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touring nebraska and kansas

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Nov 11th, 2011, 10:42 AM
  #1
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touring nebraska and kansas

We will be arriving in Denver and would like to see some of Nebraska and Kansas before visiting family in Boulder. ANy suggestions would be appreciated.
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Nov 11th, 2011, 11:23 AM
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Hate to be negative, I can't really speak for Nebraska. But having been thru Kansas many times, I can't think of a single thing there that would make me go there for a destination in itself. Perhaps a thing or two in Kansas City, but really fare better similar things in Denver. If you like flat land and the worlds most boring drive, with the occasional cow along the way then it might be ok. I suspect that Nebraska is similar. Haven't driven that state enough to be certain though.
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Nov 11th, 2011, 11:42 AM
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There are a couple of mildly interesting sights in western Nebraska (Scottsbluff, Fort Robinson, Carhenge), but nothing, in my opinion, to make it worth going that far out of the way from Denver to Boulder.
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Nov 11th, 2011, 11:43 AM
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Corn corn corn corn corn
Wheat wheat wheat
Corn corn corn.

And the western parts of those states (nearest Colorado) are farmlands galore. KC is on the eastern side of Kansas - the part that borders Missouri. Omaha and Lincoln are on the eastern edges of Nebraska near the Iowa border. It's nearly 4 hours from Denver to Colby, KS and three hours from Denver to either Big Springs, NE or the Kansas-Colorado border. Then you have to turnaround and go to the northwest of Denver to get to Boulder.

So, what in the heck are you thinking?
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Nov 11th, 2011, 11:43 AM
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There is nothing & I mean nothing to see Western KS & Nebraska....Kansas City is a 9 drive from Denver
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Nov 11th, 2011, 12:38 PM
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Are you aware that NE and KS are at least a 4 hour drive to the borders from Denver? With all due respect to our wheat belt, and your desires, there is SO much to see in the Denver area. Where are you from?
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Nov 13th, 2011, 12:06 PM
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If I were you, I would be very disappointed in the responses you received so far. Here are my comments. I am not making any assumptions about how long you have or what things may interest you more than others, since you did not provide that sort of info.

I suggest a loop. I-70 from Denver to Junction City, KS. Then north on US 77 to Beatrice and Lincoln, NE. From Lincoln, head west on I-80 to Ogallala, NE., then US 26 to Scottsbluff, then State 71 south back toward Boulder.

With regard to Kansas, I confess to not being very knowledgeable about tourist attractions, although I have driven through various parts of Kansas in the distant past. I know enough, however, to say that it is nothing like the Kansas of The Wizard of OZ. It is beautiful. And it's in color! I remember driving on secondary roads in Eastern Kansas and being astounded by the height of the wild vegetation (weeds) next to the road. Here's a list of attractions. Only some of these are on or near I-70. You will have to do a little detective work.

http://www.kansastravel.org/kansastravel.htm

Also, I found this Fodor's thread of a few years back, which may help you.

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...as-on-i-70.cfm

Nebraska next.
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Nov 13th, 2011, 05:33 PM
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Now to Nebraska. My wife and lived in Lincoln for 3 years in the 60s so I'm more conversant with what's of interest in Nebraska than Kansas. In general, there are more attractions for tourists in Nebraska because the Oregon trail followed the Platte River across the territory, so there are more places of interest. Almost everything I recommend in the following is a "must see". Which of course is silly. There is no such thing.

Coming north on US 77, visit the Homestead National Monument just a little to the west of Beatrice, which BTW is pronounced bee-A-triss, with the accent on the second syllable. Why? I dunno. It just is. The locals will appreciate it if you say it "right".

http://www.nps.gov/home/index.htm

Continue to Lincoln and visit the State capitol. This is not your stale old design with a dome etc. It's one of a kind. Do not miss it. Read about it here.

http://capitol.org/

Next, head west on I-80. Visit Harold Warp's Pioneer Village. You will have to carefully plan your time there, because it's a big complex and you could be there all day unless you skip some of the stuff of lesser interest to you.

http://www.pioneervillage.org/

Get back on I-80 and go west a short distance to "The Great Platte River Road Archway". This is not only a "must see", it's a "can't avoid seeing", because it spans the highway! I have not been there because it didn't exist in the 60s, But several of my older grandchildren have, and they recommend it.

http://www.archway.org/

Here is a "must read" about the 100th meridian. You can read it any time, like right now as you read this post. You will cross it as you pass the town of Cozad. It's the kind of thing that geeks like me find interesting. If it's convenient, you could visit the town of Cozad and the100th meridian museum and sign. Not "must sees".

http://geography.about.com/od/learna...thmeridian.htm

Continue on I-80 to Ogallala and branch off on US 26. (This shows as a scenic route in my Rand McNally road atlas.) Go to the famous Chimney Rock.

http://www.nps.gov/chro/

Then it's on to Scottsbluff.

http://www.nps.gov/scbl/index.htm

After that, head south on State 71 to Colorado and find your way to your friends in Boulder.
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Nov 13th, 2011, 06:38 PM
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Unless you are very very well traveled, have seen every other state extensively, then I still don't think either is worth going out of your way to do.

dbdurand,
Sorry, I live in Oklahoma for 44 years(it's almost as boring). We plan on driving to Black Hills area next year and I don't think I would be willing to stop at a single place you mention.

And Wizard of Oz is in Color, btw.
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Nov 13th, 2011, 10:06 PM
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Hi, Spiro. Are you driving through Nebraska on your way to the Black Hills? If so, then I think you might want to check some of the attractions I mentioned. They might be more interesting than you think.

You probably haven't seen The Wizard of Oz recently and therefore have forgotten that the first part of the movie, which takes place in Kansas, and where Dorothy gets swept to Oz by a cyclone, is all in black and white. Oz is in technicolor of course, and then it's back to black and white when Dorothy returns to Kansas. All of this to emphasize the contrast between the real world and the imaginary one. Very clever, and at the time (1939) innovative and almost shocking, since most movies were black and white.
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Nov 14th, 2011, 03:59 AM
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The Sandhills in Nebraska? The Grasslands in Kansas? You've actually received some excellent recs and from those who have actually BEEN there.
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Nov 14th, 2011, 04:22 AM
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My primary suggestion would be just do not do it

flat as a pancake little of touristic value a long slog.

stanleyhotel.com instead head for the rockies

Beautiful... way closer to Boulder.

carrentals.com out of DIA cheap fun from personal experience.
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Nov 14th, 2011, 05:33 AM
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I have been across Kansas NUMEROUS times going to Denver. And when we took and extensive trip west with our children, I wanted them to see the expanse of this country--and we drove through Kansas. It is an expanse. It is a valuable part of our country. The people are wonderful. I wonder if dbdurand has estimated the mileage and time his loops would require. Kansas City to Denver is easily (or not so easily) a 10 hour drive to Denver if my memory serves. That is going 70mph and eating fast food.
The OP hasn't been back, and hasn't said how long they want to spend on this side trip. There are other side trips in Colorado, IF they haven't done those already.
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Nov 14th, 2011, 07:18 AM
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dbdurand, Thank you for the shout out to kansastravel.org!

MaryAnn60, There is quite a bit to do in Kansas for someone who looks for it. What season will you be coming, how much time do you have, and what are your interests?

People that have a low opinion of Kansas tourism have spent their time on I-70. You have to get off the freeway to find the gems. That is true in many states. Heck, half of boring I-70 is in eastern Colorado. That doesn't mean the rest of Colorado isn't scenic

For a teaser, here is one of my favorite spots in western Kansas. Although they are open to the public, one of the appealing things about the Chaulk Pyramids is that they are on private land and undeveloped. The nearby Keystone Gallery is a wonderful gift shop/art gallery/museum. http://www.kansastravel.org/monumentrocks.htm

Keith
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Nov 14th, 2011, 08:35 AM
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dbdurand, thank you for the great list of Nebraska attractions.

Nebraska's landscape is surprisingly diverse. You'll find rolling sandhills, pine-studded buttes, rich prairie lands, and rugged river valleys. At Toadstool Geologic Park you'll find dramatic rock formations that create a sense of being on the moon.

There's a little something for everyone. Check out VisitNebraska.gov, which provides details on attractions, events, recreation and lodging across the state.

Safe travels,
Shannon
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Nov 14th, 2011, 09:50 AM
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One of the reasons I asked about the timing of the trip is that the Sandhill Crane migration in Nebraska is spectacular and a nature lover shouldn't miss it.

Keith
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Nov 14th, 2011, 10:50 AM
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I was born and raised in Kansas and have driven across I-70 and I-80 more times than I can count. The scenery is interesting for about 15 minutes, and I"ll admit there's not much in the way of sites or places to visit that I interests me. I always take a good, long book ( War and Peace works ) and a great pillow.

Now I will say that Mr. History ( also a Kansas native) loves driving across. All depends.
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Nov 14th, 2011, 10:52 AM
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Oh, BTW, I have traveled off I-70 & I-80. I'll admit slightly more interesting for just a bit longer than 15 minutes.
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