Established in 1874, this one-time cavalry post witnessed the last tragic days of the Plains Indian wars, including the death of Crazy Horse.
But you won't stumble across Fort Robinson by accident. It's in northwestern Nebraska's rugged, remote Pine Ridge country (75 miles north of Scottsbluff).
Today, Old West images still abound among the park's 22,000 acres, where scenery includes craggy buttes and canyons. Visitors can stay in the converted officers' quarters, lodge, cabins or at the campgrounds. The park restaurant serves three meals daily in summer, and sandwiches and snacks are available in the activities center at other times.
A network of hiking and biking trails crisscrosses the pine-scented bluffs. You'll want to take an off-road vehicle to Cheyenne Butte, a former Native American lookout. Visitors swim in the indoor pool, fish for trout in spring-fed Soldier Creek, saddle up for trail rides (a trail-ride breakfast is a must) and go on narrated Jeep tours and stagecoach outings. If golf makes your vacation complete, try the Legends Butte course in nearby Crawford.
Almost everyone gathers around the fire for a buffalo stew cookout and sing-along. You can don your cowboy hat to watch a rodeo, too, or applaud a melodrama at the Post Playhouse. History bluffs like to explore the Fort Robinson Museum. The Trailside Museum displays fossils that date back 200 million years.
The park stays open year-round, with scheduled activities Memorial Day to Labor Day, overnight lodgings mid-April through late November.