Some great stories from the people we met (more on these in the blog). Visit the Lincoln Country Historical Museum. If you like trains and/or fascinating logistics in action, check out Golden Spike Tower. Be aware – It was 100F degrees (39C) on Sept 2nd. US towns seem to sprawl – just when you think North Platte has finished it starts up again.
I was surprised there was so much to see in North Platte and really enjoyed the attractions. The Lincoln County Historical Museum was really well done, especially the pioneer village. I didn’t think the Golden Spike Tower was worth $7, but with the $10 combo ticket it’s worth the visit.
North Platte, Nebraska
Distance from Valparaiso, IN: 788 miles
Driving time from Valparaiso, IN: 13 hours, 19 minutes
North Platte is the hometown of the world famous Buffalo Bill Cody and has some great attractions that can fill up a full day. If you’re into the Old West or have a fascination for trains, it makes for a worthy stop. All of the attractions are also family friendly.
- Buffalo Bill Ranch State Park is the former ranch of Buffalo Bill Cody. Visit his home and barn and see a real buffalo at the legend’s very own Scout’s Rest Ranch. Admission is only $2 but you need a Nebraska Parks Permit. You can buy one at the entrance.
- The Lincoln County Historical Museum is run by a wonderful group of volunteers. It tells the story of North Platte and Lincoln County with countless historical artifacts. Check out the pioneer village behind the museum, with several authentic buildings from around the county. Learn about the North Platte Canteen, which the community used to feed over 6 million servicemen and women during quick stopovers in WWII. Admission for adults is $5.
- The Golden Spike Tower gives visitors a panoramic view of the world’s largest railyard. There’s an open air viewing platform on the 7th floor. An indoor platform on the 8th floor includes a narrator to explain what’s happening in the railyard. Admission is $7 for adults.
- Buy a $10 all-in-one ticket for admission to all three major attractions listed above.
- Kitsch is the name of the game at Fort Cody, a large general store with a free museum.
- Enjoy a buffalo burger at Penny’s Diner, right off I-80 and part of the Oak Tree Inn.
- Have a fresh donut at the local Daylight Donuts chain.
- America’s Best Value Inn has decent rooms and a refreshing pool, although it’s quite a ways away from the highway.