays area history and oddities such as props from John Wayne’s stunt man and a world-c

Read More
Mullen
Mullen

Mullen sits at the geographic heart of the Sandhills. For a region known for its striking beauty, it’s appropriate that one of the world’s best golf courses stretches out across the land here. Sand Hills Golf Club is an 18-hole private golf course designed by pro golfer Ben Crenshaw. G

Read More
Seneca
Seneca

  Photo by Alan J. Bartels The Northern Plains Studio near Seneca has Native American and Western art for viewing and for sale, by appointment only. (308) 639-3227.

Read More
Thedford
Thedford

Thedford is a crossroads community along Highway 2. Highway 83 leads north to Valentine and south to North Platte. The Thedford Art Gallery, 509 Court St., sells framed photography, sculptures, pottery, jewelry and other art. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, May 1-Dec. 30; open the rest of th

Read More
Halsey
Halsey

For the westward traveler, Highway 2, the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway, heads northwest from Grand Island, passes the Nebraska National Forest at Halsey, crosses the lake country of the western Sandhills, then exits the region near Alliance and turns north toward the Pine Ridge. This byway is ra

Read More
Merriman
Merriman

The history of Sandhills ranching lives at Arthur Bowring Ranch State Historical Park. (308) 282-0730.

Read More
Valentine
Valentine

The “Heart City” is near the Niobrara National Scenic River. Outfitters provide everything needed for fun floating. Five miles east of Valentine on Highway 12, bison and elk roam Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge. Attractions include, Smith Falls, Merritt Reservoir, McKelvie National For

Read More
Henry
Henry

Henry is Nebraska’s westernmost town. One mile south, Stateline Island is part of the North Platte National Wildlife Refuge. The 130-acre refuge is a bird watching mecca. One mile east of Henry is the place where in 1847 Brigham Young called a special prayer circle on behalf of the westbound

Read More
Morrill
Morrill

Photo by Christopher Amundson In 1851, 10,000 Plains Indians from 10 tribes met government officials near Horse Creek to form a treaty. Never in recorded history had so many gathered at one spot on the Plains. From the government’s perspective, the treaty’s purpose was to ensure safe

Read More
Mitchell
Mitchell

Mitchell is the usual point of departure for travelers bound for the world-renowned Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, 30 miles north of the community on Highway 29. Hunting, fishing and hiking opportunities abound in this scenic area of varied terrain. Other recreational activities include a m

Read More
Gering
Gering

Photo by Steve and Bobbi Olson   Facts are scarce when it comes to knowing anything about Hiram Scott. Legends abound about the fur trapper who died in 1828 near the bluff that came to bear his name, and historians argue over the real story of his demise. And though Scotts Bluff National

Read More
Scottsbluff
Scottsbluff

Photo by Alan J. Bartels Visiting Scottsbluff can be a wildly fun experience. You would expect to find wild animals in the rugged country around Scottsbluff, and you will. Elk, pronghorn, mule deer, bighorn sheep, bobcats and even an occasional mountain lion are seen here. You wouldn’t ex

Read More
Minatare
Minatare

Photo by Derrald Farnsworth-Livingston Lake Minatare isn’t so large that it needs a lighthouse. It has one anyway offering an 360-degree lake view. It was built by the Veterans Conservation Corps, a New Deal agency that provided jobs to unemployed veterans. (308) 783-2911. Located seven m

Read More
Bayard
Bayard

  Photo by Jorn Olsen   Visible to wagon trains from several days away, Chimney Rock’s 120-foot spire was unlike anything Oregon Trail pioneers had ever seen. The landmark’s story is told at the Ethel and Christopher J. Abbott Visitor Center at Chimney Rock National Hist

Read More
Bridgeport
Bridgeport

Photo by Christopher Amundson Courthouse Rock and Jail Rock are prominent in pioneer history and ancient legends. Courthouse Rock got its name because of its blocky shape. Oregon Trail migrants thought it looked like a courthouse; the smaller formation nearby was ther

Read More
Oshkosh
Oshkosh

Photo by Nebraska Tourism Summer is the peak season for Western Nebraska tourism, but Oshkosh is also popular during the fall and winter months. Oshkosh is known the world over as the Goose Hunting Capital of Nebraska. Several local hunting outfitters accommodate sportsmen from around the world.

Read More
Lewellen
Lewellen

  Photo by Stephen R. Jones Windlass Hill at Ash Hollow State Park carries scars from countless wagons that made the steep descent into the North Platte Valley. Abundant water and trees made it a favorite resting place. The park is 1 1/2 miles southeast of Lewellen on Highway 26. The

Read More
Harrison
Harrison
“Nebraska’s Top Town”

The Sioux County Historical Museum in Harrison chronicles Sioux County from settlement through the 20th century. (308) 668-2110. For a scenic side trip head north from town on Sowbelly Road. In 1876, the 5th U.S. Cavalry fought a band of Cheyenne at what is known as Warbonnet Battlefield. Buffalo

Read More
Brule
Brule

Nine miles west of Ogallala is the community of Brule. It was founded in 1886 on the site of a former Brule Sioux encampment. (308) 287-2596.

Read More