Download GPX file for this article
41.135914-100.770501Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

North Platte is a city in Nebraska. With a population of over 23,000 (2020), North Platte is the largest community in Lincoln County, located in west central Nebraska.



See also: Old West
North Platte Commercial Historic District

In November 1868, the rails of the Union Pacific Railroad reached the location of what is now known as North Platte. Situated between the North and South Platte rivers, just west of the confluence, the town was named by a flip of a coin to determine between North Platte and South Platte. North Platte was incorporated as a city in 1873.

In 1882, Colonel William F. Cody, known to the world as Buffalo Bill, responded to the calls of local civic leaders and produced an Independence Day celebration known as the "Old Glory Blowout". He later developed this into his famed Wild West Show, which toured throughout the world. The home he built while living in North Platte, known as Scouts Rest Ranch, is now a state historical park, and is open to tour.

North Platte could have gone the way of many small towns in rural Nebraska, becoming a sleepy backwater, except for native Bill Jeffers. Jeffers rose from a "call boy" for Union Pacific, to become president of the railroad. He chose his home town of North Platte to build a reclassification yard. Union Pacific's Bailey Yard is now the largest railroad classification yard in the world. Nearly 4,000 employees service more than 150 trains per day, totaling nearly 15,000 rail cars.

Scouts Rest

During World War II, North Platte became famous for the North Platte Canteen. Volunteers met in early December 1941 at the Depot to greet what they thought was a train load of local troops headed for war. When the train stopped, it turned out to be carrying boys from Kansas instead of North Platte. After they got over their disappointment, townspeople offered all of the goodies they had collected to the Kansas boys. From this humble beginning, on Christmas Day 1941, the North Platte Canteen opened. For the next 52 months, volunteers met every single troop train that came through town, day or night. By April 1, 1946, this all-volunteer effort had served more than 6.5 million service personnel.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

The primary means of getting to North Platte is Interstate 80, which runs east-west; US 83 serves as the primary north-south route. Lincoln is three hours east on I-80; Cheyenne is 3 hours west on I-80; Denver is four hours west on I-80 and I-76.

By plane[edit]

  • 1 North Platte Regional Airport (LBF IATA), 5400 E Lee Bird Dr (head west on US-30, take the second right on the other side of the river), +1 308-532-1900. Providing only one route both to and from Denver International (DEN IATA). This airport averages only 77 flights a day. Free parking and car rental on site. North Platte Regional Airport (Q7056358) on Wikidata North Platte Regional Airport on Wikipedia

Get around[edit]

Map of North Platte

Most people get around North Platte by car, but you can also explore the city by bicycle, using the streets and highways, or the extensive network of trails.


  • 1 Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center, 1249 Homestead Rd, +1 308-532-9920, . 9AM-7PM. 100 ft (30 m) tower with two observation decks overlooking Bailey Yard, the world's largest railroad classification yard at 2,850 acres. $8 adults, $6 children, children under 5 free.
  • 2 Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historic Park, 2921 Scouts Rest Ranch Rd (head east on US-30 and turn north onto Buffalo Bill Ave), +1 308-535-8035. Park grounds 8AM-sunset, House and Barn W-Su 9AM-5PM, Memorial Day - Labor Day 9AM-5PM, closed Oct 31-April 7. Once the home of Buffalo Bill, now a historical park. Covering 25 acres, this park contains a mansion built in 1886, original outbuildings, and the original barn. $6/day for Nebraska residents, $8 for non-Nebraska residents, House admission $2. Buffalo Bill Ranch (Q4985663) on Wikidata Buffalo Bill Ranch on Wikipedia
  • 3 Lincoln County Historical Museum, 2403 North Buffalo Bill Ave (head west on US-30, turn north on Buffalo Bill Ave, on the north side of the river), +1 308-534-5640, . May-Sep: M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1-5PM. Volunteer run museum with both indoor exhibits and open air portions. Features turn of the century buildings and 19th Century log cabins. Has an exhibit on the North Platte Canteen, a volunteer operation serving food to more than 5 million US troops during the Second World War.
  • Cody Park Railroad Museum, 1601 N. Jeffers (North Highway 83). Home of only 3900 Series "Challenger" steam engines on public display. Also a 6900 Diesel Engine the largest locomotive ever made. Free admission.
  • Cody Park Wild West Memorial, 1601 N. Jeffers (North Highway 83). Cody Park is near the site of the 1882 Old Glory Blowout, the forerunner of Cody's Wild West Show. Larger-than-life statue donated to North Platte by the United Kingdom, surrounded by flags of foreign countries and U.S. states in which the Wild West Show toured. Free admission.
  • America's 20th Century Veterans Memorial, 2811 S. Jeffers (junction of Interstate 80 and Highway 83), +1 308-532-6579. Honoring all U.S. veterans in the 20th century. Memorial bricks for veterans still available. Open 24 hours.
  • North Platte Area Children's Museum, 314 N. Jeffers (Near the center of town), +1 308-532-3512. W F 10AM-3PM, Th 10AM-5PM, Su 1-5PM. Many unique and interactive exhibits. $2.50 per person daily, free under age 2, group rates available.
  • Feather River Vineyards, 5600 East State Farm Rd, +1 308 534-1538. Feather River is the largest vineyard in the state. The vineyard is open for private parties and group tours. Tents are available to enjoy your party at the vineyard or in the midst of the grape vines. Seasonal activities include picnics, hayrack rides and sleigh rides.


  • NebraskaLand Days. Nebraska's official state celebration. It is held the second week in June each year and features the Buffalo Bill PRCA Rodeo, concerts, a Frontier Revue, parades, and many other events.
  • North Platte Community Playhouse. The Town Hall Lecture Series and Community Concert Series each bring four performances to North Platte a year.
  • Cody Go-Karts, Halligan Drive (I-80 & Highway 83), +1 308 534-8277. Late May to early Sep: 10AM-10PM. Go-carts, water slides, bumper boats, miniature golf, kiddie rides.
  • Stock Car Races. Every Saturday night May through August at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds, starting at 7PM.
  • Miss Nebraska Scholarship Pageant. Held annually in North Platte the first week of June, just preceding NebraskaLand Days. Beautiful women from across Nebraska compete in various categories to be chosen Miss Nebraska.
  • Miss Rodeo Nebraska Pageant. Held in conjunction with the Buffalo Bill PRCA Rodeo during NebraskaLand Days. These young women, many from ranching families, compete in many events, including horsemanship for the title of Miss Rodeo Nebraska.
  • Fiesta Patrias. Held around September 17th, celebrates the Mexican heritage of many of the area's families. Events include lots of music and food, and a queen contest.
  • Heritage Festival. A production of the Lincoln County Historical Museum and features antique farm implements and practices, as well as many of the practices used in making a home by the first pioneers of the area. Reenactors in period costumes. Usually held in conjunction with NebraskaLand Days.
  • North Platte Rail Days. Rail Days in early August celebrate the importance of Union Pacific Railroad to the community of North Platte, the settlement of the nation, and the economy of the state and nation.


When you go through North Platte on either Interstate 80 or Highway 83, be wary of the first two gas stations south of the Interstate at exit 177. The advertised prices flashing on their brightly-lighted signs will only be available on one or two pumps! If you don't pay attention, you will be paying some of the highest prices for gas along the Interstate. Go north into town a couple of blocks and you will find reasonable prices.

Antique stores[edit]

  • Steele's Antique, 620 North Vine St, +1 308 532-8173. By chance or appointment, specialty is furniture.

Art galleries[edit]


  • A to Z Bargain Books, 115 W 4th St, +1 308 534-0140. The largest book store between Lincoln and Denver. A to Z offers customers a rich, warm and comforting atmosphere. The store is located in Downtown North Platte along Hwy 83 with 4000 sq ft of used books-paperbacks and hardbacks-which they buy, sell and trade. Open Monday-Thursday 10AM to 6PM, Friday 10AM to 5PM and Saturday from 10AM to 4PM. Hosts an "open-mic" night on the 2nd and 4th Fridays. A popular spot for local writers and musicians.
  • Bible Supplies, 1923 W A St, +1 308 532-4199.


  • The Quilt Rack, 101 West Front St, +1 308 532-2606. Monday-Friday 10AM-6PM, Saturday 10AM-4PM, Sunday 1PM-4PM. North Platte's only full-service quilt shop complete with on-line shopping.

Gift, collectibles & specialty shops[edit]

  • Fort Cody Trading Post (I-80 & Highway 83), +1 308 532-8081. Old West museum and animated 20,000 piece hand-carved miniature Wild West Show. Gifts and souvenirs. Open year-round except Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years. Summer hours are 8AM to 9PM, 7 days a week. The rest of the year 9AM to 5:30PM, Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6PM on Sunday.
  • Fantasy Gifts, 501 Easy St, +1 308 534-5929. Full costume department, paintball supplies, novelty gifts, NFL & Nascar merchandise.

Western wear[edit]


You'll find just about every fast food place and many of the chain restaurants in North Platte that you will in the rest of the country. These are some of the best local restaurants.

  • Amigo's, 1210 South Jeffers, +1 308 532-7950.
  • Dave's Place, 1510 East Fourth, +1 308 532-3922.
  • North 40 Chophouse, 520 North Jeffers, +1 308-365-8726.
  • Espresso Shoppe, 408 N Chestnut St, +1 308 534-9550. A great coffee house and lunch place, sometimes entertainment on weekend evenings.
  • King Buffet and Mongolian Grill, 402 East Leota, Suite #1.
  • La Casa Nueva, 1911 East Fourth St, +1 308 534-8967.
  • La Hacienda, 321 East Sixth St, +1 308 532-0148.
  • Merrick's Ranch House, 1220 East Fourth St, +1 308 532-8200. A completely smoke-free restaurant.
  • Penny's Diner, 473 Halligan Dr, +1 308 535-9900. Open 24 hours.
  • Tempura Japanese Restaurant, 221 East Sixth St, +1 308 532-0711.


Karaoke can be found most nights of the week at some location.



  • A-1 Sunset Mobile Park, 3120 Rodeo Rd, +1 308 532-9182.
  • Buffalo Bill State Historical Park, 2921 Scouts Rest Ranch Rd, +1 308 535-8035.
  • Frontier Resort, Cafe and Marina, +1 308 532-8776. Located at Lake Maloney.
  • Cody Park, 1400 North Jeffers.
  • Holiday RV Park and Campground, 601 Halligan Dr, +1 308 534-2265.
  • Lake Maloney State Recreation Area. Bare-bones camping at Lake Maloney, five miles south of North Platte on highway 83.


The following locations offer free wireless Internet service:

  • Starbucks Coffee - 2020 S Jeffers, just off of Interstate 80 at exit 177.
  • Pro Computing - 721 S. Dewey, +1 308 532-1447. Also offers Internet surfing and e-mailing on their computers for $5 per hour.
  • Espresso Shoppe - Downtown at 408 N Chestnut St, +1 308-534-9550

Go next[edit]

Routes through North Platte
CheyenneHershey  W  E  MaxwellOmaha
CheyenneHershey  W  E  MaxwellGrand Island
PierreValentine  N  S  WellfleetOakley

This city travel guide to North Platte is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.