Road Tripping Across Nebraska


We have officially packed up the pop up for the last time and are heading home to Illinois after eleven weeks on the road. As we leave the mountains, my husband can’t help but take a few last glances in the rear view mirror. He reminds me to say goodbye and take it all in because we won’t be seeing them again for a while.


Am I sad to be leaving this trip behind? Am I happy to be going home? I’m not really sure I know how I’m feeling. I know my body is weary; we’ve been on the go almost continuously since we left. I know I miss my friends and family; it was hard to stay connected the whole summer. BUT I also know we just had the time of our life. We observed nature at its finest and gazed upon some of the best scenery America and Canada has to offer. I don’t think we’ve even had time to fully grasp and comprehend the magnitude of what we’ve seen.


Wait there’s more! We still have a couple of days on the road and we are traversing the state of Nebraska. We took the travelers route across historic Lincoln Highway, stopped at the world’s largest rail yard, took in views at the state capitol building and found a sunken garden.

Nebraska Road Trip

Lincoln Highway Historic Byway

Nebraska’s Lincoln Highway Historic Byway is the only byway that crosses the entire state at 498 miles long. In fact, it is part of U.S. 30 which is the shortest and most direct route between New York and San Francisco. It was one of the first transcontinental highways across the U.S. for automobiles.

Nebraska Road Trip

To be honest, I thought we would find the drive a bit boring compared to what we’ve driven through the last few months. Instead, I realized there’s something beguiling and peaceful crossing the plains. We passed through one stoplight towns where animals may outnumber people and I’m sure everyone knows each others name. We found the sound of the train that ran parallel to the road soothing and the nimble sunflowers welcoming.

Nebraska Road Trip

Golden Spike Tower – The World’s Largest Rail Yard

Nebraska Road Trip

We took a quick break to stretch our legs at the Golden Spike Tower in North Platte, Nebraska. It has panoramic views of Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard. It’s where east meets west on the UP line and is considered the world’s largest rail yard.

Nebraska Road Trip

Here are some fun facts of the rail yard:

  • Covers 2,850 acres of land, stretching over 8 miles
  • Handles 10,000 railcars each day
  • Employs 2,600 people
  • Has 985 switches

Nebraska Road Trip

The self-guided tour begins with a short video of the history of the yard, then up you go into the elevator for the views and more history of the transportation system and what it was used for in the past.

Nebraska Road Trip

The story of the North Platte Canteen is the display that caught my attention. It was one of the largest volunteer efforts during World War II. The women of North Platte took it upon themselves to greet and serve our soldiers that were either going off or coming home from war. What an enormous morale booster! On an average day the canteen saw between 3,000 to 5,000 servicemen. They provided free coffee, donuts, homemade cookies, sandwiches and magazines to the soldiers, but apparently it was much more than that:

“We know you call us ‘your boys’ but I wonder if you realize whom we saw in you? We saw our mothers, our wives, our sisters and daughters and sweethearts… above all this we saw America…”

Nebraska Road Trip

Nebraska Road Trip

Things to Do in Nebraska – Stop in Lincoln

Our next visit on our Nebraska road trip is the city of Lincoln, the capital of Nebraska.

First, we head up to the 14th floor observation deck to enjoy the beautiful views at the capitol building. Completed in 1932, Nebraska’s capitol building was the first to incorporate a functional tower into its design. The 400-foot domed tower is constructed of Indiana limestone and can be seen from twenty miles away. 

Afterward, we ate lunch at Lazlo’s Brewery and Grill and stopped at the picturesque Sunken Gardens. We spent the afternoon wandering around and hope to visit again when we have more time to explore.

Nebraska Road Trip

Nebraska Road Trip

Nebraska Road Trip

Nebraska Road Trip

Tomorrow we go home, ending our epic 80 day summer road trip. We hope you enjoyed following along. We are already talking about what the next big adventure will be!

If you would like to follow along on our adventure, Start at Day One here as we hit the Badlands.

Don’t forget to sign up below to be the first to know when a new post comes out so you can follow along on our adventures!

Next: Road Trip Cost – Expense Break Down

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Angela E. is a travel writer from the Chicagoland area who has visited all 50 states in the US and has traveled extensively around the world. She is passionate about exploring the great outdoors and hiking in particular. Her love for nature has taken her to some of the most beautiful locations on the planet. She has written extensively about her travels on her own website, Dang Travelers, and has been published in collaboration with other travel websites and multiple visitor bureaus around the country.

21 Responses

  1. Glenda Copeland

    I have so enjoyed traveling vicariously with you guys!!! As you get older and when the future brings troubles or challenges (every one has them at some point), pull up these wonderful memories and take comfort in the good times! They are more precious than gold.

    • Dang Travelers

      Thank you so much Glenda for following along! We hope our travels help and inspire others. You are so right, we will always have these memories to cherish. Can’t wait to create some more 🙂

  2. Evon

    Have loved following your adventure, it was all so beautiful! Welcome back to Illinois…

  3. Livi Bee

    Great read! I love sunflowers!! Whenever I visit Lincoln, I’ll def be adding these wonders to my list! You have definitely inspired me to take a roadtrip, and I think I will be doing so next fall! Thank you!

  4. Jo

    Wow 80 days on the road? That’s fantastic. I need to get my hubby to tag along for such an epic adventure. I know the mixed feelings at end of an amazing vacation – you are tired and want to go home (Sleep in ur bed, meet ur friends/family) and at the same time you don’t want to leave.

  5. Bethanny Sudibyo

    This seems like a very lovely road trip! I really love trains and tours that involve trains as well. You take beautiful pictures as well. It would be awesome to do a packing post on this and let us know what you had for 80 days of road trip 🙂

  6. Helena

    Great post. I have always been really intrigued by Nebraska and your post just makes me want to go and check it out more!

  7. Elisa

    I would also be sad to leave the mountains but your way to Nebraska looks full with interesting and entertaining stuff!

  8. Cathy

    I have loved your entire adventure and I actually started following your blog because I am planning an 18 state road trip with my son next summer. Nebraska had me nervous because I thought it was just going to be a long drive with not much to do but my son is a train NUT so now I have the Bailey Yard on our itinerary! I had also penciled in the Scottsbluff National Monument (you should check it out if you ever return, it looks cool!) so now I feel better about breaking up our trip through NE. Thanks so much!

    • Dang Travelers

      So happy to hear Cathy! Ooh had not heard of Scottsbluff Monument so I’ll add that to our list. Thanks! I would love to get to Omaha at some point and back to Lincoln. I’m so excited for you guys! It sounds like a great trip 😊

  9. Chris Travels

    Every time I’ve driven through Nebraska on the interstate I mentally geared up for the BORING hours of travel, and if I wasn’t the driver always took the opportunity to take a long NAP. But as usual, you have an uncanny way of unearthing little gems
    wherever you go, so shame on me for such ignorance! Beautiful pictures and commentary…and welcome home!

  10. Leigh | Campfires & Concierges

    This is great! I’ll be driving across Nebraska (for the 1000th) time this summer and hoping to avoid interstates and travel a bit slower than usual. These look like good spots to stretch my and my pup’s legs!

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