Did you know the word "Nebraska" means water? The name is derived from the Otoe word for "flat water," referring to the shallow Platte River that bisects the state. The name is perfect because, even without an ocean view, Nebraska offers an abundance of wet and wild fun on its 450 lakes, rivers and streams.
First, hit the eastern stretches of the Platte River for a guided airboat tour, a crowd favorite that will have you gliding across the land and water while taking in sights you might otherwise miss. Or take the family boating or fishing at Branched Oak Lake State Recreation Area, less than half an hour northwest of Lincoln near Raymond.
The Niobrara National Scenic River, one of the most versatile destinations for water recreation, is one of the top 10 canoeing hot spots in the nation. Explore the river via tube, kayak, canoe or livestock tank (that last one's called tanking, and it's most fun with a group of friends). Along the river's path is the scenic Smith Falls. Cascading down 70 feet of rocky cliff, this is Nebraska's tallest waterfall. Other water trails can be found on major rivers including the Missouri, Loup, Dismal, Calamus, Republican, Cedar and Elkhorn.
For some wilder fun, try Lewis and Clark Lake on the northeast border or Lake McConaughy in western Nebraska, where you can enjoy parasailing, sailboating, windsurfing or kiteboarding on 20,000 surface acres of water.
There are hundreds of ways to get wet in Nebraska.