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Carhenge, cowboys await you in Nebraska

By Steve Thompson, Contributing writer
Published On: Jul 27 2011 02:53:46 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 05 2011 02:39:46 AM CDT
Carhenge in Nebraska

When you need a weekend getaway to forget your troubles or a family vacation to reconnect, you don't have to visit the four corners of the earth. There are plenty of wonderful hidden hotspots in Nebraska where the minutiae of daily life can't find you.

Carhenge: Ideally, you might want to visit the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge, but why not take the next best thing? A weekend at Carhenge in Alliance, Neb., is one of the most beautiful and unique destinations in the state. Not only will you enjoy viewing the one-of-a-kind automobile sculptures, but Alliance is also home to other tourist attractions, such as Frontier Town and the Knight Museum. Stay overnight in one of the historic bed and breakfasts to complete your relaxing stay.

SchillingBridge Winery & Microbrewery: For an adults-only vacation in Nebraska, you might want to head to Pawnee where the SchillingBridge Winery & Microbrewery is located. Tour the wine production facility, explore the microbrewery and try fine spirits in the luxurious tasting area. Or you might just want to take a long, romantic walk through the vineyards!

The proprietors of SchillingBridge cater many of the local events and festivals each year, and they hold a treasure hunt in the vineyards in November. Murder at SchillingBridge, an interactive event for those who enjoy trying to solve whodunits, is also held every couple of months. SchillingBridge is even the manufacturer of "Git-R-Done Beer."

Arbor Day Farm: Agritourism is quickly growing in popularity in Nebraska, which is why Arbor Day Farm is a don't-miss attraction. Nestled in the small town of Kearney, Arbor Day offers educational tours, apple picking, historic barns, winding trails, conservation demos and a host of other activities. They even have a lodge on site for overnight guests.

Pioneer Village: From the Prairie Church to the one-room schoolhouse, Pioneer Village in Minden, Neb., is one of the most interesting destinations in the state. Set on 20 acres of beautiful land, Pioneer Village offers tours and a museum full of artifacts that illustrate American history. For children, they have an old-time doctor's office, toy shop, cobbler shop and drug store for exploration, and tours are offered every day of the year except Christmas.

Double R Ranch: Hunting, fishing, horseback riding, stargazing -- the Double R Ranch has it all. Also located in Minden, this hidden hotspot of Nebraska is perfect for family and single vacations alike. Spend your days walking beautiful trails or fishing for your dinner, then spend the night in one of the Double R's luxury cabins, each of which comes with satellite television and cooking facilities.

The Double R offers guided hunts for people who want to learn more about hunting birds and deer. This is one of the best places in the world for bird watching, and there is always a game of badminton or basketball underway.