Nebraska is a one-of-a-kind place, and it’s full of one-of-a-kind sights and experiences. Barring our plentiful and spectacular natural features (which deserve an entire list of their own), here are 22 wonderfully unique things that you’ll only be able to find in the Cornhusker State.
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:
Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, Omaha
The Omaha bridge is the longest in the country connecting two states.
This replica of England's Stonehenge is made entirely of cars.
Chevyland U.S.A. Auto Museum, Elm Creek
Chevy lovers, start your engines! This museum is the only one dedicated to a single line of vehicles.
Colby Ridge Popcorn
This delicious stuff was a staple at Fourth of July celebrations when my kids were little. Now we pick up a bag once in a while just because it's really, really good.
Dobby's Frontier Town, Alliance
This is far from the only restored frontier town in Nebraska, but this FREE attraction is a family-run project that shows what early pioneer life was like in the Sandhills.
Great Platte River Road Archway Museum, Kearney
This impressive museum spans I80 and commemorates the 19th-century migrations through Nebraska as well as the area's early settlers.
Historic Pony Express Stations, Gothenburg
Gothenburg is home to two historic Pony Express stations. The one located in Ehman Park has operated as a museum since the 1950s and offers free admission.
International Quilt Study Center & Museum, Lincoln
This enormous facility houses the largest privately-held collection of quilts and is dedicated to the study and preservation of the quiltmaking craft.
Kool-Aid Museum, Hastings
The lower level of the Hastings Museum houses a huge exhibit on the history of Kool-Aid, which was invented right here in Hastings.
Lee's Legendary Marbles & Collectibles (Marble Museum), York
Lee's is the only museum in the area focused on the collection and celebration of everyone's favorite colorful vintage toys: marbles.
The entire town of Monowi is a treasure. With a population of just one, Monowi is the smallest incorporated town in the country. The town's highlight (besides its delightful sole resident) is Rudy's Library, a little warehouse filled to the brim with books. You just have to find Elsie to give you the key in order to visit it.
Museum of the Fur Trade, Chadron
This fascinating museum is the only one in the entire world dedicated to the history of the fur trade.
National Museum of Roller Skating, Lincoln
Rabid about roller skating? This museum will fill you in on the long and interesting history of your favorite hobby.
Nebraska Shaped Swimming Pool, North Platte
If you're looking for somewhere to stay in North Platte, the Holiday RV Park and Campground has been praised as clean, safe, and friendly. And where else will you find an outdoor swimming pool shaped like Nebraska?
Oldest Known Straw Bale Church in the Country, Arthur
The Pilgrim Holiness Church in Arthur was built in 1928 when building materials were scarce. Baled rye straw was the only suitable material, so townspeople constructed the church and then sealed it with sticky mud. When it was renovated in the 1970s, the building was stuccoed on the outside and plastered on the inside to preserve it.
"The Villagers," Taylor
All around Taylor, black-and-white painted plywood people can be found marking places of interest. More than 80 Villagers dot the town, making for a kind of scavenger hunt for visitors.
World's Largest Ball of Stamps, Boys Town
It might be hard to remember, but there was once a time when people sent things to one another in paper envelopes with stamps affixed. The ball was started in 1953 by the Boys Town Stamp Collecting Club and today contains more than 4,655,000 stamps. The ball weighs 600 pounds and is 32 inches in diameter.
World's Largest Covered Wagon, Milford
Milford's giant covered wagon has definitely seen better days. The former gas station used to include wheels and a giant cowboy, but today is missing those finishing touches.
World's Largest Porch Swing, Hebron
There are a couple of other porch swings that want to claim this title, but Hebron holds strong that its big swing is the longest. It's said to be able to seat 16 adults or 24 children.
World's Largest Time Capsule, Seward
This big, big project was the dream of Seward resident Harold Keith Davisson. Included in the time capsule (which actually includes two different chambers) are two full-size cars.
World's Largest Rail Yard, North Platte
Bailey Yard in North Platte features 315 miles of track and sees more than 14,000 railroad cars pass through in a typical day.
World's Smallest Courthouse, Arthur
The tiny 26-foot by 28-foot building was built in 1914. It lacked (and still lacks) any indoor plumbing and functioned as a courthouse until 1961, when it was turned into the Arthur County Museum.
As always, it’s impossible to fit EVERY great thing in Nebraska onto just one list. So what are your opinions on the very best things can you find only in Nebraska?