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Kearney Travel Guide: 155 reviews and 466 photos

Kearney, The Midway City

KEARNEY (CAR'-knee) may not be the primary destination for most people traveling across Nebraska on I-80, but the area has plenty of historic, natural, and shopping attractions to lure motorists onto the 272 exit. The first fort on the Old Oregon Trail was located just to the southeast along the Platte River. Visitors can learn about life in a frontier fort at the Ft. Kearny State Park Visitor's Center, encounter the "Great Platte River Road" at the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument (which spans the Interstate), or discover how advances in transportation influence prairie settlement at the Trails and Rails Museum.

Almost every town in the area has some kind of historical museum. Pioneer Village in Minden is the largest, with a remarkable collection of vintage cars, farm equipment, technology, and dozens of pioneer buildings. The Frank House Museum in Kearney illustrates how the Wild West was tamed by gilded-age dreamers.

Kearney is at the center of a major birding spectacle from February to April. Bald Eagles and an astonishing number of geese fill the skies early in the season. Through March, 500,000 Sandhill Cranes "stage" in this area in preparation for their flight North. Many other species of migratory waterfowl frequent the river and wetlands during the early spring months. The National Audubon Society's Rowe Sanctuary, the Nebraska Game and Park Service, and other organizations help visitors experience these natural wonders by providing tours and birding information.

Cabelas, the "world's foremost outfitter" for hunting and fishing enthusiasts, and Morris Press Cookbooks both have outlet stores in Kearney. They complement "Kearney Centre" -- Kearney's downtown retail area, which is still paved with bricks. A modern mall area with the large chain "marts" is located at the north edge of town on the 272 exit road -- 2nd Ave). The SuperWalmart
is open 24 hours and may be the only place to get tires repaired or propane service on Sundays and holidays.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney,
and the Museum of Nebraska Art are located in Kearney.

Golf courses, a YMCA, a bowling-fun center, large city parks, and a new hockey/concert/football arena provide additional recreational opportunities.

Most of Kearney's motels are located near the Interstate exit and have been constructed within the last 5 years, or have been remodeled recently. Restaurants & fast food establishments are plentiful and are easy to find.

Find a room, restaurant, park, attraction, or school using the Visitors Bureau Interactive Map

(Search for Motels with broadband Internet access.)

NEW SERVICE: Wi-FI access now available in (or outside) the Kearney Public Library

L. Price

For more information, contact the Kearney Visitors Bureau at:
1007 2nd Avenue
P.O. Box 607
Kearney, NE 68848
(800) 652-9435 or (308) 237-3101

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  • In a nutshell:Great Plains micropolis.
  • Last visit to Kearney: Sep 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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