Visit this historic ranching town to experience the vast Nebraskan sand hills, fish for prized catches and hike through canyons carved by the Niobrara River.

Channel your inner cowboy at Valentine, a town in the midst of Western Nebraska’s expansive sand hill region. This town began as a tent settlement at the terminus of a railroad in the early 19th century. Come here today to find a vibrant and historic community set amongst landscapes that have inspired artists, poets and ranchers.

Learn about Valentine’s railroad and ranching history at the Cherry County Historical Society Museum, which displays models and photographs of the town’s early days. Stop by Centennial Hall, housed in a school building dating back to 1897, to see more exhibits of Valentine’s storied past.

Explore the fertile Nebraska sand hills, where plains have supported ranchers herding cattle for over a century. This 19,000-square-mile (49,000-square-kilometer) expanse of grass-stabilized dunes is the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

Camp under the stars at Merritt Reservoir, one of the vital water sources in the region. Swim in cool waters, fish for bass and enjoy the photogenic bluffs and tree-lined beaches that surround the lake. Stop by the Merritt Trading Post for fishing and camping gear.

Follow the Niobrara River downstream from Valentine to hike trails through stunning riverine canyons. Canoe down the river with a guide and see bison and mule deer grazing on the banks. Visit the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge to see huge flocks of ducks nesting.

Experience the life of a cowboy at Arthur Bowring Ranch, where you’ll see authentic barns and dwellings of 19th-century ranchers. Take a pleasant horseback tour through the Cottonwood Lake State Recreation Area and see stunning waterfalls in the Smith Falls State Park.

Valentine is located in western Nebraska, about 5 hours’ drive from the state capital, Lincoln. Get around town and its surrounding attractions by car.

Follow the footsteps of pre-industrial ranchers along the cowboy trail, a limestone pathway that leads southeast of Valentine. Hike to the Niobrara gorge to a particularly spectacular wooden bridge spanning the 148-foot valley.

Top Hotels in Valentine

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
The Niobrara Lodge
The Niobrara Lodge
2.5 out of 5
803 East Highway #20, Valentine, NE
$84
per night
Nov 23 - Nov 24

Situated in Valentine, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cherry County Historical Society Museum and Niobrara National Scenic River Headquarters. Trailhead ...

4.2/5Excellent! (247 reviews)

"I liked everything! Friendly staff. Clean facility"…"

Reviewed on Nov 9, 2019

The Niobrara Lodge
Super 8 by Wyndham Valentine NE
Super 8 by Wyndham Valentine NE
2 out of 5
223 East Highway 20, Valentine, NE
$64
per night
Dec 10 - Dec 11

Situated in Valentine, this motel is within a 5-minute walk of Cherry County Historical Society Museum and Niobrara National Scenic River Headquarters. Trailhead ...

3.4/5Good! (258 reviews)

"It was easy to get to the property. Walk in shower was wonderful for me since I have back and leg issues."…"

Reviewed on Oct 18, 2019

Super 8 by Wyndham Valentine NE
Trade Winds Motel
Trade Winds Motel
2.5 out of 5
1009 E. Hwy 20, Valentine, NE
$65
per night
Nov 24 - Nov 25

Situated in Valentine, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Cherry County Historical Society Museum and Niobrara National Scenic River Headquarters. Borman Bridge ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (370 reviews)

"Quiet. Nice linens and comfortable beds. Spacious room. Staff helpful and friendly. Close to restaurants."…"

Reviewed on Nov 3, 2019

Trade Winds Motel

Reviews of Valentine

4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
18
5 - Excellent 20.224719101123597%
4 - Good
54
4 - Good 60.674157303370784%
3 - Okay
15
3 - Okay 16.853932584269664%
2 - Disappointing
2
2 - Disappointing 2.247191011235955%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Sep 16, 2019

Peppermill is gorgeous

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Aug 21, 2019

It's a nice small town

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Aug 13, 2019

Tubing down the Niobrara river was an amazing experience.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Aug 5, 2019

On a motorbike trip did not do a lot a sight seeing but it is a nice place

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Aug 5, 2019

Valentine is a great outdoorsy town, fantastic new municipal golf course plus high end public/private golf, many seasonal events (Nebraska Star Party)etc, river rafting, fishing, hunting and hiking. Best of all are the friendly people that live there

2/5 - Disappointing

Verified traveler

Jul 22, 2019

We were just passing through on a long road trip. All we wanted was a decent night’s sleep. We don’t think that’s too much to expect in exchange for $166.00!