Posts Tagged With: Broken Bow

Nebraska Passport: Tours Across Nebraska

I must admit I am a rather big Jeopardy fan.   Not very many shows have made my “follow” list, but that is one that I have watched almost daily for years.  One category that they feature is “Common Bonds.”  As for the pictures that I featured on yesterday’s “Wordless Wednesday,” they all had one thing in common: they are all 2014 “Nebraska Passport” stops.  Many of them I have covered on my blog already.  Several are yet to be shown, so for those I plan to keep you guessing.

Can’t Get Enough Tour

1) ?

2) Morrill Hall on Odyssey Through Nebraska

Morrill Hall Z

Forks in the Road Tour

Homestead Brand

3) High Plains Homestead (Home of the Drifter Cookshack and Bunkhouse) on Odyssey Through Nebraska

Hit the Snooze Tour

4) ?

Nebraska Homegrown Tour

Prairie Gounds interior

5) Prairie Grounds Cafe and Gifts on Odyssey Through Nebraska

How We Move Tour

Carhenge

6) Carhenge on Odyssey through Nebraska

7) ?

8) ?

Patchwork Passion

Quilts 5 purposes arch

9) International Quilt Study Center & Museum on Odyssey Through Nebraska

Rare Finds

Unfortunately I have not been to any of these places recently.  My grandparents lived in Laurel, so I did grow up walking into their downtown.  I am pretty sure that I have been to the Apothecary, but I think that it has drastically changed since then.  Hopefully someday I will make it back!

Sips and Suds Tour

Not sure that we will make too many of these places since we do more of the family tour.  But hey, Nebraska Passport has at least one place that will appeal to everyone! 🙂

Stars and Stripes Tour

10) ?

11) ?

SAS copter and plane

12) Strategic Air & Space Museum on Odyssey Through Nebraska

(By the end of the Nebraska Passport 2014 season, which happens to be the end of September, every one of the ? mark places will be featured on this blog!  I also will be featuring several of the places from Lincoln’s “Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown” program as well!)

Have you picked up your copy of the 2014 Nebraska Passport yet? This year they have even added a downloadable app, so you can keep track of your places that way.  Achieving prizes for the Nebraska Passport is a bit challenging.  Since the ones I would really want are for 40 stamps and above, I am pretty sure that we will not be getting any.  But, we will be enjoying the stops on the way.  Some familiar and some that are new.  All places to make memories as we travel across the nice state of Nebraska.

Categories: Family Outings, Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Metro, Nebraska Passport, Panhandle, Passport Pursuit Programs, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mellow Monday: Relaxing across Nebraska: Prairie Grounds Cafe & Gifts in Broken Bow

I just got back yesterday from a great girl’s week-end (our church’s women’s retreat up at Mahoney State Park).  So, yesterday at this time, I was just getting up.  (As opposed to waking up over two hours ago like today).  And I was anticipating a hot breakfast with friends.  (I did get to bring some leftovers home and at least had the pumpkin cream cheese French toast going for me this morning!).   And while there is nothing too hectic or upsetting about today, I am wishing I could be completely irresponsible and spend the morning drinking warm drinks and reading a book.  And if I lived a bit closer, one place would be my destination.  Prairie Grounds Cafe and Gifts.

Prairie Grounds Entrance

We intended on going in and out in a hurry, just to get our Nebraska Passport stamp.  But when we entered, I suddenly was wishing that we had several hours to spend in Broken Bow.  And that my husband would have a longing to spend several random hours with the kids in an unfamiliar town, so that I could just soak in the cozy environment.

Prairie Grounds booths

We had just eaten a picnic at the park, so I did not look too closely at the menu.  (I know they had soups and sandwiches).  Dessert on the other hand … their homemade treats are created in the back along with a varied selection of drinks.  Chelsie was the chef that day, and we left with a few of her cookies and an apple cinnamon scone.  Yum!  (They also carry a line of gluten free items,  which can be hard to find in smaller towns, but those are made elsewhere.)

Prairie Gounds interior

This warm and inviting living area was in one corner of the place.  Most of the items were for sale, but they all add to welcoming atmosphere.  Sitting inside this room with hot cocoa and a good book watching the snow fall would be lovely indeed.  (Until it was time to go home, but …)

I almost missed the best part of the place.  Thankfully friendly Mary Ann, who was working at the counter that day, told me that she had to show me the backyard.

Prairie Gounds courtyard

The owners have a created a bit of paradise that would be perfect for whittling away a beautiful sunny day.  This picture only captures part of the patio area which included tables for two, so you can dine with a friend.  The next time I make it to Broken Bow, I will be going there with intention.  And with several hours to spare, so I can actually get to soak up the serenity!

P.S. This lovely location is a part of the Nebraska passport program, so if you are close enough, definitely stop by today to get a stamp AND a treat!  And if your family participated in the Nebraska Passport program, the program is ending for the year.  The entries must be postmarked today: September 30, 2013.

Categories: Cornhusker Cuisine, Eating Establishments, Nebraska Passport, Passport Pursuit Programs, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Arrow Hotel in Broken Bow: Staying in History

Without the Nebraska Passport, I would have never stepped foot in the Arrow Hotel.  Not because I would not want to – I have a deep appreciation for well-done historical buildings.  But because Broken Bow was a stopping point on our trip to Northwest Nebraska – simply a place to eat lunch.

Arrow hotel entrance

While the Nebraska Passport pamphlet does provide the hotel name and location, due to space, no other details are given.  And while the building is lovely historic three story brick, grasping the loveliness inside is still a challenge.  Especially if you accidentally enter through the back door, which is what we did.  After following a short maze of hallways, we ended up where we were supposed to be – the actual entrance.

Arrow entry way

While I did use this picture as a part of my “Wordless Wednesday” yesterday, I had to use it again.  I love tin ceilings!

What was the hotel like in the beginning?   The Arrow Hotel was quite the place then (information taken verbatim from their website).

The Historic Arrow Hotel was built on 1928 by a group of private citizens to service the needs of the railroad. It replaced the old Commercial Hotel, and was the first three-story building in Broken Bow. The street-level consisted of the lobby, restaurant, beauty salon, barbershop, ladies dress shop and a ballroom. The second and third floors held fifty-two sleeping rooms with public baths at the end of the halls.

Arrow Hotel sign

In 1932, twenty more rooms were added.  Then the Depression made its way to Nebraska.  The initial investors sold out, but the hotel continued to operate until gradually the place fell into disrepair.  Starting in 1984, local businessman Ray Brown worked to convince his neighbors that the hotel deserved a 2nd chance.  He raised money then renovated the Arrow into 23 retirement apartments.  Unfortunately due to lack of planning, this idea was a failure.

But all was not lost.  Others were convinced that the place could be a wonderful hotel again after the remodeling.  So, Arrow Hotel & Suites was created.  And the small businesses were transformed into rooms more suited for a hotel (other than the beauty salon that still operates in a portion of the former hotel ballroom). More renovations were gradually done, and the old hotel doors found their way to the dining room.

Arrow Hotel booths

Adding the hotel to the National Register of Historic Places also helped to maintain the structure as a hotel.

Arrow hotel historical plaque

The hotel also began to take on a best of a western feel, taking on a bit the central Nebraska culture.

Arrow Hotel western walls

While the bottom floor has maintained the charm of long ago, the sleeping quarters have been updated to have a more modern feel.  The hotel manager kindly let me go take a peek at one of their suites.  I happened to pick their executive corner suite to tour – what a beautiful place to stay!

Arrow Hotel kitchenette

A well-designed kitchenette greets you.

Arrow Hotel living room suite

A large expansive living room that invites relaxation.

Arrow Hotel living and bedroom areas

With the bedroom and bathroom off the back, you almost feel like you are in a chic Uptown apartment but with the wonderful quiet feel of small town Nebraska.  And evidently I did not even see the whole suite as there is actually two bathrooms and additional bedrooms in the executive suites. 

I was impressed with all that the Arrow Hotel and Suites had to offer!  Plus their rates seem to be quite reasonable with suite and standard room options.  (To my number one fan: maybe we could stay here someday?  I would like that! 🙂 )

To learn more about the hotel or see even more pictures, please visit their website: Arrow Hotel and Suites.  And while we chose to picnic the day we were in Broken Bow, I am sure we would have also greatly enjoyed dining at their Bonfire Grill Restaurant and Pub.  The setting would have been lovely (see the above dining room picture), and the food looks delicious!

Categories: Nebraska Passport, Passport Pursuit Programs, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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