Although we like to highlight Nebraska’s ample natural beauty, the fact is that humans have created some pretty remarkable things in our state as well. These objects (listed here in no particular order) all highlight the ingenuity and creativity of humankind while adding to Nebraska’s overall charm.
1. Holy Family Shrine, Gretna
This peaceful place of contemplation is so visually striking that it's hard not to be drawn to it. It isn't a church or a chapel; rather, it's a space for quiet reflection.
2. Memorial Stadium, Lincoln
The stadium itself is pretty impressive, but the real man-made wonder here is on game days. When the stadium is filled to capacity, it becomes the third-largest "city" in the state. That's a LOT of football fans.
3. Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, Omaha
This is the longest pedestrian bridge connecting two states - it's a nice walk or bike ride, and it's a lovely piece of engineering.
4. Carhenge, Alliance
This work of art, created in 1987 by artist Jim Reinders, is one of western Nebraska's most recognizable man-made landmarks.
5. Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Omaha
This major tourist attraction is spectacular no matter how you look at it. The 130-acre zoo features an indoor rainforest, an artificial desert, a tunnel that lets you walk beneath sharks, and so many other things that it's impossible to see it all in one day.
6. Lake McConaughy, near Ogallala
That's right - Nebraska's largest (and possibly most beloved) lake is man-made. It's a reservoir formed by Kingsley Dam and fed by the North Platte River.
7. Nebraska National Forest, Western Nebraska
How can a forest be man-made? In the early 20th century, botanist Charles Bessey believed that Nebraska had once been the site of a massive natural forest and wanted to see if trees could be coaxed to grow here again. The result was the largest man-made forest in the world (at the time).
8. Capitol Building, Lincoln
The magnificent architecture of this building is matched by the incredible art on the inside. Adorning walls, ceiling, and floor, the various art pieces are like a love letter to Nebraska.
9. Great Platte River Road Archway Monument, Kearney
This monument to the pioneers of the Great Plains stretches out over Interstate 80 and contains a museum, a small theater, and a gift shop.
10. Happy Jack Chalk Mine, Scotia
Another melding of the natural and the man-made, this is the only mine you can tour in Nebraska. All sorts of natural treasures can be found inside in the form of ancient fossils...but we may never have found those treasures if not for humans digging into the ground.
11. Groundwater Colossus statue, Lincoln
This 15-foot-tall red clay statue sits in Lincoln's Union Plaza park. It is a personification of the Ogallala Aquifer which sits beneath Nebraska; if you listen, sometimes you can hear clanging metal sounds from the inside, representing man's influence on nature.
12. Sutton House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, McCook
The only house designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright in Nebraska, the Sutton House is a glowing example of the Prairie School style. (This is a private residence; if you want to see it, please stay on the sidewalk.)
This is not a complete list of all of the marvelous man-made wonders in our state, of course. What other human-created works in Nebraska do you consider wonderful?