Metro CC, The Walking Tourists team to offer Midwest travel classes

The Sandhill cranes are back in central Nebraska. Crane viewing makes for a great day trip or weekend getaway.

Want to learn about day trips from the Omaha area? Maybe check out places where legends and celebrities called home in the Midwest? How about checking out some of the natural beauty we have in the region? These and more are the focus of a Midwest Travel class that we and Metropolitan Community College are teaming up to offer area residents.

Metro CC asked us if we’d be interested in leading discussions about traveling in the Midwest. We jumped at the opportunity to work with the community college in discussing travel and Midwest attractions.

Six non-credit classes are offered over a 12-week period. Each class will start at 6:30 p.m. every other Wednesday, March 15 through May 24. While we will lead the classes, we encourage group participation, because everyone has an interesting travel-related story. We will also have some takeaway items to help you further plan your future journeys. Classes will be located at Omaha’s new Do Space digital library (7205 Dodge Street).

The first class – Day trips from Omaha – will be held March 15. We’ll take a look at areas very drivable from Omaha up to about four hours away. Some places would make great weekend visits, as well. However, we know that they are perfect for day trips.

During the class, we’ll discuss attractions such St. Joseph, Missouri, Sioux City, Clear Lake and Mason City in Iowa, as well as Nebraska communities Lincoln, Kearney, Grand Island and North Platte. Of course, we’ll also include spending the day in Omaha and some of the attractions the city has to offer. With the annual Sandhill crane migration underway through early April, we thought this would be a great topic to include for day trips to central Nebraska. We will include more communities in the discussion, as Omaha is near several interesting attractions.

The Platte River near Fremont provides a beautiful view aboard an airboat tour with Bryson’s.

With spring and summer vacation trips being planned, the March 29 class will focus on saving money (and your sanity) on trips. Lisa will lead the class discussion on tips to save money by looking for great hotel specials, discounts for attractions and meals, as well as where to find these bargains.

Sammy the Turtle is the world’s largest turtle on a snowmobile. The Bottineau, ND, attraction was a must-see for us.

Did you know that the Midwest is home to some of the world’s largest attractions? The world’s largest buffalo? Yep, in North Dakota. As a matter-of-fact, North Dakota is home to two of the world’s largest turtles – one on a snowmobile and one of tire rims. We are suckers for these types of roadside attractions. We’ve been known to venture off the beaten path to find them. However, we have several attractions within a short driving distance from Omaha, including the world’s largest bull (Audubon, Iowa), time capsule (Seward, Nebraska) and porch swing (Hebron, Nebraska), as well as more. We’ll discuss these and more during the April 12 class.

Lake Superior in Wisconsin is one of the most beautiful views we’ve seen.

Chimney Rock was used by Native Americans as a distance marker before pioneers headed west. Pioneers used the natural attraction as a travel marker during the Oregon Trail. The Badlands National Park in South Dakota was created millions of years ago. The Midwest has some of the most beautiful natural wonders (and some manmade) in the world. Our April 26 class will focus on the region’s natural attractions. From the Great Lakes to North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park to Nebraska’s Sandhills, we will take a look at Midwestern beauty.

Did you know that you can travel to other countries without leaving the Midwest? Our May 10 class looks at “No Passport? No Problem.” The Midwest’s history includes Native Americans and immigrants from all over the world. All these cultures are featured in communities around the 12-state Midwest. From annual powwows in Winnebago to the Scandinavian heritage celebrations in North Dakota, we’ll take a look at our region’s cultural history and celebrations. We are indeed the Melting Pot of the world.

Minot is home to the Scandinavian Heritage Park, which honors the five countries making up Scandinavia.

Our last class on May 24 will take a look at the historical figures who called the Midwest home. In “Tracking Legends of the Midwest,” we’ll take a look at the lives and attractions of some great (and not so law-abiding) people. Jesse James was the world’s first true celebrity criminal. The Missouri bad guy grew up and died in the Show Me State. In-between, he fought guerrilla attacks during the Civil War and was later involved with several historical robbery attempts. Amelia Earhart lived part of her childhood in Atchison, Kansas. Several presidents grew up in the region, including Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. Celebrities include Johnny Carson, Marlon Brando, Henry Fonda, Andy Williams and the Everly Brothers.

Checking out the Johnny Carson exhibit at the Norfolk, Nebraska, museum was a fun experience.

We are excited to partner with Metro Community College and appreciate the opportunity to discuss travel with others. Here is a quick list of the classes with the information to register:

Day Trips from Omaha
MCC Do Space, 7205 Dodge St.
HIST-408N- 51 W 06:30P-08:00P 03/15-03/15 $18

Saving Money (and Your Sanity)
MCC Do Space, 7205 Dodge St.
HIST-409N- 50 W 06:30P-08:00P 03/29-03/29 $18

World’s Largest Attractions in Midwest
MCC Do Space, 7205 Dodge St.
HIST-410N- 50 W 06:30P-08:00P 04/12-04/12 $18

Natural Wonders in Midwest
MCC Do Space, 7205 Dodge St.
HIST-411N- 50 W 06:30P-08:00P 04/26-04/26 $18

No Passport. No Problem.
MCC Do Space, 7205 Dodge St.
HIST-412N- 50 W 06:30P-08:00P 05/10-05/10 $18

Travel Class Bundle
Use this course number to register for all five of the above classes and receive a discount!
MCC Do Space, 7205 Dodge St.
HIST-414N- 50 W 06:30P-08:00P 03/15-05/10 $75

Tracking Legends of the Midwest
MCC Do Space, 7205 Dodge St.
HIST-413N- 50 W 06:30P-08:00P 05/24-05/24 $18

For more information or to register for a class, please call 531-622-5231 or 800-228-9553 or click here.