Omaha: 7 Experiences That Set the Record Straight

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The biggest misconception of Omaha, Nebraska, is that it is that it is a rural destination filled with cornfields and cows.

Cathy Keller, VP of sales and services for Visit Omaha, wants to set the record straight. “Omaha is actually a thriving metropolitan area with more than a million residents, cultural offerings comparable to a city twice its size and a food scene that rivals much larger cities.”

Here are a few more reasons to visit this thriving, culturally diverse city.

Find the City’s Pulse

The majority of downtown Omaha hotels are within walking distance to the Omaha’s historic Old Market District, which is seeing an influx of new restaurants, shops and galleries along its cobblestone streets. Street musicians and artists are built-in entertainment in this historic area, which is also festooned with pubs, quaint cafes and jazz clubs.

Drink & Ride

Groups can climb aboard Ollie the Trolley the first Friday of every month for a hop-on, hop-off art walk, or hop on barstools for drinks and a spin around the area on the Omaha Patio Ride.

Visit 12 Countries in a Day

It’s possible to authentically experience 12 countries—a Hindu Temple, Lithuanian bakery, a Greek dinner and dance, and El Museo Latino, first Latino art and history museum in the Midwest included—and culinary tours of the Dundee neighborhood may include ice cream at eCreamery and sips of Dundee Dell’s 700-bottle scotch collection.

Sail or Skim Across Sparkling Lakes

Groups can also experience paddleboarding tours across Standing Bear and Prairie Queen lakes and across Lake Zorinsky during downtime and the 31-acre Heartland of America Park offers gondola rides, outdoor concerts and one of the nation’s largest shooting fountains.

Glean Inspiration from 1940s Storefronts

Nearby, the Durham Museum at the city’s art deco Union Station has a range of permanent exhibits that groups can explore, whether restored train cars, 1940s store fronts or some of the world’s rarest coins. Attendees can top all of this off with a phosphate or malt at an authentic soda fountain.

Degas, Monet, Pollack…Oh My

At the Josyln Art Museum, groups can clean inspiration from the works of Degas, Monet and Pollack before trying their hands at painting, glassblowing, bead, chainmail and print making workshops at the Hot Shops Art Center, housed in a converted warehouse.

Explore the New Capital District

Within walking distance to the most of this is the first full-service hotel to open in the past decade. The 333-room Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capital District is the centerpiece of the new $200 million dining and entertainment mecca, The Capital District, which connects the Old Market to the events district and the Riverfront to the downtown business district. The hotel has 17,000 sf of meeting space and is also just across the street from the CenturyLink Center Omaha and its 346,000-sf convention center and 18,300-seat arena. Groups also tend to stay at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Omaha Downtown Old Market and the Residence Inn Omaha Downtown/Old Market Area.

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