Best Places To Visit In Cowboy Country: Nebraska

Sonya Bradley June 26, 2015
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Henry Doorly Zoo

Nebraska is situated within United States of America and came into existence as its 37th state. It is geographically located between the Great Plains and Midwest United States. The state has all the features of treeless prairie that is suitable for grazing cattle. Hence, it is also commonly known as “Cowboy Country”. Additionally, the state has many places of tourist interest worth visiting for both young as well as old.

1. Henry Doorly Zoo And Aquarium

Henry Doorly ZooPhoto by RLEVANS, CC BY-ND 2.0

Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium can rightly be called as one of the must-see attractions in Nebraska. According to a survey, it happens to be the best zoo and aquarium within United States. The zoo covers an area of 7 acres. It houses an array of animal exhibits like butterfly pavilion, gorilla valley, safari park, orangutan forest, Madagascar exhibit and much more. You can also catch a glimpse of the underwater habitat at Scott Aquarium. The greatest plus point is that all the exhibits are engrossing and interactive. For instance, you can ride a camel if you wish or touch a stingray as it swims across.

There is also a hi-tech IMAX theatre which has an updated list of movies in store for the audience. The zoo holds the world’s biggest indoor desert, biggest indoor jungle, as well as the biggest nocturnal exhibit within its fray. The best part of the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium are the tram and railroad rides. The “Skyfari” ( ) is another feature of the zoo that utilizes a cable car to give visitors an aerial view of the zoo inmates. All in all, the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium offers you a breathtaking experience that people across all age groups can enjoy.

2. Chimney Rock National Historic Site

Chimney Rock National Historic SitePhoto by Doug Kerr, CC BY-SA 2.0

The Chimney Rock date back 25 to 24 million years and was declared a National Historic location on 9th August, 1956. This rock spire stands 480 feet high from the surrounding area. A visitor area located on the premises offers details regarding geology of the rock formation. This rock spire acted as a famous landmark for people moving westward during the early 19th century. You can come across a digital display comprising of 187 photographs and wonderful exhibits which document all the artworks and artefacts of this Overland Trail journey. You can satiate your craving for history by visiting this historic site.

3. Lake McConaughy

 Lake McConaughyPhoto by Doc Searls, CC BY 2.0

Lake McConaughy happens to be the largest reservoir in Nebraska and is counted amongst the top tourist attractions within Nebraska. There is no dearth of quality outdoor activities while visiting this vacation destination. You can enjoy the awesome views of this wonderful lake or laze around in the white sandy beach or set up a fire camp by its shore, go fishing or engage in all varieties of outdoor activities such as diving, picnicking, swimming, water skiing, boating and fishing. In short, visiting Lake McConaughy ensures that you get to spend good quality time with your family and friends.

4. Strategic Air And Space Museum

Strategic Air And Space MuseumPhoto by Robert Nunnally, CC BY 2.0

The Strategic Air and Space Museum is spread more than 300,000 square feet and has huge collections of all kinds of spacecraft, airplanes as well as special exhibits which keep changing regularly. The museum offers educational, interactive and easy-to-understand displays in various disciplines of science such as chemistry, physics and biology that bring inquisitiveness in the minds of youth. The museum’s aircraft, motion and spacecraft rides simulate feelings of riding a helicopter, riding some roller coaster and exploring the outer space respectively. The Strategic Air and Space Museum also showcases a planetarium featuring seasonal astronomy show.

5. Nebraska State Capitol And Sandhill Cranes

State Capitol
State Capitol

Photo by Nicolas Henderson, CC BY 2.0

The Nebraska State Capitol situated in Lincoln is rated as one of the best places to visit in Nebraska and is amongst the most enchanting capitols within the United States. Moreover, you can explore this place all days of the week by taking a guided tour. You can visit the capitol chambers like memorial chamber, Supreme Court, governor’s suite, the stunning vestibule dome, etc with the wonderful marble mosaic flooring.

Sandhill Cranes happen to be the oldest bird species in the world. Hence, viewing the migration of these cranes and watching them at close quarters is a thrilling experience. Sandhill Cranes breed near the Platte River; especially during spring time during March month. Therefore, this happens to be the peak season to watch these birds. These tourist places are just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring Nebraska.

A trip to Nebraska can be a truly rewarding, enriching and memorable experience. You become so engrossed while vsisiting the many attractions in this place that before you realise, time just flies by. Such are the awesome destinations that can be explored in Cowboy Country – Nebraska!

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Sonya Bradley