Nebraska, USA: The Best Tourist Attractions in the Cornhusker State

Updated On: September 01, 2023

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Located in the heart of the American Midwest, Nebraska draws crowds from all over the wrong with its variety of tourist attractions that captivate the imagination. The state houses a symphony of natural wonders, historical riches, cultural gems, and off-the-beaten-path treasures to explore.

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Nebraska is full of beautiful vistas.

From the towering bluffs and rich history of Scotts Bluff National Monument to the contemporary vibrancy of Omaha’s art scene, Nebraska’s attractions take tourists on an exciting journey of discovery that reveals the essence and identity of a state that is as fascinating as it is diverse.

Nebraska’s diverse landscape and vibrant cities hold a plethora of experiences that cater to every tourist’s interests. To uncover the best that Nebraska has to offer, we delved into the landscapes that shaped history, the creativity that thrives in urban cities, and the state’s local flavours.

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Lincoln is the capital of Nebraska.

Natural Wonders and Outdoor Activities

The Great Plains: Nebraska’s Vast Landscapes

Nebraska, often associated with its sprawling fields and tranquil landscapes, holds a treasure trove of natural wonders and outdoor activities that beckon adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.

This state offers a diverse range of outdoor experiences, from the otherworldly Sandhills to the rich prairies and grasslands that embody the heartland’s natural beauty. These landscapes will astonish anyone on holiday in Nebraska.

Sandhills: Unique Sand Dune Formations

The Sandhills stand out as one of Nebraska’s most distinctive natural formations. These rolling hills of sand dunes, blanketed by grasses and dotted with wetlands, create a mesmerising landscape that defies conventional expectations.

The sand dunes formed thousands of years ago. They evoke a sense of timelessness and offer a serene escape from the hustle of modern life. Exploring the Sandhills provides the opportunity to admire delicate flora and fauna that have adapted to this distinct ecosystem, showcasing the resilience of nature in the face of adversity.

Prairies and Grasslands: Endless Seas of Green

Prairies and grasslands, stretching as far as the eye can see, hold a special place in Nebraska’s identity. Exploring these vast expanses is an invitation to connect with the region’s agricultural heritage and experience the essence of the American heartland.

Nebraska Grass
The state’s prairies are speckled with wildflowers.

The neverending sea of grass, adorned with vibrant wildflowers during the warmer months, pays homage to the resilient spirit of pioneers who once traversed these lands. As the wind rustles through the prairie grasses, visitors can take in the serene beauty of this seemingly endless landscape filled with the stories of generations past.

Platte River

The Platte River, a vital artery of Nebraska’s ecosystem, is a haven for birdwatching and wildlife observation. One of the most remarkable events in the avian world is the Sandhill crane migration that takes place along the Platte River.

Every spring, thousands of these elegant birds converge upon the riverbanks during their journey north, creating a spectacle of sight and sound that’s nothing short of awe-inspiring. This natural phenomenon offers an unparalleled opportunity for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers to witness the intricate rhythms of migration.

Platte River State Park

For those seeking a more hands-on outdoor experience, Platte River State Park is a testament to Nebraska’s dedication to preserving its natural treasures. This park not only offers hiking trails that wind through dense woodlands and grassy meadows but also provides fishing and recreational opportunities along the river’s shores.

The serene ambience of the park is perfect for picnics, leisurely walks, or enjoying the tranquillity of the river’s gentle flow. Platte River State Park exemplifies Nebraska’s commitment to creating spaces where humans and wildlife coexist harmoniously.

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Scotts Bluff National Monument is a perfect destination for nature lovers.

Scotts Bluff National Monument

Scotts Bluff National Monument, a historic landmark, encapsulates the convergence of history and natural beauty. Found in the western part of the state, it witnessed the thousands of pioneers who embarked on the gruelling journey along the Oregon Trail.

Tracing the path of these pioneers is not only a lesson in history but also an opportunity to understand the challenges they faced and the resilience they displayed. The monument’s geological formations, with their towering bluffs and unique rock structures, provide an excellent backdrop for hiking and exploration.

These formations hold the secrets of millennia, inviting visitors to ponder the forces that shaped them and the stories they hold. Scotts Bluff National Monument is a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the forces of nature that have shaped this remarkable region.

Cultural and Historical Attractions

Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum

Beyond its natural beauty, Nebraska boasts a rich tapestry of cultural and historical attractions that invite visitors to delve into the state’s past and heritage. Among these treasures is the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, a captivating destination that showcases the realms of aviation and military history.

The Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum highlights Nebraska’s contribution to aviation and its role in shaping global military strategies. This museum is a playground for aviation enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

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The Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum showcases Nebraska’s impacts on aviation.

Its halls are adorned with a stunning collection of historic aircraft, each representing a chapter in the annals of flight. From iconic World War II bombers to sleek Cold War jets, these aircraft evoke the spirit of innovation and courage that define aviation history.

The museum’s offerings extend far beyond its impressive aircraft displays. It is an educational hub, providing visitors with a comprehensive exploration of aviation technology. The exhibits delve into the intricacies of aeronautics, offering insight into the mechanics that allow these machines to conquer the skies.

The Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum does more than showcase machines; it tells the stories of the brave men and women who have piloted these aircraft and contributed to the advancement of military technology.

It’s a tribute to the dedication and sacrifice of those who have safeguarded the skies, ensuring the security of nations and shaping the course of history. This museum bridges the gap between the past and the present, fostering a sense of appreciation for the progress made in aviation and honouring the legacies of those who have served.

Chimney Rock National Historic Site

Chimney Rock, a natural geological formation in Nebraska, holds a place of profound significance in the narrative of westward migration during the 19th century. This towering spire of rock was a guiding beacon for pioneers as they embarked on their dangerous journey along the Oregon Trail.

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Chimney Rock is a symbol of the American frontier.

Its prominence on the horizon symbolised hope and progress, inspiring those who gazed upon it to persevere through the challenges of the unknown frontier. Chimney Rock’s silhouette became a tangible representation of the American spirit of exploration and the pursuit of new horizons.

Visitor Centre

At the heart of Chimney Rock National Historic Site lies an interpretive centre that allows visitors to better understand the historical context surrounding this iconic formation. The centre features informative exhibits and provides immersive experiences that transport visitors back in time.

Through captivating displays, artefacts, and multimedia presentations, visitors gain insight into the lives of pioneers who traversed the rugged terrain of the Oregon Trail. They walk in the footsteps of those who sought a better life, navigating the challenges of the vast and untamed wilderness.

Guided Tours

Guided tours at Chimney Rock National Historic Site offer a dynamic and enriching experience at this historic landmark. Led by knowledgeable interpreters, these tours provide a deeper understanding of the stories embedded within the rocks and the landscapes that surround them.

Visitors embark on a journey that goes beyond sightseeing. Tours go into the intricate details of westward expansion, the challenges faced by pioneers, and the significance of Chimney Rock as a guiding star on their path to a new life.

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Guided tours of Chimney Rock explore the monumet’s history.

Through these guided experiences, visitors not only absorb historical facts but also gain a profound appreciation for the emotional and human aspects of this chapter in America’s past and identity.

Joslyn Art Museum

The Joslyn Art Museum, often referred to as Omaha’s cultural gem, is a haven where the past and the present converge through the beauty of artistic creations. The museum’s collections encompass everything from ancient civilisations to contemporary masterpieces.

This diversity serves as a testament to the universality of artistic expression across time and space. Visitors are treated to a visual symphony of paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and artefacts, each a testament to human creativity’s boundless potential.

Art appreciation is elevated at the Joslyn Art Museum through its meticulously curated exhibitions and thought-provoking installations. The museum’s commitment to fostering a holistic understanding of art is evident in its educational programs and initiatives.

From guided tours that unravel the stories behind the art to workshops that allow participants to experience the creative process firsthand, the museum offers many ways for individuals to connect with art. By encouraging active participation and reflection, the museum empowers visitors to explore how art shapes and reflects societal narratives.

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The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is fascinating to explore.

Urban Exploration and Modern Entertainment

Omaha, Nebraska

While Nebraska is often celebrated for its natural wonders and historical landmarks, its urban landscape also flourishes with modern entertainment options that cater to diverse interests. Omaha, the state’s bustling urban hub, has endless attractions for tourists to enjoy.

Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

At the heart of Omaha’s appeal is the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, a world-renowned destination showcasing realms of wildlife. This zoo is an educational sanctuary that celebrates biodiversity and fosters a deep appreciation for the natural world.

Home to a plethora of species from various continents, the zoo offers immersive environments that mimic the animals’ native habitats. From the lush rainforests of Asia to the expansive African savannas, visitors can go on a global journey within the zoo’s enclosures.

The zoo’s commitment to conservation and animal welfare is evident in its state-of-the-art facilities, providing both entertainment and a platform for raising awareness about endangered species and their ecosystems.

Old Market District

Venturing beyond the zoo, Omaha’s Old Market District is a testament to the city’s rich history and vibrant present. This historic neighbourhood, characterised by its cobblestone streets and charming architecture, is a haven for those seeking a blend of culture, dining, shopping, and entertainment.

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Omaha is one of the most popular cities in Nebraska.

The district’s storied past is evident as visitors explore, passing by preserved 19th-century buildings that now house an eclectic mix of boutiques, galleries, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a place where the past is preserved and celebrated, and at the same time, the present thrives with creative energy.

Lincoln, Nebraska

The Nebraska State Capitol

Lincoln, the state capital, is a prime example of Nebraska’s modern charm. The city offers a blend of historical significance and contemporary delights that appeal to a wide spectrum of interests.

The Nebraska State Capitol, a towering architectural masterpiece, is the crown jewel of Lincoln’s attractions. This monumental structure houses the state’s legislative chambers and is a testament to the historical importance of Nebraska.

The capitol’s towering spire, adorned with a gleaming statue of “The Sower,” symbolises the state’s agrarian roots and reflects its commitment to progress. The capitol’s interior is adorned with ornate mosaics, intricate murals, and sculptures that pay homage to Nebraska’s diverse heritage.

Sunken Gardens

Located within Lincoln’s urban expanse, the Sunken Gardens offer a serene retreat from the busy city. The meticulously manicured gardens offer visitors a delightful experience as they wander through themed flowerbeds, cascading water features, and winding pathways.

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Gardens offer a break from busy city life.

The Sunken Gardens provide a tranquil space for contemplation and relaxation, inviting locals and visitors alike to escape the bustle of urban life and immerse themselves in nature’s embrace.

This urban oasis showcases the city of Lincoln’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life for residents and tourists, ensuring that natural beauty and tranquillity remain accessible to all.

The Role of College Sports in Nebraska

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The state of Nebraska pulsates with the exhilarating heartbeat of college sports culture. The state’s fervour for sports, especially in the context of college athletics, showcases a unique blend of unity, competition, and community engagement.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln serves as the epicentre of this culture, offering a captivating insight into the passionate world of collegiate sports. The school’s sporting events are more than just games; they are electric gatherings that unite fans from all walks of life under a common banner of school pride.

From the roar of the crowd at Memorial Stadium during Husker football games to the cheers echoing through the Devaney Sports Center during volleyball matches, these events offer a dynamic fusion of athletic prowess and unwavering support from the local community.

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The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is known for its sports culture

Fan Engagement and Tailgating Culture

Central to Nebraska’s college sports culture is the vibrant tradition of tailgating. Before the start of the match, fans converge outside the stadium to show off their camaraderie, team spirit, and culinary delights.

Tailgating is a celebration of community, where fans connect with one another and the identity of their team. Tailgating lots become bustling hubs of energy, where fans clad in team colours share stories, engage in friendly banter, and foster a sense of belonging that extends beyond the confines of the sports arena.

Culinary Delights and Agritourism

Nebraska’s Local Cuisine

Nebraska’s culinary landscape is a testament to its rich agricultural heritage, with its beef culture taking centre stage as a source of local pride and flavour. Embracing the state’s legacy as a major beef-producing region, Nebraskans have mastered the art of celebrating and savouring their local cuisine, making it a great destination for food tourists.


Steakhouses in Nebraska are emblems of the state’s deep-rooted connection to beef. These establishments provide an authentic experience that encapsulates the heart and soul of Nebraska’s culinary heritage.

Visitors are treated to expertly prepared cuts of meat, often sourced from local ranches and cooked to perfection. The aroma of sizzling steaks, the cosy ambience, and the warmth of Midwestern hospitality converge to create an experience that is both indulgent and nostalgic.

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Nebraska is a major beef-producer in the USA.

These steakhouses serve as gathering places where families, friends, and visitors come together to celebrate not only the local flavours but also the traditions that have shaped the state’s identity.

Farm-to-Table Experiences

Beyond the confines of restaurants, Nebraska offers farm-to-table experiences that take culinary exploration to a whole new level. Agritourism experiences grant visitors the opportunity to trace their meals back to their origins, fostering a deeper appreciation for the journey from farm to plate.

These experiences include guided tours of ranches, where guests can witness firsthand the care and dedication that goes into raising cattle in a sustainable and ethical manner. The tours offer a glimpse into the daily life of ranchers and farmers, as well as an understanding of the importance of responsible agricultural practices and local sourcing.

Wineries and Craft Breweries

Nebraska’s culinary scene isn’t confined to hearty steaks and traditional fare; it also boasts a vibrant beverage culture that’s gaining recognition for its wineries and craft breweries. This emerging scene offers visitors a taste of locally produced wines and craft beers.

Wine Tours and Tastings

Nebraska’s wineries have carved a niche for themselves within the state’s agricultural landscape, producing wines that reflect the unique culture and climate.

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Wineries are becoming more popular across Nebraska.

Wine tours and tastings have become an essential part of Nebraska’s tourism, allowing guests to journey through picturesque vineyards, witness the winemaking process, and sample a diverse range of wines.

These winery experiences provide insights into the art and science of winemaking, highlighting the dedication of local vintners and their commitment to creating distinctive wines that embody Nebraska’s essence.

Craft Beer Culture and Breweries

Craft beer culture is also on the rise in Nebraska, with a burgeoning number of breweries scattered across the state. These establishments have become hubs of creativity and innovation, offering an array of brews that cater to various tastes and preferences and lagers that fill up the shelves in local bars.

Brewery visits have evolved into immersive experiences that allow visitors to delve into the world of craft brewing. Guided tours provide a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process, from selecting ingredients to crafting the perfect brew.

Farmers’ Markets and Agri-tours

Nebraska’s culinary landscape celebrates the fertile ground that has sustained generations of farmers and producers. Farmers’ markets and agri-tours offer visitors the opportunity to connect with the state’s agricultural roots, savour locally grown produce, and gain insights into sustainable farming practices that shape Nebraska’s food culture.

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Farmer’s markets offer locally grown produce.

Fresh Produce and Artisanal Products

Farmers’ markets are vibrant places where community and agriculture meet. These markets are brimming with fresh produce, artisanal products, and the cheerful hum of vendors and patrons.

Visitors can browse stalls with colourful fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, highlighting the region’s fertile land and dedication to sustainable farming. Additionally, farmers’ markets allow visitors to engage with farmers, producers, and artisans, fostering a deeper appreciation for their hard work, dedication, and passion.

Exploring Sustainable Farming Practices

Agri-tours take the connection with Nebraska’s agricultural roots a step further, offering an immersive experience that allows tourists to delve into the world of farming and sustainable practices. These tours take visitors behind the scenes of working farms, giving them a firsthand look at the process of planting, tending, and harvesting crops.

Learning from knowledgeable farmers, visitors gain insights into the intricacies of sustainable farming practices that prioritise environmental conservation and ethical treatment of animals. Agri-tours offer a holistic understanding of the complexities of modern farming.

By supporting local producers and learning about the journey from soil to table, visitors contribute to the preservation of traditional practices while embracing the principles of sustainability. These experiences tap into the essence of Nebraska’s agricultural heritage, fostering a sense of appreciation for the land and all it produces.

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Much of Nebraska is farmland.

Nebraska is a Great Destination in the Midwest United States

In the heart of the United States lies a state that defies expectations and captivates with its diverse offerings – Nebraska. The tourist attractions that this enchanting state has to offer showcase a variety of natural wonders, historical landmarks, cultural treasures, and hidden gems that impact everyone who visits.

Nebraska is not just a destination; it’s an invitation to embrace the unknown, seek beauty in unexpected places, and connect with the people, land, and legacies that make visiting the state a truly unforgettable experience.

In a world marked by its fast pace and constant change, Nebraska’s attractions are a sanctuary where time slows down. From the plains to the cities and hidden retreats, Nebraska’s attractions offer a journey of discovery that reshapes perspectives and fosters a deeper appreciation for the stories, experiences, and traditions of this remarkable state.

If you’re planning to visit the Midwest USA, check out The 10 Best Things to Do in Illinois: A Tourist Guide.

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