The Lincoln Highway Scenic & Historic Byway
(From the Itineraries Midwest Summer 2010 Issue)
Experience the Lincoln Highway Scenic & Historic Byway, one of Nebraska’s most nostalgic and fascinating routes! It’s also the only byway that spans the state from its eastern to western borders on US Highway 30. Plus, this 400-mile byway is part of the original Lincoln Highway, America’s first transcontinental artery between San Francisco & New York. Now known as US Highway 30, this historic route lets you enjoy a leisurely tour.
11:30am – 1:30pm
Start your travels just north of the Lincoln Highway Scenic & Historic Byway in Minden, home of the world-famous Harold Warp Pioneer Village. Twenty-six buildings—including a sod house, one room school, Pony Express station, and an 1884 church—make up the village. It houses the oldest existing Buick, plus 350 other antique cars, 20 historic aircraft, 100 vintage tractors, guns, motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats, buggies, trains, and trolleys. The historic crafts of spinning, weaving and broom-making are demonstrated year-round.
1:30 – 2:30pm
Travel north to Shelton, located on US Hwy 30 (the byway). Stop at the Shelton Historical Interpretive Center & Lincoln Highway Visitor Center. It is located in an historic 1909 Meisner Building along 1 block of the original Lincoln Highway bricks. View history of the Lincoln Highway, including original highway markers, postcards and vintage memorabilia.
2:30 – 4:00pm
Continue your travels west along the byway to Kearney. View The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument, the only tourist attraction in the nation located over a federal interstate highway. The “Arch” commemorates westward expansion of America, including the West’s original American Indian inhabitants, the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails, the early pioneers, the modern railroad and more! Explore the history of transportation and communication along the famous Platte River Road through great interactive exhibits.
4 – 5:00pm
Also in Kearney is The Nebraska Firefighters Museum & Education Center. It recognizes the history and dedication of Nebraska’s many brave firefighters and EMTs. The museum features the history of Nebraska firefighting through images, artifacts and state-of-the heart exhibits.
5 – 7:00pm
Stroll outdoors through the Cliff Hillegass Sculpture Garden. Then off to the Thunderhead Brewery for some award-winning beer and delicious pizza baked in a stone oven. Tours of the brewery can be arranged.
Check into your group-friendly hotel and spend the evening on your own. As you explore Kearney look for Cranes on Parade, a community-wide art project featuring six-foot fiberglass works of art.
9 – 10:00am
Wake up and smell the coffee! Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before you board your motorcoach and travel west along the byway to Lexington.
10 – 11:00am
Explore The Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles. The museum features an impressive collection of military equipment and machinery, such as jeeps, ambulances, helicopters, tanks and a rare snow tractor.
11:00am – 1:00pm
Lexington is also home to Mac’s Creek Winery & Vineyards. Sample excellent Nebraska produced wines and tour the vineyards and production facilities. The Prairie Bistro offers a light lunch menu of sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and gourmet picnic baskets. The staff will help you pair your meal with great Mac’s Creek wines. The Bistro is open from 12 – 3pm.
1 – 2:15pm
Load the motorcoach and travel west along the byway to Gothenburg to see one of the few Pony Express stations still intact in Nebraska, located in the city park. Original historic items are on display and you can send postcards to friends and family back home postmarked with the original Pony Express stamp!
2:15 – 4:00pm
Continue your travels on the byway to North Platte. Enjoy a spectacular view of Union Pacific Railroad’s Bailey Yard, the world’s largest railroad classification yard, from atop the 8-story Golden Spike Tower & Visitor Center. The 95-foot tall tower and visitor center features an enclosed 360-degree view of the action below, historical and regional railroad memorabilia, and a gift shop. You can choose to continue your travels west along the Lincoln Highway Scenic & Historic Byway all the way to Wyoming or end your travels and head for home!
For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator.