PHOTOS: Heartland Road Trip

Smack dab in the middle of America, this leisurely drive across Nebraska's Sandhills region includes peaceful winding rivers, gentle hills, and some of the most interesting folks you'll ever bump into anywhere.

  1. One of the rustic rooms at Calumus Outfitters in Nebraska's Sandhills region.

    (Debra Weiner)
  2. Cattle soak up the scenery along the road in the Nebraska Sandhills.

    (Debra Weiner)
  3. Taylor's unofficial population includes a town-wide collection of life-size cutouts evoking the town's prairie past.

    (Debra Weiner)
  4. A sunset tour of the Sandhills.

    (Debra Weiner)
  5. Wade Morgan's general store sells snacks, scented candles—and saddles.

    (Debra Weiner)
  6. Chicken Spaniard at the Sandstone Grill.

    (Courtesy Sandstone Grill)
  7. A livestock watering tank has room for eight people to go "tanking" on lakes and rivers.

    (Joel Sartore/National Geographic Stock)
  8. Kayaking is peaceful and scenic on the beautiful Niobrara River.

    (Maria Zoroyan/Dreamstime)
  9. Nebraska's gentle natural beauty includes prairies and forests.

    (George Burba/Dreamstime)
  10. Kayakers can paddle through six ecosystems—including prairies and forests­—on the Niobrara River.

    (Chuck Haney/Danita Delimont)

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