Lincoln Highway Scenic & Historic Byway
About This Trip
Spanning the state from its eastern to western borders on U.S. Highway 30, this 400-mile byway is part of the original Lincoln Highway—America’s first transcontinental artery between San Francisco and New York.
Abundant farmland, historic pathways and rivers, scenic valleys, parks, lakes, and challenging golf courses.
Stop by the DeSoto Wildlife Refuge near Blair to view wildlife in its natural habitat and marvel at the remarkably preserved cargo that was pulled out of the Bertrand—a steamboat that sank in 1865. When passing through Fremont, treat yourself to a fast-paced ride down the Platte River on an airboat courtesy of Bryson’s Airboat Tours. You’re sure to enjoy the wildlife, scenery, and exciting fun. You can’t go wrong with anything you order at Columbus’s Dusters and the Gottberg Brew Pub, where the food is delicious and the ambiance is outstanding. Try the chicken Kiev.
Plan a stop at Grand Island’s Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, one of the top ten living history museums in the country. Make sure you visit Rowe Sanctuary and Iain Nicolson Audubon Center near Gibbon. This 1,250-acre wildlife sanctuary is located on the banks of the Platte River, where more than a half million sandhill cranes pass through the area on their northward migration in early spring. The Nicolson Audubon Center offers stunning views of the Platte River, interpretive displays, a gift shop, and trails. At the Great Platte River Road Archway near Kearney, learn about everything from American Indian and pioneer history to modern fiber-optic networks.
For kids both big and small who love cars and planes, the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles in Lexington displays an impressive collection of military equipment and machinery. The Gallagher Canyon State Recreation Area near Cozad is a great place to get in touch with the great outdoors and spend a night under the stars. Take a journey into the history of the Great Plains at the Sod House Museum in Gothenburg. Among other things, you’ll learn how pioneers survived and thrived without trees.
If you’re interested in Old West history, you’ll love North Platte. Stop by the Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park to tour the great entertainer’s home and grounds. If you’re in town the third week of June, be sure to take in NEBRASKAland Days when the whole town gets into the Buffalo Bill spirit.
Bite into a mouthwatering steak at Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse and Lounge in Paxton, which is well-known for its impressive collection of mounted animals, quality food, and exceptional hospitality. Across the street, taste a glass of a fine Nebraska wine at 5 Trails Winery. Front Street in Ogallala will ignite the imaginations of little ones. Stop by the Old West town replica for shootouts and dancing featuring cowboys and showgirls. Also within Front Street is the Petrified Wood Gallery. This natural history gallery specializes in ancient woods, fossils, and American Indian artifacts. Ogallala is home to Big Mac, or Lake McConaughy—the largest inland lake in the region. It’s a water lover’s paradise and offers white-sand beaches, excellent fishing, and relaxing boat lounges.
Bargain hunters and outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy shopping at Cabela’s in Sidney. The store’s centerpiece is a giant manmade mountain featuring dozens of animals climbing to its peak. While in town, spend time getting better acquainted with your green thumb at Ricky & Lucy’s Country Greenhouse. The Potter Sundry is an old-fashioned soda fountain famous for its tin roof sundaes. The town also has an active downtown, including a former hardware store that has been renovated into a flea market called A Collective Gathering. Chestnut Street Memory Station is a renovated gas station specializing in antiques, collectibles, and jukeboxes.
What covers more than 20,000 square feet, has a 47-ton garage door and a 120-foot-long access hallway, and once accommodated a 67-foot-long, 278,000-pound missile? Kimball’s only underground house of course! Built in a renovated former Atlas E Missile site, this home and the owner’s story will amaze you.
Start in Blair
24 miles west on US-30 to Fremont
49 miles west on US-30 to Columbus
63 miles west on US-30 to Grand Island
39 miles west on US-30 to Gibbon
13 miles west on US-30 to Kearney
41 miles west on US-30 to Lexington
19 miles west on US-30 to Cozad
13 miles west on US-30 to Gothenburg
37 miles west on US-30 to North Platte
34 miles west on US-30 to Paxton
21 miles west on US-30 to Ogallala
72 miles west on US-30 to Sidney
21 miles west on US-30 to Potter
21 miles west on US-30 to Kimball