1-80 Road Trip Through the Midwest


With the State Games of America being hosted in Lincoln and Omaha this year there’s going to be a lot of road tripping going on along I-80. We know that drive can get long and seem a little boring, so we found a few things to help spice up your road trip and make some memories as well.

Chimney Rock

Scottsbluff, NE

Chimney Rock ScottsbluffPhoto Credit: Wikipedia

The most mentioned landmark of pioneer travelers on the Oregon, Mormon, and California trails bring travelers from all over to see this huge rock that is shaped like, you’ll never guess it, a chimney! So if you have a few extra hours you can check that out along with the wagon ruts that are still left from the pioneers. Don’t forget to stop by the landmark store and the visitors center while you’re there as well.

Ole’s

Paxton, NE

 ole's elephant mountPhoto Credit: Omaha Forums

This isn’t just any old steak house lounge. Brought up by Ole Herstedt, he opened his watering hole on August 9, 1933 at 12:01 am to conclude the prohibition. It became a huge gathering spot for hunters to sit and share stories. Then Ole decided to decorate the walls with mounts and pictures of hunts he’d been on. Mind you, he went to every continent for his expeditions. So if you enjoy good local food and a bit a history take a break at Ole’s.

Island Oasis

Grand Island, NE

island oasis 60 foot water slidesPhoto Credit: Flikr

For the summer road trips the Island Oasis Water Park is an amazing stop to make with the whole family. With six water slides, two of them topping out at 60 feet, a 750 foot long lazy river and a huge wave pool it’s irresistible. There’s something there for everyone not to mention, besides cats,  who doesn’t love water parks?

Kool-Aid Exhibit in the Hastings Museum

Hastings, NE

Kool aid exhibit hastings museumPhoto Credit: Downtown Hastings

Ever wonder where that delicious childhood drink was invented? You guessed it. Right smack dab in the middle of Hastings by a Mister Edwin Perkins. If you’re lucky enough to be there in August you may even catch Kool-Aid days downtown. Two words, free kool-aid.  You can stop by the Hastings Museum to check the exhibit out as well as the other cool exhibits there, and maybe even catch an IMAX movie.

Archway Museum

Kearney, NE

 Archway museum kearneyPhoto Credit: Nebraska Watchdog

Transportation history may not sound exciting but when it’s done the Archway way it becomes a pretty exciting adventure. You can immerse yourself into the stories of travelers from the pioneers to the Lincoln Highway. Not to mention if you’re short on time, this is an under an hour exhibit. 

Adventureland

Des Moines, Iowa

 Tornado roller coaster adventurelandPhoto Credit: Radio Iowa

The mid west’s version of Coney Island—this amusement park is a great way to spend the day. Challenge yourself on it’s huge roller coasters and other thrill rides. Just don’t eat too much before you do. No one likes to ride rides with your dinner on them. Don’t worry, there are kid-friendly rides too if you don’t feel brave enough or have kiddos who want to have fun too. Not only do they have rides but they also offer shows ranging from live music to magic. There’s literally something for everyone here.

Wasserbahn Waterpark

Williamsburg, Iowa

wasserbahn indoor waterpark kids areaPhoto Credit: Wasserbahn Waterpark

Lucky for those of you coming from the east this water park is indoor minus the slides. So even if it’s a little cold for outdoor swimming you can enjoy the majority of this park inside! So if you feel like taking a quick swim on your way or even a spa day, be sure to stop by Wasserbahn.

Bonnie and Clyde Bank Robbery Site

Stuart, Iowa

Bonnie and Clyde robbery site iowaPhoto Credit: The Adventures  of Mumbles and Nala

The now police station, carries a big bold sign commemorating one of the robberies done by the famous duo. It’s a cool piece of history to be a part of!

Seneca Caverns

Bellevue, Ohio

seneca-caverns-ohio
Photo Credit: Cavern.com

Visit one of the area’s largest underground caverns, or should I say it’s the “Caviest Cave in America”?  Enjoy a guided tour through the cavern and spectate fossils, stalactities, bats and the Ole Mist’ry River. Each tour lasts an hour-long.

SAC Air and Space Museum

Ashland, NE

Peacemaker B-361 plane at SACPhoto Credit: SAC Air and Space Museum

If you have a love for air and space history and vehicles this is the place for you! Take your kids to see all the huge aircrafts and spaceships—like the SR-71 Blackbird or Apollo space capsule—while learning the history and the future of air command.

Albanese Confectionery

Merriville, Indiana

Albanese-Confectionery
Photo Credit: Visit Indiana

Calling all sweet tooth addicts! This gingerbread looking house hosts some of the sweetest sweets around including gummies, chocolates, trail mix, and everything else your candy heart desires. Perfect stop for road trip snacks!

Bob Kerrey Bridge

Omaha, NE  and Council Bluffs, lowa

 Bob Kerrey bridge at nightPhoto Credit: Clark Crenshaw Photography

If you find yourself staying in Omaha or Council Bluffs make time to take a night walk on this bridge. It connects the two states, meaning you can fufill your lifetime dream of being in Nebraska and Iowa at the same time. Can you say, remake of A Walk To Remember? Not to mention the array of lights lighting it up make it beautiful.