Valentine, Nebraska, is only home to just over 2,000 people that live here permanently. Hiking, hunting, camping, and horseback riding are widely available, but you can also get on the water for fishing, kayaking, tubing, and canoeing.
Valentine has been an official place since 1882 when the post office opened. The Sioux City and Pacific Railroad extended there in April of the following year. This town was actually split between two time zones until 1967. The post office has an annual tradition of re-mailing thousands of pieces of mail so that they get a unique postmark and verse recognizing Valentine's Day.
Merritt Reservoir and Cottonwood Lake are great nearby spots for fishing, boating, and tubing. The Tom Lehman Design Group designed two world-class golfing options at The Prairie Club and the Frederick Peak Golf Course. Downtown Valentine celebrates local artisans by showing their work at the Sandhills Art and Metal Gallery and the Valentine Library. Taste wine at Niobrara Valley Vineyards.
Get in some gambling at the Rosebud Casino or just stop into the "Rosebud Room" for a prime rib buffet in the town's only actual buffet. There are plenty of bread rolls, salad, and mashed potatoes to go on the side. The Coachlight Cafe also has steak, potatoes, and salad, but you can also get seafood and sandwiches. Visit the Peppermill for chicken, sandwiches, and steaks. Milo and Max's is where to head for Mexican, and the Bunkhouse might have the best burgers in town.
Beaver Lake Campground has acres of pine trees and serenity for your stop in Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota. You'll be surrounded by nature but still have access to amenities ranging from clean bathrooms to a swimming pool in a staffed campsite. Full hookups are available, along with laundry, a store, basketball, tetherball, and volleyball.
Elkhorn Ridge is in the Northern Black Hills on the historic Frawley Ranch and might feel like more of a resort instead of a campground. The Miller Creek Pub has beer and wine, or you can hit the links for 18 holes of championship golf. Over 180 paved sites feature full hookups along with shower houses, wireless internet, cable, hot tubs, a kiddie pool, and a dog park.
Hidden Lake Campground and Resort has 23 pull-through and back-in sites with full hookups. Do some laundry, use the shower house, or let the kids burn off energy on the playground. For more fun, take advantage of yard games, horseshoes, catch-and-release fishing, or paddle boating.
Niobrara State Park is a public recreational area you can find in the northeastern corner of the state of Nebraska. Here, 1,640 acres of bluffs are waiting for you and offer many outdoor activities. There are plenty of trails to choose from, so you can enjoy hiking, biking, and horseback riding. If you happen to visit during the summer, expect hot weather but also opportunities for swimming. A buffalo cookout is something you can enjoy here once a week, and they feature live entertainment to add to the atmosphere. Visit the J. Alan Cramer Interpretive Center to learn more about the park before you fully explore the area.
West Bend Recreation Area is named for one of the many turns the Missouri River makes in the state of South Dakota. Here, you can find 151 acres along Lake Sharpe's west bank. This is one of a number of reservoirs used to manage the flow of the river, but it gives you space for hiking, hunting, and fishing. A protected harbor is the right place for anglers who want to store their personal boats between trips.
West Whitlock Recreation Area is a popular park situated on Lake Oahe. The 260-acre peninsula is surrounded by the reservoir behind the Oahe Dam. This place is close to South Dakota's geographic center where you can take in fishing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, windsurfing, and water skiing. Fish species you might encounter include bass, pike, perch, sauger, and salmon. On land, the park features 5 miles of trails, sandy beaches, an Arikara lodge replica, and an interpretive nature pavilion.
The Minuteman Missile National Historic Site lets you explore Cold War history. On the surface, it looks like just another South Dakota field, but down into the earth is a nuclear missile silo. This was one of a thousand such sites that were ready for launch from the early 1960s until the 1990s. Now, you can peer down into the silo and see an unarmed missile sitting in a launch-ready position. You can also tour an underground launch-command center that was perpetually staffed by Air Force servicemen.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is likely a must-see place on your travel checklist, as this iconic spot features a quartet of famous stone faces in a granite cliff. See George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson in three-dimensional glory over the Black Hills landscape in South Dakota. Expect a crowd since around 3 million people head here each year. Spring and fall have fewer people and nicer temperatures. Stick around a bit longer to learn how these figures were sculpted into the side of a mountain, and then enjoy some hiking around the park to enjoy the surrounding nature.
If you pass through the north-central region of Nebraska, consider visiting the Niobrara National Scenic River for some of the best canoeing in America. Tourists have been flocking to the area since 1991 for a variety of wildlife and fish, along with tremendous scenery and other recreational activities. Have your camera ready to get pictures of bison, river otters, beavers, and mule deer. Some of the cliff walls have waterfalls spilling over them to create exciting canoeing rapids.
Black Hills National Forest has over 1.25 million acres spread across northeast Wyoming and southwest South Dakota. If you want to visit Mount Rushmore, it's within this national forest. You'll also find Wind Cave National Park due west. Get all the fishing you can dream of along 1,300 miles of streams and a total of 11 reservoirs. Hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking are available along more than 350 miles of trails. Start planning your activities by visiting the Pactola Visitors Center close to Rapid City, South Dakota. You can also visit the Black Hills Visitor Information Center off Interstate 90 at Exit 61.
Nebraska National Forest has more than 141,000 acres to enjoy, where you can spend time among jack pines, red cedars, and ponderosa pines. Much of the space in this park was actually a human-planted forest. President Theodore Roosevelt created this forest in 1902 as a wildlife preserve but also to stabilize the land and create a steady supply of wood the state could rely on.
Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest is not so much a forest as it is a preservation of Nebraska Sandhills prairies. Year-round camping helps you rest up for a full day of hiking, hunting, fishing, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The 116,000 acres here have enough room for all that, plus cross-country skiing and wildflowers. If you want to launch small watercraft, the Niobrara River Canoe Launch is open nearby for day use. Intermediate hiking is possible on the Blue Jay Trail at the Steer Creek Campground, but you can tackle a moderate hike at Snake River Falls. Geocaching is possible in this national forest, and you can see clear skies for stargazing when the weather is right at the Merritt Reservoir.
Motorhomes are divided into Class A, B, and C vehicles. On average expect to pay $185 per night for Class A, $149 per night for Class B and $179 per night for Class C. Towable RVs include 5th Wheel, Travel Trailers, Popups, and Toy Hauler. On average, in Valentine, NE, the 5th Wheel trailer starts at $70 per night. Pricing for the Travel Trailer begins at $60 per night, and the Popup Trailer starts at $65 per night.Do you need to be a certain age to rent an RV in Valentine?
Yes. The minimum age is 25 to be eligible to get an RV Rental in Valentine from RVshare.Does RVshare have emergency roadside assistance?
Yes. Every RV rental booked through RVshare receives 24/7 emergency roadside assistance.Does RVshare offer one way RV rentals in Valentine?
Yes. Prior to renting any RV, check with the owner since not all will offer this particular option.