This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you book or purchase through these links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.Last spring, I completed a huge bucket list item of mine. I visited the last five states I needed to finish up all 50 United States. As I’m writing this article, I still can’t believe I have been to all 50 and that was almost a year ago! My last five were a big road trip through Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa. As my friend Kim and I meandered our way through the Cornhusker State, we visited these Nebraska attractions that I highly recommend!
Recently, Nebraska released their new tourism slogan: “Nebraska…It isn’t for everyone!”
Clever? I think it’s brilliant. Think about that…Now let’s see if Nebraska is for you!
Welcome to Nebraska
Leaving South Dakota for Nebraska
One of the things I like most about traveling is just finding unusual things. This sign is one such thing. It’s just here in the casino parking lot in quite honestly the middle of nowhere. Well, on one hand, it isn’t in the middle of nowhere because it’s on the Nebraska/South Dakota line. But for all intents and purposes…it’s in the middle of absolutely nowhere!
Standing in two states is always cool!
Now that I’ve welcomed you into Nebraska…please, let me welcome you to Valentine, Nebraska! ❤ The town with the loving name was our first stop. If I remember correctly, it wasn’t exactly on our way but we had a specific reason for putting it on our itinerary.
We wanted to visit the post office so we could mail ourselves postcards from Valentine. The post office will even mail out your valentines to your Valentine if you send it to them in advance.
They have a special Valentine cancellation stamp they use. Since we were there in April, we weren’t able to get this but we did use their regular stamps to put on our postcards.
The cancellation used the rest of the year
Make plans for next year to send your valentines cards and packages to Valentine, Nebraska in time for Valentine’s Day! 😍
Driving Through the Sand Hills
After we left Valentine, we drove through the Sand Hills on this red paved road on the way to Kearney. I thought this was a fun time-lapse to show you what it’s like!
Great Platte River Road Archway
How cool is this bridge? The Great Platte River Road Archway was a nice surprise as we were coming through Kearney ultimately on our way to Omaha!
The Archway, which crosses I-80 in Kearney, Nebraska, is a monument and museum to Nebraska’s and the Platte River Valley’s efforts towards expansion out west.
Finally, we arrived in Omaha where we stayed for a couple of days. Although Lincoln is Nebraska’s capital, Omaha is the biggest city in the state at around 410,000. This is a pretty significant number considering the entire state only has 1.9 million people!
Holy Family Shrine Catholic Church
Kim had been to Omaha the previous summer and I saw her photo of the Holy Family Shrine Catholic Church and it was beautiful! It was decorated with gorgeous, colorful flowers and the path leading towards it looked like you were walking into a fairytale. So, naturally, I was excited to see it.
Instead of summer flowers, I was expecting pansies since it was still cold there in April or maybe even tulips. But, they apparently don’t keep it up in wintertime.
Left: View from the interstate Right: Side view
However, it’s still pretty cool to see because the architecture is quite unique!
Bob Kerrey Bridge
“Hi, I’m Bob. I’m a bridge.
Technically I’m a 3,000 ft pedestrian bridge, but actually I’m a 3,000 ft. magic trick – suspended in air by mere cables (and two really tall towers and a whole lotta something going on under the water), but other than that it’s all magic.”
As much as I would love to take credit for this humor, I can not. See, Bob the Bridge has a personality. And a website. His own social accounts (Twitter and Instagram complete with VAs to run them-please sign me up for that perk). His own custom hashtag. And his own action word “Bobbing“. His own VLOG. Dude has it all!
Stand in Two States Simultaneous-Take Two
So, Bob the Bridge allows you to stand in Nebraska and Iowa at the same time. So for the second time since I entered Nebraska, I have stood in two states simultaneously!
This is what “Bobbing” is! 😂
CHI Health Center Omaha
Formerly CenturyLink as you can see in my photo above, the convention center is now called the CHI Health Center Omaha. It has a capacity of 17,560 and holds concerts and sporting events.
I loved the sculptures around the outside of the center. They are by different artists and have different names and meanings.
They all looked SO real!
TD Ameritrade Park
Right across the street from CHI Health Center Omaha is TD Ameritrade Park which is home to the Men’s College World Series. It opened in 2011 and replaced the old Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. Capacity is 24,000 but it has the ability to expand to 35,000.
MLK Jr Pedestrian Bridge
The Martin Luther King Junior Bridge is a pedestrian connecting the CHI Health Center Omaha with Lewis & Clark Landing. Along the bridge, you can find information about MLK Jr and the Civil Rights Movements.
Not too far from CHI Health Center is The Protector or Omaha Firefighter’s Memorial Monument, a bronze sculpture that honors Omaha’s fallen firefighters. Each of the 55 men who lost their lives in the act of duty has a plaque somewhere in the park.
Omaha Front Gate
On the northeast corner of the Ameritrade Park campus, there are 4 columns with Omaha on them. They are considered the city’s “front gate” which is why I have titled them as such. They don’t have an official name.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
Omaha is certainly known for its Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. I’ve always heard that it was different and it is. Not only does it have an insane amount of open room for its animals, but it is big on conservation, green initiatives and preservation and protection of animals. It is still a zoo and not a sanctuary though.
I couldn’t believe how gigantic and open it was!
I think bats are so cute…anyone else or am I flying solo on this one?
Left: Smiling for my closeup! Right: Who said stick ’em up?
Left: Squirrel Monkey Right: Black-Headed Spider Monkey
Walking into the Amazon Rainforest! This area was absolutely amazing. Again, it was so open and so huge I forgot I was in a zoo.
Left: Napping Center: Someone’s watching me Right: Saying Hiiii!!
This Blue and Yellow Macaw eats better than I do!
I realize now that I’ve been to the desert in Morocco how much the desert here at the zoo truly resembles its actual counterpart.
Meerkat says “I’m the pretty boy in town…oh yeah, take those photos!”
Boo! Black Mamba here!
I’m a Centralian Python and I got my eyes on you!
So glad there was a net between the Bobcat and me! Don’t confuse him with Bob the Bridge. The latter is much friendlier! 😜
Left: Swift fox Right: Red Panda
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Visit the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. Also referred to as Nebraska or NU (even though it’s U of N-must be a midwest thing as the University of Oklahoma is also referred to as OU), it is the oldest university in Nebraska.
It was founded in 1869 and is a land-grant university and a member of the Big Ten Conference. We even attended part of their spring game!
Nebraska may not be for everyone, but it was definitely for me. What say you?
If you are driving through like we did, definitely stop at these Nebraska attractions. They were really fun and Nebraska is a pretty state. Look for my Nebraska food guide coming soon!
Been to Nebraska? Have an opinion about their slogan or something to add to my list? We didn’t have a lot of time there so I’m always looking for new things to do. As always, let me know below!
‘Til next time…