Anchored in the east by two of the Midwest’s coolest cities, and in the west by some tantalizing monuments to the Oregon Trail, much of NEBRASKA is blanketed in a vast expanse of flat farmland. The two sides of the state, connected by four hundred fairly dreary miles of I-80, are well worth exploring, from hip Omaha and state government and university hub Lincoln to the rugged outcrops of Scottsbluff.

Nebraska Territory opened in 1854 and was settled rapidly, beginning with Omaha, a major transport crossroads. Statehood was granted in 1867, and during the 1870s and 1880s, rail companies, encouraged by grants that allowed them to accumulate one sixth of the state’s land, laid down such a comprehensive network of tracks that virtually every farmer was within a day’s cattle drive of the nearest halt. Thus the buffalo-hunting country of the Sioux and Pawnee was turned into high-yield farmland, which even now has few rivals in terms of beef production. Today, fiscally conservative Nebraska bans government debt by law, and is the only US state to have a unicameral legislature.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The best aerial views in the world

The best aerial views in the world

Got a head for heights? If you're craving a new perspective on your travels, the best thing to do is get up high. From mountain-top panoramas to cityscapes, her…

17 Oct 2017 • Olivia Rawes camera_alt Gallery
American beauty: the southwest USA in pictures

American beauty: the southwest USA in pictures

After two months road tripping through the southwest USA, Rough Guides photographer Tim Draper captured the region's stunning natural beauty through his lens. H…

16 Oct 2017 • Tim Draper insert_drive_file Article
Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook