5 Summer Activities To Do In Valentine, NE

Posted by by

It’s every Midwesterner’s favorite time of year — summer.

Something about warm days and cool evenings makes people suddenly come alive again.

If you are looking for a unique and fun town to explore this summer, then look no further than Valentine, Nebraska, home of The Niobrara Lodge.

1. The Niobrara River

The scenic Niobrara River runs through Valentine and is one of Nebraska’s greatest rivers for a summer float.

From kayaking, canoeing, tubing, or even “tanking” (aka floating down the river in a giant stock tank, the Niobrara River (our hotel’s namesake) is one of the top rivers for entertainment in the Midwest.

Grab a favorite cold beverage and get out on the water this summer, you won’t regret it. 

By visiting the Visit Valentine website, you can decide where to rent your gear from as well as pricing. After a day on the river you can make your way back to The Niobrara Lodge to rest and catch a break from the sun!


  1. Smith Falls State Park

Did you know that Nebraska has waterfalls? 

One of the state’s best can be found near Valentine at Smith Falls! 

By visiting Smith Falls State Park, you can explore Nebraska’s highest waterfall at Smith Falls (the waterfalls 63 feet). 

The state park is just east of The Niobrara Lodge and has a 76-mile long stretch of scenic river. You have our full permission to go chase these waterfalls!

There are tons of options to hike, boat, fish, and canoe/kayak. Visit the Nebraska Game and Parks website for more information.


  1. Bolo Beer Co

Brewed in the heart of the Sandhills, Bolo is the brewery of choice in Valentine. The best part? It’s only a 2-minute walk from The Niobrara Lodge!

Whether your palate is a pilsner-style, IPA, wheat ale, or sour, “Chris the Brewer” has a beer on tap to fit your fancy.

While you’re visiting the taproom, don’t forget to check out Bolo’s awesome swag. How else will you show off your amazing trip to Valentine?

Their taproom is open Wednesday- Saturday from 4pm-10pm with varying events all summer long. Check out their Facebook page for the latest events. 


  1. Nebraska Star Party

    Merritt Reservoir July 24th-29th, 2022

Should the stars align for your trip to Valentine, you can witness this one-of-a-kind event in July.

One of the nations primer stargazing events is a must see in the Sandhills of Nebraska.

For five days both astronomers and curious spectators gather to view the impressive dark skies and experience the awe of space. 

The best part? You don’t even need a telescope! Just show up and you’ll be treated like an old friend.

Even if you travel here when the Nebraska Star Party is not meeting, the skies are darker here than just about anywhere in the continental U.S.  Simply walk outside at night and look up, the sky will capture you.

You can register online or do walk-in registration. Make sure to reserve your room at The Niobrara Lodge as space fills up fast for attendees of the Nebraska Star Party!   


  1. The Old Mill

Started by a missionary family from Ohio, this eat-in deli and pizzeria also sells unique snacks and pantry staples. 

The goal? To recreate something they missed from their home. The Result? A one stop shop that must be visited while in Valentine.

The bakery portion of the Old Mill is home to their famous cinnamon rolls and monster cookies. 

This is another walkable location from The Niobrara Lodge!

By following their Facebook page you can see daily updates of what The Old Mill is cooking up in the kitchen.

Nebraska, it’s not for everyone.

So whether you’re looking for a family friendly spot, a solo adventure, or a quick get away with friends, Valentine is a small town with big adventure!

Click here to book your Valentine getaway at The Niobrara Lodge now! We are close to everything Valentine has to offer.