If you are stopping in Hastings, NE, be ready to hear the train whistle in the distance. The town was built around intersecting railroad tracks that trains still run on today. Nicknamed the "Queen City of the Plains," the town's unique history includes both the passing-through of Oregon Trail pioneers and the invention of Kool-Aid.
Hastings, NE hotels are within driving distance of these local attractions:
The Hastings Museum of Natural & Cultural History tells the stories of the early inhabitants of the Nebraska plains, houses dozens of native animal species in their natural habitats—including the largest display of whooping cranes in the country—and features an interactive display of the city's claim to fame: the invention of Kool-Aid. Kool-Aid was invented by Edwin Perkins in Hastings in 1927, and the museum explains how the drink became such a success.
If you want to see the stars up close, the J.M. McDonald Planetarium is a perfect place to explore. Part of the Hastings Museum, it is the only planetarium located between Denver and Chicago. Shows are offered daily, giving you a special view of the sky.
The interactive exhibits at the Children's Museum of Central Nebraska are perfect for youngsters. The museum explores the themes of life, including growing, living, creating and working.
The Perkins Products Company, located in downtown Hastings, is the home of Kool-Aid. The historic factory offers a great photo op in front of a colorful tribute and the chance see where the product was originally manufactured.
The historic Oregon Trail passes through the Hastings area. You can still see ruts from the settlers' wagons etched into the earth. Historical markers point out remnants of the era that offer a firsthand look at the pioneers' journey across the American prairie.
The Tour of Bronzes offers a walking tour by 30 bronze statues that reflect the community's deep appreciation of art. You can pick up guides at the visitor's bureau that highlight the three art locations around town.
The picture-perfect prairie of Hastings, NE offers a welcome change of pace. Look to stay with Choice Hotels for a restful evening at one of the Hastings hotels in the heartland.
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