From their storefront offices in downtown Norfolk, the independent staffers at Nebraska Life Magazine compile bimonthly issues exploring the history and culture of the Cornhusker State. Penned entirely by in-state writers, articles run the gamut from wildlife and nature, to Nebraska entrepreneurs, most recently featuring Dick and Mary Cabela, the owners of the Cabela's chain. The issues also feature recipes, poetry, and photography, as well as the story of a Nebraska community. The magazine is a easy way to discover events going on throughout the state, and offers an insight in to "true Nebraska life." Writers also entice with coverage of sightseeing hot spots, exploring lush local wineries, Grand Island’s resident ghosts, and the quiet beauty of the Platte River and its whispering fish.
In 2000, a group of farmers decided to diversify their crop production by planting twirling wine grapes into the rolling Midwestern hills. The initial smattering of vines quickly grew into a 4-acre vineyard and led to the launch of Silver Hills Vineyards & Winery, a small operation intent on crafting 100% Nebraska wines. The vintners’ Midwestern pride can be seen in their choice of ingredients—all wines are made with fruit grown at local vineyards and tattooed with the state motto—as well as their choice of decor: the outdoor tasting deck is shaped like Nebraska.
Silver Hills produces red, white, rosé, and berry wines, which visitors can sample during the vineyards’ limited hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Bottle labels display woodcuts by John Schirmer, a resident of neighboring Iowa who has carved wood professionally for more than 35 years.
Each Wild Willy's house of celebrations is fully stocked with a wide variety of incandescently colored explosives for any and all midsummer festivities. Noisemakers can instigate the hoopla with a 36-pack of M-70 firecrackers ($2.50), while military buffs can use the package of sparkler-wielding mini tanks ($0.25 apiece) to re-create the American-Antarctica War's decisive Battle of Dwarfish Artillery. The company also carries 200-gram and 500-gram cakes, such as the Aftershock, from which 19 nebulas of red, green, and gold explode and linger in the night sky. Find firework fountains, sparklers, and artillery shells—all ideal gifts for the Independence Day lover that already has a Bill of Rights leather jacket.
It's hard to miss Wooden Windmill when driving down Broad Street. That's because, true to its name, there's a two-story wooden windmill at the front of the building. According to an article in the Fremont Tribune, the restaurant's previous owners bought this vintage contraption at a Silver Creek auction in 1982 and had it hauled to their eatery. The current owners made some renovations to add a party room in the actual windmill, making it a truly unique dining spot in the area.
The menu here has always featured home-cooked comfort food, with recent additions of Mexican dishes and recipes from Baby Huey's BBQ. Owner Kevin Hulett is one of the original creators of Baby Huey's, a style that's proven itself in regional barbecue circuits and condiment wrestling matches.