The Top Five

things to do in Harlan County

There’s so much to do in our area! Check out our Top 5 things to do in Harlan County! You Won’t be disappointed!

BE ON "LAKE TIME" at Harlan County Reservoir

Number 1 in our “Top 5 Things to Do”, there are many activities on Harlan County Reservoir including boating, kayaking, swimming, parasailing, skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, playing on the area playgrounds, and enjoying food and drinks at the local marinas and bars. ATV & jeep trails are in abundance also along the Republican River and Cedar Run ATV Trail. Peckerneck Trail is also a fun experience for those hiking and/or riding horses, located just South of Alma on Hwy 183.

top five things to do
Top Five Things To Do


Harlan County has an outstanding collection of campgrounds throughout the county. Whether you want to camp riverside on the Republican River, have full hook-ups and the amenities of town in the campgrounds in Orleans or Republican City, wake up with the sunrise at the Corp Campgrounds on the Harlan County Reservoir or be in the action in the town of Alma, there is a place for you. Check out the Camping Page for a list of campsites on this website or visit to reserve your site now.

Fishing & HUNTING

Many people visit Harlan County strictly for the goal of hunting that huge buck or catching that once in a lifetime White Bass. There are numerous guided hunts in the area along with fishing excursions with local experts. There is plenty of public hunting in Harlan County (visit the Corps of Engineers site here for more info) to hunt white-tailed deer, wild turkey, ring-necked pheasants, ducks, and geese, bobwhite quail, rabbit, squirrel, bobcat, and coyote. There are also enough fish for everyone in the lake and river surrounding it. Harlan County and it’s lake has been named on many lists for Nebraska’s top fishing and hunting spots.

Top Five Things To Do

Bird's eye view

#4 in our “Top 5 Things To Do” list is birding! There are many migratory birds who take rest and refuge in Harlan County throughout the year, bringing many birdwatchers along with them. Species to watch for include the American Bald Eagle, American White Pelican, Sandhill Cranes among many others. Uniquely, there are no fees to enter the Reservoir to bird watch or use our beautiful lake. So bring your binoculars, cameras and patience to view these amazing creatures anywhere along our 75 shoreline miles during their migratory season of, typically, early March through Mid-April.

Top Five Things To Do

Alma - The gateway to our lake

Coming in at #5 on our “Top 5 Things To Do in Harlan County,” the town of Alma, NE is a must when visiting Harlan County. Alma has so much to offer from its downtown shops, restaurants, unique library and park, swimming pool, golf course and hospital. Downtown Alma is steps from the lake shore and boasts gorgeous views of the lake from many areas. Travel on the walking path from South Street/Hwy 183 all the way to Methodist Cove and enjoy the breathtaking beauty that is Harlan County Reservoir. 

When you come back into town, there are many options for gassing up your vehicles and boats. Then sit and have a drink at any of the eclectic bars in town before dining in one of our many family owned restaurants. After filling your bellies, take the family to the park and pool while you grab 9 holes at the beautiful public golf course. From your full day of adventuring in Alma, you can lay your head down comfortably in any of our large motels or Air B&Bs all around Harlan County. Before leaving town don’t miss coffee and treats at our downtown bakery (visit early on the weekends as they sell out fast!) or have a full sit down breakfast at our café on the highway. Come see what Alma, and all of Harlan County, has for you!

Four of July, Alma Style

Donovan's Smoke Shack Catering

About Donovan's

Leading the BBQ Scene with Our Signature Sandwiches, Nachos, Pork Belly and Smokey Street Tacos.

Harlan County Weddings

Langley Photography

About Brooke

Welcome! I am Brooke Langley, Artist of Langley Photography. Based but not limited to Harlan County Nebraska. I have been capturing Memories since 2019.

During that time, I have captured Weddings, Newborns, Milestones , Fur babies, livestock, Anniversaries, Engagements, senior, Professional headshots, Boudoir sessions. If you have an idea that isn’t listed shoot me a message!

April's Imagination Station

April’s Imagination Photography

About April

I have been a photographer since my days on my high school newspaper & yearbook in the early ’90s. I embrace natural light and encourage candid moments, as opposed to a scripted session. My favorite things are photographing tiny people discovering their big, new world; but even more, I love capturing families in their natural elements: laughing, being silly, and just loving each other. Those are the memories we all want on our walls and in our albums, right? 

Nicole's Imaging

Nicole's Imaging

About Nicole

“Located right here in Harlan County you will find nichole’s imaging. Nichole is known to be one of south central Nebraska’s most ‘diversified’ photographers, covering everything from newborn babies to commercial real estate photography. Born and raised right here in Harlan County, Nichole knows all the in’s and out’s to THE perfect and unique locations for every session. Find her on Facebook and Instagram, or by appointment in her studio located inside Main Street Variety in downtown Alma.”

Hobby Kitchen

The Hobby kitchen


A brand-new local favorite by a local mom who’s an incredible chef — serving up one dish daily. Open for lunch on varying days. Check out their Facebook page for details.

Rusty Spur Bar and Grill

The Rusty Spur Bar & Grill


Rusty Spur is now a bar! Come on in and have some good food and a beverage!!

The Beach Bar Patterson Harbor

The Beach Bar


Stop in for a slice a pizza and have a drink on the  deck overlooking the harbor. With friendly staff and great service you’ll be glad you stopped in for a bit of reprise from the warm Nebraska sun. And while you’re there, show your friends how much fun you’re having by snapping a pic & hastagging #PHbeachbar on Instagram.

North Shore Marina

North Shore Marina Restaurant


Stop in for some of their famous pizza and have a drink on the  decks overlooking the lake! With friendly staffers and great service you’ll be a “regular” in no time!

The Dairy Barn


Ice Cream! Broasted Chicken. Burgers and more. What’s not to love? Drive by to see if they’re open (or just call). Open till 8pm on select days in the summer months.

The Office Bar & Grill

The Office Bar & Grill


Our own local downtown pub where everyone knows your name. Good food. Good beverages. Better company! Check em out!

The Station Alma

The Station


A great menu to choose from. Good handmade burgers and sammies. 5 TV’s for your viewing pleasure! Wireless Internet… and the BEST fried chicken every Sunday.

taste the good life

Los Primos Mexican Grill


Mexican Restaurant Bar and Grill. They have great service and delicious Mexican Food

Taste the good life

Main Street Pizza


Pizza, Pasta, Sandwiches, Wings, & homemade cheesecakes! Main Street is locally owned and uses homemade ingredients and fresh produce to bring you the best tasting food around!


Dragonfly Coffee House & Bakery


A small batch family owned bakery in the heart of Alma, Dragonfly makes pastries and desserts fresh and to order. Every item is made with care using high quality ingredients like real butter, whipping cream, and Ghirardelli chocolate.