Best Free Midwest Attractions: Nebraska | Midwest Living

Best Free Midwest Attractions: Nebraska

Visit Boys Town, learn about pioneers and see the Midwest's version of Stonehenge. It's all free in Nebraska!
  • Visit for free in Omaha

    Boys Town, Omaha Immortalized in a classic 1938 film, Boys Town is still a refuge for troubled youth. Tour the garden, chapels, Hall of History and Father Flanagan House museum (left).

    Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha Artists in residence showcase work in a converted Old Market warehouse.

    Boys Town

    Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts


  • Photo: Courtesy of Omaha CVB

    An instant icon

    Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, Omaha A 3,000-foot-long lighted span (one of the world's longest for pedestrians) links Omaha and Council Bluffs, soaring 52 feet above the Missouri River. Twin towers and a cable design marked it as an instant icon when it opened in 2008.

    Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

  • Pioneers across the prairie

    Homestead National Monument of America, Beatrice. The monument commemorates the Homestead Act, which granted more than 270 million acres to pioneers. A heritage center, opened in 2007, has videos and interactive historical exhibits; you can also see a restored prairie area and an 1867 log cabin.

    Homestead National Monument of America

  • Wildlife near Valentine

    Valentine National Wildlife Refuge Grasslands surround sand-bottom lakes at this designated National Natural Landmark (left) 20 miles south of Valentine. Don't miss the prairie chickens' famed springtime mating dance.

    Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, Valentine Six major plant communities converge on 19,000 acres, perfect for hundreds of bird species, bison, elk and 48 other mammal species. Drive the 3 1/2-mile auto tour; maps available at the visitors center. The refuge is about 5 miles east of Valentine.

    Valentine National Wildlife Refuge

    Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge

  • Free attractions in Lincoln

    Nebraska State Capitol, Lincoln Hourly tours include a climb up this Art Deco marvel's 400-foot tower. This is one of the Midwest's best capitol buildings, with intricate mosaics and extensive statuary (left).

    Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln Modern American works, including art by Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Mary Cassatt and Georgia O'Keeffe, are featured at this museum on the campus of the University of Nebraska.

    Nebraska State Capitol

    Sheldon Museum of Art

  • Courtesy of D. Curran and Nebraska's Department of Development

    More free attractions in Nebraska

    Carhenge, Alliance A quintessentially 20th-century attraction in Alliance is made of junked cars arranged to look like Great Britain's Stonehenge (left).

    Cody Park, North Platte Two vintage locomotives contain Union Pacific memorabilia and educational displays, while a Wild West memorial has bronze statues of Buffalo Bill and other Wild West figures.

    Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney A 1911 Renaissance Revival building near the University of Nebraska-Kearney features Nebraska artists.

    Know of other free things to enjoy in Nebraska? Add them in the Comments section below!


    Cody Park

    Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney

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