We are excited to announce that we’ve been asked to speak at what is sure to be an incredible ecotourism symposium in April called Plains Safaris. That’s right Plains Safaris.

Nebraska Sandhills

A view of the beautiful Sandhills of Nebraska.

If you’ve followed our blog for any time at all, you know that we live in a small, rural community in southeast Nebraska and we absolutely love our state! There is something special about watching the sun rise over the Nebraska Sandhills, studying the ancient fossils of long-extinct animals, and hearing tens of thousands of Sandhill cranes descend on the Platte River at dusk. There is so much to see and do on the Plains of Nebraska and we’re happy to do our part to tell more people all about it.

Sandhill crane migration, Nebraska, screenshot

A slide from our presentation talking about the sandhill crane migration.

We will be speaking about Social Media in Tourism and learning from other speakers like award-winning photographers Joel Sartore and Michael Forsberg, as well as traveler Dean Jacobs. In addition, we’ll hear from Rebecca Herrera-Schlicting who is working to spread ecotourism ideas to Indian tribes across the Plains.

Plains Safaris is open to anyone and we hope you’ll join us in Kearney, Nebraska, April 18-20 for this incredible event! The conference will also include a panel of other travel writers, including Melody PittmanMegan Bannister, and Sara Broers, along with Lisa & Tim Trudell.

Plains safaris

Plains safaris

Registration is $125 and the deadline is April 1, so if you’re interested, don’t delay signing up. You can register HERE. In addition to the slate of insightful speakers, the conference also includes hands-on opportunities to see and learn about ecotourism destinations and attractions during a series of optional pre-conference field trips and workshops including a Harlan County prairie dog tour, a guided bike tour in and around Kearney, and a workshop about integrating star gazing into nature tourism.

I could watch the prairie dogs at the Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge for hours.

I could watch the prairie dogs at the Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge for hours.

We signed up for the agritourism progressive meal where we’ll visit two Nebraska breweries and a winery. Each stop will include a tasting and food, a tour of the facilities, Q&As with the owners, and discussions about agritourism ideas and strategies. Doesn’t that sound fun?

Of course, we’ll be writing more about the Plains Safaris conference later on, but we if you can make it, we’d love to see you there as we learn more about the incredible destinations and attractions on the Great Plains of Nebraska.


For more information about Plains Safaris, visit their website at https://www.unl.edu/plains/2018-ecotourism-symposium

Conference co-hosts include The Center for Great Plains Studies College of Arts and Sciences, Visit Nebraska, and Heartland Byways in partnership with the University of Nebraska-Kearney and the University of Nebraska Lincoln College of Arts and Sciences.

  • We walked in to the @elevatepeople store in Kearney, Nebraska, by mistake. We'd been looking for a coffee shop. Elevate wasn’t a coffee shop, but what we found was a store full of beautiful, handmade leather goods. These ethically sourced products were actually produced around the world by artisans who are working to escape poverty. Elevate, a non-profit, provides them with small, low interest loans to start their businesses. When the money is repaid, it is then re-invested into the same community to help another person start a business. It's a purchase you can feel good about.
  • Florida is a wonderful place to go in the winter. There you'll find sunshine and warmth while much of the rest of the country is experiencing the chill of winter. We love seeing the plants and flowers in bloom when we visit.
  • When our daughter, Meghan, was younger, she wanted an affordable, easy to store souvenir from her travels with her mom. She settled on pencils. Over the years, she's collected a couple hundred pencils from various destinations including the ones that others have given to her. She keeps them in a jar in her apartment, creating a great conversation piece.
  • We won't lie, our cruise aboard the @CelebrityCruise Edge was more about the ship than the destination. We loved sitting in The Retreat while watching others head ashore for excursions. But let's be honest, we really loved just sitting in the Retreat, soaking in the beautiful sun.
  • There is nothing quite like preparing a perfect dish in your own kitchen. Courtesy of @thechefandthedish, Ann prepared a traditional Spanish paella with Cyndi Kane, a.k.a. Ree Drummond's BFF Hyacinth. Sure, learning to make the dish was fun. Savoring the meal, and the friendship that went with it, was the best part of that great afternoon.
  • In the chilly, pre-dawn light of an early spring day on the Platte River in central Nebraska you can be sure of one thing: soon you'll witness one of nature's greatest spectacles, tens of thousands of Sandhill Cranes taking to the air for a day of foraging for food. If you have never witnessed this incredible sight, you must make sure you @visitnebraska so you can experience this for yourself. @visitKearney
  • A good cocktail is an experience. Instead of just having a drink to throw back, we love savoring a well-crafted beverage. Something we love about @celebritycruise is that good cocktails are easy to find. We aren't huge drinkers. Instead, we are strong believers in quality over quantity.
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