About Kearney

About Kearney

Welcome to Kearney!

Let’s start with the basics…

Kearney pronounced
/ˈkärnē/ (car + knee)
pronoun: Kearney; sometimes spelled: Kearny; (150-year-old typo)
1. a colorful and exciting city situated smack in the middle of America. “Let’s go to Kearney this weekend!”

Now that we got that out of the way, here are a dozen things you ought to know about Kearney.

1. Archway

The massive Arch spanning over I-80 which is actually a multi-level museum which tells the story of the adventurers who followed the Great Platte River Road and helped to build America.

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2. Sandhill Crane Capital

We are also proud to be the Sandhill Crane Capital of the World! Every spring over half a million cranes (that’s about 80% of the world’s population of Sandhill Cranes) gather in Nebraska’s Platte River Valley. The Kearney area offers a variety of crane viewing experiences.

Sandhill Cranes

3. Blue and Gold

University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK for short) is home of the Lopers. Being a college town gives Kearney an energetic feel, and with lots of students and coincidently, lots of late-night eats.

4. ‘On the Bricks’

Downtown ‘On the Bricks’ oh, you are going to want to remember this one! Downtown Kearney is the hub of locally owned businesses and exciting seasonal events. From boutiques to barbershops, murals to museums, taphouses to theater, find it ‘On the Bricks’.

5. Amusing Museums

Museums, oh yea, we got museums. Art, History, and even a Children’s Museum. There are a dozen museums and cultural exhibits in the Kearney area. Soak in some culture at the Museum of Nebraska Art, Ft Kearny Historical Center, Nebraska Firefighters Museum, or the G.W. Frank Museum, just to name a few.

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6. The Great Outdoors

Go, for a bike ride on over 20 miles of paved trails. Not a biker, how about a float on a kayak or paddleboard at one of Kearney’s parks. Enjoy swimming or splashing around at one of our many splash pads. Go fishing. Go camping. Go bird watching. Just get outdoors and go enjoy! Moral of this paragraph is, the parks, outdoor recreation areas, and wildlife sanctuaries here are awesome!

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7. Arts and Cultural

Kearney is the cultural heart of Nebraska. Theatrical performances, concerts big and small, and shows of all sorts can be seen here sprinkled throughout the year. Viaero Center, Merryman Performing Art Center and the World Theatre all host live performances. During summertime performances go outdoors and live music is a weekly event.

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8. Event Central

Mark your calendar. Our annual events will give you a reason to come visit year after year. Cruise Nite, State Cross Country, Oktoberfest, Cattlemen’s Classic, Shrine Bowl, Sandhill Crane Migration, Art in the Park, Nebraska Senior Games, are just a few of the epic events hosted right here in Kearney.

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9. Dine & Draft

Tempt your palate with an assortment of restaurants featuring local flare, international, cafes and bakeries, national franchises and good ol’ Nebraska beef. Kearney has loads of unique local eateries and an impressive food scene (you can quote us on that). Thirsty? Breweries, pubs and bars will fix that. Oh, it’s daytime? How about go for coffee, tea, or some fresh-squeezed juice.

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10. Get in the Game

Home to several statewide and regional tournaments as well as a wide variety of other events, Kearney has the needed facilities for all the field and gym sports in addition to excellent facilities for: wrestling, hockey (proud home to USHL team Tri-City Storm), BMX, golf, drag racing, and more. Looking for something a tad slower paced, try some frisbee golf, pickleball, or footgolf.

11. Convention Capital

On average, Kearney hosts at least one convention, trade show, or other event per day, and is the number one convention location in Nebraska, outside of Lincoln and Omaha.  With a new convention center opening in Fall 2021, imagine your event in Kearney. Sound amazing? Check out our event and meeting planners tool kit.

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12. Get some ZZZZs

Last, but definitely not least, find a spot to rest your head here. Whatever your lifestyle we have hotels to suit your needs. With over 1,800 hotel rooms (and counting) and conveniently located right on the I-80 Interstate, Kearney is an ideal spot to come and stay awhile.

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Events Central

Travel Guide