Keith County and Lake McConaughy, described as "Nebraska's Western Oasis," reign as Nebraska's recreation capital with Lake McConaughy ranking as Nebraska's # 1 vacation destination!
For more than a hundred years, Ogallala has ranked among the state's top tourism communities. As far back as the 1870's, Ogallala was a booming, bustling community. Today, the dance hall hostesses still kick up their heels during the nightly show at Ogallala's Front Street, a western and historical attraction financed by members of the business community and designed to replicate the Trail Drive era. The cast of the Crystal Palace Revue - comprised of high school and college students - present a family show each night during the summer season at Nebraska's longest running summer theater. Besides the Crystal Palace Revue, Front Street has a free western museum, a restaurant serving real buffalo burgers and steaks, the Haythorn Figure Four Mercantile clothing, ranch memorabilia and gift shop, and the Kenfield Brothers Petrified Wood Gallery, one of Keith County's treasures and one of Nebraska's unsung treasures. Twins Howard and Harvey Kenfield donated their collection of more than 45 years to the community. The Gallery is a museum of natural history specializing in ancient woods.
Because of its western heritage, Ogallala has been designated Nebraska's "Cowboy Capital" by the Nebraska State Historical Society. Ogallala's first cemetery, Boot Hill, is now an historic park and is also a tombstone history of Ogallala.
Ogallala's Mansion on the Hill, built of brick kilned in Ogallala in 1887, is now operated as a Victorian period residence. It is owned and maintained by the Keith County Historical Society.
The gem that draws most visitors to Keith County is gigantic Lake McConaughy. The lake boasts 100 miles of shoreline of white sand beaches and 30,000 surface acres of clear blue waters and some of the best walleye fishing in the nation. The lake is a mecca for sailboat and sailboarding enthusiasts as well as fishermen and campers. Concessionaires around the lake offer restaurants, lodging, boat rentals, convenience/grocery stores, guide services, jet-ski rentals, scuba diving, and RV camp grounds.
Keith County has two golf courses - WestWind Golf Course, an 18-hole course in Ogallala and Bayside Golf, a challenging new 18-hole course at Lake McConaughy, which includes a new log cabin clubhouse. There is an outdoor swimming pool and an indoor pool in Ogallala, as well as an outdoor pool in Paxton.
In addition to nine parks covering 50 acres with 10 ball fields (seven lighted), six tennis courts and four parks with playground equipment, recreational activities in Keith County include Cornhusker Lanes Bowling Alley, the Goodall Recreation Center, Lake Mac Arcade, the Prairie Theater and Goodall Public Library.