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Roadside Attractions in Nebraska
Wherever your travels in Nebraska take you, you'll find quirky roadside attractions to stop at and break up the drive.
In West Nebraska, step back into frontier days at the Museum of the Fur Trade in Chadron. Set on the grounds of a trading post established by the American Fur Company back in 1837, the museum explores the interactions of trappers, traders, and Native Americans, the tools they used, and the goods they traded.
South of Chadron, you'll find Carhenge, which reinterprets Stonehenge using cars standing on end in place of the bluestone monoliths.
In Nebraska's eastern parts, the World's Largest Ball of Stamps at Boys Town is a reminder of the days when stamp collecting was a popular hobby and way to learn about the world. The ball contains more than 4 million stamps! The World's Largest Time Capsule is southwest of Omaha, in Seward. Buried in two parts, one in 1975 and one in 1983, the first part is a 45-ton vault containing over 5,000 reminders of days gone by.
You'll want to drink the Kool-Aid when you head into central Nebraska and stop at the Birthplace of Kool-Aid in Hastings. Stop into the Hastings Museum and explore the "Kool-Aid: Discover the Dream" exhibit, including the drink's promotional merchandise and the original Kool-Aid man suit.
Museums, Stamps & Times Capsules
Airplanes, stamps, and a buried Chevy Vega – these are the roadside attractions waiting in western Nebraska.
Stamp collecting might seem a forgotten hobby, but how about a 600-pound ball of the little square time-killers? Set in Omaha, the World's Largest Ball of Stamps is found at the Leon Myers Stamp Center – located within the Boys Town Village in western Omaha. The stamp ball is a stick collection of 4,655,000 canceled stamps, and measures 32 inches in diameter.
Less than 30 miles southwest of Omaha – past Bellevue and Nebraska City – the Strategic Air & Space Museum is set in Ashland. Since 1959, this museum has commemorated the aircrafts of the U.S. Air Force. Check out rare structures such as a McDonnell XF-85 Goblin and Rockwell B-1A Lancer – and let the kids loose in the children's interactive gallery.
Just over an hour southwest of Omaha you’ll find Seward, a sleepy Nebraska town set northwest of Lincoln and east of Grand Island. Once there, head straight for the House of Davisson Furniture, and they’ll tell you how to get to the World's Largest Time Capsule. A two-part time capsule, this attraction was buried by Harold Keith Davisson in 1975, with a second capsule buried in 1983.
The first is a 45-ton vault containing more than 5,000 objects from this colorful decade, including a brand new Chevy Vega, and was awarded as the world’s largest in 1977 by Guinness Book of World Records. Both vaults are set to open in 2025 – but for now, check out the large pyramid marker of the vault, and set your feet right above history.
Whether you’re driving to Omaha, or exploring the Cornhusker State, the journey will be anything but boring.
Dioramas, Tanks, & the Kool-Aid Birthplace
Military museums, frontier dioramas, and the Kool-Aid Man await your drive through central Nebraska.
Head into downtown Hastings and check out the exhibit “Kool-Aid: Discover the Dream” in the Hastings Museum of Natural and Cultural History – otherwise known as the Birthplace of Kool-Aid. Edwin Perkins invented Kool-Aid in 1927 – right in the town of Hastings. Discover historic Kool-Aid merchandise, grab a spot in line at the replica Kool-Aid stand, and snap a photo of the first Kool-Aid Man suit.
Trekking down Interstate 80? You won’t miss the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument as you get into Kearney. The Disney-designed 309-foot archway first opened in 2000, and exhibits Nebraska pioneers and diner-goers through dioramas and artifacts. Check out the Mormon Handcart Expedition figures, or get a picture next to the 1961 Cadillac convertible.
Less than an hour from Kearney along Interstate 80, the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles awaits the military memorabilia lover in your family. Set in Lexington, the museum is marked by a large statue of a helicopter along the interstate. Open daily, the museum features over 100 military vehicles, plus U.S.S. Lexington and M*A*S*H exhibits. Feel free to touch, sit in, or take photos with jeeps, tanks, and helicopters dating back to World War II.
Central Nebraska knows how to sweeten up your roadtrip through the Cornhusker State.
The Fur Trade Museum & Famed Carhenge
Even more quirky roadside attractions are found in western Nebraska.
As you’re traveling through the prairie on your Nebraska roadtrip, it’s easy to pretend you’re looking at the same landscape as cowboys and frontier folk. Well pretend no more – just visit the Museum of the Fur Trade in Chadron. Set on the historic site of the Bordeaux Trading Post of 1837, the museum features photography and documentation, Native American textiles, and plenty of historic furs.
The Museum of the Fur Trade is open daily from May 1st through October 31st – or call ahead for a tour during the off-season. Children 18 and under are admitted free, while adult visitors may enter at $5 a person.
For the ultimate roadside attraction, check out Carhenge – a Stonhenge replica made entirely of American vintage vehicles. Set in Alliance, Carhenge is located south of Chadron and northwest of Ogallala.
A free attraction to Nebraska travelers, Carhenge was built in 1987 by Jim Reinders, - measuring at 95 feet in diameter. Onsite concessions and refreshment are available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, so pull over for a soda and a picture with the famed Carhenge.
You’ll see buffalo tongues and spray painted old cars – that’s your roadtrip through western Nebraska.