The Crane Trust Nature Center is known as one of the best places to view sandhill cranes, whooping cranes and many other migratory birds as they congregate here to rest and feed on their migratory trip north, along the Platte River. Located just 14 miles southwest of Grand Island, NE and literally just off of I 80, it’s worth the stop if passing through the area, even in non-season. The viewing season is the beginning of March and there are many different tours and packages you can purchase with booking beginning in January. If you happen to be in the area for a day or two, they have a 2 ½ hour blind tour, mornings and evenings for $35 and also a 2 hour evening footbridge tour for $15. There are also overnight packages where you can stay either in the on-site dormitory or in one of 3 cottages where all meals and beverages, including wine and beer, are provided. During non-season, the Nature Center is open Monday-Saturday where you can view many displays, check out the cute gift shop or browse and purchase professional photos in their Art Gallery. Outside there is a butterfly garden and a path that leads to a 35 ft viewing tower where you can view American Bison. There are two foot bridges that lead to 10 miles of nature trails along the Platte River. You can also book a retreat during non-season and stay in one of the cottages, with all meals included, have access to a board/meeting room, hike the trails, fish in the pond, sit around a fire pit or throw horseshoes. There are also guided excursions such as a bison tour, a hayrack ride and prairie hike. This is such a neat place to check out and if you happen to visit or stay during migratory season, pack many warm layers and waterproof clothing.