Sandhill Crane Capital of the World - Microtel

Get Outdoors and Stay Safe at the
Sandhill Crane Capital of the World

Come and stay at our hotels in Kearney, Nebraska, the Sandhill Crane Capital of the world.

Every spring, hundreds of thousands of sandhill cranes flock through an 80-mile stretch of the Platte River. The great beauty of this bird compels visitors around the world to venture to humble Kearney, Nebraska to take in the phenomenon. 

No matter what you hope to gain from your experience – whether it be to take professional photography capturing the beauty of the sandhill cranes, or simply to lose yourself in the moment as you watch the beauty of it all – we hope to provide you with a great night’s rest to enjoy it thoroughly.

Our staff is passionate about sandhill cranes and ensuring you enjoy your experience.

Each of our hotels is located in southern Kearney and convenient for watching sandhill cranes. You’ll be delighted to:

  • Have conversations with our educated staff about the cranes and unique viewing opportunities
  • Enjoy early breakfasts if you’ll be heading out early to watch the cranes
  • Take simple origami cranes as a memento of your experience


Every year between Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14th) and Tax Day (Apr. 15th), the sandhill cranes converge on about an 80-mile stretch of the Platte River near Kearney. In an hourglass fashion, the birds arrive from their southern wintering grounds to feast here before heading north to their nesting grounds in the arctic. It is important for them to put on at least 20% of their body weight during about a two-week visit. During the peak, there can be over 500,000 birds in the area!

In addition to the opportunity to feast, the Platte River provides a perfect habitat for the cranes to roost, as the river is wide and shallow. The feet of the sandhill cranes aren’t designed to stand in trees, so the birds roost, standing in about 6-8 inches of water at night. The water creates an alarm system to alert the birds of any potential danger. In the past, flooding would help scour the river of restrictive brush and debris. Dams have reduced scouring floods, reducing some of their habitat. Rowe Sanctuary works to maintain this needed habitat and at the same time, has been able to provide opportunity for thousands of people worldwide to enjoy this experience. For a “live” online peek at the Platte River as it flows past Rowe Sanctuary, visit their Crane Cam.

It is a privilege to be able to experience this annual event. Some choose to take pictures of everything, and others choose to simply enjoy the moment.

Stay at one of our hotels and experience the wonder and amazement of the annual sandhill crane migration in central Nebraska:

Waking Up on the Bright Side

Modern, bright, and friendly, you’ll start your day with a fresh burst of energy.

Comforts of Home

Relax at your home away from home with comfy beds, real plates at breakfast, and welcoming smiles.

Brilliantly Simple

Enjoy ease and efficiency without skimping on hospitality, cleanliness, or comfort.


111 Talmadge St, Kearney, NE 68847
(308) 708-7456


105 Talmadge St, Kearney, NE 68847
(308) 236-7500


104 Talmadge St, Kearney, NE 68847
(308) 698-3003