Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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4 Community Stores to Shop in Valentine, NE

The Heart City is full of commerce, yet certain stores have a special knack for providing the community with products unique to the area.

For tourists, these storefronts are the ideal centers for gifts and souvenirs. And unlike the stereotypical souvenir shop, these goodies are fundamentally practical, valuable, and made with the quality you’d expect from craftsmen in the Sandhills region.

Whether a fresh pair of cowboy boots or jewelry handmade from local materials, this town has the type of coveted selection you won’t be able to find online.

  1. Young’s Western Wear

    Young’s Western Wear is a third generation family-owned clothing and merchandise store situated in the heart of downtown Valentine.

    At their core, Young’s Western Wear aims to provide the kind of quality gear built for
    the true cowboy. The store sells only the most trusted brands, and offers a broad selection of clothing and accessories for men, women, and children.

    Not only will you receive the type of service given to a prized customer, but you’ll walk out knowing your gear will last for the long haul. If you’re interested in learning more, check out their website:
    discountwesternwear.com.

  2. Auntie D’s Gift & Coffee Shop

    Auntie D’s is a true staple in Valentine. 

    Upon your first steps through the door, you’ll notice a plethora of cool gifts, home decor pieces, unique goodies, and the like. 

    But that’s only one facet of the store. Venture towards the back of the building, and you’ll find some of the best coffee and baked goods in town. 

    So whether you’re looking for a spot to go through your inbox while sipping some espresso, or a shop to supply fresh ideas for the next birthday present, you’ll likely end up at the same place. 

  3. Broken Spoke Boutique

    Although only a few years old, Broken Spoke feels like it’s been a town treasure for decades. 

    Started by South Carolina-native Whitney Mayhew, Broken Spoke occupies a century-old building right on Main Street. With an eye for all things design and architecture, Mayhew remodeled the historic building to fit the original twentieth-century layout. 

    Now, Broken Spoke supplies community members and tourists with a trendy selection of stylish, affordable, and quality clothing and accessories for women and children. 

    If you have yet to step inside Broken Spoke Boutique, make sure to pop in, hear the rest of their story, and peruse the fresh inventory. 

    Find more info — and shop online — here: brokenspokeboutique.com

  4. Bolo Beer Co.

    After you’ve made your rounds at these local merchandise stores, go for another round at the Bolo Taproom.

    Native to Valentine, this brewery serves a wide array of craft beer in a no-frills fashion. Open Wednesday – Saturday from 4:00 pm -10:00-ish pm (as described on their website), the taproom is a great spot to taste Bolo’s delicious beer right from the source. 

    Find their full list of beers here: bolobeer.com.

 


While these Valentine businesses are diverse in product offering, one thing remains consistent: They’re run by honest, hard-working owners who seek to provide great value to their customers. 

When you shop local, you’ll experience much more than a great purchase. 

It’s how we do business in Valentine. 

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7 Summer Adventures in Valentine, NE

The area around Valentine, Nebraska comes alive during summertime. The rivers are flowing, the
landscape is thriving, and the people are smiling. With the warmer weather comes a seemingly
endless array of possibilities for outdoor adventures. So we compiled seven of our favorites to help
narrow it down.

Here are seven adventurous activities to do during summertime in Valentine, Nebraska.

  1. Float the Niobrara River

    Surrounded by sandstone cliffs, pine-tree-covered hills, riverside campsites, and hundreds of unique
    waterfalls, it’s no surprise the Niobrara River attracts thousands of tourists each summer.
    Whether you enjoy canoeing, kayaking, or tubing, the river is perfect for adventurers and chillaxers
    alike. The river itself is wide and holds hundreds of pools deep enough for a cooling swim —
    necessary from time to time to escape the bright sun. And with multiple local rental companies
    available to accommodate, your trip can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
    In short, the Niobrara is an absolute must.

  2. Smith Falls State Park

    At a height of nearly 70 feet, Smith Falls stands as the tallest waterfall in Nebraska. The famous waterfall is reached only via a beautiful, moderate hiking trail, which can be accessed from a campsite sitting beside the Niobrara River. Whether you’re floating, camping, or driving, you’ll have no problem finding this scenic State Park. And find it, you better.

  3. Cowboy Trail

    Once an old rail line built in the 1870s, the Cowboy Trail now exists as the longest “rails-to-trails” trail in the world. While it’s still being developed from abandoned railway to limestone trail, the route currently stretches approximately 195 miles from Norfolk to Valentine. Apart from the cool history of Wild West train travel, the trail provides expansive views of the Sandhills and a wide range of wildlife to hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. Near the end of the Cowboy Trail in Valentine, be sure to check out the view of the Niobrara River Valley from 150 feet above at the famous trestle bridge.

  4. The Prairie Club

    Just 17 miles south of Valentine sits one of the top golf resorts in the world — without the usual sophistication associated with such places. As a semi-private destination, The Prairie Club offers world-class golf and lodging to its members and the public. With two of the Top 100 Public Golf Courses in America and a 10-hole short course modeled after the basketball game, “HORSE,” the links are perfectly situated on top of the Nebraska Sandhills and the Snake River Canyon. Find yourself there some evening enjoying a Nebraska ribeye while watching the sun set over the canyon, and you may be able to witness a Scottish bagpiper playing his pipes on the 18th green — reminiscent of the Old World golf design that exists here. The remoteness of this destination is one that can’t be beat. Definitely a place worthy of a pilgrimage.

  5. Stargazing

    Speaking of remote locations, this central land of America is famous for its incredible visibility of the Milky Way. Whether you’re an astronomer, photographer, or simply a wonderer of the universe, you’re sure to lose yourself gazing upon these bright night skies. While the stargazing is amazing all around Valentine, the Merritt Reservoir’s Snake Campground (30 miles south of Valentine) offers one of the best locations. Every year, this campground holds the annual Nebraska Star Party toward the end of July.

  6. Merritt Reservoir

    The Merritt Reservoir expands over 3,000 acres and holds some of the biggest trophy fish in Nebraska. While best-known for its walleye fishing, the lake also holds largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch, crappie, bluegill, and northern pike. The Reservoir offers more than just fishing, though. With sandy beaches and pure, clear water, the lake is great for boaters, swimmers, and beach-goers. A trip to the reservoir is often a necessity during the peak of the hot Nebraska summers.

  7. Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge

    Just a few miles south of Valentine, the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge protects a variety of plant and wildlife. Once an active military fort from 1879—1906, the land is now home to herds of bison and elk, as well as a host of other wildlife. The Refuge’s extensive trail system is perfect for those who desire to get outside and connect with nature. You’re sure to observe plenty of it along your route.

These seven iconic Nebraska summer activities will be sure to satisfy your craving for outdoor adventure. It’s
what we’re all about here in Valentine.

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The Bull Bash 2019: A Community Effort

February 23, 2019 —

Valentine, Nebraska’s largest event takes place every February, right here on Main Street.

It’s called The Bull Bash.

This community staple is for all ages— young and old— whether one is interested in bulls or not. This annual event has been a great way to learn updates of the industry, as well as the great local people who keep our community active here in Valentine.

At the Niobrara Lodge, we witness the event from just a few hundred yards down C. Street (Highway 20).

Either you’ve heard of the Bull Bash and know exactly what it entails, or perhaps you’re interest has been spurred.

The Bull Bash is a time when Valentine’s vibrancy is at a peak (aside from maybe Valentine’s Day itself, a few days later).

Let’s dive into the event!

The 2019 Bull Bash — Saturday, February 9th, 2019

The Bull Bash kicked off in the early 2000s, with this year’s rendition serving as the 18th Annual. It continues to grow in popularity with locals and new faces alike.

No matter if you live close, or are visiting Valentine for the first time—being a tourist in each and every community gives an experience unlike any other.

Valentine’s population is a little over 2700 people, however, it expands much further due to the strong rural ties in our area.

We’re the largest town within a 100-mile radius, so the town serves as a hub, especially in early February every year.

In 2019, there were 16 bull producers from South Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska who proudly displayed livestock as well as commercial displays. Over 80 participants attended the local Livestock Judging Contest at the Valentine Livestock Auction yards.

The cold months of winter allow the ranchers and farmers more flexibility as they prepare for the upcoming warm season. Local businesses (especially in smaller communities) tend to see slower sales after the holiday months and as winter drags on.

The Bull Bash has become a valuable event for local fundraising efforts and economic impact, as this year it helped The Local Cancer Fund and Cherry County 4-H Programs.

There are a number of great activities to enjoy. The day is jam-packed and offers:

  • 5K Run/ Walk with the Bulls on Main Street
  • Indoor Craft Show at the new Connot Brothers Auction Building
  • People’s Choice Quilt Show
  • Sand Painters Art Show at the Sandhills State Bank
  • 4-H Luck of the Draw
  • Bull & Commercial Displays
  • A “Meet the Author” event with Bryan Jones, author of the book “North of the Platte, South of the Niobrara”
  • Wine Tasting
  • Drawing for Gun Raffle (and custom made hat)
  • Downtown business offered specials at their locations too.

Sadly, the 2019 event has come and gone.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t look forward to the 19th Annual Bull Bash!

To learn more about the event, visit their website at Bullbash.net or check them out on their Facebook page.

We’d love to have you stay with us for the big event and to show you how Valentine is going to put together another great event.

We know winter months are always cold around here in February, but it is worth the visit.

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Welcome to Valentine

When someone says the word “diversity,” what comes to mind? People, culture, you name it – there are numerous aspects of our lives where we are thinking about what makes something special. Here in Valentine, however, diversity takes on a new meaning. We are talking about outdoor adventures. We are talking about exploration. We are talking about the Middle of Nowhere. Valentine is home to countless outdoor excursions – hunting, fishing, golfing, camping, you name it. And how could we forget to mention the illustrious Niobrara River?

Our little slice of paradise provides you with the opportunity to escape, unwind and explore some breath taking outdoor activities. Affectionately known as the Heart City, we at The Niobrara Lodge would like to be the first to welcome you to a place that is close to adventure, yet miles from ordinary.

Come explore with us.

The Niobrara River