edit

Introduction

Lincoln is the capital of the state of Nebraska. Lincoln was founded in 1859 as the village of Lancaster. Renamed and made Nebraska's state capital in 1867, it's second-largest city in the state. As such, it's the state's center of government and higher education and is a regional transportation center. Even with a population of 240,000, it retains a friendly, "small town" feel.

There are several threads running through Lincoln's cultural composition. The university and state government have attracted many rural Nebraskans to the city over the years, reinforcing its small town feel. Its position as a college town also helps shape the city's political culture, which is somewhat more liberal than most of the rest of the state. Once a very ethnically homogeneous city, it has become more diverse over the past 30 years, welcoming immigrants and refugees from various parts of the globe.

There is a long-standing friendly rivalry with Omaha, 57 mi (92 km) to the northeast.

Indoor work sites are smoke-free in Lincoln, so you'll be able to enjoy smoke-free restaurants and bars.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

  • Nebraska State Capitol, 1445 K St, ☎ +1 402 471-0448. The state legislature of Nebraska is unique and unusual in that it is the only one that is unicameral and nonpartisan. Open to the public year-round, the building was completed in 1932 and is an excellent example of Art Deco architecture, as well as a radical departure from the traditional design of government buildings. Extensive interior art provides a symbolic representation of the history of Nebraska, its government, and its people. The observation deck on the 14th floor provides views of the entire city. Guided tours last 30 min (summer) or 55 min (for school groups). Free.
  • Fairview, 4900 Sumner St. Home of U.S. Congressman and three-time presidential candidate, William Jennings Bryan, from 1902-1922.
  • Sheldon Museum of Art, 1200 R St, ☎ +1 402 472-2461. Large permanent collection as well as traveling exhibits. Collection is primarily American modernist, but the Sheldon's exhibitions and acquisitions are of contemporary art. Rumored when it was built during 1961-1963 it was the most expensive building in the U.S. on a square-foot basis. Free, as well as lectures.
  • Sunken Gardens, 27th and Capitol Pkwy. Pride and joy of citizens since its completion in 1931. Feature a waterfall, several fish ponds and terraces of flora and fauna. Listed in the "300 Best Gardens to Visit in the U.S. and Canada" in the National Geographic Guide to Public Gardens.
  • Lincoln Children's Zoo, 1222 S 27th St (Get off 1-80 on 27th Street and go South to three blocks south of Capitol Parkway). The idea for the zoo began in 1959 with Arnott Folsom, who wanted to create a place for children to interact with nature. The zoo was opened in 1965, and today is home to over 350 animals, more than 40 of which are endangered. Nearly 200,000 people attend the Zoo each year, making it the third most attended arts and science attraction in Nebraska.
  • University of Nebraska State Museum, ☎ +1 402 472-2642.
  • International Quilt Study Center & Museum, ☎ +1 402 472-6549. The largest public collection of quilts in the world.
  • Great Plains Art Museum, 1155 Q St. (UNL'S City Campus, Hewit Place building), ☎ +1 402 472-6220.

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

Top

edit

Weather

Lincoln, located on the Great Plains far from the moderating influence of mountains or large bodies of water, possesses a highly variable four-season humid continental climate: winters are cold but relatively dry, summers are hot and occasionally humid. With little precipitation falling during winter, precipitation is concentrated in the warmer months, when thunderstorms frequently roll in, often producing tornadoes. Snow tends to fall in light amounts, though blizzards are possible. Snow cover is not very reliable due to both the dryness and the frequent thaws during winter. Monthly averages range from -5.3 °C in January to 25.4 °C in July. However, the city is subject both to episodes of bitter cold in winter and heat waves during summer, with 14 nights below -18 °C, 40 days above 32 °C, and 5 days above 38 °C. Temperature extremes have ranged from -36 °C in January 1974 to 42 °C in July 1995.

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

Lincoln Airport (LNK) has flights to/from [[Minneapolis, Chicago and Denver.

By Train

The California Zephyr, operated by Amtrak, travels between Chicago, Illinois and Emeryville (San Francisco), California, stopping in Lincoln.

By Car

The primary route into the city is I-80, with I-180 serving as a downtown connector. US Highways 6, 34, 77 and Nebraska Hwy 2 also run through Lincoln.

By Bus

Check Greyhound buses for options.

Top

edit

Getting Around

By Car

Lincoln does not have any crosstown freeways or expressways. The city is laid out in a grid pattern; a handful of diagonal streets exist. Major through streets are generally located once per mile; there are generally 14 streets to the mile. Traffic can be heavy on major streets and in downtown during rush hour and on football Saturdays.

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

StarTran service runs on weekdays and Saturdays (but only until 6:30PM). Individual fares are $1.75 (have exact change)/seniors $0.85/trips in the downtown zone or on the Star Shuttle are $0.25. Monthly passes are $45; various discounts are available. Passes can be purchased at many businesses around town (primarily grocery stores and banks).

By Bike

Lincoln's trail system extends throughout the city. A cyclist can travel across the city in an hour or less. Bike rentals at Monkeywrench Cycles, downtown (1225 P St).

Top

edit

Drink

Largely due to the university, there is much night life to be found (bars now can close at 2AM). O Street is just a few blocks away from popular student housing and is also one of the longest main streets in the U.S. with a portion covered by local drinking establishments, most in the downtown areas between 12th and 16th Sts. The local music scene is also expansive with live bands playing at many bars in the downtown area.

Top

edit

Sleep

Embassy Suites Lincoln, 1040 P St, ☎ +1 402 474-1111. Upscale accommodations to the MarketPlace district.

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

Top

Lincoln (Nebraska) Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Lincoln (Nebraska)

This is version 13. Last edited at 10:09 on Jun 14, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License