Nebraska December 06, 2016
11 Small Towns In Nebraska That Offer Nothing But Peace And Quiet
If your goal is to stay as far away from noisy city life as possible, Nebraska is definitely your place. We’ve got some truly great cities, but there are endless small towns where you can just kick back, relax, and forget that you’ve ever even heard the word “traffic.” Just to be clear, we aren’t saying that these towns have nothing to offer – just that you definitely won’t find any of that big-city nonsense in these sweet little places.
These towns are listed in no particular order.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Bertrand, Phelps County
Boasting 750 residents, Bertrand is a south-central Nebraska treasure. Johnson Lake and Elwood Reservoir are nearby, and the annual festivals here are enough to make anyone want to stop and stay a while. This sweet little village is in prime sandhill crane territory, and every spring you can see thousands of the beautiful birds in the fields near the town, picking the ground clean of leftover corn.
2. Gordon, Sheridan County
Although Gordon is technically a city, you'd never know it from the small-town vibe felt throughout the community. In 2010 its population was clocked at a bit over 1,600, and it seems that just about all of them are totally in love with their unique little community. Local businesses and agriculture carry the economy, while plentiful local recreation keeps everyone happy and relaxed. Don't miss the Willow Tree Festival every summer - it's truly a Nebraska hidden gem.
3. Cody, Cherry County
I love everything about Cody. From its town motto - "A Town Too Tough To Die" - to its quaint and well-kept buildings, this little village of just 154 has a big personality. In 2008, the town, like so many other rural Nebraska towns, was lacking a grocery store. The community came up with the idea to create a student-run store, which both provides a much-needed service to the residents and teaches students all about the ins and outs of commerce. Genius!
4. Elyria, Valley County
This village of just 51 residents has "Nebraska" written all over it. Not literally, of course - the spirit of small-town Nebraska is just so evident everywhere you look. The fun little Elyria Bar serves some of the best burgers you're likely to find in these parts, so stop in, fuel up, and revel in the local culture for a little while.
5. Oxford, Furnas and Harlan Counties
Oxford is one of those funny towns that's divided by county lines - but the residents don't let that push them apart. The 779 people who call Oxford home have strong ties to their collective history, and the new Oxford Museum is proof of that. The community-run museum keeps the truly fascinating history of this town (seriously, it used to be a
) alive and preserved for future generations.
6. Hamlet, Hayes County
This itty-bitty village has just 57 residents, and it's blink-and-you'll-miss-it small. But its tiny size just means that its residents know and count on each other, and that's a beautiful thing.
7. Verdigre, Knox County
Known as the "Kolach Capital Of The World," this village of 575 residents has a lot of pride in their shared Czech heritage. Nestled in the northeast portion of the state close to the South Dakota border, Verdigre is located in an absolutely beautiful setting. The hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities are abundant, and they're only minutes away from Ashfall, Niobrara State Park, and the adorable Winnetoon.
8. Craig, Burt County
With just a smidge under 200 people, Craig is a lovely small town that prides itself on its slow pace of life. It began life as a water station on the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway, but has since blossomed into a sweet community of caring neighbors.
9. Battle Creek, Madison County
With a name like Battle Creek, you might expect this city of 1200 people to have a violent past. Just the opposite is true. Military forces did approach the Pawnee living in the area in 1859 in response to settlers' complaints that the Pawnee were plundering their supplies. But before a fight could break out, Chief Petalesharu offered a surrender. Today, residents enjoy a terrific public school system, a strong sense of community, a relaxed pace of life and, if venturing into the city is a necessity, a short 10-mile commute to Norfolk.
10. Haigler, Dundy County
Way down in the southwestern corner of the state, so close to Kansas that you could take a leisurely stroll over the state line, is this little village of 158 residents. On any given day you'll probably find the locals hanging out at the Haigler Country Cafe, visiting over coffee and the tastiest freshly-made cinnamon rolls you could ever hope to find.
11. Ericson, Wheeler County
Just 92 souls call Ericson home, and at .38 square miles, you could easily walk the entire town a few times before getting tired. But you'd probably rather save your energy to visit Lake Ericson, an absolutely gorgeous lake on the edge of the Sandhills offering swimming, no-wake boating, and some very fruitful fishing holes. This is the perfect place for wildlife spotters, as you can sometimes catch a glimpse of the elusive whooping crane here.
What a bunch of gorgeous places to get away from the stress of city living. Have you called any of these towns home?
If you don’t see your favorite town here, you may just find it in one of our previous lists:
10 Delightful Small Towns You May Not Have Heard Of, 10 Slow Paced Small Towns In Nebraska, 10 Of The Coolest Small Towns In Nebraska You’ve Probably Never Heard Of, and 10 Of The Most Charming Small Towns In Nebraska.