14 Unusual Places To Visit in Nebraska

Our family transferred to Omaha, Nebraska nearly five years ago.

Since then, we’ve explored nearly all of the state, recently guided by the Nebraska Passport program www.nebraskapassport.com.

Here are the top 14 most unique or unusual places we’ve visited with photos I’ve taken.

The real test of an experience is asking oneself if you’d do it again.

In our group, the answer is a resounding, YES. We’d return to all of these spots.

See for yourself. Visit these communities/attractions/places.

PLEASE CONTACT PLACES BEFORE TRAVELING. HOURS MAY BE AFFECTED BY COVID PANDEMIC.

Southeast

Brownville, Nebraska

Check out the historic community of Brownville, founded in 1854.

We discovered a broom maker and a fabulous winery there.
http://www.brownville-ne.com/welcome-1.html

https://www.brownvillehistoricalsociety.org/attendees

Sweet Water Brooms & Engraving

Terry and Renee Vice, Owners

Contact Information: 402-825-3701 Call ahead for an appointment.

https://www.facebook.com/BrownvilleBroomShop/

Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard & Winery

702 Main Street Brownville, Nebraska 68321 Located in 100-year-old renovated barn.

https://whiskeyruncreek.com/ Visit for schedule of events, including wine tastings.

Contact Information: 402.825.4601 Closed Monday and Tuesday

Nebraska wines, samples and gifts available. Be sure to check out the all brick cave.

York, Nebraska

Marble Museum

3120 S Lincoln Avenue York, Nebraska 68467

http://www.leeslegendarymarbles.com/Home.php

Contact Information: 402.362.3320

World’s largest collection of marbles. Free admission. Take time to visit with the owner. Great for all generations/ages.

Columbus, Nebraska

Andrew Jackson Higgins National Memorial

2001 Higgins Drive West Pawnee Park Columbus, Nebraska 68601

Free Admission.

Learn about the contributions Mr. Higgins made to World War II. See the sculpture made from steel remnants of the World Trade Center.

Spectacular site. Great reverence to armed forces members.

Visit in walking shoes. There is a lot to see and do in Pawnee Park. http://columbusne.us/Facilities/Facility/Details/4

South Central

Red Cloud, Nebraska

Home to Willa Cather, Author

Especially fun to visit during a special program or event.  We visited when the Neil Diamond tribute was on stage. https://aneildiamondtribute.com/home/home/

Excellent auditorium. Outstanding performance.

Our group stayed in the Willa Cather second home guest house. Lovely!

Stay: https://www.willacather.org/visit/lodging-cather-second-home-guest-house

https://www.visitredcloud.com/visit/heritage-tourism

https://www.visitredcloud.com/

Contact Information: Contact Jarrod McCartney Director of the Red Cloud Heritage Tourism Development Office to personally plan a visit 402-746-4065 or at jmccartney@redcloudnebraska.com 

Kearney, Nebraska

Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA)

2401 Central Avenue Kearney, Nebraska

https://mona.unk.edu/mona/

Contact Information: 308.865.8441

Free Admission

Southwest

Ogallala, Nebraska

Petrified Wood Gallery

418 East 1st Street Ogallala, Nebraska 69153

http://petrifiedwoodgallery.com/

Hours: Monday-Saturday 8-4        Sunday Closed

Contact Information: 308.284.9996

Free Admission

A showcase of natural history specializing in ancient woods and fossils from around the world plus Native American arrowheads and artifacts — many from within 25 miles of Ogallala.

The collection is a result of the efforts of brothers Howard and Harvey Kenfield who began collecting in the 1950’s.

McCook, Nebraska

Fuller’s Family Restaurant’s Cookie Jar Collection

110 Norris Avenue McCook, Nebraska 69001

https://fullerfamilyrestaurant.com/ So fun to see all of the cookie jars in this family restaurant that’s been serving guests since 1946.

Contact Information: 308.345.7464 althayer@swnebr.net

Paxton, Nebraska

Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse & Lounge

123 N Oak Street Paxton, Nebraska 68155

Contact Information: 308.239.4500 Restaurant            308.239.4719 Office http://www.olesbiggame.com

Walk around the restaurant. There is so much to see. Enjoy your meal.

Omaha

Boys Town, Nebraska

World’s Largest Ball of Stamps

13628 Flanagan Boulevard Boystown, Nebraska 68010

https://www.boystown.org/village/Pages/worlds-largest-stamp-ball.aspx

https://www.boystown.org/village/Pages/default.aspx

Free Admission. It’s in the back of the gift shop in the same building that the public restaurant is in.

One can also tour the campus including the Hall of History, Dowd Chapel and the Father Flanagan Tomb, Garden of the Bible, Father Flanagan House, Chambers Chapel and the gift shop. A restaurant open to the pubic is also available on site.

Sandhills

Ainsworth, Nebraska

Meadville General Store

89235 Meadville Road Ainsworth, Nebraska 69210

Truly one of the most memorable stops on our adventures. The setting, music, dancing and fellowship left a lasting favorable impression: a simplier time.

https://www.facebook.com/Meadville-General-Store-1705441056438957/

Northeast

Pierce, Nebraska

Wragge Dogs at Pierce Locker

117 North Brown Street, Suite 53 Pierce, Nebraska 68767

Contact Information: Call ahead for store hours. 402.329.4365 . This food product can only be found here…in Pierce, NE. Go get some! Pierce is near Norfolk, Nebraska.

Newman Grove, Nebraska

City Café

511 Hale Avenue Newman Grove, Nebraska 68758

https://www.facebook.com/ngcitycafe/ Known for pies, but try out other worthy menu items. The owners have a tremendous social media presence. It’s worth following them but better to support entrepreneurs like them helping build and maintain small rural communities.

Contact Information: ngcitycafe@gmail.com

Hours: 6AM-2PM Tu-Sa & 11-1:30 SU Closed M.

Tarnov, Nebraska

St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Museum & Grotto

http://www.tarnov.org/

Contact Information: stmichaelstarnov@gmail.com Contact ahead of time for scheduled tour.

Free Admission: The Museum next door is a can’t miss stop. The grotto is between the museum and cemetery.

As spectacular as the church itself is, the most surprising find on our Nebraska adventures, to date, was the museum next door to this church. It warehouses a diverse array of all aspects of Polish and rural life.

Contact the church to schedule your private tour. Donations accepted.

Groups can arrange for a tour that includes lunch.

The former rectory is now a visitor rental home. http://www.tarnov.org/house.html

What unusual sites (lesser known) have you visited in Nebraska?

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Linda Leier Thomason is a former CEO who writes freelance business and travel stories, along with feature articles. Her work experiences include a Fortune 500 corporation, federal government, entrepreneurship and small business. Find out more about Linda by clicking the “Meet Linda” tab above. Interested in working together?

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