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State NEBRASKA

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POPULAR NEBRASKA DESTINATIONS

BELLEVUE
COLUMBUS
GRAND ISLAND
HASTINGS
KEARNEY
LEXINGTON
LINCOLN
McCOOK
NORFOLK
NORTH PLATTE
OGALLALA
OMAHA
SCOTTSBLUFF
SIDNEY
SOUTH SIOUX CITY
YORK

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Though modern transcontinental travelers tend to see NEBRASKA in much the same light as did the early pioneers, heading west during the Gold Rush - as just another dreary expanse of prairie to get through as fast as possible - this flat and sparsely populated state in fact encompasses quite a few places of interest. However, its most appealing cities, commercial Omaha and the livelier state capital, Lincoln , are separated by a good three hundred miles of underwhelming, livestock-rearing flatlands from the western Panhandle, where the landscape finally erupts into giant sand hills and valleys, broken by towering rocky columns and hemmed in by sheer-faced buttes.

Western Nebraska was still embroiled in vicious and bloody battles against Native Americans long after the east had been settled; from the first serious uprising in 1854, it was 36 years before the US Army could make white control unchallengeable. Close to the South Dakota state line, Fort Robinson , where Crazy Horse was murdered, remains one of the West's most evocative historic sites.

Without navigable rivers, Nebraska had to rely on the railroads to help populate the land. During the 1870s and 1880s, rail companies, encouraged by grants that allowed them to accumulate one-sixth of the state, laid down such a comprehensive network of tracks that virtually every farmer was within a day's cattle drive of the nearest halt. Thus the buffalo-hunting country of the Sioux and Pawnee was turned into high-yield farmland, which today has few rivals in terms of beef production.

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