When it comes to planning a road trip, I’m always drawn to what makes a destination unique. As the fall turns into winter, I’m starting to plan my travel for the new year and Detour Nebraska: Historic Destinations & Natural Wonders has been the perfect resource.
Written by Gretchen Garrison, this new book focuses on all things Nebraska heritage. From the prairies to the Sandhills and the cities to the countryside, the Cornhusker state is full of manmade and natural treasures.
I had the pleasure of meeting Gretchen earlier this year on a historic tour of Omaha and we quickly bonded over our mutual love for historic sites and offbeat attractions. So when she asked if I would be interested in receiving an early copy of her first book, I quickly responded with a yes.
When reading Gretchen’s blog, Odyssey Through Nebraska, I’ve always admired her desire to travel purposefully. She visits new places both to understand but also to find a deeper appreciation for her home state. The stories she shares in Detour Nebraska give context to the state’s history while shining a spotlight on the people who have helped preserve it.
Despite its proximity to Iowa, I’ve explore surprisingly little of Nebraska. After reading Gretchen’s book, I’ve discovered even more places to explore. Based on her recommendations in Detour Nebraska, I’ve picked five new places to explore across Nebraska:
- The Happy Jack Peak and Chalk Mine (Sandhills Region): Before reading Detour Nebraska, I had never heard about this chalk mine. But it’s apparently one of only two underground diatomite mines in the U.S.
- Hastings Museum (Frontier Trails): Did you know that the inventor of Kool-Aid was from Hastings, Nebraska? The Hastings Museum has been open since 1927 and includes many pieces of local history, including the creation of Kool-Aid.
- Chimney Rock (Panhandle): This iconic Nebraska landmark signaled the long journey ahead of pioneers heading west. Today it’s an incredible natural wonder for visitors to marvel at from afar and up close.
- Carhenge (Panhandle): I love a good roadside attraction, and Carhenge definitely fits the bill. Nebraskan Jim Reinders and his family created this quirky Stonehenge replica in 1987 from 39 vintage automobiles.
- Toadstool Geological Park (Panhandle): We visited Badlands National Park in South Dakota earlier this year, and ever since, Toadstool Geological Park has piqued my interest. An unexpected addition to the Nebraska landscape, these sandstone formations practically beg to be explored.
About Detour Nebraska
Detour Nebraska celebrates all of the incredible attractions that make Nebraska unique. The book divides the state into seven distinct regions to help make your trip planning as easy as possible. Each chapter includes a variety of museums, natural sites, and historic markers important to the surrounding area. There are also a number of helpful appendices highlighting museums and cultural organizations in each region.
The book is available to pre-order now. Or you can find it online or in your local bookstore beginning October 30, 2017.
Have you explored Nebraska? Which attractions would you make a detour to see?