Weekend In Valentine? Yes, Please!
Ditch the plane ride this summer and hop in your car instead. Valentine, Nebraska is closer than you think and a great spot for a quick weekend getaway! With family-friendly attractions, unique eats and drinks, and surprising adventures, fun isn’t hard to find around Valentine! Take a look at our top 5 picks.
- Tube, canoe or kayak the National Scenic Niobrara River
Book your outfitter and let them do the rest. Choose your guide. They will will ask a few questions and fit you with a one-of-a-kind experience and do the heavy lifting for you. All you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. You will see wildlife, waterfalls, a vast eco-system that can be found no where else in Nebraska. All while having the time of your life! This is our #1. If you can do 1 thing. Do this! Pro Tip: If you want to avoid the crowds....plan your float trip for a Thursday instead of the weekend! ;)
2. Bolo Beer Co and Niobrara Valley Vineyards
After you take a dip….It’s time for a sip! If you like wine or beer, you will find them both here! Niobrara Valley Vineyards, in Nenzel, is just a short scenic car ride West of Valentine and features a decedent array of small batch wine choices. Enjoy homemade pizzas on Friday nights and a steak dinner on select Sunday nights throughout the summer. Bolo Beer Co prides itself on Sandhills inspired brews and is located just a couple blocks off of Main Street in Valentine. Partake in some yard games in the garden or find an adirondack chair on the sidelines or around the fire pit. Both of these locations are family (and 4-legged) friendly so don’t leave anyone behind.
3. Smith Falls State Park
It doesn’t really matter the time of year….Smith Falls, Nebraska’s highest waterfall, is an awesome wonder during any season! It is nestled back in the canyon and located within Smith Falls State Park You can stop and see the falls when you are on your Niobrara River float, or if dry land is more your cup of tea, you can drive to the park, stop into the visitor center and explore, hike the Jim McAlister Trail, picnic or even pitch a tent and spend the night.
The Valentine area has some of the darkest skies in the nation! A prime viewing location is at Merritt Reservoir which is located 26 miles South of Valentine. A campsite there is a prime location – that’s probably why Merritt has been the home to the annual Nebraska Star Party every summer for almost 30 yrs. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any location in the Sandhills region. Just find a safe spot to pull over, get out of your car and look up! The best time to view the stars is on a new moon (meaning – no moon present). This is when the sky will be darkest and the stars will shine brightest! It never disappoints!
Did you know that Valentine probably has more “World Class” golf opportunities than any other rural community out there? Even if you are not a golfer…these spots are pretty darn cool! Frederick Peak is Valentine’s city owned course – a majestic 10 holes that provides wide fairways and challenging tee shots that will take you on a journey across ridges, valleys and canyons. This roller coaster promises a great view and a great time. Relax on the patio at the clubhouse after you put up the clubs. The staff will make you feel right at home. The Prairie Club is a semi-private course that prides itself on the offering a “pure golf” experience, lodging and dining. With three courses to choose from, the Dunes course and the Pines course are 18 holes each and provide a significantly different degrees of play. The Horse course is a 10 hole par 3 just steps away from the clubhouse that hosts a little fun mixed with a little challenge. Both Frederick Peak and the Prairie Club’s Dunes course were designed by the Tom Lehman Design group Group and Chris Brands.
Not YOUR Top 5? Don’t worry – There’s More!
If you think we are crazy for these picks and you are looking for something more, don’t worry. Find out all there is to see and do in Valentine and the surrounding area on our website www.VisitValentine.org or our 50 fun things to Do! page or participate in our 1st Annual Cherry County Passport program. Collect stamps and win great prizes while on vacation! Stop in to the Valentine Visitor Center on Main Street Monday- Friday 9 am – 5 pm for more information.
See you soon!