Take It Easy, Nebraska-Style

This sample itinerary can be customized for any time of year.

Located in the heart of the Great Plains region, Nebraska was a pivotal stop for pioneers journeying to the West. It was a place for hardships, but also renewal. This feature itinerary offers a sampling of what those early pioneers experienced, while also introducing you to some one-of-a-kind Nebraska hospitality.

 

DAY ONE
9:30am – 1:30pm
Grand Island – Raising Nebraska
This eye-opening attraction is located at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds. Raising Nebraska brings agriculture to life through interactive exhibits, both indoors and out. Nebraska is not as flat as you may think. On the Walkable Map of Nebraska, Wall Mural, and Reading Rail, you’ll see first-hand that Nebraska’s topography is as varied and diverse as the food products that are produced here. The Grain Bin Theater features a six-minute video that highlights Nebraska farmers and ranchers and how they’re using technology to grow more with less. Be sure to take advantage of a commercial kitchen for your group to enjoy lunch.

1:30 – 3:30pm
Take a short drive to the Stuhr Museum, open year round. Good Housekeeping says this is one of the top attractions in America devoted to pioneer life. The Stuhr buildings have many indoor exhibits of period rooms, tools, household artifacts and furnishings, allowing visitors to trace Nebraska’s pioneer history back to the late 1800s. The museum’s attractive main building also houses the Prairie Treasures Gift Shop and ever-changing exhibits on a year-round basis.

3:30 – 5:30pm
Head downtown to enjoy some of what the locals do! Visit the Studio K Art Gallery where award-winning artists from across Nebraska are featured. Prairie Pride Brewing Co. has a nice selection of local beer—the perfect stop after shopping at Railroad Towns Antique Mall. Spend the night in Grand Island, offering a variety of group-friendly accommodations.

 

DAY TWO
9:00am – 12:30pm
The Crane Trust Visitor Center is a beautiful facility in Wood River, welcoming guests year round. The great sandhill crane migration in the spring is very popular, drawing thousands of visitors each year. In addition to sandhill cranes, you may also enjoy the sights and sounds of the whooping crane. Flowering plants and wildlife abound across the native prairie lands each summer, while the butterfly garden is the perfect place to relax. Take a short walk down the trail to the bison exhibition herd and enjoy a picnic lunch.

12:30 – 2:30pm
Remember Kool-Aid as a kid? Hastings, Nebraska is the birthplace of this nostalgic beverage. Located in the lower level of the Hastings Museum is the “Dream Exhibit.” Edwin Perkins had a dream to become self-employed and he discovered his dream through hard work and marketing. Perkins created and sold many products, but in 1927, while in Hastings, he developed Kool-Aid. And the rest is history! The Hastings Museum features a theater with a 70-foot-wide screen, large planetarium, and dozens of animal species set in their natural habitats.

2:30 – 5:30pm
The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument in Kearney, Nebraska is the only tourist attraction in the nation located over a federal interstate highway. The new Exit 275 provides easy access to The Archway, so your group stays on schedule. 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. Be sure to check out the gift shop! Catering is available for groups.

5:30 – 8:00pm
Kearney is home to several hotel options that are perfect for your group. Take the evening to enjoy fine dining and other entertainment.

 

DAY THREE
9:30 – 11:00am
Discover the stories behind Nebraska art at the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA). MONA has been home to the state’s official art collection since 1979. You’ll see Nebraska in a whole new way through eleven galleries. Visitors may also relax and stroll outside through the Cliff Hillegass Sculpture Garden and visit the Hitchcock Education Gallery.

11:00am – 12:00pm
Take a walk down memory lane at the Classic Car Museum, located on the east side of Cabela’s. Its vast collection of more than 200 cars and ’50s gas station and other memorabilia will keep your group smiling. The collection includes several very rare and historic vehicles, including a one-of-a-kind 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith Limo, two Locomobiles, and three Pierce Arrows.

12 – 2:30pm
Enjoy a group lunch and head west on Highway 80 to the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles.

2:30 – 3:30pm
The Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles houses about 100 vehicles, including helicopters, tanks, halftracks, ambulances, and a jeep from every branch of the service, plus displays of weapons, uniforms, engines, equipment, and more. The everyday necessities of a soldier’s life, such as MREs, blend with unique vehicles like those used by the German army in World War II.

This hands-on museum invites you to see, touch, and even sit in vehicles that have been restored and, for the most part, are operational. Vehicles date from World War II, but displays include items from World War I as well.

3:30 – 4:30pm
Continue your journey to Gothenburg, the Pony Express Capital of Nebraska. The Pony Express Station & Museum is located in a beautiful city park. Your guide will give you a fun account of the history of the Pony Express. Open April through October or by appointment.

4:30 – 7:00pm
North Platte is your next stop and what better way to end your day than at a winery? Feather River Vineyard is one of Nebraska’s largest vineyards, first planted in 2001. You will take a short tour and learn some of the challenges of growing grapes in Nebraska. Enjoy dinner at the winery while your chef discusses wine pairings.

 

DAY FOUR
9:00am – 12:00pm
It’s “Miller Time” at the Miller Farm! This family farm is committed to teaching visitors about the food we eat and how it is harvested. Discover farm life first hand, as you explore the grounds on this interactive experience.

For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator.

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