Top Things 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.
Driftwood Paddle Adventures
Glide along Zorinsky or Standing Bear lakes on a stand-up paddleboard excursion. Guides make even f irst-time paddleboarders feel at ease.
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.
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.
Related: Top Things to Do with Kids in Omaha
Joslyn Art Museum
Closed for construction and renovation until 2024. 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. The Joslyn is currently closed for renovation; expected to reopen in 2024.
A revamped downtown warehouse features creative exhibits, performances and lectures.
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.
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.
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.
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
At one of the nation's top zoos, 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.
A $300 million revitalization is transforming Omaha's downtown along the Missouri River into an area called The RiverFront, encompassing three downtown parks: Gene Leahy Mall, Heartland of America Park and Lewis and Clark Landing. Gene Leahy Mall reopened in July 2022 with a performance pavilion, sculpture garden, dog park, playground and other features; the other two spaces are expected to reopen in 2023.
Eat and Drink
Au Courant Regional Kitchen
The dishes change frequently as local harvests provide new ingredients at this Benson neighborhood restaurant.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mula Mexican Kitchen and Tequileria
Plank Seafood Provisions
In the Old Market, an oyster bar and the skeleton of a boat hanging from the ceiling inject coastal flair at Plank. Visit during happy hour for oyster deals.
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.
The seasonal menu might include toasted beef ravioli, sweet corn risotto and striped bass with braised artichokes at this gastropub in the Blackstone District.
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.
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.
EVEN Hotel Omaha Downtown
This fitness-centered hotel offers exercise space and ergonomic work stations in every room, healthy eats, and a 24-hour gym.
Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel
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.
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.
More information: visitomaha.com