A lot of people have driven through Nebraska over the years. Since 1999, a bridge emulating a Nebraska sunset has greeted those making their way down I-80. But, it’s more than just a fancy bridge. Serving as one of the premier tourist destinations, it highlights more than 170 years of Nebraska history, and the Great Platte River Road Archway commemorates all of the travelers who have made their way through state.

From the Pony Express Riders to covered wagon pioneers and modern-day minivans full of families seeking a memorable vacation, here are four reasons you need to make a pit stop at The Archway.

Photo Credit: Nebraska Tourism

It’s already on your way

Most off-the-beaten attractions can be hard to find or are in the middle of a city. The Archway is a museum with drivers in mind. With easy access off either side of the interstate, it’s the perfect rest stop after a long day of driving. Taking a road trip should be fun and with The Archway on your itinerary, you can ensure each of your vehicles occupants, however old, are fully entertained along the way.

Photo Credit: Rhodesmk

You’re driving through history

The point of convergence for the Trapper’s Trail, the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, and the Pony Express, it was a key passing point for much U.S. discovery. Currently regarded as the Superhighway of its time, the road has been referred to as "the grand corridor of America's westward expansion." A drive through it is like solidifying your place in the history books.

Photo Credit: A&nota

It’s the original “automobile” museum

Spanning 170 years of history is quite a feat, but The Archway’s meticulously thought-out design makes it look easy. The one-hour tour will effortlessly take you back in time, starting with the settlers who made their way down the Oregon, Mormon, and California Trails through the Civil War era and to the current travelers who make their way down Lincoln Highway.

It’s too unique to pass up

In terms of design, The Archway is as unique as The Arch in St. Louis. It’s also a one-stop shop for tourists who would rather get their shopping done early and spend the rest of the time sightseeing. Covering the standard souvenirs like magnets and t-shirts, the gift shop also provides travelers with snacks before they hit the road again, Nebraska-made local goods, and board games.