Visitors Guide to South East Nebraska (Pioneer Country)

Pioneer Country Cities

Some Cities included in South Eastern Nebraska, also

known as the Pioneer Country are; Nebraska City,

Grand Island, Seward, David City, Fairbury, Geneva,

Auburn, Odelle, Osceola, Table Rock, Crete, Belvidere,

Brownville, Beatrice, Wilbur and York.

There is never a loss of things to do in Pioneer Country.

As the name suggests, there are a good number of

Historical Sights, but there are also some great Museums,

Fun Attractions, and much more!


Nebraska City

  • Missouri River Basin, Lewis & Clark interpretive Trail and Visitors Center; Probably one of the more impressive sights is the unobstructed view of the Missouri River from the scenic Bluff. It gives you a good idea of what Lewis and Clark saw when they went through the area. There is also nature trails, and scientific information that were first found by Lewis and Clark. Very "hands on," "You are there" type of place! There is a life-sized Keelboat and many Native American Contributions to the attractions inside the 3 Story Building.
  • Taylor-Bessel-Bickel (Nelson) House Still in it's original site, built in 1857, this is the oldest house in Nebraska City and one of the oldest in the entire State of Nebraska. Furniture and Artifacts from the era are on dislpay. This is one of the quarters of the Nebraska Historical Society
  • Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard; Visit a working Orchard! 2 1/2 Mile scenic trail available through the vineyards and orchard. Nebraska Items and Fresh Nebraska Produce available. (Wine and Beer Tasting also available)
  • Arbor Day Farm: Plenty to do here! Enjoy the view from the 50 foot Tree House Adventure, enjoy a 3 mile journey into the woods via the "Discovery Ride" and view natures secrets and surprises! Kids can play and make music at the Woodland Pavillion or experience the Harvest at the Apple House. Guided Tours available.
  • Civil War Veterans Museum: Built in 1894 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Learn about the Civil war from BOTH sides. This is home to the largest collection of Civil War Artifacts. This GAR is dedicated to both Union AND Confederate Soldiers who fought and/or died in the Civil War.
  • Mayhew Cabin and Historical Village. Learn about the Underground Railroad at this fascinating site.

David City, Falls City, and Beatrice

David City:

  • Butler County Museum
  • Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art: Believed to be the only Agrarian Museum in North America. America's Agrarian Artist, Dale Nichols was born in Nebraska City and his home is now the museum. Other featured artists include; John Steuart Curry, Birgir Sandzen, Robert Bateman and more.
  • Family Aquatic Center; One of the premier pools in Nebraska features zero depth entry and a huge waterslide
  • Thorpe Opera House: Yep, I said Opera House. W.B. Thorpe opened an Opera House in 1889 and featured a variety of entertainment.Used as a dance hall in the 20's, a movie house in the 50's and was refurbished in 1981.

Falls City:

  • Richardson County Military History Museum. Large collection of War and Military exhibits. WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam War.
  • Belle-Jenne Historical House; Italianate House built in 1881. Beautifully decorated hardwood floor and furnishings from the 1800's.
  • Iron Monument: In 1854 The monument was used for marking the first 8 counties in Nebraska for the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The monument is atop a 150 foot bluff (Stairs lead to monument)


  • Homestead National Monument of America: Under the Homestead Act 270 Million Acres were turned over to individuals. The park includes the Daniel Freeman Site, historic structures, videos, hiking trails and a designated "watching wildlife" site.
  • Yesterdays Lady- A Step Back in Time: Historic 1887 Schmuck Building takes you back in time. Vintage Clothing and artifacts on Display. Largest Collection of Men's, Women's and Children's Vintage Clothing

Fairbury, Brownville, Seward and other Cities


  • New Earth Clay Pottery and Art Gallery: A working Pottery. Paintings, jewelry, photographs and more.
  • Rock Creek Station State Historical Park and Recreation Area: Served Pioneers and Freighters on the Oregon Trail, the Overland Stage and Pony Express. It is here that Wild Bill Hickcok began his gun-fighting career.
  • Fairbury City Museum: Interesting look at pioneer life in Jefferson County.
  • Fairbury Rock Island Depot: Railroad artifacts, uniforms and model railroad display. There are even gardens there.
  • Frontier Fun Park: 10,500 ft. community built playground made entirely of wood depicts the dreams and fantasies of Pioneer children
  • McDowells Tomb "Magic etched in Stone." Hand carved by Nelson McDowell into Sandstone, the Mausoleum shows carvings of many of the visitors who have left there own carvings. (Visitors are not allowed to carve into the sandstone preserve History for further generations) ALSO has a view of 3 counties from nearby Lookout Mountain. (This is also part of the Oregon Trail)


  • 1860 Carson House:
  • Brownville Historical Society Museum:
  • Spirit of Brownville River Boat: See the river as Lewis and Clark viewed it on this fantastic riverboat. There are refreshment bars, dining facilities and more.
  • Find More information at:


  • Pawnee Earth Lodge: A must see for the Native American Perspective. Historic Pawnee Lodge Camp with tee-pees, American Indian Museum, Council Fire area; Camping hookups available.
  • World's Largest Time Capsule: 20x8x6 foot vault made of concrete. Filled with over 5,000 relics and rememberances. Time Capsule scheduled to open in 2025.

Please keep in mind I could not possibly list all of the attractions in these cities.

Other South Eastern Cities and Attractions:

  • Renaissance Gallery in Aurora: A variety of works by local artists. Restored Building.
  • Nuckolls County Museum in Superior: Victorian Capitol of Nebraska. Many artifacts including some of Red Cloud, a Great Lakota Leader.
  • Saline County Museum in Dorchester: Ten buildings including a depot, log cabin and voting hall. Also an "in Loving Memory" exhibit which depicts ways Americans deal with death and mourning.

Pioneer Country Events


July 25 Summer Concert Series SewardArts/Culture

July 25-27 Heritage Days UticaFestivals/Fairs

July 26 Bradshaw Days BradshawFestivals/Fairs

July 27 A Musical Journey Across America - Songs That Helped Shape a Nation OdellArts/Culture

July 31-Aug 3 York County Fair YorkAgriculture/Famers' Markets

Aug 1-3 Bellwood Daze BellwoodFestivals/Fairs

Aug 1-2 Wine Under the Pines Nebraska CityAgriculture/Famers' Markets

Aug 1-3 Wilber Czech Festival WilberFestivals/Fairs

Aug 5-10 Saline County Fair CreteAgriculture/Famers' Markets

Aug 7-9 15th Annual Gospel Sing DewittArts/Culture

Aug 7-10 Seward County Fair SewardAgriculture/Famers' Markets

Aug 8-10 Benedict Days BenedictFestivals/Fairs

Aug 10 Cowboy Bob: Songs of the Trails and Railroad Era OdellArts/Culture

Aug 10 26th Annual Deer Creek Sodbusters Antique Machinery Show SterlingAntique/Craft Shows

Aug 15-16 Family Fun Days MilfordFestivals/Fairs

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