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Top Things to Do in Lincoln

Home to the University of Nebraska, the state's second-largest city scores with beautiful blooms in the Sunken Gardens of Lincoln, lively entertainment and the Art Deco-style Capitol. Check out our list of what to do, where to eat and where to stay in Lincoln.

Do

Haymarket District Dozens of restaurants mingle with boutiques, bookstores and coffeehouses, making this a hopping place to hang out downtown, especially on Husker football game days. lincolnhaymarket.org

Homestead National Monument of America Learn how the Homestead Act of 1862 inspired settlers to pursue the American Dream. In Beatrice, 40 miles south. Free. nps.gov/home

International Quilt Study Center and Museum Explore a rainbow of historical and contemporary quilts on the East Campus. quiltstudy.org

Licorice International Free samples help customers find a favorite among 160 types of licorice from 13 countries. licoriceinternational.com

Lincoln Children’s Zoo Families come to the 53-year-old zoo in the heart of Lincoln to see more than 350 creatures, including lemurs, river otters and snow leopards. lincolnzoo.org

Memorial Stadium Find a football game ticket online to see the Huskers (games have been officially sold out since 1962). Or take a self-guided tour on nongame days to see where the magic happens. huskers.com

Memorial Stadium

Memorial Stadium

Mueller Planetarium See a supervolcano erupt in a 360-degree virtual environment in the Fulldome Experience at the planetarium, part of the University of Nebraska State Museum at Morrill Hall. museum.unl.edu

Pinnacle Bank Arena The $179 million arena seats more than 15,000 for Cornhusker basketball games and concerts. pinnaclebankarena.com

Pinnacle Bank Arena

Pinnacle Bank Arena

Sheldon Museum of Art Inspired by ancient Greek temples, this midcentury modern building designed by Philip Johnson holds 12,000 pieces spanning Mary Cassatt to Andy Warhol. sheldonartmuseum.org

State Capitol Tours of the 1932 building highlight ornate mosaics and murals celebrating Nebraska’s rich pioneer and Native American history. capitol.nebraska.gov

State Capitol

Sunken Gardens of Lincoln More than 30,000 annuals bloom in the themed display; past designs have included peacocks and Van Gogh’s The Starry Night.  lincoln.ne.gov

Sunken Gardens of Lincoln

Sunken Gardens of Lincoln

Eat

Blue Blood Brewing Company The taproom sits above Robber’s Cave, where the city’s brew culture began in 1869 (tours available). Try candied bacon or a glazed salmon BLT while sipping brews like Wicked Snout Farmhouse Ale. bluebloodbrewing.com

Blue Orchid Thai Restaurant Try crowd-pleasers such as pad Thai and yellow curry in a former post office and courthouse. Blue Orchid Thai Restaurant on Facebook

Buzzard Billy’s Fried alligator? Absolutely. Or try other Creole and Southern eats like red beans and rice. Warm evenings call for patio seats. buzzardbillys.com

Cultiva Coffee Excellent coffee roasted in-house complements crepes, sandwiches and johnnycakes (cornmeal pancakes). cultivacoffee.com

High Society Cheesecake Fire-roasted corn chowder, meaty sandwiches and a dozen flavors of cheesecake should put this lunch-only shop high on your list. highsocietycheesecake.com

High Society Cheesecake

Honest Abe's Burgers and Freedom The burger menu changes frequently, but you can always count on a side of Parmesan truffle fries. Honest Abe's on Facebook

Hub Cafe Locally sourced ingredients such as sausage, cheese and fruit flavor breakfast and brunch specials. Patio seats overlook urban trails and a creek. hubcafelincoln.com

JTK Cuisine Low lighting, attentive staff and sumptuous dishes like beet linguini with grilled chicken create a date-night destination in Haymarket’s former train depot. jtkrestaurant.com

Lazlo’s Brewery and Grill Beer-cheese soup pairs with house-crafted beer at this anchor in the Haymarket district. lazlosbreweryandgrill.com

Le Quartier Buttery croissants, macarons and scones star at this French- style bakery and cafe. lequartierbakingco.com

The Oven A bowl of mulligatawny soup (piquantly spiced lentil soup) sets the stage for Indian cuisine, such as tender tandoori chicken. theoven-lincoln.com

Parthenon Greek Grill and Taverna Columns line the sidewalk in front of the Parthenon, where two sons of Greek immigrants cook braised lamb shank and Mediterranean-style shrimp. theparthenon.net

The Single Barrel Equal parts whiskey bar and locally owned restaurant (plus a mechanical bull) combine for a memorable meal. Specialties include meats smoked on-site. thesinglebarrel.com

Stay

Chains The downtown Courtyard (marriott.com), Hilton Garden Inn (hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com) and Embassy Suites (embassysuites.com) all deliver a solid business-class experience, close to the Haymarket and Railyard entertainment districts. 

Graduate Lincoln Corn-print curtains, emerald green sofas and cowboy-theme pillows reflect the playful Nebraska touches you’ll find at this new 231-room hotel in the Haymarket district. graduatehotels.com

For information: Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau lincoln.org

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