Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Omaha

Nebraska

By Sarah Anderson

Omaha, located in the heart of the Midwest, is a vibrant city that offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re interested in history, art, nature, or sports, Omaha has something to offer.

One of the top-rated attractions in Omaha is the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. This world-class zoo is home to a diverse collection of animals from around the globe. Visitors can explore the various exhibits, including the Desert Dome, the Lied Jungle, and the Scott Aquarium, which features a stunning display of marine life.

If you’re a history buff, be sure to visit the Durham Museum. Housed in a beautifully restored art deco building, this museum offers a glimpse into Omaha’s past. Explore the exhibits that showcase the city’s railroad history, learn about the pioneers who settled the area, and discover the role Omaha played in shaping the Midwest.

For art enthusiasts, the Joslyn Art Museum is a must-visit. This impressive museum features a diverse collection of art from around the world, including works by renowned artists such as Monet, Renoir, and Pollock. Stroll through the various galleries and be inspired by the beautiful paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts on display.

Nature lovers will also find plenty to do in Omaha. The Lauritzen Gardens is a beautiful botanical garden that offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Explore the various themed gardens, walk along the scenic trails, and admire the stunning floral displays that change with the seasons.

Omaha is also a sports lover’s paradise. Catch a game at the TD Ameritrade Park, home to the College World Series, or cheer on the Omaha Storm Chasers, the city’s minor league baseball team. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at kayaking or paddleboarding on the Missouri River.

With its diverse range of attractions and activities, Omaha offers something for everyone. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, you’re sure to have a memorable experience exploring all that this vibrant city has to offer.

Explore the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska is consistently ranked as one of the best zoos in the world. With its diverse range of animals and immersive exhibits, it offers a truly memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

Spanning over 130 acres, the zoo is home to more than 17,000 animals representing over 962 species. From African elephants to polar bears, visitors can see a wide array of wildlife up close. The zoo’s exhibits are designed to provide a naturalistic habitat for the animals, allowing them to thrive and giving visitors an opportunity to observe them in a comfortable setting.

One of the zoo’s most popular attractions is the Lied Jungle, a large indoor rainforest housing a variety of species including primates, birds, and reptiles. Visitors can walk through the lush vegetation and experience the sights and sounds of a tropical rainforest.

Another must-see exhibit is the Desert Dome, the world’s largest indoor desert. Featuring plants and animals from different arid regions around the globe, visitors can wander through the towering sand dunes and observe creatures like meerkats and venomous snakes in their natural environment.

Exhibit Description
The Kingdoms of the Night This exhibit takes visitors on a journey through nocturnal animal habitats, including bat caves and an underwater tunnel where they can observe creatures like sea turtles and sharks.
Hill A steep incline that offers a thrilling sled ride experience for visitors of all ages during the winter months.
Scott Aquarium Home to over 1,000 marine species, visitors can explore various marine habitats and even touch stingrays in the popular Stingray Beach exhibit.

In addition to its impressive animal exhibits, the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium also offers educational programs and events throughout the year. From behind-the-scenes tours to interactive presentations, visitors can learn more about the animals and their conservation efforts.

Whether you’re a nature lover or a wildlife enthusiast, a visit to the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is sure to be an unforgettable experience. With its world-class exhibits, diverse animal collection, and commitment to education and conservation, it’s no wonder this zoo continues to receive top ratings year after year.

Visit the Old Market District

The Old Market District in Omaha is a vibrant and historic area that should not be missed during your visit. This charming neighborhood is known for its cobblestone streets, brick warehouses, and bustling atmosphere. Here, you can find a wide variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options that cater to all tastes and preferences.

One of the main draws of the Old Market District is its local artist scene. The area is home to many art galleries and studios, showcasing the talent of both established and emerging artists. Take a leisurely stroll through the district and explore the different galleries, where you can find unique and one-of-a-kind pieces to take home as souvenirs.

In addition to art, the Old Market District also boasts a diverse culinary scene. From fine dining establishments to casual eateries, there is something to satisfy every craving. Enjoy a farm-to-table meal at one of the many restaurants that focus on locally sourced ingredients, or sample international cuisine from various parts of the world. Don’t forget to stop by one of the local breweries or bars for a refreshing drink to complement your meal.

Aside from shopping and dining, the Old Market District also offers a range of entertainment options. Catch a live performance at one of the theaters or music venues in the area, or simply enjoy the lively atmosphere and street performers as you explore. There are also several unique boutiques and specialty shops where you can find one-of-a-kind souvenirs and gifts.

Make sure to plan your visit to the Old Market District to coincide with one of the many events that take place throughout the year. From art festivals to food markets, there is always something happening in this vibrant neighborhood. Check the local calendar to see what events are happening during your stay.

Whether you’re looking for a day of shopping, dining, or cultural exploration, the Old Market District in Omaha has something for everyone. Don’t miss the chance to explore this historic and lively neighborhood during your visit.

Discover art at the Joslyn Art Museum

Located in downtown Omaha, the Joslyn Art Museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. This renowned museum is home to an impressive collection of more than 11,000 works of art from around the world.

Step inside the Joslyn Art Museum and prepare to be captivated by the diverse range of artworks on display. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to European paintings, American landscapes to contemporary sculptures, there is something for everyone to appreciate and enjoy.

One of the highlights of the Joslyn Art Museum is its collection of American Western art. The museum holds one of the largest collections of Western art in the country, featuring works by celebrated artists such as Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. Explore the Wild West through the eyes of these talented artists and gain a deeper understanding of the history and culture of the American West.

In addition to its permanent collection, the Joslyn Art Museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. These exhibitions often highlight a specific theme or artist, providing visitors with an opportunity to see unique and thought-provoking artworks up close.

After exploring the museum’s galleries, take a moment to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Joslyn Art Museum’s sculpture garden. This outdoor space is filled with stunning artworks, lush greenery, and tranquil water features, creating a perfect oasis in the heart of the city.

Whether you’re a dedicated art lover or simply looking to experience something new, a visit to the Joslyn Art Museum is sure to inspire and delight. Immerse yourself in the world of art and discover the beauty and creativity that can be found within its walls.

Enjoy a concert at the Holland Performing Arts Center

If you’re looking for a world-class concert experience, the Holland Performing Arts Center in Omaha is the place to be. This stunning venue features state-of-the-art acoustics and a beautiful architectural design that will leave you in awe.

The Holland Performing Arts Center is home to the Omaha Symphony, which performs a diverse range of music from classical to pops. Whether you’re a fan of orchestral music, jazz, or Broadway hits, there’s a concert for everyone at this renowned venue.

With its two performance spaces, the Holland Performing Arts Center offers a variety of shows throughout the year. The largest space, the Kiewit Concert Hall, boasts over 2,000 seats and is known for its exceptional sound quality. The smaller space, the Suzanne and Walter Scott Recital Hall, provides an intimate setting for chamber music and recitals.

Attending a concert at the Holland Performing Arts Center is not just about the music, but also about the overall experience. The venue features comfortable seating with ample legroom, so you can sit back and relax as you enjoy the performance. The staff is friendly and accommodating, ensuring that your visit is enjoyable from start to finish.

Before or after the concert, be sure to explore the surrounding area. The Holland Performing Arts Center is located in downtown Omaha, which is home to a vibrant arts and culture scene. You’ll find a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops within walking distance, making it easy to make a night out of your visit to the center.

Whether you’re a music aficionado or simply looking for a memorable night out, a concert at the Holland Performing Arts Center is a must-do activity in Omaha. Book your tickets in advance to secure the best seats and get ready for an unforgettable musical experience.

Wander through Lauritzen Gardens

Located in Omaha, Lauritzen Gardens is a hidden gem that offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. This botanical garden spans over 100 acres and is filled with beautiful plants, flowers, and trees from around the world. Whether you’re a nature lover or just looking for a serene spot to relax, Lauritzen Gardens is a must-visit attraction in Omaha.

As you wander through the gardens, you’ll discover a variety of themed areas, each with its own unique charm. From the colorful Rose Garden to the tranquil Japanese Garden, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to stop by the Victorian Garden, where you can admire the classic Victorian-era plants and architecture.

One of the highlights of Lauritzen Gardens is the Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory, a glass-enclosed structure that houses tropical plants from around the world. Step inside and be transported to a lush paradise filled with towering palms, vibrant orchids, and exotic flowers. This is a great place to escape the cold Nebraska winters and experience a taste of the tropics.

In addition to its stunning gardens, Lauritzen Gardens also offers educational programs and events throughout the year. From horticulture classes to art exhibits, there’s always something happening at this vibrant community space. Check their calendar to see what’s coming up during your visit.

Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop on your way out, where you can find unique souvenirs and gifts inspired by the gardens. Whether you’re looking for a plant to take home or a piece of botanical-themed artwork, you’re sure to find something special to remember your visit.

Overall, a visit to Lauritzen Gardens is a wonderful way to spend a day in Omaha. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply looking for a serene escape, this botanical garden is sure to leave a lasting impression. Plan your visit today and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

Learn about history at the Durham Museum

If you’re a history enthusiast, a visit to the Durham Museum in Omaha is a must. Housed in the historic Union Station, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s rich past.

The Durham Museum showcases a variety of exhibits that highlight different aspects of Omaha’s history. From the early pioneer days to the bustling railroad era, visitors can learn about the city’s evolution and growth.

One of the main attractions at the museum is the restored train station itself. With its stunning architecture and grandeur, the building is a testament to Omaha’s importance as a transportation hub in the early 20th century. Visitors can explore the station and learn about its significance in shaping the city’s development.

The museum also features exhibits that focus on Omaha’s role in World War II. Visitors can learn about the city’s contributions to the war effort and the impact it had on the local community. The exhibits include artifacts, photographs, and personal accounts that bring the era to life.

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the Durham Museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibits throughout the year. These exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from art and culture to science and technology. It’s always worth checking the museum’s website to see what’s currently on display.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about Omaha’s past, the Durham Museum offers an engaging and educational experience. Plan a visit and immerse yourself in the fascinating history of this vibrant Midwestern city.

Experience the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, also known as the “Bob”, is an iconic landmark in Omaha. It spans across the Missouri River, connecting Nebraska and Iowa. This bridge is not only a means of transportation, but also a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Walking across the bridge provides breathtaking views of the river and the city skyline. The experience of being suspended above the water is truly unique and magical. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast looking for a scenic place to jog or someone who simply wants to enjoy a leisurely stroll, the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge has something for everyone.

As you explore the bridge, you’ll notice plaques that detail the history and significance of the Missouri River and Omaha’s connection to it. You’ll also find benches along the way where you can sit and take in the beauty of your surroundings.

One of the highlights of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is the “Bridge Light Display”. As the sun sets, the bridge comes alive with a vibrant and colorful light show. It’s a sight that you won’t want to miss, especially if you enjoy photography. The bridge provides the perfect backdrop for stunning sunset photos.

For those seeking a bit of adventure, the bridge also offers bungee jumping opportunities. Imagine the adrenaline rush as you jump off the highest point of the bridge and experience the thrill of freefalling. It’s an activity that attracts thrill-seekers from all over.

Whether you visit during the day or night, the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is an experience you won’t forget. Take a moment to pause, breathe in the fresh air, and appreciate the beauty of this architectural masterpiece. It’s a place where you can create lasting memories and truly connect with the heart of Omaha.

So, next time you’re in Omaha, don’t miss the chance to experience the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. It’s a must-visit attraction that showcases the charm and allure of this vibrant city.

Watch a game at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha

If you’re a sports fan, a visit to TD Ameritrade Park Omaha is a must when in Omaha. This state-of-the-art baseball stadium is home to the College World Series, one of the most prestigious events in college baseball. Watching a game at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha is an exciting and memorable experience.

The stadium, which opened in 2011, features a seating capacity of over 24,000, ensuring that you’ll have a great view of the action on the field. The design of the park is modern and fan-friendly, with wide concourses, comfortable seating, and plenty of concessions options.

Whether you’re a fan of the home team or simply love the atmosphere of live sports, attending a game at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon or evening. The energy in the stadium is electric as fans cheer on their favorite teams and players.

During the College World Series, you can watch the top college baseball teams compete for the championship title. The tournament consists of a series of games, and the atmosphere is filled with excitement and anticipation. It’s a great opportunity to witness some incredible displays of skill and athleticism.

Watching a game at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha is not only about the sports, but it’s also about the overall experience. The stadium is located in the vibrant downtown area, close to other attractions and restaurants, making it easy to make a day or night out of your visit. So grab your hat and jersey, and get ready to cheer on your team at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha!

Take a stroll along the Gene Leahy Mall

One of Omaha’s most beloved green spaces, the Gene Leahy Mall offers a picturesque setting for visitors to enjoy a leisurely stroll. Located in the heart of downtown Omaha, this six-block park is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike.

The Gene Leahy Mall features beautiful landscaping, including lush trees, vibrant flowers, and well-maintained lawns. The park is also home to a lagoon where visitors can rent pedal boats during the summer months for a fun and scenic experience on the water.

In addition to its natural beauty, the Gene Leahy Mall offers a variety of amenities for visitors to enjoy. There are numerous benches and picnic tables scattered throughout the park, providing ample space to relax and soak in the surroundings. The park also features a playground, making it a great destination for families with young children.

One of the most iconic features of the Gene Leahy Mall is its 300-foot-long pedestrian bridge. Spanning across the lagoon, the bridge offers stunning views of downtown Omaha and the surrounding area. It’s a popular spot for photography enthusiasts looking to capture the city’s skyline.

Throughout the year, the Gene Leahy Mall hosts a variety of events and festivals, including concerts, art fairs, and holiday celebrations. These events add to the vibrant atmosphere of the park and provide additional entertainment options for visitors.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful place to relax, a scenic spot for a romantic stroll, or a fun destination for the whole family, the Gene Leahy Mall is a must-visit attraction in Omaha. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the beauty and charm of this urban oasis in the heart of the city.

Explore the Omaha Children’s Museum

The Omaha Children’s Museum is a must-visit attraction for families with young children. Located in downtown Omaha, this interactive museum offers a wide range of exhibits and activities to engage and educate children of all ages.

One of the highlights of the museum is the Imagination Playground, where kids can build, create, and explore using a variety of large-scale foam blocks and other materials. This hands-on area encourages creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration.

Another popular exhibit is the Super Gravitron, where children can explore the laws of motion and gravity through a series of interactive displays. They can experiment with balls, ramps, and tracks to learn about concepts like acceleration and velocity in a fun and engaging way.

The museum also features a dedicated art studio where children can unleash their creativity through painting, drawing, and other art activities. There are also regular workshops and classes where kids can learn new techniques and create their own masterpieces.

For younger visitors, the museum offers a dedicated space called the Wee Workshop, which is designed for children aged 3 and under. This area features soft play areas, sensory stations, and age-appropriate toys to stimulate and entertain young minds.

The Omaha Children’s Museum also hosts a variety of special events and temporary exhibits throughout the year, such as themed weekends, visiting performers, and educational displays. These events offer even more opportunities for families to explore and learn together.

Overall, the Omaha Children’s Museum is a fun and educational destination for families in Omaha. It offers a hands-on learning experience that will captivate children and spark their imaginations. With its interactive exhibits, art studio, and special events, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at this top-rated attraction.

Discover the Heartland of America Park

The Heartland of America Park is a beautiful green oasis located in the heart of Omaha, Nebraska. This park spans over 30 acres and offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. From picturesque walking paths to stunning water features, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this urban oasis.

One of the park’s main attractions is its large lake, which is perfect for boating and fishing. Visitors can rent paddleboats and explore the calm waters, or cast their lines and try their luck at catching a fish. The lake is also home to a captivating fountain, which shoots water high into the air and provides a delightful display for visitors to enjoy.

For those looking to relax, the Heartland of America Park offers plenty of picnic areas where visitors can enjoy a leisurely meal surrounded by nature. There are also numerous benches and sitting areas scattered throughout the park, allowing visitors to take a break and soak in the peaceful ambiance.

The park is also known for its beautiful sculptures and artwork. From the “Shelter Belt” sculpture, which pays tribute to Nebraska’s agricultural history, to the “Gevirtz Fountain,” a striking piece that captures the essence of movement, the park is a haven for art enthusiasts.

In addition to its natural beauty and artwork, the Heartland of America Park is also the perfect spot to catch a breathtaking sunset. The park offers unobstructed views of the skyline, allowing visitors to witness the vibrant colors of the setting sun painting the cityscape.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an opportunity to engage with nature and art, the Heartland of America Park is a must-visit attraction in Omaha. Its tranquil atmosphere and diverse range of activities make it a perfect destination for individuals, couples, and families alike.

Enjoy the beautiful views from the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail offers visitors the opportunity to experience the stunning natural beauty of the American Midwest. Stretching over 3,700 miles from Illinois to Oregon, this historic trail provides a window into the past and showcases the breathtaking landscapes that Lewis and Clark encountered on their famous expedition.

As you explore the trail, you’ll encounter a variety of landscapes, from grassy plains to towering mountains. The trail winds through picturesque forests, meanders along scenic rivers, and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply enjoy taking in beautiful scenery, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is a must-visit destination.

In addition to the stunning natural beauty, the trail is also home to a wealth of historical sites and landmarks. You can visit Fort Mandan, where Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1804-1805, and learn about the challenges they faced during their expedition. At the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Nebraska City, you can immerse yourself in the history of the trail and gain a deeper understanding of the explorers’ journey.

For those who prefer a more leisurely experience, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail offers a driving route that allows you to enjoy the scenery from the comfort of your car. Along the way, you’ll find scenic overlooks and interpretive signs that provide information about the surrounding landscape and its historical significance.

Location:

Illinois to Oregon

Hours:

Open 24/7

Admission:

Free

Website:

https://www.nps.gov/lecl/index.htm

With its stunning views and rich historical significance, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike. Whether you choose to hike, drive, or simply enjoy a picnic along the trail, you’re sure to be captivated by the beauty and wonder of this iconic American landmark.

FAQs

What are some of the top-rated attractions in Omaha?

Omaha offers a wide range of top-rated attractions. Some of the most popular ones include the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, the Durham Museum, the Old Market District, and the Joslyn Art Museum.

Are there any outdoor activities to do in Omaha?

Yes, there are plenty of outdoor activities to do in Omaha. You can visit the Heartland of America Park and Fountain, go hiking or biking in the Fontenelle Forest, or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.

What is the best time to visit Omaha?

The best time to visit Omaha is during the spring and fall when the weather is pleasant and mild. The city also hosts several events and festivals during these seasons, such as the Omaha Summer Arts Festival and the NCAA Men’s College World Series.

Can you recommend any family-friendly attractions in Omaha?

Absolutely! Omaha has several family-friendly attractions that are perfect for kids. The Omaha Children’s Museum, the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, and the Fun-Plex Waterpark and Rides are all great options for a fun day out with the family.

What are some unique things to do in Omaha?

If you’re looking for unique things to do in Omaha, you can check out the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, which features cutting-edge contemporary art exhibitions. You can also explore the El Museo Latino, a museum dedicated to Latino and Hispanic art and culture.

What are some top-rated attractions in Omaha?

Some top-rated attractions in Omaha include the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, the Orpheum Theater, the Durham Museum, and the Joslyn Art Museum.

What are the must-see things to do in Omaha?

There are several must-see things to do in Omaha. You should visit the Old Market district, explore the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, check out the Heartland of America Park and Fountain, and experience the Omaha Children’s Museum.

Video:

United States, 12 Top Tourist Attractions in the United States Of America, Travel Hot List,

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Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson, an Anchorage-based travel writer contributing her expertise to TravelAsker. Her in-depth knowledge of Alaska, both in her hometown and throughout the state, makes her the go-to local expert. From top-notch accommodations to delectable dining spots and thrilling activities, Sarah’s insightful recommendations ensure you’ll have a fantastic family trip in Alaska.

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