Best Free Midwest Attractions: 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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!