Work had me on the run recently for a client meeting in Lincoln, NE. When I go to Lincoln my preferred route is to take Hwy 2 out of Iowa and through Waubonsie State Park in Hamburg, IA. Waubonsie is beautiful year round and is a perfect spot for families to enjoy picnicking, hiking, fishing, camping and trail riding. Waubonsie is a site located along the Lewis and Clark Historical Trail so as you can imagine, the scenery is outstanding. Once you cross the Missouri River you will pass through Nebraska City, NE and this is a worthwhile spot to stop. Nebraska City is where the internationally recognized Arbor Day began. They play host to an annual Arbor Day Celebration beginning on the last Friday in April and featuring children’s educational activities, a parade, craft show, flea market, as well as a home & garden show. They have commemorative tree plantings and even give away free trees. But the highlight of the event, is a visit to Arbor Day Farm including a tour of Arbor Lodge, which is nearby and is the home of J. Sterling Morton. Anchored in environmental stewardship, Arbor Day Farm provides learning resources for clean air and water, the conservation of resources and wildlife, sustainable forestry as well as community improvement. I have been to Nebraska City many times. I first visited Arbor Day Farm on an elementary school field trip and took a tour again with my daughter last year before my pass through on this trip. Now, if you are planning a trip to Nebraska City you have to stay at the Lied Lodge & Conference Center. I have hosted events and stayed in many hotels over the years and the Lied Lodge & Conference Center lands toward the top of the list of my favorite places. Here is what you will find at the Lied Lodge & Conference Center…….
The Lied Lodge & Conference Center is set against the historic natural landscape of the 260 acre Arbor Day Farm. All the wonders of nature surround this unique hotel which offers a resort like atmosphere for conferences, management retreats, family reunions and weddings. On entry to the lobby you are surrounded by towering timbers and stone fireplace. Each sleeping room is nestled in nature with timber lined ceilings and views that overlook either the arboretum or the orchard. The inspiration of nature even extends to the meals served in the Timber Dining Room. Seasonal ingredients fresh from the farm and other local producers make for a tasty and pretty plate. Amenities also include an Olympic sized indoor pool, the Library Lounge, a specialty gift shop and full service Spa. With all this you may think you wouldn’t want to leave the lodge and yet also available are passes to the ArborLinks golf course designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer, Tree Adventure attraction with a 50 foot high tree house and Apple House Market where you can sample the Arbor Day Farm signature wines. A great variety for group, family or couple’s getaway.
Well golf lovers will love the course, spa lovers will love the services while everyone will love the rooms and the food so I want to focus my favs on the things that make this experience truly unique.
The meeting facilities coupled with the staff make hosting events there a breeze! Each meeting room has a “toolbox” that is filled with commonly needed supplies – so handy! They also have a bar area that caters exclusively to the meeting rooms and provides for continuous break service – a great feature that I have not found at any other meeting facility. Their staff is professional, attentive and friendly – outstanding staff!
Young and old will enjoy the hiking through the Tree Adventure. This is truly a one of a kind experience that provides the opportunity to see several varieties of trees and play in a nature park where the “toys” are constructed from things found in nature. But the tree house – well that will bring out the kid in anyone! The self guided tour ends by being able to select a free tree to take home from the Lied Greenhouse. The perfect souvenir!
Leaving the kid in me behind my other fav is the Apple House Market where I sampled their wines and my daughter sampled the cider. Shelves lined with jams, jellies, dips, and other jarred favorites are the backdrop to cases filled with pies, turnovers and other baked goods. The perfect place to buy a few more souvenirs!
Arbor Lodge is magnificent……a truly outstanding home to see. My favorite room is the Sun Room but I also love the Carriage House that is also located on the property.
Best for last fav……walking along the Sunset Terrace of the Lied Lodge & Conference Center which overlooks the impressive grounds…………a simple pleasure. Just walk along and take it all in……………and then let everything else go.
The comfortable accommodations, seasonally inspired food, excellent service, variety of activities and amenities make the Lied Lodge & Conference Center a great destination for meetings, events, vacations and intimate getaways. The natural setting provides for a relaxing yet rejuvenating experience.
Their website showcases lodging, spa, food, activities, meeting and events, as well as wedding services. You can check availability, sign up for their newsletter and also link to the Arbor Day Farm website where you can learn more about the golf course, Tree Adventure and Arbor Lodge.
Lied Lodge & Conference Center
2700 Sylvan Road
Nebraska City, NE