Every spring, beginning in late February and extending into early April, more than 80 percent of the world’s sandhill crane population descends on central Nebraska for a little rest and refuel during their journey north. To witness this sublime experience, book a VIP excursion at the Crane Trust (cranetrust.org)—a nature and visitor center situated along the Big Bend Region of the Platte River. Enjoy onsite lodging, meals and a choice of guided excursions like kayaking, fat biking or a photo and birdwatching tour. Better yet, book a stay in an overnight photo blind at the Rowe Sanctuary (rowe.audubon.org) where you can take in thousands of cranes each evening, often landing and taking off just a few feet from the blind. As the sun sets and rises on a sea of bluish-gray feathers, you’ll have the opportunity to snap some of the best wildlife photos of your life.

—Tyra Sutak