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 f

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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

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Nenzel and Cody
Nenzel and Cody

Nenzel and Cody Near Nenzel, the Nollette brothers offer tastes of the Sandhills and their ranch-raised grapes from Niobrara Valley Vineyards. (402) 823-4131. The students of Cody-Kilgore High School helped build the strawbale Circle C Market and also operate it. (402) 823-4099.  

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Ashby
Ashby

Photo by Alan J. Bartels   Ashby The village of Ashby is big on creativity. Just cross the tracks north of the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway (Highway 2) and find the most unique shop with Nebraska’s own “Pot Lady.” CaLinda’s Pot Shop & Art Gallery showcases own

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Harrisburg
Harrisburg

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

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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 dis

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Potter
Potter

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, Potter Sundry is an old-fashioned soda

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Sidney
Sidney

If this were an 1870s travel guide, we’d advise you to go around Sidney. There’s no sense in taking your chances with the outlaws, gamblers and other riffraff that made this railroad town one of the toughest places in all of the American West. Stay on the train, lock the doors and you&

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Lodgepole
Lodgepole

Photo by Nebraska Tourism 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 Lodgep

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Chappell
Chappell

Travelers see grain elevators aplenty along I-80, but none with a paint job like the Farmers Elevator in Chappell. An American flag measuring 52 feet by 100 feet is painted on its south side. The curves of the silos make the flag look like it’s waving. Chappell is a convenient stop for trave

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Big Springs
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 currency. Some say that part of the loot, a stash of $20 gold pieces, is sti

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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 and a

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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. Afte

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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. (308) 239-4500.

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Sutherland
Sutherland

  Sutherland Reservoir offers swimming, camping 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 and campground on the north shore of the lake with RV hook-ups and campsites. (308) 386-4653.

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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.

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North Platte
North Platte

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. Inside it’s a combination gift shop

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Maxwell
Maxwell

Photo by Alan J. Bartels 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

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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

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Gordon
Gordon

Cowboy memorabilia from the late 1800s through the present day is displayed at the Tri-State Old Time Cowboy Museum at the Gordon City Park at Fourth and Oak streets.  The museum is open 1-5 p.m. daily, June 1-Sept. 15, and by appointment. (308) 282-0887. The Scamahorn Museum is a restored

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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.

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Hay Springs
Hay Springs

Locals say a Loch Ness-style monster lives in the waters of Walgren Lake. We can’t confirm that, but we do know that Walgren Lake State Recreation Area has camping, fishing and picnic areas. To find the lake, start at the junction of Highways 87 and 20. Go south 1.8 miles on Highway 87, then

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Chadron
Chadron
Home of Nebraska’s oldest state park

Chadron is a city with a rollicking frontier history including hardy fur traders, tough cowboys, Indians, ranchers, scholars and railroaders. The community lies between the Pine Ridge to the south and the High Plains that rise to the north and west. Founded in 1921, Chadron State Park is Nebraska

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Crawford
Crawford

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

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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 each October and the Avenue of Flags. Hemingford displays more than 200 American flags along its village streets during various holidays, such as July

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Alliance
Alliance
Cowboys and Carhenge

Downtown Alliance - Photo by Steve & Bobbi Olson Alliance has a long lineage of agriculture, business, industry and railroading. Rogues, rascals and visionaries have colored the town’s history. Alliance has grown from a frontier town to 9,000 residents and a variety of businesses, ame

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Arthur
Arthur

Photo by Steve & Bobbi Olson 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 in 1913.

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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. Open by appointment. (308) 587-2376.

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Hyannis
Hyannis

Photo by Alan J. Bartels Hyannis is home of the Windmill Days celebration each June. Look for the windmill in the center of Main Street and you’re in the right place to partake in the festivities. The Grant County Museum at the county courthouse, 105 E. Harrison, displays area history and o

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Mullen
Mullen

West of Thedford on Highway 2, Mullen sits at the geographic heart of the Sandhills. For a region that is known for its striking beauty, it’s appropriate, although surprising, that one of the world’s best golf courses is here.  Sand Hills Golf Club is an 18-hole private golf cour

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Seneca
Seneca

  Photo by Alan J. Bartels On Main Street, Cattleman’s Restaurant has served locals and travelers for more than 20 years. Open Thursday-Sunday, (308) 639-3242. Also, the Northern Plains Studio has Native American and western art for viewing and for sale, by appointment only. (308) 639

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Thedford
Thedford

Photo by Mark W. Harris Thedford is a crossroads community along Highway 2, from which Highway 83 leads north to Valentine. The Thedford Art Gallery, 509 Court St., sells art, photography, sculptures and pottery. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, May 1-Dec. 30; open the rest of the year 1-5 p

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Halsey
Halsey

For the westbound 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 r

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Merriman
Merriman

The history of Sandhills ranch life is displayed at Arthur Bowring Ranch State Historical Park, north of Merriman. (308) 282-0730. Cottonwood Lake State Recreation Area is a half-mile east of Merriman and a half-mile south. Fishing, boating and camping are allowed. (308) 684-3428.

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Valentine
Valentine

The Sandhills It is a voyage in an expansive ocean of waving grass that can only be found in Nebraska’s Sandhills – the largest region of grass-stabilized sand dunes found in the Western Hemisphere. As you sail on through the vastness of these more than 19,000 square miles, you realize t

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Henry
Henry

Henry is Nebraska’s westernmost town. One mile south, Stateline Island is part of the North Platte National Wildlife Refuge and offers nature observation and hiking. 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

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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

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Mitchell
Mitchell

Brown Sheep Yarn, Photo by Nebraska Tourism Mitchell is the usual point of departure for Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, 30 miles north on Highway 29. Hunting and fishing opportunities abound nearby. Other recreational activities include a motor cross track at the old airport, scenic Centen

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Gering
Gering

Historians know little about Hiram Scott, and legends abound about the fur trapper who died in 1828 near the bluff that came to bear his name. And though Scotts Bluff National Monument is in Scotts Bluff County, it is nearest the city of Gering rather than Scottsbluff. No matter. To simplify thing

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Scottsbluff
Scottsbluff

You’d expect to find wildlife in the rugged country around Scottsbluff, and you will. Elk, pronghorn, mule deer, bighorn sheep, bobcats and even an occasional mountain lion are seen. You wouldn’t expect to see exotic species such as chimpanzees, zebras or tigers, but you’ll find

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Minatare
Minatare

Lake Minatare is large, but not so big that it needs a lighthouse. It has one anyway and it offers an impressive 360-degree view. It was built by the Veterans Conservation Corps, a New Deal agency that provided jobs to unemployed veterans. (308) 783-2911. Located seven miles north of the town of M

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Bayard
Bayard

  Visible to wagon trains from several days away, Chimney Rock was the most noted landmark along the Oregon Trail. With a 120-foot spire and standing 325 feet from tip to base, it was unlike anything the pioneers had ever seen. The landmark’s story is told at the Ethel and Christopher

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Bridgeport
Bridgeport

Photo by Steve & Bobbi Olson Courthouse Rock and Jail Rock are ruggedly beautiful and prominent in the pioneer history and ancient legends of the region. Courthouse Rock rises 340 feet above the valley floor and got its name because of its blocky shape. Oregon Trail migrants t

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Oshkosh
Oshkosh

Photo by Nebraska Tourism Summer is the peak season for Western Nebraska tourism, but Oshkosh is also popular in fall. It’s the Goose Hunting Capital of Nebraska. Oshkosh also is a point of departure for Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge, located deep in the remote and beautiful Sandh

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Lewellen
Lewellen

Modern travelers descend into the North Platte Valley by an easy grade. Pioneers faced a steeper route. To this day, Windlass Hill at Ash Hollow State Park bears the scars from the countless wagons that made the steep descent. Visitors can follow a paved walking path to the top. An old sod house s

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Harrison
Harrison
“Nebraska’s Top Town”

Harrison bills itself as “Nebraska’s Top Town.” It is inarguably closest to the state’s northwest corner.  The Sioux County Historical Museum tells the story of Sioux County from settlement through the 20th century. Open Memorial Day-Labor Day and during September by

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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.

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