About This Place
The largest city in Nebraska, Omaha owes much of its renaissance to investor Warren Buffet, commonly referred to as the “Oracle of Omaha” because of his investment prowess. But, the town was originally born of Abraham Lincoln’s decision to link the area to the Transcontinental Railroad in 1863.
Housed in the railroad’s old Union Station, the Durham Museum is one of the top attractions in Omaha. The first and best example of an Art Deco-style railway station in the country, the museum boasts more treasures within its walls. Venture inside for an in-depth history of Omaha in the Union Station Gallery, and explore the informative guest exhibits.
A short walk from the museum, Omaha’s Old Market District has seen a great deal of revitalization in recent years. What was once a major industrial area has now become the city’s entertainment mecca. Hip shops, art galleries and eateries populate the streets and are housed in the renovated warehouses of yesteryear. Tourists visiting Omaha can refuel with the warm duck salad at M’s Pub, where patio seating allows diners to take in the atmosphere of the surrounding bustling streets.
From here, visitors can stroll along Omaha’s riverfront, located along the western bank of the Missouri River. Walk the 3,000-foot-long Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge (one of the longest in the country), which curves over the river and transports visitors to Iowa.
The Henry Doorly Zoo is not only one of the top attractions in Omaha, but it is also one of the best attractions in the entire state. Known across the country, the zoo is home to the biggest cat complex and indoor rainforest in the nation, as well as the world’s largest nocturnal exhibit and indoor desert. Its aquarium allows visitors to walk through a 70-foot shark tunnel, say “hi” to over 85 penguins in the Arctic exhibit and get hands-on with anemones and starfish in the 500-gallon touch tank.
Near the zoo and just south of the Old Market District, the Lauritzen Gardens offer travelers visiting Omaha three miles of botanical gardens. Paths and trails wind their way through enchanting peony and rose gardens, rolling meadows and serene waterfalls, while the traditional Victorian garden offers more formal flora.
On the city’s west end, Boys Town is a 900-acre town constructed for at-risk boys (and girls) that has been in operation since 1979. The founder, Father Flanagan, built the safe haven for struggling children in 1917, and by 1936, the boys had orchestrated their own government and had become an official state township.
Another of Omaha’s wonders is the beautiful Orpheum Theater. With a history dating back to the late 1800s, the theater as it is today was built in 1927 to serve as a center for vaudeville productions. In 1908, Omaha natives Fred Astaire and his sister, Adele, took to the Orpheum stage to click their heels, winning outstanding acclaim from the town and helping to launch Fred’s career on film.