A typical Great Plains state, Nebraska has four seasons, complete with thunderstorms, droughts, blizzards, hailstorms, tornadoes, and occasional floods.Summers are hot and humid and July’s average temperatures are in the mid-20s (Celsius). Winters are cold and harsh with an average January temperature of -5 degrees. Snowfall varies from about 53cm (21 inches) in the southeast to about 115cm (45 inches) in the northwest corner. Spring and autumn are milder.Nebraska is in the tornado alley, and May and June are the peak months in the tornado season.
When to fly to Nebraska
Labor Day through Memorial Day is the peak season and when most visitors step off their Nebraska flights, but it does not get overly crowded and the prices are not as high as you would normally see in a peak season.
Omaha is particularly busy in June when the college baseball World Series comes to town. Lincoln is especially busy on football weekends.
Autumn is another popular season with a number of fairs and harvest festivals.
The winter weather and difficult driving make this the low season for visiting Nebraska. The spring weather, however, tends to be pleasant and you can find places where peak-season prices are not yet in effect.
Getting around Nebraska
Buses and trains cross Nebraska from east to west on a regular basis. To really see the state though you need a car. I-80 is the fastest and least scenic route across the state, Hwy-2 offers lots of scenery, and US 26 in the panhandle goes along the Oregon Trail.
Downtown Omaha has bus service Sunday through Friday, and Lincoln runs local buses as well.
Apart from Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska is mostly uninhabited prairie, with lots of options for outdoor and river activities. Also check out the Cowboy Trail, which provides a network of good cycling, hiking, and horseback-riding trails.
Nebraska insider information
- Fans of the show Little House on the Prairie will love the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer. It has an extensive collection of historical artifacts from the days of prairie life and offers blacksmithing and tinsmithing classes.
- Bird-lovers can’t miss the Rowe Sanctuary where visitors can view the migration of 500,000 sandhill cranes from observation blinds on the banks of the Platte River.
- Anyone who owns a quilt knows that it’s more than just a blanket. To some it’s an heirloom, to others it’s a piece of history. Visit the International Quilt Study Centre where you’ll find a fascinating collection of 2,000 quilts from 14 different countries.
- If you admire Art Deco architecture then head to Omaha. The city is home to some fine examples of the popular design movement: the Durham Western Heritage Museum and the Joslyn Art Museum. The former is the restored Union Station and provides an extensive look into Omaha’s history. The latter has an impressive collection of 19th and 20th century art from Europe and America.
- Always wanted to explore a rainforest but couldn’t make it to Brazil? Then head to the Lied Jungle at the Henry Doorly Zoo home to the world’s largest indoor rainforest. You can follow the footpaths to waterfalls, ponds and vegetation where exotic animals roam free; it’s almost as good as being in the Amazon.
- Go back in time and experience what life on a ranch was like at the Arthur Bowring Sandhills State Historical Park. It’s the last living history ranch in Nebraska and has been kept exactly the way it used to be in the 1800s. There’s also a museum on the grounds with displays of the owners’ personal belongings and artifacts that were used on the ranch.