8 Scenic Places in Nebraska

By Jacob Cruikshank/ GG Staff

The summer months are coming faster than you think. Pretty soon the sun will be shining and you’ll be lying by a pool somewhere. When you get tired of the pool, you might try a road trip to some of the great  scenic places in Nebraska.

Chimney Rock National Historic Site

Chimney Rock is one of the most recognizable monuments that was passed on the Oregon Trail. It is located three miles from Bayard and stands 475 feet tall.

There was a small town named Chimney Rock that once stood by the monument. The rock was naturally formed through the years.

Chimney Rock officially became a monument on Aug. 9, 1956.

The rock is believed to have standed 30 feet taller during the Oregon Trail days due to erosion. In 1992 it lost approximately 5 feet from a storm. It is a beautiful sight to see during the day or at sunset.

Indian Cave State Park

Indian Cave State Park is located in Shubert, Nebraska and covers 3,052 acres that borders the Missouri River. It’s a great place to go hiking, camping overnight, or simply  eating lunch at one of the many picnic spots.

During the winter, they have spots to sled and during Halloween they have hayrack rides, contests, and even crafts to do. You can also go horseback riding through the trails.

Old Market in Omaha

The Old Market in Omaha was built during the 1880’s and continued into the 20th century. There is plenty of entertainment in the Old Market, including going shopping or eating a good dinner. It is a great place to go with families and friends. The shops are usually unique boutiques and restaurants.

The Old Market is very close to the Henry Doorly Zoo, CenturyLink Center and many museums.

Sunken Gardens

Sunken Gardens is located in Lincoln. The garden has many different varieties of flowers in an array of colors. The floral displays have more than 30,000 individual plants and have a specific theme each year.

The garden is managed by Lynn Johnson and they the flowers are bought with the city’s budget. The garden takes over about 1.5 acres of land. It is the best place to take pictures with all the bright, colorful flowers.

Smith Falls

Smith Falls is located in Smith Falls State Park near Sparks, which is by South Dakota. It is Nebraska’s largest natural waterfall at almost 70 feet tall.

Smith Falls State Park officially became a state park in 1992. The park also has camping sites and places to do lake activities.

Haymarket in Lincoln

The Haymarket is also located in Lincoln. In 1859, the Haymarket was built by a group of settlers. Many Native Americans lived in the Haymarket for many years during the 19th century. It was not always a spot where people hung out.

The Haymarket has great spots to take pictures and yummy spots to eat. It’s a awesome place to walk around with friends or family and talk.

Henry Doorly Zoo

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo is one of the best rated zoos in America. It has the biggest cat complex in North America, an indoor swamp, one of the world’s largest indoor rainforests, and a huge indoor desert.

The zoo has had over 25 million visitors over the years. It has two rides that take you over the zoo for a whole different view. The zoo also has a 70 foot aquarium tunnel, which has animals from sharks to turtles.

Kool-aid Days

Kool-aid days takes place in Hastings and lasts three days during the month of August. Kool-aid was founded in Hastings, which was announced as Nebraska’s official soft drink in 1927.

People from all over Nebraska come to celebrate with carnival games, the world’s largest Kool-aid stand, contests and to participate in sports. There is also lots of delicious carnival foods. Families and friends come to celebrate Kool-aid days and have a fun time.