Located in the western part of Nebraska, Sidney is a small town with a population of around 7,000. Despite its size, there are plenty of things to do and see in Sidney, making it an excellent destination for travelers seeking a unique experience in Nebraska. From historical landmarks to outdoor activities, Sidney has something for everyone.
The Fort Sidney Museum, Post Commander’s Home, and the historic downtown area are popular spots for those interested in local history and culture. Legion Park, Sidney Shooting Park, Lake Helen, and wildlife watching offer outdoor enthusiasts plenty of options.
Read this article to explore some of the best things to do in Sidney, Nebraska.
Historic Downtown Sydney
Downtown Sidney boasts a collection of impeccably preserved buildings, making it the only Historic District in western Nebraska. As the oldest community in the area and center of early frontier settlements, the city streets showcase rows of stunning late-1800s architecture.
The National Register of Historic Places lists 29 buildings, allowing visitors to witness the region’s storied past. In the past, the streets were known for Wild West action, with saloons, brothels, and gambling houses lining the streets, especially during the Sidney-Deadwood Gold Rush.
Visitors can step back in time, explore the shops and establishments, or capture stunning photographs of the historic buildings as backdrops.
Fort Sydney Complex
The historic Fort Sidney Complex was built by the 37th Infantry Regiment of the US Army between the Platte Rivers in 1879. Known initially as Sidney Barracks, the fort operated until 1894. Today, the Fort Sidney Complex serves as a museum featuring the remaining structures of the fort.
Visitors can explore the married officer’s quarters and the Cheyenne County Museum, which houses artifacts from old Sidney. The Commander’s Home has also been refurbished with late 19th-century furnishings, vintage articles from the late 1800s, and an old powder house.
Furthermore, visitors can participate in the Lamplight Tours during Thanksgiving weekend, while the Old-Fashioned Christmas Celebration held at the complex is a perfect way to enjoy the holidays.
Deadwood Walking/Hiking Trail
If you’re looking to explore the various aspects of Sidney, then the Deadwood Walking and Biking Trail is the perfect choice for you. This 4.45-mile trail is in excellent condition and commences near Exit 59, cutting across the city from the east to the west.
You can hike or cycle along the trail to witness the city’s sports fields and even the Sidney Pony Express National Monument, a renowned historical attraction. Additionally, you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the stunning hillsides surrounding the Hillside Golf Course.
As you delve further into the town, you’ll come across the picturesque Legion Park and the war monument, which proudly displays a large American flag.
Watch this drone footage of Sydney, Nebraska, to get a glimpse of its beauty:
Hillside Golf Course
Experience the ultimate leisure golf experience at Hillside Golf Course, where nature and golf combine to create an exceptional tee game. Hillside Golf Course is widely recognized as one of Nebraska’s best municipal golf courses, offering breathtaking views of the Lodgepole Valley canyon area surrounding the 18-hole fairway.
This creatively designed course boasts a putting green, chipping green, and driving range, all available at a minimal cost, so you can go full swing and enjoy a challenging and fulfilling golf game. Additionally, you can take advantage of golfing lessons or rent golf clubs, cars, and pull carts to enhance your golfing experience.
The Golf Shop is your one-stop shop for golf equipment, supplies, and apparel. You’ll find everything you need to play your best game at Hillside Golf Course. Moreover, if you’re feeling peckish after a long golf day, the Hillside Bar and Grill is right next to the course, where you can grab a bite of delicious snacks and beverages.
Sydney Shooting Park
Experience target shooting and archery at Sidney Shooting Park, a top-notch facility in the area. The shooting range boasts exceptional Trap and Sporting Clay facilities and an Archery Range comprising 11 practice lanes.
Five Trap fields and Sporting Clays have voice-activated, Pat-Trap throwing machines and night shooting lights. Trap Leagues are held every Tuesday evening in the spring, summer, and fall seasons. Visitors can also explore the four-lane Handgun Range or observe the ATA/NTA shoots conducted four times annually.
Apart from these activities, the Sidney Shooting Park collaborates with the Cheyenne County Extension Office to conduct youth programs for resident children aged between eight to 18 years old.
Cheyenne County Community Center
The Cheyenne County Community Center serves as a sports and fitness hub for Sidney and Cheyenne County residents. It provides various programs and facilities for individuals of all ages and fitness levels.
The center’s staff manages and supervises the recreational programs, which include basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, football, and soccer. Additionally, visitors can exercise in the weight and cardio room, which features free weight sets, weight machines, and cardio equipment with individual TV monitors.
If the weather is unfavorable, guests can use the running and walking track within the facility. Moreover, the center offers fitness classes such as Stretch classes for Senior citizens, Muscular Strength, and Range of Motion.
Legion Park is an excellent location for families looking to unwind and spend quality time together. Visitors can stroll near the ponds or walk along the Sidney-Deadwood Trail. There are also opportunities to practice baseball pitching, play tennis or enjoy a game of softball or Tee-ball at the complex.
Children will love the modern playground equipment, with plenty of climbing and sliding opportunities. Additionally, visitors can attend events held in conjunction with the city’s annual Oktoberfest, which takes place at Legion Park.
Despite its size, Sidney, Nebraska, offers visitors diverse activities and attractions. Historic Downtown Sidney and Fort Sidney Complex are must-visit spots for history buffs, while Hillside Golf Course and Sydney Shooting Park are perfect for sports enthusiasts.
The Deadwood Walking/Hiking Trail and Legion Park offer picturesque natural settings for hiking, biking, and family picnics. Visitors can attend festivals like Sidney Oktoberfest and Sidney’s Living Christmas Tree.