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

  • Homestead National Monument

    Pioneers across the prairie

    Homestead National Monument of America, Beatrice Get an in-depth look at the  1862 Homestead Act that granted more than 270 million acres (about 10 percent of the United States) to pioneers. Check out interactive exhibits and videos at the heritage center, then see a homesteader’s cabin surrounded by restored prairie.

  • Valentine Wildlife Refuge

    Wildlife near Valentine

    Valentine National Wildlife Refuge (pictured) Grasslands surround sand-bottom lakes at this designated National Natural Landmark 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.

  • Nebraska State Capitol

    Free attractions in Lincoln

    Nebraska State Capitol (pictured) Completed in 1932, the ornately decorated Capitol in Lincoln was the first to depart from duplicating the U.S. Capitol. A 15-story office tower anchors the building.

    Sheldon Museum of Art Inspired by ancient Greek temples, this midcentury modern building designed by Philip Johnson holds 12,000 pieces spanning Mary Cassatt to Andy Warhol.

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

    More free attractions in Nebraska

    Carhenge, Alliance (pictured) A ghostly assemblage of gray metal— 39 automobiles mimicking the rocks of Stonehenge—rises in Alliance, 57 miles northeast of Scottsbluff.

    Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney Nearly 6,000 artworks in MONA’s collection in Kearney focus on the state’s heritage through paintings, photos, quilts and sculptures.

    Frank House, Kearney Volunteers lead tours of the 1889 mansion at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. A 10-foot-tall Tiffany window brightens the red sandstone building.

    Agate Fossil Beds National Monument Learn the history of the area’s Native Americans and about past and present wildlife (47 miles north of Scottsbluff).

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