Alliance, Nebraska

Deep in the middle of the Nebraska panhandle lies the town of Alliance, Nebraska. Residents say it's the kind of place where you can go outside on your front porch and actually see the stars and where, when in the midst of a challenge, everyone pulls together.

Dixie Nelson, lifelong Alliance resident and executive director for the chamber of commerce, says Alliance is the perfect place to live and raise a family. "How many places can you have a 10-year-old child [that] can walk or bike somewhere to their baseball game? That is what small-town America is about."

Alliance's most famous landmark is Carhenge,a replica of England's Stonehenge. In place of Stonehenge's rocks, Carhenge's architects used 38 vintage American automobiles.

This one-of-a-kind structure was conceived in 1987 by former resident Jim Reinders as a memorial to his father. Reinders had traveled extensively throughout the world and spent a lot of time in England studying Stonehenge. He collected cars from the area surrounding Alliance and, over a period of days, erected Carhenge. Nelson jokes that the project "took a lot of blood, sweat and beers."

It's estimated that about 80,000 people a year visit the attraction, which is included in the book 1000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die and was the subject of the 2005 documentary Carhenge: Genius or Junk?

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