Home to the University of Nebraska, the state’s second-largest city scores with beautiful blooms in the Sunken Gardens, lively entertainment and the Art Deco-style Capitol.

By The editors of MidwestLiving.com
Updated March 05, 2021
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Pandemic-related closures and restrictions may be in place. Please check destinations' websites before making travel plans.

Do

Haymarket District Dozens of restaurants mingle with boutiques, bookstores and coffeehouses, making this a popular place to hangout downtown. Special events include live music and outdoor roller skating. lincolnhaymarket.org

Lincoln Children's Zoo Cheetahs will have space to sprint up to 70 mph this year in their new habitat at the 55-year-old zoo, home to more than 400 creatures. lincolnzoo.org

Sheldon Museum of Art Inspired by ancient Greek temples, this midcentury modern building designed by Philip Johnson showcases American artwork. Person of Interest, looking at nuances in portraiture, runs through July 3, 2021. sheldonartmuseum.org

State Capitol Tours of the 1932 building highlight ornate floor and ceiling mosaics and wall murals celebrating Nebraska's rich pioneer and Native American history. The 14th floor observation decks provide great city views. capitol.nebraska.gov

State Capitol
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. Visitors can also walk through a perennial garden and healing garden. lincolnparks.org

Sunken Gardens of Lincoln
Sunken Gardens of Lincoln

University of Nebraska State Museum at Morrill Hall Learn about the state's natural history in four floors of exhibits. Explore plants and animals in the Hall of Nebraska Wildlife; learn about Native American culture in First Peoples of the. Plains; and visit the Mesozoic Gallery to see Nebraska fossils of Mesozoic creatures like dinosaurs and lizards. museum.unl.edu

Eat

Boiler Brewing Company Ginger, chipotle, peanut butter—you never know what will flavor the rotating brews. The space was originally the boiler room of the 1904 Grand Manse, constructed as a courthouse and post office. boilerbrewingcompany.com

Bourbon Street Build your own seafood boil for a hands-on feast, and pair it with fruity hurricane drinks for a taste of New Orleans in the Haymarket. thesinglebarrel.com

High Society Cheesecake Gourmet cheesecakes with flavors like white chocolate raspberry and peanut butter cup should put this shop high on your list. highsocietycheesecake.com

High Society Cheesecake
High Society Cheesecake

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

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

Le Quartier Buttery croissants, artisan breads, macarons and scones star at this French-style bakery and cafe, which serves breakfast and lunch. lequartierbakingco.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 Chicken Souvlaki. theparthenon.net

Screamers Dining and Cabaret A staff of up-and-coming local talent serves classic cuisine and a vocal performance at this restaurant and musician incubator mash-up. screamersdining.com

Stay

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

Graduate Lincoln
Graduate Lincoln. Photo courtesy of hotel.

The Kindler Hotel Two elegant, century-old buildings have been restored to create the city's first boutique hotel, with 49 rooms and a lounge named for champion ice skater and Food Network star Brian Boitano. thekindlerhotel.com

For information visit lincoln.org