If you love history and enjoy traveling the Midwest, be sure to read Detour Nebraska (The History Press, 2017). Part history lesson and part historic attraction guide, author Gretchen M. Garrison guides you through Nebraska region by region. She explains the history of a city or attraction and shares details of what the attraction offers today.
What inspired Detour Nebraska
Garrison often mentions activities available for children. That isn’t surprising, given the author’s background and inspiration for the book. As a homeschooling mom, Garrison was teaching the history of Nebraska. What better way to learn than to see firsthand the places being taught? Besides visiting and teaching about historic attractions, Garrison wrote about them in her Odyssey through Nebraska travel blog. The whole teach-visit-write process translates well into Detour Nebraska.
Intriguing attractions with fascinating history
I have been to Nebraska only twice. The first visit was to Omaha; the second was a drive through the state on our way out west, via interstate. Omaha is impressive, with one of the top zoos in the United States, beautiful gardens, and interesting museums. However, I had no idea what lies beyond the state’s largest city other than what I could see from I-80.
Here are a few of the many interesting places I learned about in Detour Nebraska:
- At a working dig site in Nebraska’s Lewis and Clark Region, paleontologists continue to find rhinoceros and camel bone. During summer months you can watch student paleontologists work at the Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Site.
- In the Sandhills Region, there are over 200 waterfalls within a 20-mile area, including one that’s 70 feet tall.
- Eighty percent of the world’s sandhill cranes migrate through Kearny, Nebraska, every year.
- The Sweet Shoppe Café in St. Paul, Nebraska, displays over 1600 nostalgic cookie jars. (Okay, so maybe that isn’t quite historic, but it’s fun.)
- Another fun attraction is the world’s largest porch swing in Hebron.
I’ve placed sticky notes on the book pages that describe the Nebraska attractions that most intrigue me. I’m going to look up details, including exact location and hours, so that on our next trip through Nebraska, we’ll be ready to take a lot of detours. In fact, we really need to plan a trip to Nebraska instead of through the state, with Detour Nebraska in hand.
Book purchase information
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