22 Best Things to Do in North Platte, NE

North Platte, NE
Jacob Boomsma / shutterstock.com

If you are in the heartland of Nebraska and are curious about the local attractions, look no further than North Platte.

From the captivating railroad history that runs as deep as the city's roots to the sprawling landscapes that beckon for exploration, North Platte truly brings to life the essence of the Midwest.

No matter the season, there's always something to do and discover.

So buckle up and get ready to explore the best things to do in North Platte, Nebraska.

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We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Sherry King, Kimberly Crow, Desiree Pitts, Mark Barber, Andrea Puente, Steven Roach and Alondra Hebert.

Make a Daily Escape to the Golden Spike Tower

Exterior of Golden Spike Tower
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There's just something about the rhythmic clatter and hum of a train that's become music to my ears.

You see, I've made a habit of visiting the Golden Spike Tower, practically in my backyard, where I can watch the ballet of trains at the world's largest train depot.

Here, I've found my escape, where I can appreciate the grandeur of the rail yard sprawling eight miles long and two miles wide.

Each day, I find myself perched on the open-air or enclosed observation areas, fascinated by the intricate operations of 135 trains navigating across the 212 tracks.

From the eight-story tower, I've seen the remarkable spectacle of a gravity-driven train car sorting over the east and west humps, guided by the helpful explanations of the onsite guide.

It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I've been entranced by this mechanical symphony more than I can count.

Railroad days are my personal favorite. The energy is infectious as train fans like myself flock to celebrate and admire the feats of the Bailey Yard.

Aerial view of Union Pacific Bailey Yard
marekuliasz / Shutterstock.com

The panoramic views from the tower offer a unique perspective of the surrounding area, and I've often found myself in awe as I watch storms roll in from the west, each thunderclap echoing across the rail yard.

The history of my local area is beautifully encapsulated in information boards scattered around the tower, imparting a sense of pride and heritage.

And, of course, the gift shop never fails to surprise me with its intriguing array of unique items, just perfect for a train enthusiast like me.

I would recommend anyone with a love for trains or even just a curiosity for the ebbs and flows of a bustling rail yard to spend some time here.

Indeed, I've had countless wonderful hours at the Golden Spike Tower and look forward to many more.

People at the Golden Spike Tower
Djngsf, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ride High on Dusty Trails

If there's one thing you need to do in our town, it's a visit to Dusty Trails, LLC.

The fun, the adventure, and the sheer joy of being out in the open are unparalleled.

And trust me, once you've experienced it, you'll yearn for more!

My latest adventure with Dusty Trails was a trail ride.

The anticipation began to build as we mingled with the animals in the petting area while waiting our turn.

My steed for the day was 'Sis,' a gentle creature with a graceful trot.

Meanwhile, my friend enjoyed riding 'Johnny Cash,' a horse as cool as his namesake.

The trail ride was an absolute delight.

We felt the whispers of the wind, the rustling of the leaves, the serene calm of nature, and the rhythmic clip-clop of the horses transporting us to a different world altogether.

Our adventure didn't stop there.

We also tried the tanking and tube experience on the North Platte River, another delightful experience.

The thrill of navigating our tank over the shallow portions of the river, coupled with the refreshing splash of the cool water, made it a day to remember.

What was the best part? We could set our pace, making it fun and relaxing.

I must mention the Prairie Chicken Blind, a unique offering from Dusty Trails.

It’s a haven for bird watchers and photographers.

Despite the chill, the sight of the chickens, cranes, and other species in their natural habitat was mesmerizing.

One piece of advice, though - keep your camera away during the evening Crane tours.

Just soak in the experience as the cranes take over the river after dark.

If you're keen on photographs, the daytime provides the best opportunities.

So, if you're ever looking for outdoor fun, Dusty Trails, LLC is the place to be.

Visit the 20th Century Veterans Memorial

One of the landmarks that truly exemplifies the spirit and courage of North Platte is the 20th Century Veterans Memorial.

It's here, amidst the quiet hush of respect, where I often spend my afternoons.

I love the tranquility of the area and the sense of community it fosters among locals.

The sprawling memorial, one of the largest I've seen, is a testament to the bravery of those who served our nation.

Every name etched in the stone reminds us of the sacrifices made for our freedom.

I often bring my children here to teach them the importance of respect and gratitude towards our veterans.

Just adjacent to the memorial is a park perfect for family outings.

The picturesque docks are a favorite among those who fancy a quiet afternoon with a fishing rod.

For the children, there's a playground where they can burn off their boundless energies.

The memorial is the perfect backdrop for family photos, especially during sunset when the rays of the setting sun cast a golden glow on the statue of Lady Liberty.

I often find myself lost in the profound beauty of the scene.

As a tribute to our nation's heroes, the memorial hosts various events yearly, one of my favorites is the annual Veterans Day celebration, a grand gathering of people who come together to honor those who have served.

It's a popular stop for cross-country travelers like veterans driving along the "Purple Heart Memorial Highway," where locals like me find solace.

The memorial offers a peaceful respite amidst the hustle and bustle of city life, and for me, it's a place where I can reflect and remember the sacrifices made by our brave men and women.

The 20th Century Veterans Memorial is more than a landmark for me.

It's a symbol of pride, resilience, and unity, a place that continually reminds me of the courage of those who fought to keep us safe.

Take a Walk Through the Divine Path of Alpha Omega Labyrinth

Every town has its charm; for us, it's the Alpha Omega Labyrinth.

It's a hidden gem that greets you with an air of tranquillity, providing a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

There's something incredibly serene about stepping onto the winding pathways of the labyrinth; it's as if the world around you quiets down.

I often stop here on my bike rides to soak in the peaceful ambiance and enjoy a thoughtful stroll through the labyrinth.

But what I love most about this place isn't the tranquillity.

It's the connection it fosters.

The labyrinth serves as my direct channel to the divine.

It's a unique space where I can engage in introspection, talk to God, and feel an overwhelming sense of spiritual upliftment.

The Alpha Omega Labyrinth is a spiritual retreat where you immerse yourself in silence and introspection.

Moreover, the long walk in this relatively small space is an experience that can leave you feeling rejuvenated and reconnected with your inner self.

It's a cherished part of our community.

Walking through the Alpha Omega Labyrinth is an experience to remember.

It's not uncommon for visitors to express their desire to have a similar labyrinth in their backyards!

This charming spot, tucked away in our town, is a testament to how simple spaces can foster deep spiritual connections.

Explore the North Platte Visitor Center

I've strolled around the North Platte Visitor Center countless times, and every visit leaves me more captivated than the last.

It has become one of my favorite stops when I take my dog for a walk.

Spotless, the center reflects the true essence of our community: warm and welcoming.

When you step inside the North Platte Visitor Center, you're greeted by an array of helpful information about our local area.

As someone who's lived here for years, I even find some new tidbits I hadn't known before.

But the center is more than just an information hub. It's a place perfect for a relaxing break on a busy day.

There's a lovely covered picnic area where I often take a breather and watch my pup play.

Watching the little kids run around while their parents stop to catch their breath is quite a sight.

The location is also super easy to get to and from.

That's why it's a favorite among us locals.

Next time you plan a day out or a road trip, why not swing by the North Platte Visitor Center?

Hang Out at Pals Brewing Company

It's a typical Friday evening in North Platte.

The town's coming alive; for me, there's no other place to be than the Pals Brewing Company, my all-time favorite spot.

Not only does it offer a wide array of brews, but it's also an excellent place for a family outing.

The vibe inside is electric, and the indoor and outdoor seating choice makes it even more enticing.

As a beer enthusiast, I find their beer selection truly impressive.

And for those who prefer non-alcoholic drinks, the options are just as remarkable.

The Chicken Chorizo Nachos is one of my favorites from the Pals Brewing Company menu.

The exceptional flavors left a lasting impression when I first tasted it, and I've been hooked ever since.

As a big pizza fan, I can't recommend their "Nebraskan" pizza enough. It's a true culinary delight!

The kids' playground is another excellent feature that makes this spot a hit amongst families.

For those with kids, having a safe and fun area for the little ones makes the whole experience even more enjoyable.

Beyond the comfy seating and tasty food, Pals' Brewery is also convenient.

They offer multiple payment options, making transactions a breeze.

And let's not forget the large parking area.

Although it can get quite packed on Fridays and Saturdays, finding a spot isn't usually a hassle.

Lastly, I can't help but mention their gorgeous patio area.

It's hands down one of the best I've seen.

Coupled with the excellent atmosphere and great beer, it's no wonder Pals Brewing Company is one of the best breweries in the United States.

Local or not, it's a place you can't afford to miss in North Platte.

Journey Through Time at Lincoln County Historical Museum

It's hard to encapsulate the rich tapestry of life in North Platte, but the Lincoln County Historical Museum does it justice.

With a blend of careful thought and tireless effort, this museum paints a vivid picture of our local history.

I've spent countless afternoons wandering through the myriad exhibits, each more fascinating than the last.

There's even an authentic phone booth with a vintage handset that'll transport you back in time.

Outside, the museum keeps the journey alive with numerous buildings encapsulating our past's different aspects.

On my favorite visit, my family and I explored the Sears catalog house, known locally as the Fredricksen House.

This historical gem, along with the other buildings, is furnished and arranged to give you a firsthand experience of life back in the day.

The spaces are wide and welcoming, perfect for kids to run around and explore to their heart's content.

Parking? Not a problem at all. You can park near the museum building for an efficient cost.

And trust me, the exhibits are worth every penny.

The collection is vast, featuring personal artifacts and local memorabilia that tell the story of our town.

One display that stands out is the poignant and informative exhibit on the Japanese during WWII.

The museum also boasts a stunning outdoor display.

There is something for everyone, with structures ranging from a train depot and a church to a schoolhouse and even a barn.

My favorite is the mail-order house, a unique piece of history that never ceases to amaze me.

It's not just the indoor museum that's worth your time.

The outside exhibits are equally enthralling, filled with tractors, fire engines, and even a ditch plow that 48 oxen once pulled.

Visiting Lincoln County Historical Museum is like stepping into a time machine.

With so much to see and explore, one could easily spend hours lost in the captivating history of our community.

And the best part? Admission is quite affordable.

Check out their website here for more information.

Trust me, two hours would feel like a fast visit amidst this place's treasures.

Discover History at Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park Museum

Exterior of Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park Museum
Kevin Kipper / Shutterstock.com

When you live somewhere as historic as Nebraska, you find hidden gems tucked away in the most unexpected places.

One such gem is the Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park Museum.

I've spent countless afternoons walking around the expansive grounds.

The Ranch, once the home of the famous Buffalo Bill Cody, is preserved in all its glory, complete with the original mansion and barn.

Stepping into that house is like stepping onto a page of a history book.

You can take a self-guided tour and discover its secrets at your own pace. And the barn!

It'll give you a firsthand look at how much Buffalo Bill loved his horses.

Side view of Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park Museum
Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

Now, I'm a sucker for history, and the museum exhibits do an excellent job of painting a vivid picture of Buffalo Bill's life.

Each display is a window into the past, from photographs of his performers and performances to his contributions to our country.

And the memorabilia? It's like holding a piece of history in your hands.

The grounds are simply beautiful.

I don't think I've ever seen a more stunning representation of Nebraska's natural beauty. It’s the perfect place for a peaceful walk.

And the best part? It's dog-friendly! So, if you ever find yourself in Nebraska, don't forget to drop by. I guarantee you, it'll be a walk you won't forget.

The grounds of Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park Museum
inkknife_2000 (7.5 million views +), CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take a Trip Down Memory Lane at Grain Bin Antique Town

There's an old-world charm nestled just down the road from me that's hard to resist.

The Grain Bin Antique Town is a place that beckons you into the past.

The first time I stepped inside, I was instantly transported back to my childhood.

Indeed, the sheer scale of the selection is overwhelming, with everything from knick-knacks to grand pieces of furniture.

The antique town is a treasure trove of memories, each bin filled with items that whisper stories from a bygone era.

I found myself reminiscing about my younger years, moments I had almost forgotten, stirred by the objects touching my senses.

The environment is as exciting as the treasure hunt itself.

Each grain bin is meticulously organized, creating a sense of exploration and discovery.

The location couldn't be more picturesque.

Surrounded by a serene countryside backdrop, it's easy to lose track of time while wandering around.

If you're an antique enthusiast like me, you could spend an entire afternoon here.

The prices are pretty reasonable, too- a pleasant surprise for such a vast and diverse selection.

Grain Bin Antique Town is a trip down memory lane.

You unearth unique antique treasures and rediscover moments from your past.

I find myself returning time and time, each visit unearthing new memories and treasures.

Experience the Past at Cody Park Railroad Museum

I've lost count of how many times I've strolled through the Cody Park Railroad Museum.

It's one of those places where there's always something new to discover, no matter how often you visit.

Living in North Platte, having such a historical treasure in our backyard is a privilege.

Every visit to the museum is a trip back in time.

You get to see and touch the steam and diesel locomotives that once roared across the country - it's surreal.

I remember the first time I climbed into the Challenger - the sheer size of it took my breath away.

And the folks who run the museum? They're a wealth of knowledge, ready to share the fascinating stories behind every locomotive and equipment on display.

But the museum is also where my kids run around, role-play, and learn about history in a fun way.

They love playing around the locomotives, making stories, and pretending to be conductors.

The up-close view of these massive machines offers excellent photo opportunities, too.

Who needs a professional photoshoot when you have the starlit backdrop of the museum at twilight?

Even better, the museum is free to visit, and parking is never an issue.

Whether during the busy Rail Days or on a quiet midweek afternoon, the experience is always enjoyable.

It's a gem that draws train enthusiasts from all over, but as someone living right here in North Platte, it's a place I get to call my own.

For those who have not experienced the charm of the Cody Park Railroad Museum in North Platte, check it out as soon as possible. Trust me, you won't regret it.

Visit to Cody Park

There’s something oddly soothing about the rhythmic chug of a train.

As a lifelong resident of North Platte, I often find myself drawn to the train displays at Cody Park, each time falling in love with the history and charm all over again.

The park is a small but significant piece of our town, the trains a nod to our illustrious rail yard past.

Likewise, the park has an animal enclosure that holds a special place in my heart.

I vividly remember the first time I saw a peacock strut its vibrant plumage, the sight etched into my childhood memories.

Moreover, the thrill of spotting a bull elk or a playful deer never seems to fade.

Within moments of entering the park, I’m usually greeted by some creature or other, marking the start of another enjoyable visit.

The seasonal concessions are a must-try if you're lucky enough to visit during summer.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve enjoyed the local ice cream after a refreshing swim at the pool.

It’s a cooling treat that caps off a sunny day spent making memories with family and friends.

The generous servings, the friendly staff, and the chatter of satisfied customers make the experience all the more enjoyable.

In a town steeped in the whirlwind rush of modern life, Cody Park remains a tranquil haven, a playground for children, and a sanctuary for adults.

It's where you can revel in the thrill of a baseball game, marvel at the animal kingdom, or enjoy a quiet moment amid the greenery.

And somehow, I eagerly await my next visit each time I leave.

Enter a Wine Lover's Paradise: Feather River Vineyards

Every town has its best-kept secret; in my town, it is undoubtedly Feather River Vineyards.

Walking amid the rolling hills of this beautiful vineyard, you can't help but surrender to the serene ambiance.

The vineyard spans a vast expanse of fertile land, offering breathtaking views, especially at sunset.

The tasting room at Feather River Vineyards is an experience not to be missed.

Here, you can discover the magic behind this vineyard's incredible wines.

During my visit, I had the pleasure of meeting Pete.

His knowledge of the wines is genuinely inspiring, and he was extremely helpful in guiding us through our selections.

I must say, the wine from Feather River Vineyards is genuinely marvelous.

Indeed, I have had wines from many places, but none compare to Feather River's exquisite taste and quality.

So, if you ever find yourself in town, visit Feather River Vineyards. Trust me, you won't regret it.

Enjoy Thrilling Adventures at Cody Go-Karts

Boy, have I had some thrilling times at Cody Go-Karts! It's become a cherished spot for me and my family.

The air is always filled with infectious enthusiasm; children's laughter makes your heart leap with joy.

Kicking off with the go-kart tracks, they are a blast from the past!

The cars we get to drive are just like the ones from 30 years ago.

These are not just any cars - they are well-maintained, 30-year-old cars!

It's like having a slice of history right here in our town.

My kids were thrilled to drive their vehicles, though they must be 52 inches tall and at least nine years old.

Then, there's the bumper boats! They're a hit with my family.

It's a riot of laughter and splashing water that puts a wide grin on everyone's face.

But the fun doesn't stop at the water.

At Cody Go-Karts, they've got a mini-golf course and a water park that my kids adore.

To top it all off, they have an arcade - and guess what?

The games are almost all still 25 cents! It's like stepping into a time machine and returning to simpler times.

Let's not forget the hilarious chicken tic tac toe that always leaves us in stitches.

Every visit to Cody Go-Karts promises a day filled with joy, nostalgia, and fun-filled activities.

So whether you're a kid or a kid at heart, this place offers something for everyone. I can't wait to see what the next adventure brings!

Explore the Prairie Arts Center

Exterior of Prairie Arts Center
Chris Light, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you appreciate everything beautiful and artistic, then the Prairie Arts Center should be on your bucket list.

From the moment I stepped through the front doors, I was amazed by the myriad art pieces adorning the walls - each more captivating than the last.

The exhibits are a feast for the eyes, and the center is a work of art.

With its rich history and clean, well-maintained spaces, the building is as much a masterpiece as the artwork it houses.

And if you're looking to improve your art skills, the center offers a variety of classes where you can hone your talents.

Whether you're a local or a visitor, I highly recommend you carve out some time to explore this artistic gem.

There's so much to see and learn at the Prairie Arts Center.

Spend the Day at Iron Horse Park

Every so often, I feel the urge to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and breathe in some fresh air.

On days like these, I often find myself drawn towards Iron Horse Park, an underappreciated park gem just off I-80.

The first thing that strikes you about the park is the beautiful Veteran's Memorial, a monument that has been carefully crafted and meticulously maintained.

It's truly a sight to behold, inspiring a sense of awe and reverence in all who visit.

The park also has a playground that my 2.5-year-old daughter adores.

There are slides, unique climbing features, and an unusual swing that may be designed for children who use wheelchairs.

The park also boasts a lake with a concrete boat ramp for outdoor enthusiasts.

It may be too small for a motorboat, but it's perfect for a leisurely kayak or Jon boat ride.

The water looks clear and inviting.

While there are no formal trails in the park, you can easily stroll on the grass or the concrete road alongside it.

You'll hardly encounter any traffic, making it an ideal spot for a peaceful walk.

Iron Horse Park is a refreshing escape from the city, where we can truly relax and reconnect with nature.

Explore the Wonders of North Platte Area Children's Museum

It was a typical Saturday, and I decided to take my three-year-old and ten-month-old kids to the North Platte Area Children's Museum.

The museum was filled with hands-on exhibits and entertaining and educational activities, providing an excellent balance of fun and learning.

Moreover, the museum is designed for children, allowing them to explore different careers in a safe and fun environment. T

There is a medical area where they can play doctor, a market area where they can pretend to be grocers, and even a fine arts area where they can discover their artistic potential.

The sheer variety of exhibits kept my children engaged for hours.

My younger one particularly loved the area set for infants, where they could crawl around and enjoy the texture of different objects.

On the other hand, my elder kid was fascinated by the room with a basketball hoop and soccer net, where he could run around and burn off some energy.

The admission fee is quite reasonable, a bonus for families like ours that are on a budget.

Still, the North Platte Area Children's Museum is great for spending a day with the little ones.

It's about keeping them occupied, sparking their curiosity, and encouraging them to explore the world around them.

Tee Off at River's Edge Golf Course

The River's Edge Golf Course is my favorite local spot.

It's a place to meet, eat, and watch some football.

I've celebrated a few special occasions there myself, just like Austin's birthday party that was held there recently.

And the food is always hot, fresh, and delectable.

You can't help but get seconds.

And let's not forget the games.

With their TVs always tuned in to the latest football matches, it's become a local sports hub.

You'll often see groups huddled together, cheering on their teams, creating a lively and infectious atmosphere.

So whether you're a golf enthusiast or just someone looking for a good meal and a fun time, River's Edge Golf Course is the place to be.

Experience the Charm and Challenges of Lake Maloney State Recreation Area

It's always a pleasure to soak in the rural charm of the Lake Maloney State Recreation Area.

As I live nearby, I have the privilege of visiting quite frequently.

The quaint lakeside campground, nestled in the heart of Nebraska, is a refuge for many campers seeking to enjoy the serene water body at its core.

Moreover, the beauty of this campsite always beckons me.

The sight of happy campers enjoying the water is truly heartwarming.

Indeed, the Lake Maloney State Recreation Area holds a charm that always draws me back.

The peace and tranquillity that one can usually find here are hard to replicate, making it a treasured spot for locals like me.

Go Bowling at Wild Bill’s Fun Center

There's no denying it: Wild Bill's Fun Center is one of my go-to places to have a good time.

I still remember stepping foot into Wild Bill’s for the first time.

It’s where my friends and I have formed some of our best memories, and we always leave with a smile.

One thing you can’t forget is the food.

They have everything you need to refuel - from hot, delicious pizza to several snack options.

It makes you feel welcome, and you can tell that the staff genuinely cares about providing a great experience.

Whether it's for the bowling, the arcade games, or the food, Wild Bill's Fun Center truly offers a fun-filled experience for all. Just remember to pack your sense of adventure, and maybe, just maybe, you might find yourself joining me for a round of karaoke someday.

Pay a Nostalgic Visit to Fort Cody Trading Post

A flag on top of the Fort Cody Trading Post
Danae Abreu / Shutterstock.com

I decided to spend a day revisiting some childhood memories by heading to the Fort Cody Trading Post, a place I hadn't visited for years.

The exterior of the building, with its playful and inviting appearance, still has the power to cheer me up.

Upon stepping inside, I'm hit by a wave of nostalgia mixed with the smell of old books and mothballs.

I can't help but chuckle, remembering how this scent was so familiar.

As I walk around the trading post, I'm taken aback by the sheer number of items on sale.

It's a treasure trove for anyone seeking a unique souvenir or a gift.

One of the highlights of my visit was the display of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show figures.

I recall watching the miniature show as a kid and the thrill it gave me.

Exterior of the Fort Cody Trading Post
Danae Abreu / Shutterstock.com

There's also a penny-pressing machine, which fascinates me.

I try my luck, and out of four attempts, two images turn out perfectly, adding excitement to the day.

I round off my visit to the Fort Cody Trading Post with a trip to the gift shop.

My eyes light up when I see the old-time sodas.

After sipping one, I understand why kids and adults enjoy them.

As a day filled with reminiscing, shopping, and a little fun comes to an end, I can't help but feel a sense of joy.

My childhood hangout hasn't changed much, and I'm grateful for that.

I think about bringing my nephews here next time, hoping they will find it as enjoyable and intriguing as I always have.

Final Thoughts

I've never run out of things to do while living in North Platte.

Whether you're a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking for a good time, you will find something that suits your interests in North Platte.

So, explore what our town offers; I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

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