Nebraska’s largest city blends a famous zoo, top-notch museums and world-class dining into a lively downtown on the Missouri River.
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Bob Kerrey Bridge
Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge
| Credit: Courtesy of Visit Omaha

What to Do in Omaha

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

Spanning 3,000 feet across the Missouri River, the footbridge links Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa, and connects to trails and parks. visitomaha.com

Driftwood Paddleboard Adventures

Glide along Zorinsky or Standing Bear lakes on a stand-up paddleboard excursion. Guides make even f irst-time paddleboarders feel at ease. driftwoodpaddleadventures.com

Durham Museum
Durham Museum.

Durham Museum

A restored Art Deco train station celebrates the state's pioneer history and railroading legacy with exhibits, such as a streetcar, passenger train and home gallery, illustrating life 100 years ago. durhammuseum.org

Fontenelle Forest

Adventurers can climb, zip and soar through the tree canopy on a new aerial course. Rehabbed eagles and owls enjoy their digs at the raptor refuge, while 19 miles of trails wind through the urban forest. fontenelleforest.org

Joslyn Art Museum

One of the nation's best examples of Art Deco architecture houses more than 12,000 pieces, including the glass sculpture Chihuly: Inside and Out. Admission is free. joslyn.org

Kaneko

A revamped downtown warehouse features creative exhibits, performances and lectures. thekaneko.org

Lauritzen Gardens

More than 2 miles of paths wind through gardens along the Missouri River; tropical and temperate plants thrive in the 17,500-square-foot conservatory. lauritzengardens.org

Old Market
Credit: Courtesy of Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Old Market

Cobblestone streets crisscross the 20-square-block revived warehouse district with nearly 100 shops, galleries, taverns and restaurants. Special events include a Saturday farmers market. oldmarket.com

Omaha Children's Museum

Kids can play at changing tires, shopping for groceries, being a firefighter and exploring a child-size hospital at the museum's Imagination Playground. omc.org

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Be transported to the land of red pandas, Amur tigers, sloth bears and snow leopards at the $22 million Asian Highlands exhibit. It joins other immersive habitats, such as the African Grasslands, plus ocean, desert, rainforest, nocturnal and butterfly exhibits. omahazoo.com

The Best Places to Eat in Omaha

Au Courant Regional Kitchen

The dishes change frequently as local harvests provide new ingredients at this Benson neighborhood restaurant. aucourantrestaurant.com

Block 16

Order from a chalkboard menu with options such as a Croque Garcon Burger with cheese, ham, truffle mayonnaise and a fried egg. Imaginative fry toppings at the downtown spot include dragon sauce, cheese curds and crushed fortune cookies. block16omaha.com 

Boiler Room Restaurant

Two-time James Beard semifinalist Tim Nicholson serves up fine-dining fare like rabbit croquette and Wagyu steak in a brick-walled space that was once the boiler room for the 120-year-old Bemis Bag Company Building. boilerroomomaha.com

M's Pub

A longtime Old Market favorite, M's still scores with dishes like pot roast, lamb burger and Thai pork satay. The popular lahvosh (Armenian crackers with Havarti cheese) comes in more than a half-dozen variations; try the Omaha with roast beef. mspubomaha.com

Modern Love

New York City transplant Isa Moskowitz cranks out comfort food and desserts in this vegan beacon. The Mac and Shews—creamy with cashews—won us over. modernloveomaha.com

Mula Mexican Kitchen and Tequileria

In the Blackstone District, sip a margarita while deciding between a torta sandwich or tacos in hand-rolled corn tortillas. mulaomaha.com

Plank Seafood Provisions
Plank Seafood Provisions

Plank Seafood Provisions

In the Old Market, an oyster bar and the skeleton of a boat hanging from the ceiling inject coastal flair. Visit during happy hour for $2 oyster deals. plankseafood.com

Saddle Creek Breakfast Club

Go vegan (chickpea toast, tofu rancheros) or traditional (ham and eggs, French toast) at this breakfast hot spot northwest of Midtown. Saddle Creek Breakfast Club Facebook

Stirnella

The seasonal menu might include toasted beef ravioli, sweet corn risotto and striped bass with braised artichokes at this gastropub in the Blackstone District. stirnella.com

Via Farina

Chefs make pasta by hand and pull pizzas from a wood-fired oven in the open kitchen. Try the Egg Yolk Raviolo, with ricotta and a sunny yolk oozing out of a single piece of filled pasta. goviafarina.com

Where to Stay in Omaha

Element Omaha Midtown Crossing

Full kitchens, rain shower baths and posh mattresses—along with free bikes and an included breakfast—make for great stays in an eco-friendly hotel. elementomaha.com

EVEN Hotel Omaha Downtown

This new fitness-centered hotel offers exercise space and ergonomic work stations in every room, healthy eats, and a 24-hour gym. ihg.com

Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel

Restored to its 1916 glory, the Blackstone District lodging (formerly The Blackstone Hotel) greets guests with a grand marble staircase, garden lounge with pool views, and 205 luxe rooms and suites. thecottonwoodhotel.com

Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District

The 12-story, 333-room hotel takes advantage of its location with a rooftop pool and river- and city-view rooms. marriott.com

Residence Inn Omaha Downtown

A vintage FBI poster, vault door and terrazzo tile remind guests of the all-suite hotel's days as the Federal Building. A free shuttle to nearby attractions saves parking hassles, and free grocery delivery service keeps your kitchen stocked. marriott.com