This Mississippi River community has its roots in Lewis and Clark’s explorations, something it’s very proud of. The town thrived during the steamboat era, since it was an ideal trading and transportation stop. It’s main claim to fame is that the establishment of Arbor Day came out of Nebraska City! Naturally, this holiday is a huge deal in the town. If you visit this friendly community, you can enjoy a trip to the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center, the Mayhew Cabin (Nebraska’s only Underground Railroad site), and Abor Lodge.
While Ashland is starting to become a bedroom city for big-city commuters, it’s still very much a rural place. Take a stroll down the brick-paved streets of downtown Ashland to discover the many restaurants, art galleries, and shops in its historic district. While you’re there, stop at the Air and Space Museum and the Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari!
If you’ve ever read the classic novel My Antonia by Willa Cather, you’ll recognize the landscape of this charming small town. When you visit, you can take a tour of Cather’s childhood home and stomping grounds. If historic novels aren’t quite your style, you can still enjoy things like the historic Red Cloud Opera House or a day on the river. There’s plenty to do in this lovely farming town.
When you visit Minden, you’ll feel a bit like you’ve taken a trip to Germany. This community was founded in 1876 by German immigrants, who built a lovely town around their agricultural lifestyle. Although it’s cold in the winter, Christmas is a great time to visit Minden, which has dubbed itself “Nebraska’s Christmas City.” Any time you visit, be sure to visit the Pioneer Village and learn about early settlers.
Historic Aurora is one of the best small towns to live in. Of course, it’s also a great place to visit, featuring sites like a 19th Century schoolhouse, an interactive science center, and the Plainsman Museum. For a small town, Aurora offers plenty of fun and educational experiences.