Caribbean decor fuses with New England charm at Front Porch Bed and Breakfast, a 30-minute jaunt from two bustling Nebraskan hubs, Lincoln and Omaha. Funky tropical houseplants, palm tree-infused artwork, and bright colors add playful pop to the three guest bedrooms, whose private bathrooms house cavernous whirlpool tubs. The innkeepers combat hunger by crafting generous breakfast spreads to greet every sunrise and by stocking their in-house coffee bar with complimentary snacks and beverages throughout the day.
A mere block away from the bed-and-breakfast sits Ashland’s main street—a shop-lined thoroughfare suited for daytime strolls. Exploratory missions into nearby Mahoney State Park unearth riotous foliage sprawled across 690 acres bordering the Platte River, as well as basketball, softball and tennis courts. Additionally, the award-winning 18-hole golf courses in Iron Horse and Quarry Oaks aid patrons perfecting their swings and golf cart ghostriding. For cultural kicks, the Air and Space Museum showcases historic aircraft, and area vineyards offer tours and tastings of local wines.
The history of Heartland Caf??s building reads like a whirlwind tour through the American psyche. Built in 1919, it's alternately housed a dental office, beauty salon, dance hall, soda fountain, hardware store, and pharmacy. You half expect to find a young George Bailey working behind the counter. Nearly 100 years after the final brick was laid, Heartland Caf? adds modern flair with a smattering of red vinyl and wooden chairs that flank square and round tables. Books tuck into shelving units, and vintage photographs hang on exposed brick walls to give the place a splash of nostalgia. It is an eclectic aesthetic that parallels its eclectic menu?diners can expect to find elk patties, pigs in a blanket, and turkey sandwiches bedecked with cranberry cream cheese sharing page space. And for cafe purists, classic omelets and chicken wraps also star on the menu. During the summer months, Heartland Caf? spills into the outdoors with a Summer Concert Series playing the likes of Lionel Young and Personics.
Viaduct Gardens’ greenhouse brims with thriving flora for yards and homes. The garden center carries plants that range from annuals and perennials to fruits and roses. It also stocks plant-related accessories, including hanging baskets, tiered planters, and “plant heads”—planters that resemble people heads.
Roofs are widely accepted as homes’ last defense against the brutal outdoors and astronauts jumping ship, but the technicians at Valley Boys Roofing know that they also ward off sky-high energy bills. Backed by thorough screening and training, as well as ongoing technical education, the staffers relieve air conditioners and furnaces of extra stress by ensuring roofs and attics are healthy enough to keep out unpleasant temperatures. They do so through a slate of maintenance services, which benefit both homeowner and the environment. By inspecting rooftops, insulating attics, or affixing an EcoSharp roof shield, electricity bills often plummet, lessening the strain on a Mother Earth already frazzled by the sudden appearance of automobiles.