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Plan Your Weekend Escape to Red Cloud!

Plan Your Weekend Escape to Red Cloud!

If you dream of escaping the urban crush for the serenity of a small town, then Red Cloud is the perfect destination to spend a quiet weekend. With its quaint lodging options, rich history, regular cultural programs, historic attractions, and recreational activities, there is never a shortage of fun and worthwhile things to do while visiting the community. For more information about visiting Red Cloud, click on the links and pictures below, or read the article "10 Great Ways to Experience Red Cloud". When you're ready to make your visit, consider using one of the itineraries listed below or book a "Walk in Her Footsteps" package at the National Willa Cather Center

Spend a Weekend Walking in Willa Cather's Footsteps

Spend three inspiring days exploring Willa Cather's world and Red Cloud with the newly launched "A Walk In Her Footsteps" weekend tour! The National Willa Cather Center proudly offers a wide range of engaging activities and authentic experiences. From her quaint childhood home to the windswept prairie that memorializes her, visitors of all ages and backgrounds are guaranteed to depart Red Cloud with a fresh idea of Willa Cather and the Great Plains. Come witness the sites and sounds that changed American literature. Package includes lodging, a gourmet picnic basket of food from Hometown Market, a Country Tour (see below), a VIP tour of The National Willa Cather Center, and much more! Contact Lauralea Johnson at 402-746-2218 for more information. Click here or on the prairie photo above for detailed information about what's in the package. 

Day Trip

Only have a few hours or an afternoon available? Perhaps you're passing through Red Cloud on the way to another destination? While we would love for you to stay longer and explore all we have to offer, there's plenty of great options available for a visitor on the go! We recommend organizing your visit around a tour of the National Willa Cather Center historic sites, the Starke Round Barn, the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie, and the Webster County Historical Museum. Check out our weekday and a Friday/Saturday sample itineraries for some tightly scheduled inspiration! All tours are subject to attractions/businesses being open and, presently, to any restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. Interested in an overnight stay? Check out these detailed itineraries for some additional inspiraton: 1) Early Spring, 2) mid-Summer

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Weekend Escape

Need more time to explore? If you're not necessarily a Cather enthusiast but want to get a richer Red Cloud experience, then this option is for you! This three day itinerary allows you to really get to know the community. For additional ideas about immersing yourself in the Great Outdoors while you visit Red Cloud see the Recreation option below. You could put together at 3 day or weeklong itinerary that focuses on golf, boating down the river, hunting or biking our scenic routes. Contact Jarrod McCartney at 402-746-4065 or jmccartney@redcloudnebraska.com to book a package or arrange your visit! 

Walk Red Cloud 

Walk Red Cloud is the perfect socially distanced tourist activity, especially if you're a Great Plains history buff! Simply use the camera on your mobile device or download a QR code scanner and explore Red Cloud's past with local historian Suzi Schulz. Codes are located on lampposts throughout downtown Red Cloud. There's a lot to learn and read and the project will be adding even more sites in the coming months! 

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Willa Cather Country Tour & Self-Guided Town Tour 

The Country Tour highlights twenty historic sites related to the life and writing of Willa Cather. You may schedule a guided tour of these sites by contacting Rachel Olsen at the Willa Cather Foundation at 402-746-2653 or rolsen@willacather.org, or you may purchase a detailed Country Tour Book for a self-guided tour. On the Country Tour, visitors  drive themselves through roughly fifty miles of the Webster County countryside, including settings from My Ántonia, O Pioneers!, One of Ours, short stories "Neighbour Rosicky" and "Peter," and others, as well as many scenes from Cather's own life—the Cather homesteads and the prairies and river where the Cather children played and explored. Roads are not always passable during inclement weather, so please plan accordingly.

The Self-Guided Tour is an extensive self-guided exploration of the many historic sites and locations related to the life and times of Willa Cather. Maps are available at the National Willa Cather Center or can be downloaded here.

Recreation

Red Cloud offers visitors interested in spending time in the Great Outdoors a variety of options in addition to bowling, yoga at the Community Center, and other opportunities for indoor fun. Fishing and hunting opportunities abound in the region. Please get permission before hunting or fishing on private land or consider visiting one of the 3 Public Wildlife Management Areas nearby (Elm Creek, Indian Creek Pond, and the Narrows) or the Liberty Cove Recreation Area near Lawrence, NE. Red Cloud's public golf course is also one of the best in the state! Interested in scenic Republican River Valley drive routes? Contact Tourism Director Jarrod McCartney for more information. 

Lodging

Need a place to stay to rest and relax during your Red Cloud adventure? We have plenty of stylish and comfortable options, including the Villa Willa Loft Apartment (pictured above) located on the 2nd floor of the National Willa Cather Center. You can also stay the night in The Cather Second Home, where Willa's parents lived after she moved away and became the most famous Nebraskan!

The M Guest House (pictured below) is a favorite with visitors, especially those with young family members while the Bed and Breakfast on the Hill is the perfect spot for long-term guests and is situated right next to the Red Cloud Golf Course. You can also find budget minded options like the Green Acres Motel & RV Park, Bell's RV Park, and the Yost Cottages. Many of these properties are available on AirBnB but you can also find them on our lodging page.  Visitors arriving in 2023 should have the option of staying at The Hotel Garber, a new 26 room boutique hotel located in the heart of downtown Red Cloud! 

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Photo Credits: Jeff Haller, Rob Olsen, Jarrod McCartney, Dean Jacobs/Nebraska Tourism Commission, Laura Beahm, and Cheryl Wilson