Are you ready for a whirlwind day in Omaha, Nebraska? From one of the best zoos in the world to a variety of quirky attractions, dining hotspots and comfy accommodations, this guide will help you maximize your day in the city.Less
Fuel up for the day at Early Bird, a popular brunch spot serving creative twists on classic breakfast dishes like their Tot Poutine, crispy tater tots smothered in sausage gravy, cheese sauce, bacon and house salsa, or Hash Holes, hash brown croquettes with cheddar, smoked Gouda and bacon. Seeking something sweet? Try the cinnamon roll pancakes or PB&J French toast.
After breakfast, take a tour of The Durham Museum located in the historic Union Station. Learn about the Indigenous Americans that once roamed the region’s prairies. Then, take a seat in an authentic Benson streetcar from the 1940s. Or, explore the Buffett Grocery Store, a replica of the original that opened in 1915. The museum is also home to exhibits about the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, and if traveling with kids, the opportunity to play with model trains.
Don't miss out on a trip to Old Market, a historic district in Omaha's downtown. Take a stroll along the cobblestone streets. Check out the eclectic and unique shops, such as the American Shaman Old Market and Homer's Music & Gifts. Or, dine at one of 45 restaurants featuring a variety of cuisine, from French to Italian.
Shop for antiques, vintage gifts and whacky souvenirs at Ashley’s Collectibles. You'll find everything from holiday novelty items to an incredible selection of hot sauces. Need jewelry? No problem! This shop has a selection of gold and crystal on display. And don't skip the chance to take a photo with the enormous dragon that greets guests as you enter the store.
Find nirvana at Garden of the Zodiac, an enchanting sculpture garden with rotating exhibitions in Omaha's Old Market. Here, you'll find 22 bronze sculptures representing the zodiac signs, a stunning selection of plants and art by local artists. You can't help but feel at peace when visiting this place - a great stop to decompress after exploring the city.
Don’t miss out on a tour of one of the most haunted museums in the world, the Museum of Shadows. This place is home to 3,000 verified haunted artifacts, from dolls to furniture. If you dare, attempt the Sit Challenge, where you’ll spend ten minutes alone with a possessed object in complete darkness.
Grab lunch at either Block 16, a casual eatery known for its creative sandwiches and hand-cut fries. Featuring a menu of farm-to-table street food, you can dine on mouthwatering bites like a pulled pork roll with caramelized onion and duck duck goose fries - a basket of fries topped with duck confit, cheese curds and gooseberry gastrique. You'll need to loosen your belt after a meal here.
The Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is home to 160 acres of plants, animal exhibits, and interactive experiences. First, check out the Desert Dome, the world’s largest indoor desert featuring succulents and shrubs only found in the Namib Desert of southern Africa and wildlife like bobcats and rattlesnakes. Other exhibits include the Hubbard Gorilla Valley and Orangutan Forests, the Owen Sea Lion Shores and the Scott African Grasslands, home to elephants, pygmy goats and a giraffe herd.
Kick off your evening with a sunset stroll on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. Suspended across the Missouri River, the bridge is over 3,000 feet long and connects Nebraska and Iowa. In fact, you’ll be standing in both states if you walk to the middle of the bridge.
Catch a show at the historic Orpheum Theater. Featuring all the glitz and glam of Old Hollywood, the theater is decorated with crystal chandeliers and even a 1927-inspired gold box office. Whether you’re interested in a Broadway-style musical or swaying to the smooth tunes of a jazz concert, the theater hosts a wide variety of entertainment throughout the year.