Nebraska has picture perfect landscapes all over, but you can catch some of the most spectacular scenery in and around the smaller towns. “Small,” of course, is a relative term, but here we use it to mean towns with populations of less than 10,000 people. From charming little towns filled with character to bustling little cities with the most amazing views, here are 11 of the most picturesque small towns in Nebraska that you’ve got to visit.
This historic town in southeast Nebraska is known for its many charming old-time buildings, and quaint brick-paved downtown. If you travel just outside of town, you can see the Israel Beetison House, a beautiful mansion built in 1875 by an Englishman who settled in the area.
There's something truly special about Chadron and its unparalleled beautiful surroundings. With Chadron State Park, Nebraska National Forest, Oglala National Grasslands, and Toadstool Geologic Park all nearby, there's always something fun to do in Chadron.
Gering lies just east of Scotts Bluff National Monument, making for some truly remarkable views both from the city looking out, as well as looking down onto the city from the bluff. Gering itself is a charming town, and their Oregon Trail Days you must attend at least once.
Located in southwest Nebraska, McCook has the charm and friendliness of a small town, and plenty of cultural events keep residents and visitors busy year-round. McCook is also home to the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in the state, a truly beautiful home and a must-see on your next visit to the area.
Minden is known as "Nebraska's Christmas City" thanks to its dazzling display of more than 12,000 lights in the courtyard square during the holiday season. The town is also home to the delightful Harold Warp Pioneer Village, an attraction that draws visitors from all over the area.
6. Nebraska City
Nebraska City is full of natural beauty, but it's also full of fun activities and historic attractions. One of the highlights of the town is the annual AppleJack Festival which attracts from 60,000 to 80,000 visitors to the town every year and features all kinds of apple-related foods and fun.
This small town of less than 5,000 people has some big history, starting with the Pony Express and transcontinental railroad. The town's Old West heritage is preserved in the fantastic historic Front Street, and the town is conveniently close to Nebraska favorite Lake McConaughy.
8. Red Cloud
As the former home of American author Willa Cather, Red Cloud's natural beauty and pioneer history has been immortalized in novels like O! Pioneers and My Antonia. The town now contains a large Willa Cather memorial consisting of multiple sites connected with the author's life. The historic downtown area is a great place to take a leisurely stroll, and the town's nine-hole golf course is said to be the third best in the state.
On the banks of the Big Blue River, Seward has been ranked among the best places to live in America. Their annual Fourth of July fireworks display is known as one of the most impressive in the state.
There's so much natural beauty in Valentine it's almost unbelievable. Smith Falls State Park, home to the state's tallest waterfall, is nearby, as is the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge. The Cherry County Historical Society Museum is a fantastic attraction that memorializes the hardy pioneer history of Valentine and the surrounding area.
Wayne is a charming little town, home to many beautiful and unique attractions like Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park.
These towns are so beautiful, but they just scratch the surface. Know of any more picturesque small towns in Nebraska? Share them with us!