TOURISM Only 45 minutes from Nebraska’s state capital, Hamilton County offers everything you would wish in a community. Traveling across the open spaces of land and sky known as the Great Plains, far from the noise and crowds of large cities, the world of nature, science, agriculture, technology and history is open to the attentive observer. This is America’s heartland, where the products that feed and fuel the world are produced and the charm of rural America is still intact. If you like adventure and you’re looking for the perfect blend of old and new, small and large, then begin your discovery in Hamilton County, Nebraska. Aurora is a vibrant community proud of its ag-based heritage which has grown into a pro- gressive mix of technology, entertainment, retail, and industry. Conveniently located just off of I-80, Aurora has something for everyone. The Edgerton Explorit Center, a tribute to Harold “Doc” Edgerton, is “Nebraska’s hands-on science center.” Its exhibits and activities educate and entertain folks of all ages. Directly next door is the Plainsman Museum that tells almost 150 years of history of Hamilton County. Aurora’s Central Park Square, home of the iconic courthouse, is where the heart of Aurora lies. “The Square,” as locals call it, is the hub for shopping, food, and entertainment. Take a stroll around The Square to check out an excellent shopping experience where you will feel at home. Aurora is a very progressive community that offers things that you would fi nd in a bigger community including an art gallery, house concerts, a fall art walk, adult entertainment, and a wide variety of family-oriented events. There are events all year round for folks with varied backgrounds and interests. If you are looking for some recreational fun, Aurora is home to a nine-hole golf course, three large parks (complete with playgrounds), athletic fi elds, a beautiful new swimming pool, ball fi eld complex, soccer fi elds and a recreation trail. If you like to camp, Streeter Park also has excellent camping facilities, as does Pioneer Trails just outside of town. One of Aurora’s hidden gems is The Leadership Center which has a great balance of learn- ing and recreation. Located on the edge of Aurora they offer accommodations, food service, meeting facilities, an indoor pool, sauna, ball fi elds, fi shing, paddleboats and a perfect setting for a beautiful outdoor wedding. Community events celebrate Hamilton County’s love for its communities: A’ROR’N Days and Hampton Booster Days are held every June. In July, the Hamilton County Fair brings agricultural exhibits, competitions, and entertainment and Phillips holds its festival. In the fall, check out the community celebration in Giltner and other events throughout the county. Whether it’s history, shopping, or entertainment, we’ve got it all right here in Hamilton County. For more information about Hamilton County and a full calendar of events, check us out on the web at Welcome, friends! 2 HAMILTON COUNTY VISITOR AND NEWCOMER’S GUIDE