The Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center is an eight-story building which overlooks the expansive railroad staging area.
North Platte experiences a dry continental climate similar to that of the Nebraska High Plains, classified as humid continental (Köppen Dwa), and, with an annual average precipitation of 20.22 inches (514 mm), barely avoids semi-arid; it is part of USDA Hardiness zone 5a.
34.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.95. 24.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25% were from 25 to 44; 25.6% were from 45 to 64; and 15.5% were 65 years of age or older.
The gender makeup of the city was 48.8% male and 51.2% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 23,878 people, 9,944 households, and 6,224 families residing in the city.
North Platte was the western terminus of the Union Pacific Railway from the summer of 1867 until the next section to Laramie, Wyoming, was opened the following summer.