In a sentence like There is no place like Nebraska, the word there functions as a “dummy” or anticipatory subject of the sentence. The true subject is no place, and the verb (is) has to agree with the subject.
If the true subject is plural, the verb must be plural too: There are eight places like Nebraska.
Sounds simple, but it can get complicated. We English speakers seem to have some kind of mysterious temptation to use there is even when the subject is plural.
There is one place, four states of mind and two alternate dimensions like Nebraska.
At first blush that sentence might sound OK, because the verb is comes so near one place. But if you write that sentence you should blush because it’s bad grammar — the true subject is a compound subject consisting of one place, four states of mind and two alternate dimensions.
By the way, the above rules also apply to here is and here are.
Here is a place to get ringtones with the Nebraska fight song.
Here are the Big 10 football teams Nebraska will beat this fall.