Top 10 Scenic Drives in Nebraska

The state of Nebraska is the epitome of America’s Midwest with historical markers and scenery that evokes memories of the Old West. Vast grassy prairies dominate the scene, inspiring a sense of hope and an inquisitiveness about the unknown. There is also a rich Native American history and an Eastern European influence with many German and Danish immigrants calling the state home. With so many wide open spaces to explore, it can be difficult to decide where to begin a closer examination of the region. If in doubt, try one of our favorite Nebraska scenic drives on for size:

No. 10 – Schramm State Park Tour

Schramm State Park Tour Nebraska
Flickr user: George Thomas

Starting Location: Gretna, NE
Ending Location: Louisville, NE
Length: 15 miles
Best Season to Drive: Spring, Summer, and Fall
See this drive on Google Maps

Although this scenic drive is short, the route provides the basis for a pleasant morning or afternoon ride when there is time to stop and explore along the way. Stop in Schramm State Park, which is known for its excellent fishing and on-site Ak-Sar Ben Aquarium. When you leave this day-use area, there are several opportunities to pull over for water recreation on the Platte River before this route ends in Louisville.

No. 9 – Western Trails Scenic & Historic Byway

Western Trails Scenic & Historic Byway Nebraska
Flickr user: mlhradio

Starting Location: Scottsbluff, NE
Ending Location: Ogallala, NE
Length: 124 miles
Best Season to Drive: Spring, Summer, and Fall
See this drive on Google Maps

As you pass through the fertile lands formed by the influence of the Platte River, you may feel transported back in time. The town of Front Street features replicas of Western buildings like the lively Crystal Palace Saloon. Then, visit Boot Hill in Ogallala to see the graves of cattlemen and troublemakers from the Old West or Chimney Rock National Historic Site, which once served as a navigational landmark to travelers on horseback.

No. 8 – Outlaw Trail

Outlaw Trail Nebraska
Flickr user: Kelly DeLay

Starting Location: South Sioux City, NE
Ending Location: Valentine, NE
Length: 251 miles
Best Season to Drive: Spring, Summer, and Fall
See this drive on Google Maps

Twist and turn at the top of steep bluffs overlooking the Missouri and Niobrara Rivers. Travel through green, rolling hills on this drive that passes the same way famous outlaws and lawmen traveled in the Old West. See buffalo herds up close at Fort Niobraro National Wildlife Refuge or hike to the cascading waters of Fort Falls. In Smith Falls State Park near Valentine, see the state’s highest waterfall along with ample birdwatching opportunities.

No. 7 – Loup Rivers Scenic Byway

Loup Rivers Scenic Byway Nebraska
Flickr user: John Carrel

Starting Location: Dunning, NE
Ending Location: Grand Island, NE
Length: 141 miles
Best Season to Drive: Spring, Summer, and Fall
See this drive on Google Maps

Enjoy rolling hills, vast farmlands, and river views on this drive along the Loup Rivers in the heart of the state. At 2nd Wind Ranch near Dunning, it’s worth stopping to see the assortment of windmills of all shapes and sizes - some of which are about 100 years old. In Burwell, tour the carving tunnels and caverns at Happy Jack Peak and Chalk Mine for a unique experience with plenty of photo opportunities.

No. 6 – Lincoln Highway Scenic & Historic Byway

Lincoln Highway Scenic & Historic Byway Nebraska
Flickr user: Jasperdo

Starting Location: Bushnell, NE
Ending Location: Blair, NE
Length: 452 miles
Best Season to Drive: Spring, Summer, and Fall
See this drive on Google Maps

This portion of the Lincoln Highway, that passes through Nebraska along the first coast-to-coast highway, showcases a mix of historic sites and wide open spaces to quiet the mind. Visit Buffalo Bill State Historical Park to see where the cowboy legend made his home and view memorabilia that once belonged to Chief Sitting Bull. In Gothenburg, there are two preserved Pony Express stations to explore.

No. 5 – Lewis & Clark Scenic Byway

Lewis & Clark Scenic Byway Nebraska
Flickr user: USFWSmidwest

Starting Location: Sioux City, NE
Ending Location: Omaha, NE
Length: 100 miles
Best Season to Drive: Spring, Summer, and Fall
See this drive on Google Maps

Largely winding along with the Missouri River, this drive on the eastern border of Nebraska passes through lush woods and two Native American reservations. Birders may enjoy stopping at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Ft. Calhoun to see migrating ducks and geese in the fall. Ponca State Park provides a nice area for hiking, camping, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities.

No. 4 – Heritage Highway

Heritage Highway Nebraska
Flickr user: JeromeG111

Starting Location: Cambridge, NE
Ending Location: Auburn, NE
Length: 254 miles
Best Season to Drive: Spring, Summer, and Fall
See this drive on Google Maps

This drive through wooded hills and sweeping prairie lands is as rich in history as it is in simple beauty. Stop at the Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice, which is situated on the property of the first man to claim land under the Homestead Act and showcases a typical cabin and schoolhouse from that time. In Red Cloud, named for a formed Sioux chief, visit the 1902 Starke Round Barn or try fishing and canoeing in the Republican River.

No. 3 – Gold Rush Byway

Gold Rush Byway Nebraska
Flickr user: John Lillis

Starting Location: Chadron, NE
Ending Location: Sidney, NE
Length: 148 miles
Best Season to Drive: Spring, Summer, and Fall
See this drive on Google Maps

With the discovery of gold in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1874, the route between Sidney, Nebraska and Deadwood, South Dakota rose as a means to transport the wealth along the railroad. This byway largely follows that same path, making a lovely drive through rolling hills and by pristine lakes. In Chadron State Park, seize the opportunity to get closer to nature on one of the many hiking trails or test your luck at catching trout.

No. 2 – Bridges to Buttes Byway

Bridges to Buttes Byway Nebraska
Flickr user: IIP Photo Archive

Starting Location: Harrison, NE
Ending Location: Valentine, NE
Length: 188 miles
Best Season to Drive: Spring, Summer, and Fall
See this drive on Google Maps

Connecting towns that once revolved around the railroad, much of this byway has an Old West flavor,yet many of the historically significant stops stretch further back in time than the cowboy era. View fossils that are over 19 million years old at the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument or the Hudson-Meng Bison Bonebed, the site of an ancient and mysterious mass death of bison.End the trip at the Museum of Fur Trade near Valentine, which is located right inside the original 1837 Bordeaux Trading Post.

No. 1 – Sandhills Journey

Sandhills Journey Nebraska
Flickr user: James Holloway

Starting Location: Grand Island, NE
Ending Location: Alliance, NE
Length: 272 miles
Best Season to Drive: Spring, Summer, and Fall
See this drive on Google Maps

This route along Nebraska’s Highway 2 has frequently been deemed one of the most scenic drives in the country, and it doesn’t take travelers long to see why. Before setting off, explore the city of Grand Island and all of its offbeat cultural venues or enjoy a hiking trail through the prairie. The highway later passes through the Nebraska Sandhills - a 20,000 square mile stretch of rolling dunes covered in soft grass - with the hand-planted Nebraska National Forest standing like an oasis in the desert right in the middle of it all.

Next Step

Schedule Oil Change

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Oil Change. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Oil Change reviews

Excellent Rating


Rating Summary


33 years of experience
991 reviews
33 years of experience
Volkswagen Passat - Oil Change - Hampton, Virginia
Matt always does a great job. Very professional. I look forward to my next appointment.... A++++++
Ford Expedition - Oil Change - Hampton, Virginia
I am so please to have Matt work on my vehicle, he is very friendly and personable, and always does a great job.


22 years of experience
37 reviews
22 years of experience
Audi A3 - Oil Change - Queen Creek, Arizona
Job well done! Greg was on time and professional. He treated my vehicle with care. He completed the job smoothly and so far so good. First time using Your mechanic and it was a pleasant experience. I will be looking into them again. Thanks Greg!
Ford Explorer - Oil Change - Scottsdale, Arizona
Greg was very friendly and professional. Communication was great, he let me know what he was doing. He went above and beyond to make sure everything was running smoothly. I would 100% recommend Greg!


27 years of experience
93 reviews
27 years of experience
Buick Encore - Oil Change - Oakland, California
Another home run! Really appreciate the flexibility regarding my service appointment. Due to my work schedule I desperately needed a late appointment. So grateful my car is receiving top shelf professional service. Replaced a oil pan drain plug that was seriously damaged and stripped by a competitor that will NEVER get my business again! All services were quickly completed. Thank you so much for another great experience with my.... Your Mechanic Lavell 5 ⭐️ Service consistently.


23 years of experience
483 reviews
23 years of experience
Porsche 911 - Oil Change - Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Brian is extremely knowledgeable and very personable and has taken very good care on my 911. I would recommend Brian to any one who has mechanical car challenges. I would recommend Brian to all My friends and family

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Related articles

Top 10 Scenic Drives in Hawaii
There’s no denying that Hawaii is a tropical paradise, which is why so many tourists flock there throughout the year to get their fill of surf and sun. This network of islands has more to offer than beachside resorts and...
Top 10 Scenic Drives in Virginia
Virginia is a state well-known for its natural beauty and is home to several national and state parks. Scenic drives can be discovered at virtually every turn. There is more to the region than just its statuesque mountains, regal valleys,...
Top 10 Scenic Drives in Northern California
Exploring northern California is especially exciting because the region is home to an impressively wide variety of terrain, ranging from sandy beaches to tall, rugged mountains. The possibilities for day trips or weekend getaways consequently abound. Whether winding through wine...

Related questions

Difference between 4WD, AWD and FWD? Is AWD or 4WD necessary in SUVs? or will FWD do OK with winter tires?

Hello, the difference between four wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and front wheel drive is the difference in how your vehicle transfers energy to power the vehicle. Four wheel drive is a vehicle that uses two wheels to propel the vehicle...

Looking for a car that is good in winter

Hello. If you’re going to buy a Sante Fe that offers all wheel drive or four wheel drive, it should hold up pretty well in the harsh winter weather conditions. A Sante Fe with front wheel or four wheel drive...

Is it okay to drive 500 miles with a tire patch?

Hi, thanks for writing in. Depending on the severity of the surface area of the tire that has been patched and the location of the patch, this could be fine, but is not recommended. Sidewall patches are particularly vulnerable to...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 ·