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Recommended Tent Camping Locations - NE
Nebraska Tent Camping Trip
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Nebraska is a land of contrasts. Rolling hills with horizons of farmland, once dominated by Native Americans and later European pioneers, are broken up by several metropolitan areas, each possessing its own cultural bounty. Along US-6 you’ll encounter all this and much more.
Start your Nebraska tent camping tour in the town of Ashland, located along the state’s eastern edge. The 300,000 square foot Strategic Air & Space Museum brings 20th-century military aerospace history alive as it pays tribute to the men and women who safeguarded liberty around the globe for the past 55 years. The aircraft, missiles and exhibits on display focus mainly on the tools and strategies of America’s defense during the tension-filled Cold War years.
Naturally, we have to include a stop in Omaha and, while there, take in the Lewis & Clark Landing. The original landing site of the famed expedition in 1804 is today a 24-acre park that regularly hosts concert and other events. If you want to explore Lewis and Clark’s route in style, consider an excursion on the River City Star, and elegant riverboat dedicated to ferrying passengers up and down the waterways.
Omaha is also home to the famous Girls and Boys Town. Founded by a priest named Father Flanagan in 1917, Boys Town was a shelter for homeless youth. By 1936 it had become its own town, governed by the boys who called it home. In the 1980s, the town’s name was changed to Girls and Boys Town. Today, the National Headquarters of Girls and Boys Town offers tours and has an interactive museum and a rose garden, in addition to its historic buildings.
Stop by the University of Nebraska campus in Lincoln for the Great Plains Art Collection at the Center for Great Plains Studies. Here you can visit a by-gone era where immigrants staked their claims and farmed the land. Today the museum holds more than 400 pieces of work, from sculptures to oil paintings, as well as an impressive library of Americana. A few miles outside of town, one can find Nine Mile Prairie, a rare remnant of the prairies that once dominated the landscape out here. Today, this 230-acre parcel provides an educational venue where visitors are welcome to view some of the 80 species of birds that can be found here.
Continue westward to the town of Hastings. Okay, so the town isn’t the birthplace of a famous artist or U.S. president, but it is the birthplace of Kool-Aid. We suggest quaffing a ceremonial cup of the stuff while here, just to say you did so. The area is also home to a natural phenomenon, as migrating sandhill cranes regularly make stops in the fields surrounding town on their flights north and south.
If you want to see one of America’s more famous, and oddest, roadside attractions, take a detour far west and north of Holdrege where Hwys. 385 and 2 converge at the remote western town of Alliance. Modeled after the old Druid monument, Stonehenge, you’ll find the modern-day equivalent, Carhenge, which consists of 38 cars, held upright in pits with the trunk end down. Whatever your take is on Carhenge, it undoubtedly captures the heart of the great American roadside attraction.
US-30 is part of the 1st Transcontinental Highway. Also known as “The Lincoln Highway” it passes through small farm towns like Kimball, Sidney, Ogallala, North Platte, Gothenburg, Kearney, Grand Island, Columbus, Fremont and Blair where Nebraska tent camping is plentiful. It parallels the Platte River, so if you’re feeling a little dry through this part of Nebraska, there are myriad opportunities to pull the RV over and drop your feet, or your whole body, into the river for a cool break.
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