ROADTRIP: Mix it up with a one-day trip from Lincoln

Thursday, July 22, 2021 ROADTRIP: Mix it up with a one-day trip from Lincoln

Ashfall Fossil Beds

If you have an urge to get away from your daily routine, check out these one-day trip options. Located within a few short hours, these day trips from Lincoln are easily accessible, offer engaging activities and will shake up your average week.

Mahoney State Park + SAC Museum  |  Ashland, NE
Drive time from Lincoln: 30 minutes east, via I-80

At Mahoney State Park, there are tons of options for day's worth of fun. Trek along the high-ropes course for expansive views of the park, and spend a few hours swimming at the water park, complete with a large wave pool. You can also explore any of the nearby hiking trails to relax in the shade. For any Nebraska State Park, the daily pass price is $6. Finish your visit with a trip to the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace (SAC) Museum. This spot boasts a massive airplane hangar for you to tour, as well as multiple exhibits on the history of air travel, spacecraft and emerging technology. Tickets are available at the front desk.

Kearney Archway Museum  |  Kearney, NE
Drive time from Lincoln: 2 hours west, via I-80

You may have seen this landmark while driving west from Lincoln, but never got the time to stop by. Now's your chance to check out this familiar site, a museum telling the story of settlers who crossed the plains through Nebraska. Admission is $12 and can be purchased before your visit or at the front desk.

Homestead National Monument  |  Beatrice, NE
Drive time from Lincoln: 50 minutes south, via Hwy 77

Part of the National Parks Service, this monument details the implications of the historic 1862 Homestead Act. Millions of people travelled to file claims for homestead land, including families, immigrants, formerly enslaved Black Americans and single women. Learn their stories at this national monument for free– there is no admission price.

Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo  |  Omaha, NE
Drive time from Lincoln: 1 hour east, via I-80

One of the top zoos in the country, the Henry Doorly Zoo is merely an hour away. Besides impressive animal habitats like the Lied Jungle, Desert Dome, Butterfly Pavilion and Sea Lion Shores, this destination also offers a huge IMAX movie theater, skyfari ski lift ride and train. Adult tickets are $25.95 each for one-day admission.

Ashfall Fossil Beds  |  Royal, NE
Drive time from Lincoln: 3 hours north

You'd probably be amazed to find out that one of the largest fossil dig sites in the United States is right here in Nebraska. In fact, the location is called Ashfalls. These active fossil beds are still being explored while researchers uncover more of the 360-acre area. Camels, birds, one-toed horses and prehistoric rhinos are some of the ancient animals that have been excavated here. Admission for one day is $7.50.

Durham Museum  |  Omaha, NE
Drive time from Lincoln: 1 hour east, via I-80

Also located in Omaha, the Durham Museum is a one-of-a-kind stop for anyone interested in history. This museum sits inside an old train station, with gorgeous art deco architecture and expansive marble corridors. The Durham's exhibits focus on Nebraskan and American history from pioneers to the development of modern railroads and train travel. The museum also offers numerous traveling exhibits on a variety of topics through its ties with the Smithsonian and Library of Congress. There is also a restored historic soda fountain to stop at for a refreshing treat. A day's admission costs $11.

Hitchcock Nature Center  |  Honey Creek, IA
Drive time from Lincoln: 1 hour east, via I-80 and I-680

If you're looking to spend the day outdoors, consider a trip to the Hitchcock Nature Center. Located just over the border in Iowa, this center honors the significance of the rare Loess Hills. This park contains numerous hiking trails, picnic areas, and observation tour, an archery range and a visitor's center for you to enjoy.

Kansas City
Drive time from Lincoln: 3.5 hours southeast, via Hwy 2 and I-29

One of the biggest nearby cities is Kansas City, Missouri. Just a few short hours away, Kansas City possesses loads of activities like a popular foodie scene, professional sports, cultural events and theme park attractions. No matter the type of entertainment you enjoy, the city will have something to offer you. Plan your ideal day by visiting the KC tourism website.

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