5 Things To See Along I-80 in Nebraska – Introduction to Nebraska and I-80
Nebraska may not be the first destination that comes to mind when planning a road trip, but this hidden gem is a treasure trove of natural beauty and cultural attractions waiting to be discovered.
One of the best ways to explore this underrated state is by taking a drive along Interstate 80, which runs right through the heart of Nebraska. With its vast open plains, charming small towns, and a surprising array of must-see sights, Nebraska along I-80 offers a truly unforgettable experience for travelers.
Get ready to pack your bags, hit the road, and discover the hidden parts of Nebraska that tourists seldom see on their next road trip.
Why Nebraska is a Hidden Gem for Travelers
Often overlooked by the common traveler, Nebraska offers a world of authentic experiences and landscapes that are breathtaking. A part of Nebraska you’ll find rewarding to explore.
This Midwestern state is home to some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, and its small towns exude charm and hospitality. Nebraska is also home to a rich history and vibrant culture, with museums, art galleries, and theaters scattered throughout the state. From the rolling sand dunes of the Sandhills to the picturesque Platte River Valley, Nebraska offers a diverse range of natural wonders that will leave you in awe.
So, if you’re looking to escape the crowds and discover a hidden gem, Nebraska is the perfect destination.
The Best Roadside Attractions Along I-80
If you’re traveling along I-80 and looking for some fun and quirky roadside attractions, you’re in luck! One must-see stop is Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska, a replica of Stonehenge made entirely out of vintage cars. It’s a unique and fascinating sight that is sure to make for some great photos.
Another interesting stop is the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum in Walcott, Iowa, where you can learn about the history of trucking and see a variety of vintage trucks and trucking memorabilia. And for a more offbeat attraction, check out the World’s Largest Truck Stop, also in Walcott. Here you can fuel up, grab a bite to eat, and browse through a huge selection of trucking merchandise.
These are just a few examples of the many fun and entertaining roadside attractions you can find along I-80, making your journey all the more memorable.
The Beauty of Road Trips and Exploring I-80
There’s something magical about hitting the open road and embarking on a road trip. The freedom to go wherever you please, the anticipation of what lies ahead, and the joy of discovering new places along the way make road trips an exhilarating adventure.
And when it comes to road trips, few routes can rival the scenic beauty and diverse attractions of Interstate 80 in Nebraska. As you drive along this iconic highway, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of rolling prairies, towering sandhills, and endless skies.
You’ll pass through charming towns and bustling cities, each with its own unique charm and attractions. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or foodie, there’s something for everyone along I-80 in Nebraska.
Must-See Sights in Nebraska Along I-80 – Sight 1
One of the must-see sights in Nebraska along I-80 is the stunning Chimney Rock. This iconic rock formation rises 325 feet above the surrounding plains and has been a landmark for travelers since the days of the Oregon Trail. The towering spire of Chimney Rock is a sight to behold, especially at sunrise or sunset when the colors of the sky illuminate the rock. Visitors can hike to the base of the formation for a closer look or simply admire it from the roadside. Chimney Rock is not only a natural wonder but also a symbol of the pioneering spirit that shaped the American West.
Must-See Sights in Nebraska Along I-80 – Sight 2
Another must-see sight along I-80 in Nebraska is the fascinating Great Platte River Road Archway Monument. Part of Nebraska’s charm is its history. The unique Archway Museum and Monument tells the story of the pioneers who journeyed westward along the Platte River Valley. It’s one of the many things to do when traveling across Nebraska. As you step inside the archway, you’ll be transported back in time to the 19th century, where you can experience the hardships and triumphs of the pioneers through interactive exhibits and immersive displays. The archway also offers breathtaking views of the Platte River and the surrounding landscape, making it a must-visit attraction for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
Must-See Sights in Nebraska Along I-80 – Sight 3
Travel across stunning Nebraska along I-80. Without exploring the breathtaking beauty of the Sandhills, your road trip would not be complete. This unique region is home to the largest tract of sand dunes in the Western Hemisphere, covering over 19,000 square miles. The rolling hills of sand, dotted with grasses and wildflowers, create a stunning landscape that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The Sandhills are not only visually captivating but also ecologically important, supporting a diverse range of plant and animal species. Visitors can hike, bike, or even go sandboarding in this natural playground, immersing themselves in the tranquility and beauty of the Nebraska Sandhills.
Must-See Sights in Nebraska Along I-80 – Sight 4
As you continue your journey along I-80 in Nebraska, make sure to stop at the awe-inspiring Scotts Bluff National Monument. This towering landmark rises 800 feet above the North Platte River and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The monument is named after Hiram Scott, a fur trader who died near the bluff in the 1820s. Visitors can explore the hiking trails that wind through the monument, marvel at the unique rock formations, and learn about the history of the pioneers who passed through this area on their westward journey. Scotts Bluff National Monument is a testament to the resilience and determination of those who ventured into the unknown in search of a better life.
Must-See Sights in Nebraska Along I-80 – Sight 5
Last but certainly not least, a visit to the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha is a must when traveling along I-80 in Nebraska. This world-class zoo is consistently ranked as one of the best in the world and offers a truly unforgettable experience for animal lovers of all ages.
From the largest indoor desert in the world to the largest indoor rainforest in North America, the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is home to a diverse range of animal species and immersive exhibits. Visitors can walk through a tunnel surrounded by sharks, get up close and personal with gorillas, or even hand-feed giraffes. A visit to this incredible zoo is sure to be a highlight of your trip through Nebraska.
The World’s Largest Ball of Stamps
The World’s Largest Ball of Stamps is an impressive and unique attraction located in Boys Town, Nebraska. It weighs an astounding 600 pounds and consists of over 4 million canceled stamps.
The ball was created by the Boys Town Stamp Collecting Club as a fundraising project in the 1950s, and since then it has become a renowned tourist destination. Nebraska tourists are drawn to visit attractions like the world’s largest ball due to its sheer size and the intriguing tale behind its creation. The ball serves as a testament to the dedication and passion of stamp collectors, and it has earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest of its kind.
It continues to serve as a symbol of community pride and creativity, attracting people from around the world who are curious to see this extraordinary piece of stamp art. Whether you’re a stamp enthusiast or just a curious traveler, the World’s Largest Ball of Stamps is definitely a must-see destination.
World’s Largest Time Capsule
The World’s Largest Time Capsule is located in Seward, Nebraska, and was created by Harold Keith Davis in 1975. The capsule is a 20-foot long, 8-foot wide, and 8-foot high structure that was built to commemorate the United States’ bicentennial. It is made of concrete and stainless steel, and is buried 30 feet underground.
This massive time capsule is filled with over 600 items, including a car, a jukebox, a television, and numerous other artifacts from the 1970s. The capsule is scheduled to be opened in the year 2025, exactly 50 years after it was buried.
It has become a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the world who are curious about the contents and eager to see what life was like in the 1970s. The World’s Largest Time Capsule stands as a unique and intriguing monument to history and the passage of time.
Lee’s Legendary Marbles & Collectibles
Lee’s Legendary Marbles & Collectibles is a one-of-a-kind store for enthusiasts and collectors alike. Specializing in rare and unique marbles, this shop offers an impressive selection of hand-crafted glass marbles from around the world.
From intricate designs to dazzling colors, each marble tells its own story and is sure to captivate any visitor. But the store doesn’t stop at marbles – it also boasts a wide array of other collectibles such as vintage toys, action figures, and comic books. With a knowledgeable staff on hand, customers can expect top-notch guidance and advice when it comes to adding to their collections or finding that perfect gift for a fellow enthusiast.
Whether you’re a seasoned collector or simply curious about the world of marbles and collectibles, Lee’s Legendary Marbles & Collectibles is a must-visit destination for anyone with a passion for unique and fascinating items.
Classic Car Collection
The classic car collection is a treasure trove of automotive history, showcasing some of the most iconic and influential vehicles of the past. From sleek and stylish 1950s convertibles to rugged and powerful muscle cars from the 1960s, the collection offers a glimpse into the evolution of automobile design and engineering.
Each car tells a story of its era, from the height of American manufacturing to the rise of European luxury brands. Visitors can marvel at the craftsmanship and attention to detail in each vehicle, appreciating the timeless beauty and innovation that went into their creation.
The collection is a living testament to the ingenuity and passion of the automotive industry, preserving the heritage and legacy of these classic cars for future generations to enjoy and admire. Whether you’re a car enthusiast or simply appreciate the artistry of vintage automobiles, the classic car collection offers a unique and captivating experience for all who visit.
Golden Spike Tower in Nebraska
The Golden Spike Tower in Nebraska is a popular tourist attraction that offers stunning panoramic views of the world’s largest railroad classification yard, Bailey Yard.
Standing at 8 stories tall, the tower provides visitors with an opportunity to witness the impressive operations of the Union Pacific Railroad as they sort, service, and dispatch trains. Inside the tower, guests can visit the interpretive center and learn about the history of the railroad and its impact on the region. The tower also features a gift shop where visitors can purchase train memorabilia and souvenirs.
Additionally, the top floor of the tower has an outdoor viewing platform, allowing guests to observe the activity at Bailey Yard from an elevated vantage point. With its unique perspective and engaging exhibits, the Golden Spike Tower offers an unforgettable experience for train enthusiasts and anyone interested in the history of the railroad industry.
ICBM Missile Museum I-80 attraction
Located off of Interstate 80 in Wyoming, the ICBM Missile Museum is a unique and fascinating attraction for history buffs and military enthusiasts.
This museum offers a rare opportunity to see a decommissioned intercontinental ballistic missile up close, giving visitors a glimpse into the Cold War era and the United States’ nuclear capabilities. The museum also features exhibits and displays that provide historical context and information about the missile’s role in national defense. Visitors can learn about the technology and engineering behind these powerful weapons and gain a better understanding of their impact on global politics.
The museum provides a sobering look at the tensions and threats that existed during the Cold War, serving as a reminder of the importance of diplomacy and peacekeeping efforts in today’s world. Whether you have a fascination with military history or a curiosity about the arms race, the ICBM Missile Museum is a must-see attraction for anyone passing through Wyoming on Interstate 80.
Fort Kearny State Historical Park
Fort Kearny State Historical Park is a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. Located in central Nebraska, the park preserves the site of the original Fort Kearny, a crucial outpost along the Oregon Trail and the Pony Express route in the 1800s.
Visitors can explore reconstructed buildings, including the stockade and a blacksmith shop, to get a glimpse of what life was like at the fort. The park also offers opportunities for outdoor recreation, with hiking trails, picnicking areas, and camping facilities available. Birdwatchers will appreciate the diverse bird species that can be spotted in the park, while history buffs can attend living history events and educational programs to learn more about the fort’s role in westward expansion.
With its unique blend of history and natural beauty, Fort Kearny State Historical Park is a must-visit for anyone interested in the past and the great outdoors.
Stops along Highway 20
Highway 20 is an iconic route that spans across the northern United States, offering travelers a diverse range of stops and attractions along the way.
One of the most popular stops along Highway 20 is Yellowstone National Park, known for its remarkable geothermal features such as Old Faithful and the Grand Prismatic Spring. Another noteworthy destination is the charming town of Sisters, Oregon, famous for its picturesque mountain views and vibrant arts and culture scene.
As travelers make their way along Highway 20, they can also visit the historic city of Boston, Massachusetts, where they can explore the Freedom Trail and indulge in the city’s rich history. Other notable stops along the highway include the stunning Niagara Falls, the scenic Methow Valley in Washington, and the vibrant city of Cleveland, Ohio. Whether it’s natural wonders, historic sites, or cultural experiences, Highway 20 offers something for every type of traveler.
Omaha’s Old Market Beauty
Omaha’s Old Market is a true beauty, with its cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and quaint atmosphere. The area is filled with unique shops, boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants, creating a charming and vibrant environment. The architecture of the old red brick buildings adds to the area’s appeal, giving it a timeless and classic feel.
The Old Market is particularly stunning at night when the string lights illuminate the streets and create a magical ambience. Visitors and locals alike enjoy strolling through the area, taking in the sights and sounds of this beautiful district.
With its mix of old-world charm and modern amenities, the Old Market in Omaha is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. Whether you’re looking to shop, dine, or simply soak in the atmosphere, the Old Market’s beauty is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Lauritzen Gardens in Nebraska
Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, Nebraska is a 100-acre botanical garden that offers a peaceful and beautiful escape from the city. With four seasonally-changing gardens, including an indoor conservatory, visitors are treated to a diverse array of plant life throughout the year.
The gardens feature a stunning rose garden, a tranquil Japanese garden, a colorful Victorian garden, and a variety of other themed areas. In addition to the natural beauty, Lauritzen Gardens also offers educational programs, special events, and seasonal exhibits to engage and entertain visitors of all ages. The gardens are a popular destination for both locals and tourists, providing a serene and rejuvenating experience for anyone who visits. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photography buff, or simply looking for a relaxing day out, Lauritzen Gardens has something for everyone to enjoy.
How far are Nebraska landmarks from the interstate?
Many of Nebraska’s landmarks are located close to the interstate, making them easily accessible for travelers. For example, Chimney Rock, a famous natural monument, is just a short drive from Interstate 80.
Carhenge, a quirky roadside attraction featuring cars arranged in a manner similar to Stonehenge, is also conveniently situated near the highway. The Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, with its impressive collection of aircraft and space artifacts, is just a few miles off Interstate 80 as well.
Other popular landmarks, such as the Arbor Lodge State Historical Park, the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument, and the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, are all within reach of major interstates, making them convenient stops for road trippers exploring the state. Whether you’re interested in natural wonders, historical sites, or unique roadside attractions, Nebraska’s landmarks are typically just a short detour from the interstate.
Roadside Attractions I-80 Iowa
If you’re traveling down I-80 in Iowa, you’ll encounter a variety of unique and quirky roadside attractions that make for some fun and interesting pit stops. One such attraction is the World’s Largest Truck Stop located in Walcott, featuring a museum, movie theater, and multiple restaurants.
Even further into Nebraska, you’ll find unique sites to visit like the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum, which showcases vintage trucking memorabilia – a must-include in your Nebraska road trip plan. For a taste of the bizarre, make sure to check out the Giant 30-foot peanut statue in Durant, or the giant 50-foot wooden nickel in Casey.
And if you’re a fan of the famous comic strip “The Family Circus,” be sure to swing by the hometown of the creator in Eldon, where you can see a mural and statues dedicated to the beloved characters. Whether you’re a history buff, a truck enthusiast, or just someone who appreciates the odd and fascinating, the roadside attractions along I-80 in Iowa offer a little something for everyone.
Roadside Attractions I-80 Pennsylvania
If you’re driving along I-80 in Pennsylvania, you’ll come across a variety of quirky and unique roadside attractions that are worth a stop. From the giant hot dog at the Prospect Mountain Service Plaza to the World’s Largest Cigar Store in Bethlehem, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
The Roadside America attraction in Shartlesville offers a glimpse into the country’s largest indoor miniature village, featuring handcrafted buildings and trains. If you’re a fan of dinosaurs, be sure to check out the Crystal Cave in Kutztown, where you can explore underground limestone formations and see fossilized remains of prehistoric creatures.
And for a taste of nostalgia, visit the Lincoln Highway Experience in Latrobe, showcasing the history and impact of America’s first coast-to-coast highway. Whether you’re fascinated by oddities, history, or natural wonders, the roadside attractions along I-80 in Pennsylvania are sure to add some excitement to your road trip.
Roadside Attractions I-80 Ohio
As travelers make their way along I-80 in Ohio, they may come across various roadside attractions that pique their interest. Ranging from quirky novelty items to historical landmarks, everyone will find something to enjoy during their travel across Nebraska. One of the popular stops along this route is the world’s largest basket, located in Newark.
This unique building serves as the headquarters for the Longaberger Company, and is definitely worth a stop for a photo op. Another interesting sight to see is the giant Amish horse and buggy at the Amish Oak Furniture Co. in Loudonville.
For those who appreciate kitsch, the giant pink elephant at the Pink Elephant Antique Mall in Holmes County is a fun and unexpected sight. Overall, I-80 in Ohio offers travelers the chance to break up their trip with fun and intriguing roadside attractions that make for memorable pit stops.
Roadside Attractions I-80 Indiana
If you’re driving through Indiana on I-80, make sure to stop and check out some of the unique roadside attractions along the way. One of the most popular attractions is the Windmill Museum in Kendallville, where you can learn about the history and craftsmanship of windmills.
For a taste of nostalgia, stop by the South Side Soda Shop in Goshen, a classic 1950s-style diner serving up delicious milkshakes and burgers. If you’re a fan of classic cars, be sure to visit the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn, where you can see a stunning collection of vintage vehicles.
And for something truly unusual, don’t miss the world’s largest ball of paint in Alexandria, where visitors can add their own layer of paint to the ever-growing ball. These quirky attractions add a fun and memorable element to your road trip through Indiana.
Q: What are some must-see attractions along I-80 in Nebraska?
A: On your travel across Nebraska, some must-see attractions along I-80 include the Wyoming Territorial Prison, the Archway in Kearney, Fort Cody Trading Post, and the World’s Largest Covered Wagon. It’s essential for your road trip plan.
Q: What is the Wyoming Territorial Prison?
A: The Wyoming Territorial Prison is a historic site that served as a federal penitentiary from 1872 to 1903. It is now a museum that offers insights into the early penal system and the history of the American West.
Q: What is the Archway in Kearney?
A: The Archway is a museum and visitor center that spans across I-80 in Kearney, Nebraska. It showcases the history of the westward migration and the development of the United States, making it a great stop for those interested in the Wild West and American history.
Q: What can I find at Fort Cody Trading Post?
A: Fort Cody Trading Post is a unique stop offering the largest collection of marbles, a Wild West show, and the Klown Doll Museum. It’s an interesting attraction to explore while traveling through Nebraska.
Q: Are there any unique roadside attractions in Nebraska?
A: Yes, Nebraska offers a variety of unique roadside attractions such as the World’s Largest Covered Wagon, the two-headed calf at a rest area, and the Fort Cody Trading Post.
Q: What should I consider when planning an I-80 road trip through Nebraska?
A: When planning an I-80 road trip through Nebraska, consider stretching your legs at interesting attractions, taking in Nebraska history, and making stops at rest areas to appreciate the diverse offerings along the route.
Q: Where can I find the best Nebraska roadside attractions?
A: Some of the best Nebraska roadside attractions can be found along I-80, including the Archway in Kearney, the Wyoming Territorial Prison, and the Fort Cody Trading Post.
Q: What makes traveling through Nebraska along I-80 an interesting road trip?
A: Traveling through Nebraska along I-80 offers a chance to explore the Wild West, experience diverse roadside attractions, and learn about the history and culture of the state while journeying from east to west.
Q: What are the top attractions to see on a road trip across Nebraska?
A: The top attractions to see on a road trip across Nebraska include the Wyoming Territorial Prison, the Archway in Kearney, and the Fort Cody Trading Post which offer a range of interesting and unique experiences.
Q: What are some recommended stops for a Nebraska road trip across I-80?
A: Some recommended stops for a Nebraska road trip across I-80 include the World’s Largest Covered Wagon, Fort Cody Trading Post, and the Archway in Kearney, providing a mix of history, culture, and unique sights.
Tips for Planning Your Road Trip Along I-80
- Plan your route and stops in advance to make the most of your time along I-80 in Nebraska.
- Take the time to explore the small towns and local attractions along the way.
- Pack plenty of snacks, water, and a camera to capture the stunning landscapes and memorable moments.
- Check the weather conditions and road closures before you start your journey.
- Be open to unexpected detours and spontaneous adventures along the way.
Should You Rent A Car?
Yes, you should rent a car. especially if you are flying in or really just want to surprise that special someone. Renting a car is an excellent option for getting around the state and exploring its many natural wonders.
Tip: Can be expensive-check out our partners at Discovercars.com for the best deals.
Where to find the best deals on flights and hotels
Finding the best deals on flights and hotels can be a challenge. Luckily, we have you covered!
Many travel websites offer discounted rates on flights and hotels, so check out these sites if you’re looking for something specific in Washington state or just want an idea of what’s available.
Our top two picks are as follow…
- Expedia is your go-to platform to find all the best offers for a next road trip to Nebraska.: Well known for having good deals
- WayAway: With the option to get cash back, you can find all the best deals on your next road trip to Nebraska. here.
Conclusion: Nebraska’s Hidden Treasures Along I-80
Nebraska might not be on the bucket list of the average tourist, but those willing to travel across this destination are indeed rewarded with unforgettable experiences and breathtaking sights. From the towering Chimney Rock to the unique Sandhills, and from the fascinating Great Platte River Road Archway Monument to the awe-inspiring Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska along I-80 offers a diverse range of must-see attractions.
So, pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to discover the hidden treasures that await you in Nebraska. Whether you’re a nature lover or history fan, or simply seeking an adventure, you’ll find joy in traveling across Nebraska along I-80. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your road trip today and embark on a journey of a lifetime.
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