We can probably all agree that Nebraska is the best state, right? But sometimes we have to let other people know why that is. Next time someone asks you what’s so great about Nebraska, try throwing a few of these things their way.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
We've Been Awesome Since Pre-History
Did you realize how many ancient fossils are hanging out in Nebraska? Agate Fossil Beds, Ashfall Fossil Beds, and a ton of smaller sites have given up some spectacular specimens, including the world's largest woolly mammoth fossil. Did you know that camels and rhinos once lived here?
Our Slightly More Recent Human History
Being right in the middle of the country and relatively flat, Nebraska has seen more than its share of travelers. The Oregon Trail, Mormon Trail, and California Trail all passed through here. Many of the travelers continued on to seek their futures elsewhere; some died along the way; and a portion of them put down roots in Nebraska and made a home right here on the plains.
Nebraska's Natural Beauty is Legendary
Some Nebraskans consider this a well-kept secret since fewer tourists mean less crowding at our amazing state parks, breathtaking natural monuments, and unspoiled expanses of bountiful nature. But it's okay to brag about it - Nebraska's big enough for us all.
We Have the Best Zoo on the Planet
Tripadvisor named Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo the best zoo in the world. And there are plenty of reasons for that: the world's largest indoor desert, one of the world's largest indoor jungles, a killer aquarium where you can walk beneath swimming sharks, and more fun stuff than most people can get to in just one day.
The Huskers and Memorial Stadium Sort of Define Nebraska
Mention "Nebraska" to an out-of-stater and football will likely be the first thing to pop into their mind (...after corn. Always with the corn!). Memorial Stadium famously becomes the third largest "city" in Nebraska on game days, and those fans mean business. No, seriously - they bring a lot of money to Lincoln businesses, and that's a great thing even if you don't care for football.
The College World Series is Insane - In a Good Way
Omaha has been the site of the CWS since 1950, and the event draws people from all over the state as well as all over the country. In fact, nearly half of the fans at the College World Series travel from out of state to watch the games.
Our Hospitality Probably Helped Win WWII
In 1941, just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a train full of soldiers from the Nebraska Army National Guard was expected to make a stop in North Platte. A train eventually came through, but it wasn't full of Nebraska soldiers. Those waiting on the platform to see their friends and relatives happily gave the soldiers the gifts they'd brought for their own people before the train took off. The soldiers were touched by this act of kindness, and so were the people of North Platte. For the next five years, 125 communities and thousands of people donated their time, food, and money to ensure that soldiers traveling through North Platte on their way to war would leave with smiles on their faces.
We've Given the World a Whole Lot of Famous People
Johnny Carson, Malcolm X, Warren Buffett, and Fred Astaire are just a few of Nebraska's golden children who went on to make huge names for themselves in the world.
We've Also Given the World a Lot of Great Inventions
Kool-Aid, strobe lights, the McRib, TV dinners, and folding election booths are among the many great contributions Nebraskan inventors have made to humanity. You're welcome, world.
We're Genuinely Friendly Folks
It's kind of impossible to NOT have conversations with strangers here. People will talk to you, and you'll find yourself starting up conversations with people you don't know as well. Just go with it - you'll walk away with a smile afterward.
We've Been Named the 7th Happiest State in the Country
Gallup surveys people from every state to find out who's happiest - and Nebraska snagged the #7 spot. That means that most of us feel a sense of purpose, we like our communities, we have satisfying social lives and we feel financially secure.
We've Always Got Something Big Going On
Maybe part of the reasons Nebraskans are so happy is that there's always something fun to do. Nebraskaland Days, the State Fair, Nebraska's Big Rodeo, Septemberfest, Crane Watch Days, Junk Jaunt...the list could go on for miles. No matter what you're interested in, Nebraska's got some big fun in store for you.
Our Industries Feed the Nation
As one of the country's top food producers and processors, Nebraska helps keep the nation running. We're the second biggest beef producer in the U.S. and we're also big on the corn, soybean, and wheat scenes.
I don't really need to explain this, right? If you've ever tasted a high-quality grass-fed Nebraskan steak, you'll know why our beef is a point of well deserved pride.
We all have different opinions about Nebraska’s best attributes, so please share in the comments: what are some of your favorite things about Nebraska?