When we were in Great Britain last month, our first stop was at iconic Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, where a ring of standing stones is set. Its history and purpose have boggled the minds

Our visit to Stonehenge in England earlier this summer.

Our visit to Stonehenge in England earlier this summer.

of archaeologists and visitors for hundreds of years.

No one we met there had ever heard about Nebraska’s Carhenge, and by the confused looks on their faces when I mentioned it, I’m not so sure they didn’t think I was making it up. I’m also convinced they were probably muttering something like “crazy Americans” when we were out of an ear’s reach.

But Carhenge is real. I saw it for the third time last week while on a family road trip with my husband, Steve, and daughter, Meghan.

Carhenge, Alliance NE

Carhenge is located three miles north of Alliance on Hwy. 87.

It’s not a place you just sort of stumble across. You have to want to go there. And we wanted to go there. Having just visited the original inspiration a few weeks prior on our three-week vacation in Europe, we couldn’t resist a stop at what is undoubtedly one of Nebraska’s strangest attractions and eagerly drove out of our way to Alliance and then three miles north on Hwy. 87 to see this Nebraska oddity.

 Carhenge

Meghan, me and Steve. Stonehenge is visited by about 60,000 people each year.

Carhenge is the artistic creation of Jim Reinders, who built a copy of Stonehenge out of cars in 1987, the summer I graduated from high school. Having lived and studied near Stonehenge in England, Reinders used 39 automobiles placed in the same proportions as Stonehenge, to build this incredible site. According to the Friends of Stonehenge website, “some of the cars are held upright in pits five feet deep, trunk-end down, while other cares are placed to form the arches and welded in place.”

Carhenge

Carhenge was constructed by about 35 members of the Jim Reinders family in the summer of 1987.

The cars are all spray painted gray and the honor of depicting the heel stone goes to a 1962 Cadillac. As the story goes, Reinders built Carhenge one hot sumer as a memorial to his father who had once lived on the farm where the structure now stands. About 35 members of the Reinders family gathered to build Carhenge and it was dedicated during the Summer Solstice in 1987 with champagne, poetry, songs, and a play, according to the website.

Since then, additional sculptures in a “Car Art Reserve” have been built at the site. I’m especially fond of the “Fourd Seasons” inspired by Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and constructed only of Ford vehicles and representing Nebraska’s four seasons.

Carhenge

The car art reserve.

Unlike the protected and roped off areas at the original Stonehenge, visitors here can walk among the stacked cars at Carhenge, gaze up at the hubcaps and grills, and even touch the automobiles of yesteryear to confirm they are real. I think the place is amazing! And, I’m not the only one. 60,000 people visit Carhenge every year and it even has a Wikipedia page!

I love how Wikipedia includes sections on structure and history and shows aerials of the two sites side-by-side.

I love how Wikipedia includes sections on structure and history and shows aerials of the two sites side-by-side.

Eventually, Reinders donated the 10 acres of land where Carhenge is located to the Friends of Carhenge who preserved it until 2013. In October of that year, Friends of Carhenge gifted the site to the Citizens of Alliance, Nebraska.

We roamed around the site taking pictures for a while and made a quick stop at the small, one-bathroom stall gift shop near the site.  There, we purchased a postcard and mailed it to the folks at Stonehenge in England.

We couldn't resist sending a postcard from Carhenge to Stonehenge in England.

We couldn’t resist sending a postcard from Carhenge to Stonehenge in England.

We count it a real privilege to have visited both Stonehenge and Carhenge within a month of each other. From the sublime to the ridiculous (you be the judge of which is which) — we loved them both.

Have you been to Carhenge? What did you think? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you. 

  • We had a few windy days in the #FloridaKeys this week that stirred up the waters. It created the most gorgeous colors in the Atlantic Ocean including this area at Sombrero Beach.
  • We miss waking up on the Celebrity Edge. That's all.
  • We've been having the best time in the Florida Keys visiting Steve's mom and dad this week. Today, it was cold for Floridians, but we loved the sunshine (and were thankful for awesome neighbors who were likely shoveling the snow from our driveway back home).⁣
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We are so thankful for a flexible schedule and opportunities like this one to share time with family. Life seems to pass us by so quickly the older we get and we're fortunate to be able to travel and share experiences with the people we love most. ⁣
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Feeling especially blessed tonight, in the beautiful Florida Keys.
  • We enjoyed a delicious dinner tonight at Hideaway Cafe on Grassy Key with Steve's mom and dad. We went early at 5 p.m. for the sunset dinner menu which has smaller portions and the most beautiful views of the sunset. ⁣
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The food was fresh and made-to-order and served by gracious and professional staff who made us feel right at home. ⁣
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Hideaway is a great restaurant choice for dinner if you're in the Florida Keys. Get a reservation ahead of time, as it fills up quickly, even at 5 p.m.
  • Need some inspiration for staying healthy while traveling? Good news! We are taking over the @noom Instagram stories this afternoon and hope you’ll all follow along as we share tips on how to make healthy living choices while on a cruise ship. We’ll take you inside the beautiful @celebritycruises Edge and show you how we stayed on track with our Noom goals while still enjoying a fantastic cruise vacation. Be sure to follow @noom! Our takeover has just begun. 😁
  • The Rooftop Garden is a unique space on the top deck of the @celebrityedge. There’s no water slide on this ship, no go-carts, and the’s no rock wall for climbing. Instead the Rooftop Garden provides a “living urban playscape inspired by childhood playgrounds and designed to waken the inner child in all of us,” according to the Celebrity Cruises website. There are live plants, comfortable outdoor seating, and unique art installations that set the space apart from anything else at sea. @cruisecelebrity
  • Blu is a restaurant on the Celebrity Edge that is dedicated to guests in Aqua Class.  It serves “clean, crisp flavors and inventive cuisine” in a gorgeous blue venue. To give you an example of the types of entrees served, for dinner tonight Blu is offering seared duck breast with wilted chard, farro risotto, and black cherry jus; a cracked pepper corn-crusted tuna salad, watercress, and dijon vinaigrette; and pumpkin gnocchi with sautéed arugula, sundries tomatoes, marinated artichokes, goat cheese and basil pesto. What would you order?
  • Yes, cruise ships are huge, but if you do a little exploring, you’ll find that the designers have included many small spots perfect for intimate conversation and watching the world go by. We found this nook in Eden, on deck 5 of the Celebrity Edge, near the stern.

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