Since Omaha is a larger city with quite a few attractions just a few hours from where I live, I have been there quite often, and I really love the city. Most recently I took a trip there in October, and wanted to share my list of Omaha's Top 5 Attractions.
The Henry Doorly Zoo
The Henry Doorly Zoo is one of the largest in the world, and certainly warrants a visit while in Omaha, if it's not your main reason for going! I previously posted a photo story with more pictures from the zoo, but below are some from my two most recent trips.
It has an open-air aviary featuring many unique birds, a desert bio-dome featuring animals and plants from deserts worldwide, a big cat complex, an aquarium featuring a walk-through tunnel where you're surrounded by sharks, rays, and fish (there are also some really awesome penguins at the aquarium), really fascinating exhibits of orangutans and gorillas, and my absolute favorite, the Lied Jungle. I was obsessed with the Amazon rain forest when I was younger (and indeed, it's still very high on my list of places I need to see), and this place, with its waterfalls and multi-level walkways, was the closest I could get as a kid. And I still absolutely love taking a walk through there--it's a very unique zoo experience!
Strategic Air & Space Museum
All of the planes have posters with good descriptions of them and what they were developed for, how they were used, and information on the specific plane you're looking at--what company made it and when, etc. Definitely an interesting place to spend a few hours. The piece de resistance is definitely the SR-71A Blackbird that's right in the front entrance! This place is actually in Ashland, NE, about a half hour's drive from Omaha, but it's definitely worth the trip. Don't forget to buy some astronaut ice cream, strawberries, or bananas from the gift shop!
Joslyn Art Museum
They have works from some very famous artists--an El Greco, a Titian, two Monets, a Renoir, a Mary Cassatt, an Edgar Degas sculpture, a Rodin sculpture, a very large Dale Chihuly piece, a Pissarro, a Jackson Pollock...there was a traveling exhibit with some Andy Warhols and other contemporary art, a large display of American West art, and some Ancient Greek pottery. It is also in a completely gorgeous building that is one of the best examples of art deco style architecture, plus there is even a sculpture garden outside of it. It's free and well worth a visit!
The Old Market
This area of Omaha is lovely, and there are plenty of shops for anything you could want--a really good candy shop, a Christmas store, leather goods, antiques, art galleries, import stores, and tons of restaurants, all in charming old buildings along cobblestone sidewalks. The Old Market Passageway area and the Garden of the Zodiac. A lot of the best restaurants in Omaha are in this area, and it's very close to the Durham Museum, the Joslyn Art Museum, and the Heartland of America Park. It's definitely a charming area to check out while you're in town!
The Durham Museum
The main attraction of this museum is the really cool art deco architecture. The Durham is housed in the old Union Station of Omaha, and the main part when you walk in has been preserved and is definitely worth seeing. They have a lot of exhibits about the history of Omaha--some settler and Native American stuff, lots about the railroad (since it was so important to Omaha), a collection of coins, a display about the Trans-Mississippi Exposition of 1898. If you're from the Midwest some of these exhibits may not be too new and exciting for you, and if you don't have a lot of time in Omaha. The $9 admission you get to see some great architecture and learn more about the history of Omaha. They also have an old-fashioned soda fountain and cafe area, but the food wasn't awesome. Maybe a smoothie or malt would be a good option, and they had a lot of old-fashioned candy that you could purchase by weight.
Is a baseball park in Omaha, Nebraska. Opened in 2011, the stadium serves as a replacement for historic Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. Tickets are about $20.00 each
Heartland of America Park
Is a public park located at 800 Douglas Street in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, USA. The 31-acre park is situated between Interstate 80 and the Missouri River, and is adjacent to Gene Leahy Mall and the Old Market and connects to Lewis & Clark Landing.