Unravel a rich culture of cowboy history, architectural prowess, folk music and outdoor adventures in this “Magical City of the West.”
Experience the warm, welcoming spirit of Midwest America at McCook, a town that has been home to buffalo herders, senators and folk musicians. Founded in 1882 at the endpoint of the Burlington railroad extension, McCook’s growth was fueled by agriculture and trade.
Explore McCook’s streets, where cowboy heritage and fine art combine for a captivating visitor experience. See an equestrian show at the Kiplinger Arena before browsing local paintings at the Fine Arts Center. In the evenings, enjoy authentic outback cuisine at a steakhouse and then watch plays performed at the Historic Fox Theater.
Witness McCook’s storied past on the Heritage Square Historical Walking Tour, which passes through its old town. Take note of the Harvey P. Sutton House, which was designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1907. Nearby, see the home of George W. Norris, an influential senator who governed Nebraska in the mid-1900s. Delve deeper in McCook’s history of agriculture and railroads at the Museum of the High Plains.
Enjoy peaceful walks through McCook’s parks, which feature ponds, picnicking lawns and playgrounds. Rollerblade through Elks City Park, play a game of sand volleyball at Barnett Park or stroll along the scenic Kelley Creek Walking Trail. Work on your swing at the Heritage Hills Golf Course or take the kids for an amusing game of disc golf near Kelley Creek.
Just outside town, immerse yourself in the natural surrounds of the Red Willow State Recreation Area, a 6,000-acre (2428-hectare) reserve. Fish for bass, hunt for deer or camp with panoramic views of the Nebraskan prairie lakes. Nearby, enjoy scenic boating at the Medicine Creek Recreation Area or see the waterfowl refuge at the Enders State Recreation Area.
McCook is located in southwest Nebraska, approximately 5 hours’ drive from Lincoln. Get around town on foot or drive to nearby nature reserves.
Visit McCook in the summer months to catch the Buffalo Commons Storytelling Festival, a celebration of the art of storytelling through folk music and cowboy poetry performances.