When most people picture Nebraska, endless cornfields and not much else is what comes to mind. While it is true that the state is mostly flat, it probably has a lot more to offer than you knew.
Omaha Hosts College Baseball’s Biggest Event and the Largest Indoor Rainforest
Nebraska’s largest city offers a long list of things to see and do, including some you won’t find anywhere else. The NCAA College World Series, college baseball’s biggest event, is hosted here in June every year, and located in Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is Lied Jungle, the country’s largest indoor rainforest. It’s inhabited by everything from tapirs to monkeys – and you might even need an umbrella as it actually rains too.
Many visitors to this city are so pleasantly surprised at all the offerings here they find themselves browsing the Omaha houses for sale to potentially make a permanent move.
It’s Home to ‘Christmas City’
The town of Minden, about 189 miles west of Omaha, is known as “Christmas City.” Its holiday traditions began over a century ago when lights were hung in honor of the arrival of the Grand Army of the Republic, a Civil War veterans’ organization. The dome of the courthouse is still lit today with city workers using mountain climbing gear to scale it. Minden also puts on the annual Christmas Traditions Festival, which kicks off the holiday season in late November with a lighted parade, the crowning of Miss Christmas City, photos with Santa, and a children’s carnival.
Chimney Rock National Historic Site is the Oregon Trail’s Most Recognized Landmark
Chimney Rock rises nearly 300 feet above the North Platte River valley, a formation that served as a landmark along the Oregon Trail for pioneer travelers. Today it’s considered a symbol of the great western migration and the most recognized landmark on the famous trail that stretches for 2,170 miles, connecting the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon.
The narrow spire, a natural geologic formation, was designated a national historic site in 1956 and continues to be one of the most visited tourist attractions in the state. Early pioneers noted that when they came across it, it appeared to be “towering to the heavens.” At the visitors center, a digital exhibit includes nearly 200 images documenting the artworks and artifacts of the Oregon Trail experience.
There are More Rivers Here Than Any Other State
Nebraska may not have oceanfront property, but it does have more rivers than any other state. There are 12,370 miles of riverways within its borders, 300 of which include the Missouri River. All provide natural habitats for flora and fauna as well as recreational activities with everything from swimming and fishing to whitewater rafting for residents and visitors both. A number of rivers have been designated by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission as canoe trails, including the Cedar, Dismal, North Loop, and Calamus rivers, which are gentle flowing, ideal for beginning paddlers, especially in the summer. Springtime can bring more powerful waters that offer challenges to the more experienced, including canoers and kayakers.