Coming from a small town, I’ve learned to truly appreciate all the quirky, interesting, and unique experiences rural Nebraska offers. You’d be surprised how much culture you can discover in the little towns you drive past on the way to bigger destinations. Stop and smell the roses at these unique spots…


The Most Unlikely Place– Lewellen, Nebraska

The Most Unlikely Place is a coffee shop, café and art gallery located in Lewellen, Nebraska, a village of roughly 200 people. The gallery was started in 2009 and has since gathered the signatures of visitors from 47 states and 21 countries in the guest book. Visitors can browse the gallery to find unique pieces created by local and international artisans while sipping on a fresh cup of coffee. After perusing the gallery, you can order homemade food, delivered via roller-skating waitress. On the first Sunday of every month, they offer brunch accompanied by live music.

Address: 205 Mian St., Lewellen, NE 69147

Courtesy of The Most Unlikely Place Website


Eagle’s Nest– Surprise, Nebraska

In the village of Surprise, Nebraska (population 41) Thursday nights bring communities from across the county together for wing nights. From 6-10 p.m. you can expect the tiny village to double, or even triple in size with members of surrounding communities all wanting to get a taste of the bars famous wings. At 70 cents a wing, you can’t find a better value than at Eagle’s Nest. While you’re at the bar, you can enjoy an ice-cold beverage and chat with regular wing night goers, locals, farmers and people who travel to the village just for Thursday night festivities. Trust me; these wings are worth the drive.

Address: 525 Miller St., Surprise, NE 68667

Courtesy of Kipp Abresch


Lasso Espresso– Gothenburg, Nebraska

On the road and need a coffee fix? Skip the Starbucks and head to Lasso Espresso just off of I-80 in Gothenburg, Nebraska (population 3275) for an authentic Nebraskan experience. The small coffee shop doubles as a gift shop featuring locally crafted gifts. The coffee shop is also located next to a sod museum if you want to dive into Nebraskan history while sipping on a fresh coffee.

Address: 418 Platte River Rd, Gothenburg, NE 69138

Courtesy of Luke Wadsworth


The Rose-Colored Glass– Stromsburg, Nebraska

The Rose-Colored Glass located in Stromsburg, Nebraska (population 1140) is truly a unique small-town experience. The wine tasting room features over 40 wine selections from Nebraskan wineries across the state. While enjoying a glass of wine, guests can wander into the attached clothing boutique “Frocks and Flowers” or the home gifts store “The Townhouse” while mingling with locals. If visiting during the third weekend of June, guests can also join in with the festivities of the “Swedish Festival,” a celebratory tradition in place since 1953.

Address: 403 Commercial St., Stromsburg, NE 68666

Courtesy of sewnimble


Open Range– Ogallala, Nebraska

Ogallala, Nebraska (population 4543) is home to rich western tradition, an agriculturally based economy, and a tight-knit community. The tiny town is also home to Open Range Grill. Open Range Grill is owned by a ranching family from Ogallala and serves the grass-fed beef the family raises. The grill features locally crafted drinks, live music events, and special community events like the upcoming Halloween costume party throughout the year.

Address: 1108 N Spruce St., Ogallala, NE 69153

Courtesy of The Open Range Facebook page

– By Katie Bresnahan

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