50 Fun Things to Do in Valentine & Cherry County

  1. Take a Canoeing, Kayaking, Tubing or Tanking trip down the Niobrara National Scenic River choose from these Niobrara River outfitters
  2. Explore the many Hiking Trails: Cowboy Trail , Niobrara River, Government Canyon, Valentine City Park, Niobrara Valley Nature Preserve, Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge, Smith Falls State Park and the Jim Macalister Trail
  3. Rent a Bike from Valentine Bike Share on Main Street in Valentine and explore downtown shops or bike the Cowboy Trail
  4. Shop Small Business Saturday in November
  5. For Waterskiing or pulling a tube and drop your boat in Merritt Reservoir or Cottonwood Lake for a day of endless fun in the sun
  6. If you would rather be Fishing, sink a line and start catching walleye, perch, crappy, northern, bass, and monster musky in Merritt Reservoir. Try one of the crystal clear of the Valentine Wildlife Refuge Lakes offering bass, northern pike, perch, and bluegill
  7. Camping choices are nearly endless – pitch a tent, park your RV, or rent a cabin. Campgrounds can be found in town, in the country, by the river, or in tucked back in the trees
  8. World class Golfing at Frederick Peak Golf Course or The Prairie Club both designed by the Tom Lehman Design Group
  9. Delight in our lineup of winter Events Valentine Heart of Christmas Parade of Lights, Bull Bash, Cork Thornton Ice Fishing Tournament
  10. Meet your friends at the local BreweryBolo Beer Co. Enjoy outdoor yard games or relax by the fire pit while you enjoy your favorite brew
  11. See local artist work at Valentine Library, Sandhills Art and Metal Gallery in downtown Valentine
  12. Wine Tasting at Niobrara Valley Vineyards in Nenzel. Enjoy homemade pizza on Friday nights in the summer. If you are collecting stamps for your Nebraska Wine Passport, then they are your next stop
  13. Hunting for waterfowl on Valentine National Wildlife Refuge include mallards, pintails, green-winged teal, and Canada geese
  14. Rent a 4-wheeler from Tehrani Motors in Valentine and buzz the trails at the Samuel McKelvie Forest
  15. Go chasing Waterfalls morning walk to Smith Falls  Nebraska’s Highest waterfall is nestled back in the canyons on the South side of the Niobrara River in Smith Falls State Park. Fort Falls is located on the Fort Niobrara Wildlife refuge, just outside of Valentine. It is so close to town, and is perfect for a quick view or you can take in 3/4 mile nature hike while you are there. Snake River Falls is the largest waterfall by volume in Nebraska.
  16. Dig deep in to Genealogy research and rich the Sandhills heritage at the Cherry County Historical Museum in Valentine next to the Visitor Center
  17. Seek more History and discover the early Sandhills rancher way of life at the Arthur Bowring Ranch State Historical Park in Merriman
  18. Stargazing at Merritt Reservoir a place so dark, so isolated, so removed from civilization that people from all over will travel there just to look up at stars.
  19. Perk up with a fresh brewed Coffee, cappuccino, espresso or smoothie at Janine’s Flower Exchange or Auntie D’s – they even have a drive thru but you will want to stop in both to shop.
  20. Bird Watching at the Valentine Wildlife Refuge or along the Niobrara River or a nice drive along the Brownlee road through the sandhills of Cherry County
  21. Bowling is perfect for a fall or winter night out for the family at Brewers Bowling Center – Not in the summer though… They are busy putting you on the river – sorry.
  22. Step back in time and Cool off with an Ice Cream treat from Frosty Drive In. Drive up and order from the car hop and enjoy the music while you wait.
  23. Horseback Riding at Steer Creek Campground or the Samuel McKelvie Forest, also take trails around Valentine, the Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge and the National Scenic Niobrara River – unfortunately there are no outfitters for trail rides or horses provided. Please bring your own ride.
  24. Don’t have a boat…no problem. Try Ice Fishing – Wait for the winter ice to form on Merritt Reservoir or the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge lakes
  25. Scenic Drives are everywhere in Cherry County, but a favorite is Sparks River Road that will take you on a winding drive along the National Scenic Niobrara River where you will see an abundance of wildlife.
  26. Valentine and the surrounding communities have Garage Sales all summer long but the best is the City Wide Garage Sale that is always in July – check our calendar of events for details
  27. Try your hand…or throw…at Disc Golf at the Valentine City Park. Play your way through the 40 acres of mighty oaks and pines. If you need Frisbees check out True Value Hardware in Valentine – They always keep a set in stock just for you
  28. Turkey or upland game Hunting is abundant in the Sandhills. There is a large area of public land to roam. Be sure to pick up a Public Access Atlas at the Valentine Visitor Center or from the NE Game & Parks
  29. Visit a small Student Run Grocery Store in Cody. They even helped build it. Find their story here. The Circle C Market is pure charm
  30. Take the plunge and go Swimming – Try the lake @ Merritt Reservoir, the river @ the Niobrara River, or the pool @ the Valentine City Aquatic Center or in your hotel 🙂
  31. Fall is full of Craft Shows and Festivals – Pumpkin Patch Craft Fair, Old West Days, Moonlight Madness, and the Lurz Pumpkin Patch
  32. History and Mystery can be found at Centennial Hall Museum – 12 rooms of memorabilia and a room or two of hair raising mystery. You will have to experience it for yourself
  33. Enjoy Fine Dining in a casual atmosphere Peppermill Steakhouse in Valentine or Bordertown Steakhouse in Kilgore
  34. Curl up with a Good Book on a rainy day at the Valentine Public Library or browse the selection at Plains Trading Company book store
  35. Grab a Explore Valentine Magazine and Cherry County Passport – plan your trip trip to all passport stops and get your stamps to win great prizes
  36. Rodeos are plentiful out west, but no one knows how to put one on like the citizens of Cherry County. Check out the schedules for the Cherry County Fair in Valentine or in Kilgore at the Bordertown Arena or the Old Settlers Reunion and Rodeo in Sparks
  37. Trophy Deer and Antelope Hunting is achievable in the Sandhills. Mount your next Mule deer or Antelope off of the Samuel McKelvie Forest or White Tail out of the canyons surrounding the may rivers and streams of the region.
  38. We aren’t too small of a town to have a Food Truck – Look for The Hog Trough to be serving up some dyno mite BBQ around the area. They are a passport stop too….but to get your stamp, you will have to be on target to find them
  39. Take your shot at some Cowboy Fast Draw with the Sparks and Spurs annual shoot find out more about Cowboy Fast draw and places they will be
  40. Lace up those shoes and take a Run on the many trails setting up. Valentine. Run the Cowboy Trail, or for a more remote location try your hand at the Sandhills Marathon.
  41. Family fun by the river Niobrara River Fest canoe and kayak races. Activities and entertainment for the whole family. Bring a lawn chair and plan to spend the day (or 2)
  42. Fireworks for the 4th of July Celebration and Demolition Derby at the Cherry County Fairgrounds
  43. Nebraska Star Party likes to party by the new moon every summer at Merritt Reservoir. It is a perfect opportunity to Stargaze learn about our solar system from those who are passionate about it. See when it is this year and mark your calendar to attend.
  44. Relax in the quiet of the Valentine City Park. take a stroll or a hike along the Minnechaduza creek, picnic under the pavilion, play sand volleyball, horseshoes, or throw a line in the water off the footbridge. Primitive camping is available, too
  45. Enjoy homemade Baked Goods and fresh Deli Sandwiches at the Old Mill Bulk Foods
  46. Do what the cowboys do, attend a Branding and see how its done. Or just stop by the Peppermill for some Rocky Mountain Oysters – Ask Robert to explain it for ya 😉
  47. Experience the old world style process Vinegary at George Paul Vinegar in Cody. They specialize in small batch 5 year aged Vinegar
  48. Eat like the locals do and have Breakfast or Lunch Thursdays at the Sale Barn Café at Valentine Livestock Market
  49. Honor our fallen. The Veterans Memorial Site in front of the court house on Main Street in Valentine – Honoring WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam – Funding has been raised and new monuments to be added soon.
  50. View the Elk at the Heartland Elk Ranch and experience nature around you – also a Cherry County Passport Stop so get your stamp while you are there.