In November of 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, Col. Wm. 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.
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 it's doors. 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.
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.
North Platte Regional Airport is served by Great Lakes Aviation with connecting flights to Denver International Airport.
Bailey Yard: Immediately west of North Platte on US 30, . The world's largest railroad classification yard.
Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center, , 1249 Homestead Road. Grand opening scheduled for May 2008. 120' tower with two observation decks overlooking Bailey Yard, the world's largest railroad classification yard.
Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historic Park 2921 Scouts Rest Ranch Rd (1 mile west of North Platte), 308-535-8035, . Home of "Buffalo Bill" Cody. Nebraska state park vehicle entry permit required ($3 for day permit/$17 for annual permit).
Lincoln County Historical Museum 2403 N. Buffalo Bill Ave (1 mile west of North Platte, and just around the corner from Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park), 308-534-5640, Home of the display of the North Platte Canteen. Open seasonally May - October, $3.00.
Cody Park Railroad Museum 1400 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 1400 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 (At the junction of Interstate 80 and Highway 83),. Honoring all U.S. veterans in the 20th century. Memorial bricks for veterans still available. Open 24 hours. 1-308-532-6579.
North Platte Area Children's Museum 314 N. Jeffers (Near the center of town). Many unique and interactive exhibits. Wednesday & Friday 10AM – 3PM, Thursday – 10AM – 5PM Sunday – 1PM – 5PM, Admission: $2.50 per person daily, FREE – Under Age 2, Group Rates Available. 308-532-3512.
Art and Gift Gallery, 516 N. Dewey, +1 308-534-1946 (in downtown shopping district). Five galleries of original art by local artists, sculpture garden. Periodic workshops by local artists or nationally acclaimed professional artists. Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-4pm.
Feather River Vineyards,  5600 East State Farm Road, +1 308-534-1538. Their most recent plantings make Feather River 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.
North Platte/Lincoln County Convention and Visitors Bureau: The CVB maintains a comprehensive list of attractions, events, lodging and dining establishments, . 219 S. Dewey, +1 308-532-4729, +1 800 955-4528.
NEBRASKAland DAYS is 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.
The North Platte Community Playhouse,Town Hall Lecture Series and Community Concert Series each bring four performances to North Platte each year.
Cody Go-Karts, I-80 & Highway 83 on Halligan Drive, 308-534-8277, , Go-carts, water slides, bumper boats, miniature golf, kiddie rides. Memorial day through Labor day, 10am - 10pm.
Country Bluegrass Show is held every year the last weekend in April at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds. Running from Wednesday to Saturday, it features top bluegrass performers from around the country.
Stock Car Races every Saturday night May through August at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds, starting at 7pm.
The Miss Nebraska Scholarship Pageant is 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 is 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.
The Mexican Fiesta is held the first weekend of NEBRASKAland DAYS each year and celebrates the Mexican heritage of many of the area's families. Events include lots of music and food, and a queen contest.
North Platte Woodcarvers Artistry in Wood Show features many woodcarvers from throughout Nebraska and the great plains. Usually held in conjunction with NEBRASKAland DAYS.
Heritage Festival is 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 Fest,  Scheduled for September 18, 19 and 20 2009, the Rail Fest will 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.
North Platte Honky Tonk BBQ Festival,  May 7 and 8, 2010 at the Wild West Arena. Live music, beer garden, competitive bbq cooking.
Whatever you do, when you go through North Platte on either Interstate 80 or Highway 83, do NOT buy your gas at the first two stations south of the Interstate at exit 177. If you do, please note that 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. Advice: Go north into town a couple of blocks and you will find reasonable prices.
ANTIQUE EMPORIUM,  2019 East 4th, 308-532-3404, Specialties for Antique Emporium are: General Line Antiques & more
GRANDMA’S MEMORIES ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES, 806 N. Jeffers, 308-534-8781 (Fax) 532-7004, Specialties for Grandma’s are: General Line Antiques & more
THE HAYLOFT, 2006 E. 4th, 308-532-1300, (Fax) 308-532-1300 A personable home owned and operated Antique Store. Clean and comfortable with rest rooms and large spacious parking. Specialties for The Hayloft are: General Line Antiques
RED ROOF ANTIQUES, 301 W Eugene Ave, 308-532-4841 or 308-530-9248, (Fax) 308-532-4841, Specialties for Red Roof Antiques are: Advertising, Americana, Architectural Antiques, Art, Art Deco, Art Glass, Books, Clocks, Crocks, Depression Dishes, Dolls, European, Figurines, Fine China, Flatware, Furniture, General Line Antiques, Gifts, Glassware, Jewelry, Linens, Military, Miniatures, Multiple Dealers, Oak, Pine, Post Cards, Pottery, Primitives, Quilts, Sports Cards, Tools, Toys, Victorian, Vintage Clothing Walnut, & Western.
STEELE’S ANTIQUE, 620 North Vine St., 308-532-8173 By chance or appointment, Specialty for Steele’s Antique: furniture.
Art & Gift Gallery, 516 N. Dewey 308-534-1946, The Gallery is a showcase for the original work of West Central Nebraska regional artists. Featured are five large gallery rooms and an outdoor sculpture garden where you have the opportunity to view the work in a leisurely atmosphere. Workshops are also hosted by artist members or nationally acclaimed professional artists. Guided tours for classrooms and conventions are also available. Mediums include porcelain, jewelry, pottery, oil, watercolor, wood carvings, sculpture, and much, much more. Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Cinda's Accents, , [email@example.com] 506 N Jeffers St., 308-532-5060, Cinda's specializes in custom framing, specialty gifts, and a Gallery of artwork.
A to Z Bargain Books,  507 N Jeffers St, 308-534-0140, A to Z Books has been in business in North Platte for 25 years, and is 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 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Friday 10:00 AM to 5 PM and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Hosts an "open-mic" night on the 2nd and 4th Fridays. A popular spot for local writers and musicians.
The Quilt Rack, 101 West Front Street, Store Hours Monday through Friday - 10 am - 6 pm, Saturday - 10 am - 4 pm, Sunday - 1 - 4 pm, 308-532-2606, North Platte's only full-service quilt shop complete with on-line shopping.
Scrappin with Style, 413 N Dewey, 308-534-6867, scrapping supplies, bead dept., unique gifts, greeting cards, yarn & knitting supplies.
Fort Cody Trading Post,  I-80 & Highway 83, 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 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., 7 days a week. The rest of the year 9 a.m. to 5:30 pm, Monday through Saturday, and 12 Noon to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Fantasy Gifts, 501 Easy St, 308-534-5929, full costume department, paintball supplies, novelty gifts, NFL & Nascar merchandise.
Country Joy, 1013 Cottonwood St, 308-532-8462.
Jared Floral, 1220 S Cottonwood, 308-534-2500.
Rustic Traditions, 671 East Halligan Drive, 308-534-5795, Fine Western furnishing and unique home accents.
It's All That, 402 N. Dewey St, 308-534-6796, Nebraska foods & candies, gourmet foods, customized gift baskets, jewelry, and candles.
Midwest Screen Print, 206 N Jeffers St, 308-534-7012, screen printing & embroidery along with fun fashions.
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