Roll the windows down and breathe in the Nebraska air. It’s time to take a road trip and with more miles of waterways than roads, this beautiful state features some of the most picturesque views you’ll ever encounter.
It’s probably been a while since you got away with the family. We’ve all been living the pandemic life, so now more than ever, it’s time to buckle up and brave the open road while experiencing what the beautiful state of Nebraska has to offer.
To emulate a true Nebraskan, follow our quick packing checklist, must-see attractions, and of course, driving tips and affordable Nebraska car insurance that will keep your family safe and stress-free to enjoy your trip a little better.
Suitcase Must Haves: The Best Items to Pack for Nebraska
What you pack relies heavily on the time of year you’ll be visiting. Nebraska, like many Midwestern states, experiences extreme weather patterns. The summer is very hot and the winter is very cold.
If you’re planning on going between June and September, when the weather reaches highs in the 80s and there are chances for dense humidity and high rain, you’ll want to pack the following items:
- Weather-appropriate clothing, including bathing suits
- Wide-brimmed hat
- Rain gear — windproof umbrella, ponchos
- Quick-dry shirt
- Waterproof items — backpack, fanny pack, phone bag, shoes
- Bug repellent and sunscreen
- Travel and/or swimming towel
- Small insulated lunchbox or cooler
- Tornado-specific phone app
- Insulated water bottle
Between May and June or September and October, the rain chances are lower than in the summer months, snow chances are low, the temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees F. According to locals, the weather is most favorable during this time of the year. Bring what you would pack in the summer months, with the addition of:
- Light jacket, pants, and long sleeve shirts
- Closed-toed shoes or boots
- Light socks
If you’re going between November and April, you’ll be visiting and driving in colder temperatures with snow chances. During your winter travel, be vigilant and cautious while driving through these weather conditions and pack the following items:
- Snow gear — pants, jacket, boots, socks, gloves
- Lip balm
- Insulated boots
- Thermal undergarments
- Heated socks
- Warm pants or jeans
- Sweaters and scarves
- Camera to capture memories
- Insulated water bottle
March and April start to warm with temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees F with lower chances of snow.
Top 5 Must-See Attractions in Nebraska
If you see one thing in Nebraska, it needs to be Carhenge. This unique and eclectic experience will wow the whole family. Located in Alliance, Nebraska, and built in 1987, this monument pays homage to the formation of Stonehenge in England.
Creator Jim Reinders dedicated the art to his late father, and the massive art piece sits on their family farm. The construction started in June 1987 and was completed by Jim Reinders’ entire family. The exhibit is free to the public and you’re able to get up close and personal to the cars.
Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
If furry creatures, aquatic wildlife, and endangered snakes sound interesting, Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium must make the cut. This attraction will keep the whole family entertained for at least one full day. From a splash pad and IMAX to tons of animal exhibits and endless food and drink options, you won’t regret this decision on your trip.
The attractions are open seven days a week, but keep in mind the hours do change according to the season. If you’re planning your trip in October, make sure to check out the Ghouls and Glow event presented by Veridian Credit Union.
Scotts Bluff National Monument
Breathe in the fresh Nebraska air while you explore this magnificent natural landmark. Standing 800 feet in the air with over 3,000 acres of park to explore, the monument has many visitors raving about its history and beauty.
From hiking, driving, and wildlife to botany, geology, and art, Scotts Bluff will delight your natural history itch and serve as the best way to see Nebraska’s picturesque scenery. Check out the visitor center for some helpful information and the gift shop for a memento of your visit.
With top ratings from past visitors, this one definitely makes the list. The lake is part of the reservoir of North Platt Lake and offers endless opportunities to experience its beauty. Camping is offered either on the beach or at a campsite with an advance reservation.
Other activities include boating, tubing, and water skiing. Fishing and hunting are also high up on the to-do list if either sparks your interest. For your concession needs, there are seven businesses offering rentals, food, drinks, groceries, and other sundries you might need during your stay.
Old Market in Omaha
If a diverse and vintage market with tons of shopping, food, and drinks excites you, make a trip to this historical shopping epicenter. If you’re looking for items with character and a story, the market has countless antique stores stocked full of items of the past.
There are pubs and taverns, restaurants, coffee shops, and desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you’re staying in the area, the grocery store might be helpful for any last-minute items. With art galleries, museums, live music, and even a fall festival, the market needs to be a stop on the road trip.
Driving and Car Insurance Tips for Nebraska
When driving in Nebraska, it’s beneficial to keep in mind that liability insurance is the only requirement for insured Nebraskans. What does this mean to you? This type of insurance does not cover offenses suffered by the insured in an accident — simply damage and injury costs to other drivers.
As a silver lining, most drivers in the state of Nebraska choose to carry higher than required coverage due to cheap insurance costs. Nebraska premiums run around 20% lower than the nation’s average.
As mentioned, weather patterns are extreme in Nebraska. Rain and snow can be heavy, creating hazardous conditions. Keeping a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle preceding you will decrease the chances of an accident. When it’s snowing, do not slam on the brakes, and pay close attention to any ice on the roadway.
When your family is ready for their next adventure in Nebraska, plan for ample time to get to and from your destinations, especially on snow days as travel will likely be delayed on the highways. If your car or rental has a remote start, turning the car on 10 to 15 minutes before leaving would be helpful.
Nebraska: Natural Beauty Sure to Please
This beautiful state has so much to offer its visitors. From natural allures that pictures truly can’t capture to shopping, arts, man-made wonders, and museums, this state will leave you captivated and wanting more.
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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Ahmedabad Local journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.