OK, friends. If you’ve driven west or east on Interstate 80 near Kearney, Nebraska, chances are very high you also saw a large piece of building floating above the road below.
It’s hard to miss.
Once inside, you’ll find “170 years of America’s westward movement through detailed displays and harrowing stories.”
In a nutshell, you’ll learn how the west was formed. As a Nebraska girl, I find this very cool. Our state had a huge impact on the creation of the westward movement. From the Oregon Trail and early pioneers to the Pony Express and the Lincoln Highway. And it’s over an interstate. I mean, that’s just cool.
My girls’ favorite part (ages 8 and 6) is of course this massive escalator.
It’s the first thing you’ll notice when you walk through the archway’s doors. Oh, and this guy too.
“Mountain Man” plays a character of the past. Be careful, you’ll think you’re back in time when you chat with him.
You will take a self guided tour, listening through headsets along the way. You’ll hear and see how the pioneers made their journey across this great land (and their struggles along the way). Talk about tough people. This is my favorite part. It took me almost 35 years to love history and now, I can’t get enough. I’m fascinated with the tenacity of these people and their determination to make a better life for themselves and their families.
Here’s a few more details you can expect on your journey!
Start at Ft. Kearny in the 1840s where the Oregon Trail converged with the Mormon Trail and California Trail. Here, you’ll immerse yourself in the sights of the historic trails while listening to the stories of the early pioneers. Next, hear the rumble of the Iron Horse on the transcontinental railroad as it passes overhead. Watch a Pony Express rider make a quick stop to change horses as he races to deliver mail across the country. Listen in as the first transcontinental telegraph transmits the news of the breakout of the Civil War to the West Coast. Finally, traverse the historic Lincoln Highway, catch the newsreel at the drive-in theater and take a break to check on the traffic below in the roadside diner. A perfect stop for a family vacation, this award-winning display can be viewed in under an hour.
It’s a must stop on your family travels! Below you’ll find website and social media details and fun facts about the arch. Plus, hear from Jace Robinson, the marketing director, on more things you’ll expect to see and discover when you visit the Kearney Archway!
Don’t forget to stop by the gift-shop (they have the cutest stuffed animals for your kids!). The Archway is also an official Nebraska Tourist Information Center.
- 3060 East 1st Street
- Kearney, Nebraska 68847
Phone: 308-237-1000 or Toll Free: 877-511-ARCH