Gretna is a charming and scenic community, declared home by many people for its proximity to Lincoln, Omaha, and several great attractions in between.
The city originally sprang from an old Irish immigrant settlement called Forest City when the Burlington Railroad began laying down tracks in the area. Legend has it that Gretna was named by the railroad for the Gretna Green Community in Scotland. But no one knows for sure.
In the fall, thousands of visitors descend upon Vala’s Pumpkin Patch, a family-owned farm turned mini amusement park dedicated to the Halloween holiday. Some attractions include the Lost Pumpkin Mine and Tumbling Rock Cavern, a pumpkin-eating dragon, the Pirate Maze, a train, hayrack rides, and much more.
On Nebraska Highway 31, travelers can drop down to low gear and enjoy the scenery. Along this route you will find Schramm Park virtually on the banks of the Platte River. The park offers tremendous views of the surrounding countryside, wildlife, and the seemingly endless horizon. The park also features several miles of hilly trails and limestone paths as well as the Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium and Outdoor Education Center.
Relax and rejuvenate on the wraparound porch of the Melia Hill Inn, located on a five-acre homestead.
For a fun family festival, visit Gretna Days on Main Street. The annual July event includes a car show, hog roast, tractor pull, dance, and parade.
Another peaceful and often moving retreat is the Holy Family Shrine, a glass shrine situated on 23-acres overlooking I-80 and the Platte Valley.
You can learn about other sights and sounds in Sarpy County by visiting the Tourism office, conveniently located at I-80 Exit 432 in Gretna.