When you finally decide to take a break from work or embark on a fun filling trip, a great place to unwind and go sightseeing is Omaha, Nebraska. Omaha is home to several tourist attraction centers, ranging from its world-class zoo, botanical garden, museums, and the list goes on. A quick stop in the city will do no justice in helping you capture the rich aesthetic and culture the state has to offer.
Ranked as one of the 10 tourist centers in the state, it is a perfect choice for your vacation. Both in the spring and winter, Omaha is the place to pass your time. Every weather season has an advantage here, making it open all year round, whenever your vacation comes around. In Omaha, the following are the 15 things to do to make the most out of your stay in the state. Let’s check them out!
15. Watch Heron
When you visit Omaha, Nebraska, be sure to visit The Heron Haven Nature Center for a full experience and enjoy all it has to offer. This is a spring-fed wetland sanctuary. Within Omaha’s municipal borders, the sanctuary contains one of the few Big Papillion Creek oxbow wetlands.
Here you can view beautiful birds while leisurely passing your time. The parking is easily accessible and the trails are clearly marked. It’s not usually very busy, so this is a great place for a leisurely day.
14. The Dundee Historic District
(image via Dundee Double Shot Coffee)
The Dundee Historic District offers several delightful meals to fill your stomach. The neighborhood is buzzing day and night thanks to its lovely setting and welcoming residents. Enjoy the culinary skills of great chefs, who take up the task to source their ingredients locally.
There is an inviting aroma throughout the neighborhood with food of top-notch flavor. You can visit the gallery, shop, or stop at the Dundee dell which offers several collections of whiskey.
13. Durham Museum
(image via Durham Museum)
The Durham Museum focuses mainly on the state’s history with the thousands of people who had lived in the area and the railroad which played a major role when America expanded west. This hot spot exhibits several trains and artifacts, which include an array of rare coins and documents.
The railroad operation halted following the increase in the use of cars and planes. This led to the fall of the original building the museum is presently in. The building was restored to its beauty when a local civil engineer Chuck Durham and his wife took it upon themselves to secure its restoration. Admire the beauty of the station, and stop at the soda foundation to get a malt or an original phosphate!
12. Upstream Brewing Company
(image via Upstream Brewing Company )
Omaha means upstream people or those going against the wind or current. This is where The Upstream Brewing Company derives its name. The company not only features a brewery but also restaurants with mouth-watering delicacies in a serene setting.
The brewery employs the skill of locals who are proud professionals in making their fine beer. You can’t afford to miss the taste of their ales, from Flagship to Firehouse Red. A stop at this brewing company is the perfect treat for anyone in Omaha.
11. Chi Health Centre
(image via Chi Health Centre)
CHI Health Center Omaha is located near the airport, the old market, and in the North Downtown neighborhood. This makes it the center of the city, which means it’s easily accessible to tourists, and a great vacay hot spot. The chi health center attracts tourists from around the globe.
This arena and convention center is the hottest spot for live entertainment, sporting events, conventions, meetings, weddings, and more. Catch a basketball game, crash a wedding! Anything is possible if you only know the right information, and now you know where the party is happening.
10. Omaha Children’s Museum
(image via Omaha Children's Museum)
Children are sure to have a blast at the Omaha Children’s Museum. This museum is a great place for your family to learn while having fun and exploring while on vacation! The kids will have fun in the many art displays and play spaces.
The Omaha Children’s Museum’s displays offer a wide range of possibilities for play-based learning. The museum’s displays are all intended to arouse inspiration. This hot spot is in the heart of Omaha, Nebraska. The Association of Science and Technology Museums presented a national award to this museum, so it’s sure to surprise and delight.
9. Saint Cecilia Cathedral
(image via Saint Cecilia Cathedral)
Founded in 1905, the Saint Cecilia Cathedral is one of the largest Catholic Churches in America. Featuring intrinsic architectural design preserved over 100 years, the church is a sight to behold as you make your tour around the state.
This cathedral is a church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese. Its ornate windows, and massive organ are sure to bring a moment of solace to the soul. Light a candle, and take a moment to be awe-inspired by this artistic masterpiece.
8. Joslyn Art Museum
(image via Joslyn Art Museum)
More than 11,000 works of art by painters including Monet, Renoir, and Pollock are housed at the magnificent pink marble Joslyn Art Museum. This museum is the principal fine arts museum in the whole of Nebraska.
There are several works of art to view and investigate here. This location has both current modern art designs and an older collection of artwork for visitors to view. The artworks found here are sure to open your mind to a few things about this state.
7. The Joslyn Castle
(image via The Joslyn Castle)
The Castle was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 after being constructed in the Scottish Baronial style in 1903. George and Sarah were newsprint business owners. The Joslyn Castle is evidence of their success in this business. The castle opens its door to the public for use by tourists on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month.
Designed by John McDonald, the mansion boasts exotic botanical plants across the globe. It also features a carriage home, a pond, and a greenhouse. It’s sure to be an awesome inspiration to any traveler.
6. Freedom Park Navy Museum
(image via Freedom Park)
The Freedom Park Navy Museum exhibits several military artifacts. It has a training submarine used during the cold war, which is a sight to behold for tourists. Other military artifacts include helicopters, rocket launchers, Captain gigs, jets, and a host of others.
All tours are free and you can get a guided tour around the museum between 10 am -3 pm on weekends or simply put a call through to inform the institution before your arrival for a special tour.
5. The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge
(image via Omaha Parks and Recreation)
Also known as the footbridge, the bridge is 3000ft long and constructed over the Missouri River. The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is a perfect place to hit your daily walk target. A stroll on the bridge is perfect for anyone looking to see the city over the river.
Either on foot or bike, the bridge area hosts several activities which promise to be fun all day long. If you visit in June, you might want to go to the bridge on a Friday to enjoy the musical display at night. All you need is a blanket to keep you warm as you enjoy the music.
4. Nebraska Wildlife Park
(image via Simmons Wildlife Safari Park)
Drive through a four-mile-long exhibit of North American animals at Nebraska Wildlife Park to start your next outdoor adventure. This zoo offers a drive-through experience, which allows tourists to be close to animals as they traverse in their habitat. While at it, a stop at a picnic area in the wood wolf offers treats for tourists with varieties of drinks and snacks.
The park houses lots of creatures to see and learn about. You’ll want to stop to get gifts such as stuffed toys, customized shirts, and animal models at the gift shop so everyone can keep and cherish them in their memory.
3. The Old Market
(image via Old Market Omaha)
With its horse-drawn carriages, brick streets, and notable street performances; a stroll along The Old Market takes one down memory lane. Packed with buildings, and several markets, you can stop by the boutiques, and art galleries, and also have a nice treat or beverage and brunch in the market.
The market is large enough to accommodate its several points of attraction and also not too big to tour within a day. So check out south 10th Street, 13th Street, Farnam Street, and Jackson Street!
2. Lauritzen Gardens – Omaha Botanical Center
(image via Lauritzen Gardens)
With interesting animals and plants, the garden offers an experience to last a lifetime. The 100-acre garden is home to several plants from across different parts of the world. You don’t want to miss the beautiful scenery the Lauritzen Gardens – Omaha Botanical Center has to offer.
The bloom of various local flowers unique to each season makes the garden a pleasure to see and a memory to remember. The garden hosts different events all year round such as photography workshops, yoga, and basket weaving.
1. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
(image via Omaha's Zoo & Aquarium)
A tour around Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium will leave you in awe. Its several points of attraction include the indoor rainforest which is the largest in America. The aquarium is located in a 70ft tall tunnel that allows tourists to move freely to have a real view of sharks and sea turtles as they move in their natural habitat.
Notable at this landmark, the desert dome hosts various types of nocturnal animals and is believed to be the largest nocturnal habitat in the world. Though the experience is best during the summer, the zoo is designed to ensure it is open all year round due to its variety of indoor centers of attraction that offers visitors just as much fun, even when it rains. With a size of about 160 acres, your best choice is to take a train or tram around the zoo or use a sky safari for flying above the zoo.
As you can see, Omaha has a lot to offer everyone. If you are looking to do more in the surrounding area, check out other weekend trips nearby Omaha, Nebraska.
These areas are perfect for a quick day trip or a long weekend getaway. Explore our favorite things to do or peruse some pre-built itineraries.