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Old barn in the country, Nebraska© Michael WestOld barn in the country, Nebraska
© Michael West
In Nebraska, you can't miss the major landmarks—in this flat, wide-open state, you can see some of them for miles.

Take the State Capitol building in Lincoln. Topped by a bronze statue, the 122-metre (400-foot) domed tower can be seen 32 kilometres (20 miles) away. Head to the 14th-floor observation deck for a great view of the city and surrounding farms. On the other side of the state, monolithic Chimney Rock was visible to settlers plodding along the Oregon Trail four days before they actually reached the 99-metre (325-foot) landmark.

Omaha, the state's biggest city, is a fun destination for families. The Henry Doorly Zoo is one of the nation's premier zoos; allow a full day to explore the world's largest indoor rainforest and desert, and to see the elephants, gorillas, giraffes and other exotic animals. Also in Omaha, fans of old movies will enjoy a visit to Girls and Boys Town, the centre for wayward children established by Father Edward J. Flanagan and made famous in a 1938 Spencer Tracy flick.

Kids may also get a kick out of the Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park in North Platte, near the middle of the state. The Wild West Show star bought this property in 1877, and many mementoes of his colourful career are preserved here.

Homestead National Monument of America, Beatrice, Nebraska© Weldon SchlonegerHomestead National Monument of America, Beatrice, Nebraska
© Weldon Schloneger
If you're heading out on a sporting vacation, detour to Sidney in western Nebraska to find one of the top tourist sites in the state: Cabela's, the enormous flagship store of a Midwestern outdoor goods chain. This location alone attracts more than a million shoppers a year. Even if you wouldn't know a fishing fly from a housefly, stop in just to see the 27-foot indoor mountain studded with fake critters ranging from a grizzly bear to a rather incongruous hippo.

by Laura Byrne Paquet

Stock Photos from 123RF

Stock Photos from 123RF