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Introduction

Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska, United States, and is the county seat of Douglas County. The city has about 400,000 inhabitants, but the total metropolitan area is over twice as big. Omaha has some unusual traits, as it has the highest number of millionaires per capita in the nation, and is also home to billionaire Warren Buffett, one of the world's richest and most famous investors. Conversely, it also has one of the highest rates of African Americans living under the poverty line. It is still quite racially divided, with the affluent west side and Midtown being predominantly white, the south side Latino, and the northeast side African American.

Residents are universally friendly and polite, and Omaha has a well-deserved reputation for hospitality.

The Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official resource for events, attractions, hotels, restaurants, transportation, meetings and conventions and the film office. The Omaha Visitor Center is located in Downtown Omaha near the Old Market, at the southwest corner of 10th and Farnam Streets. The address is 1001 Farnam Street. Phone: +1 402-444-7762. Find information on all events, attractions, etc. and pick up a copy of the Omaha Visitors Guide.

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Sights and Activities

Museums

Omaha has quite a few museums and art galleries.

  • Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St, ☎ +1 402-342-3300. Tu-W F-Su 10AM-4PM; Th 10AM-8PM. Has works by El Greco, Degas, Monet and Renoir and an extensive ancient Greek pottery display. The Joslyn also has a glass sclupture by the famed Dale Chihuly hanging in the atrium. free.
  • Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, 724 South 12th St, ☎ +1 402 341-7130, e-mail: info@bemiscenter.org. Tu-Sa 11AM-5PM. A nationally recognized artist-in-residence program and art gallery that consists of three galleries in a warehouse-style studio. Tours are available by reservation and parking is free. free.

Various other Old Market and Benson galleries. Omaha has a "First Friday" gallery crawl through both neighborhoods every first Friday of each month.

  • Omaha Children's Museum, 500 S 20th St, ☎ +1 402 342-6164, e-mail: info@ocm.org. Tu-F 10AM-4PM, Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM, longer hours in summer. Which has an art center, science center, and a mock grocery store. $9/adult, $8/senior, $9/adult.
  • Durham Western Heritage Museum, 801 S 10th St, ☎ +1 402-444-5071. Summer: Su 1PM-5PM; M W-Sa 10AM-5PM; Tu 10AM-8PM. A renovated art deco-style train station, it is believed to be the best example of art deco in the country with exhibits such as the Byron Reed Coin and Document Collection, The Trans-Mississippi Exposition Gallery, restored train cars, a teepee, an earth lodge, and more. Adults $9, seniors $7, children $6.
  • El Museo Latino, 4701 S 25th St, ☎ +1 402 731-1137, e-mail: info@elmuseolatino.org. M WF 10AM-5PM, Tu Th 1PM-5PM, Sa 10AM-2PM. A Latino art, history, and cultural museum. It is the first in the Midwest and one of 11 Latino museums in America. $5/adult, $4/student, $3.50/concession, military free.
  • Love's Jazz and Art Center, 2510 N 24th St, ☎ +1 402 502-5291. Tu-F 11AM-5PM, Sa 11AM-3PM. Dedicated to the history of jazz, North Omaha, and Preston Love. $10/adult, $7/concession, children free.
  • Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S 10th St, ☎ +1 402 733-8401. 10AM-4PM longer hours in summer. Zoo with the largest desert exhibit, the Desert Dome, with several desert habitats, popup domes in the gorilla habitat, and the world's largest nocturnal exhibit. $13.50/adult, $12.50/concession, $9/child.
  • Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Headquarters, 601 Riverfront Dr, ☎ +1 402 661-1804. Summer M-F 8AM-5PM, Sa Su 9AM-5PM; Winter M-F 8AM-4:30PM. The National Park Service regional headquarters contains a small free visitor center about Lewis & Clark on its first floor. free.

Landmarks

Omaha has many unique landmarks.

  • Malcolm X Birthsite, North Omaha. His home no longer exists, but a marker stands on his former address.
  • Joslyn Castle (George and Sarah Joslyn Home), 3902 Davenport St, ☎ +1 402 595-2199, e-mail: info@joslyncastle.com. It is the Scottish-Baronial style home of two of Omaha's most respected citizens and boasts four stories and 35 rooms. Tours are available to the public. $6/adult, $5/concession.
  • Mormon Trail Center, 3215 State St, ☎ +1 402-453-9372, e-mail: HSWinter@ldschurch.org. Daily 9AM-9PM. It has various monuments, including part of the route the Mormons took. The site known as the Winter Quarters marks the pioneers' winter camp of 1846, and 359 Mormons are buried in a nearby cemetery. Free.
  • Gerald R. Ford Birthsite and Gardens, 3212 Woolworth Ave (near Hamscom Park and I-480), ☎ +1 402-444-5955. It pays homage to the late U.S. president. Twice destroyed by fire, the gardens stand where his house was.
  • Boys Town. Has a small museum and you can drive through it for free.

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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Weather

Omaha, due to its latitude and location far from moderating bodies of water or mountain ranges, displays a humid continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. July averages 24.8 °C, with moderate, but sometimes high humidity and relatively frequent thunderstorms, usually rather violent and capable of spawning severe weather or tornadoes; the January mean is -4.8 °C. The lowest temperature recorded in the city was -36 °C on January 5, 1884, and the highest 46 °C on July 25, 1936. Average yearly precipitation is 780 mm, falling mostly in the warmer months. What precipitation does fall in winter usually takes the form of snow, with average yearly snowfall being around 67 cm.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max-0.4 °C2.8 °C9.7 °C17.7 °C23.3 °C28.7 °C31.1 °C29.6 °C24.7 °C18.7 °C9.6 °C1.4 °C
Avg Min-11.7 °C-8.5 °C-2.4 °C4.4 °C10.5 °C15.8 °C18.8 °C17.2 °C12 °C5.1 °C-1.8 °C-9.1 °C
Rainfall18.8 mm19.6 mm51.8 mm67.6 mm114.8 mm98.3 mm89.2 mm82.3 mm94.5 mm57.9 mm37.8 mm25.9 mm
Rain Days3.83.96.57.89.47.87.47.27.55.14.44.6

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Getting There

By Plane

Eppley Airfield (OMA) near Omaha is Nebraska's largest airport. It offers flights to/from Dallas, Chicago, Minneapolis, Memphis, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Detroit, Cincinnati, Orlando, Washington, D.C., Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, St. Louis, Houston, Newark and Charlotte.

By Train

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

By Bus

The Intercity/Interline Bus Station for Burlington Trailways, Express Arrow, Greyhound and Jefferson Lines is south of downtown at 1601 S Jackson St. (Some of these companies also have (additional) stops in other parts of the city.) From here buses typically go west towards Denver on I-80/76; and east towards Chicago along I-80/88. There are other bus services going north & south between Sioux City, SD and Kansas City, MO as well.

  • Burlington Trailways (Jackson & S 16th St), toll-free: +1-800-992-4680. Travels along I-76 and 80 between Denver and Omaha via Ogalalla, North Platte, Lexington, Kearney, Grand Island and Lincoln in Nebraska. Another route along I-80 from Chicago, across Iowa via Davanport, Iowa City and Des Moines; to Omaha.
  • Express Arrow (Black Hills Stage Lines) (Jackson & S 16th St), ☎ +1 402 341-1906, toll-free: +1-877-779-2999. Travels along I-76 and 80 between Denver and Omaha via Ogalalla, North Platte, Lexington, Kearney, Grand Island and Lincoln in Nebraska on one route. There's another route along US-Hwy 81 & 30 from Norfolk via Madison, Humphrey, Columbus, North Bend & Fremont to Omaha. They also have additional (local) stops at Omaha Eppley (Airport) and at Sappo Brothers at 4620 N Broad in Fremont for the route going out towards Norfolk.
  • Greyhound Lines, ☎ +1 402 341-1906, toll-free: +1-800-231-2222. Serves Omaha from Des Moines and Chicago along Interstate 80 and 88. They have additional (local) curbside stops at N 14th & Capitol in downtown (1398 Capitol Ave), and at 1100-1198 N 'C' St in Fremont. (updated Jul 2015 | edit)
  • Jefferson Lines (Jackson & S 16th St), ☎ +1 402 341-1906, toll-free: +1-800-451-5333. Travels primarily on Interstate 29 between Kansas City, Omaha, Sioux City and Sioux Falls. A variation of the route detours from St Joseph, MO up to Maryvile, MO and Clarinda, IA along US Hwy 71 and over towarads I-29 via Shenandoah, IA along SR-2.

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Getting Around

By Car

By far the easiest and most convenient way of getting around. The city is a grid and easily navigable, numbered streets run north-south and increase in number as you go west. Parking is plentiful and often free outside of downtown, and traffic jams are rare.

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

The Omaha Metro has regular bus services serving around Omaha. Fares are $1.25-1.50 for adults, $1 for students, and $.60 for seniors.

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Eat

It's said that Omaha has more restaurants per capita than almost anywhere else in the world. Omaha and much of Nebraska are known for high quality corn-fed beef. All restaurants in Omaha are smoke-free indoors. Smoking on outdoor patios is legal, but rather uncommon. Below are a selection of locations to eat in Omaha.

  • Agave, 5013 Underwood Ave. At the former location of Trovato's. Excellent Mexican and Central American cuisine. Their signature dish, pork carnitas, has already received accolades from the Omaha dining press. Extremely potent margaritas! Open till midnight.
  • Ahmad's Persian Cuisine, 1006 Howard St. Great, authentic Persian food. All meals are prepared by the restaurant's owner, Ahmad, an Iranian immigrant. Located in the Old Market.
  • Charlie's on the Lake, 4150 S 144th St. A lively atmosphere with some of Omaha's finest martinis, including the Pelini Martini named after Huskers coaching legend, Bo Pelini. Lush patio environment features breathtaking lakeside view and easy access to live duck sanctuary where restaurant owner Yves Menard gavages the stock. During summer months, patrons can select a duck and enjoy some of the finest foie gras and wine pairings in the Midwest.
  • Cheeseburger in Paradise, 17304 Davenport Street Suite 100. The Jimmy Buffet chain with some great food and a laid back, island atmosphere. Although known for their hamburgers, the Island salad and the Chocolate Nachos are what you are after here. If that's not your flavor, then anything with "Island" or "Caribbean" in the menu name is a hit.
  • Hiro Sushi, 3655 129th St. Great Japanese restaurant that serves some of Omaha's freshest sushi and sashimi.

Jaipur, 10922 Elm St (in Rockbrook Village). The city's best East Indian food. Also a unique brewery, try the jalapeno beer.

  • Piccolo Pete's, 2202 S 20th St. Family owned for over 70 years, Piccolo's has been serving Omaha since 1933. Menu items include steaks, fish & chicken dishes, and also a few Italian specialties. Like Gorat's, it is one of Warren Buffett's favorite places to eat. Friendly service and an excellent family atmosphere. edit
  • Blue Sushi Sake Grill, 14450 Eagle Run Dr., Ste. 210 (Flagship of multiple locations in Omaha), ☎ +1 402 445 2583. Modern sushi with an energetic vibe, offers an extensive menu of raw, non raw, and vegan sushi, all paired with a collection of premium Sake.
  • Over Easy, 16859 Q Street, ☎ +1 402 934 2929. 7AM-2PM. Chic breakfast spot located uptown with a fresh take on traditional breakfast foods, featuring a drive through.

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Drink

All restaurants, bars, and coffee shops in Omaha are smoke-free indoors. Smoking on outdoor patios is legal, though rather uncommon. All bars in Omaha must close by 2:00am.

  • The Crescent Moon, 3578 Farnam St. Large pub and German bier-hall. Hundreds of micros and import beers on tap, and a great selection of German beer. Sometimes a polka band in the bier hall or karaoke on Saturday nights. Check out the beer boutique next door for bottles and cans to take home.
  • Dundee Dell (The Dell), 5007 Underwood Ave. (near 50th and Underwood, which is six blocks north of Dodge St.), ☎ +1 402-553-9501, fax: +1 402-553-4010, e-mail: dundeedell@dundeedell.com. $2.75 to $5.75 draft pints. $7 to $12 for pitchers. $2.25 to $25 bottles (huge selection, certainly one of the largest, if not the largest, in Omaha.) Very large scotch selection. Also has full restaurant. See website for full food and drink menu.
  • Homy Inn, 1510 N Saddle Creek Rd. A fun bar with champagne on tap.
  • Lemon Drop, 5423 S 36th St. Offers pool tables and live music.
  • The Max, 1417 Jackson St. Ostensibly the region's largest dance club and gay bar. Two dance floors (electronica on one, hip-hop on the other), three bars, and a huge courtyard. On the weekends it's mostly straight people and expect a $5 cover.
  • Rehab, 2615 south 120th St, ☎ +1 402-951-9393, e-mail: contact@rehabomaha.com. 9PM - 2AM. Touted by management as "the safest, cleanest, and most enjoyable dance venue this side of Omaha." Ladies free every day.
  • The Side Door, 3530 Leavenworth St. Eclectic bar with unique, quality cocktails. Be prepared to wait a few minutes while the bartenders mix them. Free live music W-Sa. Diverse and agreeable crowd. Before 9PM, order take-out from Mother India just a block west.
  • Upstream Brewery, 514 S 11th St. In the Old Market. Has pool tables and on Wednesday nights $7 pizzas and $2 microbrews are served. Also has a full menu and great food at a reasonable price. Try the sample platter of microbrews and get your favorite in a growler to go.
  • Starsky's Lounge, 4020 S 13th St. Across from Rosenblatt Stadium. Great bar to hang out at after catching a game at the College World Series or a Royals game.

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Sleep

  • Best Western PLUS Kelly Inn, 4706 South 108th St, ☎ +1 402-339-7400, fax: +1 402-339-5155. Beautifully remodeled award-winning hotel with spacious sleeping rooms that include free high-speed internet, microwaves, refrigerators, 37' flat screen TV, free local calls, iron/ironing boards, hairdryers, indoor water playland, exercise room, meeting space and Perkins Restaurant. Pets are welcome.
  • Best Western Settle Inn, 650 North 109th Ct, ☎ +1 402-431-1246, fax: +1 402-431-1398.
  • Crowne Plaza Hotel, 655 North 108th Ave, ☎ +1 402-496-0850.
  • Doubletree Hotel & Executive Meeting Center Omaha - Downtown, 1616 Dodge St, ☎ +1 402-346-7600, fax: +1 402-346-5722.
  • Element Omaha Midtown Crossing, 3253 Dodge St, ☎ +1 402-614-8080.
  • Embassy Suites Omaha - Old Market, 555 South 10th St, ☎ +1 402-346-9000.
  • Hawthorne Suites, ☎ +1 402-331-0101, fax: +1 402-331-2782. 11025 M Street.
  • Magnolia Hotel Omaha, 1615 Howard St, ☎ +1 402-341-2500. This downtown hotel offers stylish rooms & suites near many major corporate headquarters and offices. The hotel also features meeting & event facilities and extended stay accommodations.
  • Motel 6, 10708 M St, ☎ +1 402-331-3161, fax: +1 402-597-0777.
  • Omaha Marriott, 10220 Regency Ci, ☎ +1 402-399-9000, fax: +1 402-399-0223.
  • Residence Inn Omaha, 6990 Dodge St, ☎ +1 402-553-8898, fax: +1 402-553-8898.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Omaha Downtown/Old Market Area, 1005 Dodge St, ☎ +1 402-341-4400. Great location in downtown Omaha within walking distance to the Old Market Area with great shopping and dining. Grab breakfast at the Great American Grill and dinner at Spencer's. Guests can enjoy free hi-speed Internet access, business center, meeting/banquet facilities, indoor pool & whirlpool, fitness center and an Unconditional 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Omaha Downtown, 1212 Cuming St, ☎ +1 402-345-5500. Great location in downtown Omaha within walking distance to Qwest Center and the airport with free shuttle service. Enjoy an On The House Hot breakfast, free hi-speed Internet, business center, indoor pool & whirlpool, fitness center and 100% Hampton Guarantee.
  • Comfort Inn at the Zoo, 2920 S. 13th Ct (take the 13th Street exit (#454), then right on 13th Street, left on 13th Court to hotel), ☎ +1-402-342-8000. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Nice hotel with a decent free hot breakfast. Courtyard rooms give nice access to a space to enjoy some fresh air and picnic tables. Ground-level rooms on east side of hotel feature common windows with the zoo's Hubbard Gorilla Valley exhibit, for close encounters with nature!
  • Hilton Omaha, 1001 Cass St, ☎ +1 402-998-3400. Closest Hilton to TD Ameritrade Park, offers a full service spa, fitness center, indoor pool, and 4 dining options.
  • Omaha Marriott, 10220 Regency Circle, ☎ +1-402-399-9000. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Close to CenturyLink Center and TD Ameritrade Park. Free local shuttle service within a five-mile radius and complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel.

View our map of accommodation in Omaha or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

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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.

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Accommodation in Omaha

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Omaha searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Omaha and areas nearby.

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This is version 10. Last edited at 8:41 on Dec 17, 18 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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