Kearney:The Crane Capital of the World Home to 4 Feet Tall Birds and Takes You Back in Time with Some Historic Treasures

Photo by Michel Rathwell

Kearney:The Crane Capital of the World Home to 4 Feet Tall Birds and Takes You Back in Time with Some Historic Treasures

Kearney is a city in Buffalo County in Nebraska. Kearney community is a product of the westward push of the railroad when the civil war ended. Its self-proclaimed fame as the Sandhill Crane capital is due to the giant birds that cover Platte River. From bird watching to beautiful monuments, Kearney offers the nature geared traveler something to marvel at. These are some of the most visited sightseeing attractions around Kearney:

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Kearney:The Crane Capital of the World Home to 4 Feet Tall Birds and Takes You Back in Time with Some Historic Treasures

1. Great Platte River Road Archway Monument

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Great Platte River Road Archway Monument in Kearney connects the east to west. This archway sits on over 79,000 square feet. The archway holds exhibits of the route’s evolution and American history giving great insight on the pioneers in the 1800s. To get to the top, one rides a tall escalator, from here you get a pair of headsets to wear and listen to through the whole tour of the monument. There is an interesting window with a radar detector that tells how cars are going. Entrance to the exhibits cost $12 per person but walking around the gift shop area is free.

2. Classic Car Collection

Photo by Tracy Hunter

Classic Car Collection in Kearney is a perfect representation of an automobile fanatic. The collection has over 200 classic cars both foreign and domestic collected over 41 years by one man. The well-coordinated collection shows the evolution of America’s automobile until the 1980’s. There is a variety of body types and styles crafted into detail. Multimedia shows are available through the aid of Ipads. These give extra information and photographs of the models. Entrance is $8 per adult but seniors over 60 get a discount. The place is indeed a sightseeing heaven for a car enthusiast.

3. Yanney Park

Yanney Park is a beautiful park in Kearney. The park offers an array of sightseeing activities such as fishing, picnicking, hiking and tower climbing. The most popular activity is the observation tower where you get to go up a tower and get a 360 view of the city. The stairs are shallow so no need to worry about some weak knees! Aside from the tower, there is a fenced secret garden like a maze with some beautiful roses that is fun to walk around. Entry to the park is free but donations are accepted by the Yanney Heritage Park Foundation.

4. Museum of Nebraska Art

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Museum of Nebraska Art was once an old post office. The museum has a vast collection of photo and illustration exhibits. Most of the artwork on display are from famous local Kearney artists and artists around Nebraska. Tourists enjoy sightseeing the venue because of the beautiful pieces available at the museum. The basement hallway has more displays in the gallery. There is also a sculpture garden with beautiful sculptures that will wow your artistic imagination. A plus for this sightseeing site is that entrance is free but donations are accepted.

5. The World Theatre

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The World Theatre is the best place to watch a movie while in Kearney. The theatre has been refurbished to a better state with more comfortable seats too! The unique thing about this theatre is the fact that they have a TV showing night where they showcase a series. If lucky enough you may find your favorite programme showing. The snack bar is reasonably priced and movie goers can have the privilege of enjoying their Alcoholic beverages as they watch a movie. The venue can be hired for special events or private parties upon reservation. Price for a movie ticket is $5.

6. Kearney Area Children's Museum

Kearney Area Children's Museum is a gem in Kearney. This museum offers kids over twenty interactive exhibits covering various areas of interest. Some of the amazing sections in the museum include an art studio, a train depot, grocery store, science center among other things. Kids get to see and learn about the different occupations. Guests visiting for sightseeing opportunities are open to exploring the museum at their own pace. One is allowed to get involved with every exhibit. Both the kids and adults get to interact allowing imagination to blossom.

7. Harmon Park

Harmon Park is the ideal community park around Kearney. Despite its popularity, the park remains clean and well maintained. The park features a playground, swimming pool, sports facilities and a stage area. There is also a lot of green space for picnicking. The park is mostly visited during the summer months when there are plenty of outdoor events taking place at the park. One can get to enjoy some live music or get interactive with some art in the park. One of the most attractive features is a natural rock garden with a creek and planters and bridges along a winding path.

8. Nebraska Firefighters Museum

Nebraska Firefighters Museum is a dream come true for anyone aspiring to become a firefighter. The place is very interactive for visitors of all ages. Kids get an opportunity to wear firefighter outfits and explore inside the fire trucks and also play in the wooden toy truck. They can also have fun making the siren sound and ringing the bell. Aside from the practical activities, the museum is packed with history and memorabilia that keeps changing every year. There are also nice picture displays around the museum. A 1973 caddy (Bigger than most boats) ambulance had been used in recent years stands on display. A notebook containing the different disasters firefighters have dealt with in Kearney can be found there. Entrance to the museum is not very expensive.

9. Fort Kearny State Historical Park

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Fort Kearny State Historical Park is a great park for school excursions around Kearney. Aside from the tourists who come for sightseeing, Family outings are also common at the site. Most embrace this location to explore the fort buildings and their markings. You will get to understand the significance of the site that gained its popularity in the 1840s and 1850s. Most of the buildings are no more but the blacksmith's shop has been rebuilt. Entrance to the museum is free but a park permit is required. This park permit costs $10.

10. Cottonmill Lake

Cottonmill Lake is the ideal place to enjoy a relaxing day around Kearney. There are plenty of good dirt and grass trails for people to hike on. There is even a paved trail that leads to the University of Nebraska in Kearney. Most locals enjoy fishing and canoeing on the lake. But this does not lock out the tourists from enjoying the waters. Most enjoy the paddle boats. There are tons of places that are great for photography against the beautiful landscapes. An addition to this farm place is a petting farm and an amphitheater. Entrance is free and is open to the public.

◎ Closing

Kearney makes a worthwhile stopover for every tourist going around Nebraska. The place is full of amazing sightseeing activities that will have you making beautiful memories in this magical place. The parks around Kearney are the heart of inbound adventures. Make it a point to visit Kearney especially during Summer season to enjoy all that it has to offer.