Nebraska's Wild West: A Surprising Destination for Wellness

by  Charu Suri | Jul 27, 2015
Charu Suri
Charu Suri

In Nebraska, a state which witnessed historic markers like the Lincoln Highway and the Union Pacific Railroad, there is a wilderness that is truly magnificent. The stretches of road give way to a landscape that subtly changes with gorgeous markers of Sandhill, bluffs, and the sun-drenched prairie that is occasionally dotted with the Conestoga wagon.

While many people wouldn't associate this terrain with wellness getaways, a handful of bed & breakfasts and ranches surprisingly are catering to the digital detox crowd. More properties are offering yoga classes, massage therapy, and nutritious food to meet the demand of the traveler who wants a more holistic approach to traditional High Plains cuisine. Here are a few where you can chill out and get your energy back:

The Most Unlikely Place
Located in Lewellen, Nebraska, a village north of the North Platte River off Route 26, this oldest building in the area is efficiently run by Cynthia and Dennis Miller. It's also an art gallery, featuring work by pastel artist Dennis Miller, painter Jean Jensen, and sculptor Rex Miller -- plus the home of a café that serves breakfast and lunch. The café is a good place to stop for a dose of art and indulge in gluten-free options (including bread and an organic baby kale salad). While it is not a retreat per se, it is a great stop for unwinding, considering the massage therapists and spa treatments available in Lewellen and neighboring Oshkosh.

Barn Anew
This bed and breakfast in Scottsbluff, run by couple Cher and Allan Maybee, was remodeled from a barn -- hence the name. The former barn boasts a sun room which appropriately overflows with light, and rooms bear names like Fur Trapper and Pony Express that reflect the location’s history. In addition to the main lodge, travelers can get into a historic frame of mind by staying in sheep and Conestoga wagons complete with a bed, embroidered pillows, and stained glass windows. Fun fact: the entire place is a testament to the love for history that the Maybees have; the couple has ridden both the Oregon and Santa Fe trails on horseback -- and hold the world record for the longest distance traveled on a jet ski.

Barn Anew has a partnership with Foster Massage and Wellness, who will come to the bed and breakfast to perform treatments (massages are $80 per hour and $100 for 1.5 hours). Santana Tamarakis, a Tai Chi instructor, also offers classes here for $25 per hour. And for those who like to do their own yoga, the east balcony gives you gorgeous views of the eastern horizon as well as the property’s 100-year-old trees. Room rates start from $120 per night.

Our Heritage Guest Ranch
Technically called a “ranch” because of its acreage and access to horseback riding, Our Heritage operates as a bed and breakfast at the foothills of the Pine Ridge, just outside of Crawford. Guests stay in tee pees, to get a feel for how the Lakota Indians who once roamed the area lived. Plus, considering the nearby treasures of Toadstool Park and historic Fort Robinson State Park, it'd be a shame not to opt for lodging that doesn't so closely connect you with nature.

The property offers a Wellness Retreat for five days and four nights for $625 per person. While the price might seem steep, it includes meals, lodging, and all activities. We're especially fond of the horseback riding lessons that help you be more mindful of your emotional wellbeing -- horses mirror the emotional frame of mind of their riders.

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