Omaha has proven to be more than “that town with the zoo”. There is much do here and then some, from the bustling entertainment scene, award-winning restaurants, outdoor attractions, shops, historic neighborhoods, and more. Here are 51 things to do when visiting Omaha.
Did you really go to Omaha if you didn’t go to the zoo? This isn’t just your average zoo, the Henry Doorly Zoo is known as one of the best zoos in the world. Whether you’re riding the ski lift from one end to the other, visiting the elephants in the new safari area, or enjoying a bite to eat at the Rainforest Cafe, this zoo is a must-do attraction.
3701 S 10th Street, Omaha, NE 68107 || Website
Omaha Zoo Aquarium
After you’re finished exploring the tropical rainforest and saying hi to the polar bears, head over to the aquarium to view life from down under.
Spend an afternoon strolling up and down the cobble stone streets of Omaha’s historic neighborhood home to unique boutiques, vintage shops, sweet spots, galleries and more. End the day with drinks and a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants.
Farnam St, Harney St, Howard St, and Jackson st || Website
Courtyard Inn By Marriott
Located in downtown just a couple blocks from Old Market and minutes away from the pedestrian bridge, riverfront, museums, shops, restaurants, and basically everything you could ever want in Omaha!
101 South 10th Street Omaha, NE, 68102 || Website
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream and gelato and sorbet and everything else on eCreamery’s menu. 16 flavors are rotated and made fresh daily in the boutique parlor located in Dundee. eCreamery is such a hit that it’s earned recognition on “Shark Tank” and appeared in The New York Times, “Oprah”, Martha Stewart Living, and more.
5001 Underwood Ave, Omaha, NE 68132 || Website
Hollywood Candy and Fairmont Antiques and Mercantile
This is probably the coolest store/museum/trip down memory lane you will ever experience. Name a candy and they probably have it. Yes, even retro candies from back in the good ol’ days. They also have an authentic soda fountain in the Hollywood Diner. Store owner, Larry Richling and his wife, combine their love of cinema, antiques, and candy in this little piece of heaven.
1209 Jackson St Omaha, NE 68102 || Website
Tannenbaum Christmas Shop
You’re in for Christmas decorations galore at this shop located in the historic Old Market. It’s always Christmas time here, no matter the season. Tannenbaum carries thousands of ornaments, decorations, and collectibles like Department 56 Villages & Snowbabies, Christopher Radko, Steinbach nutcrackers and more.
1007 Howard St Omaha, NE 68102 || Website
No trip to Omaha is complete without a good ol’ steak. Get your steak fix at this landmark chophouse where they specialize in steaks marinated in whiskey. Once your steak is ordered, it soaks for 15 minutes in the whiskey marinade. The Drover has been mastering this combo for over 40 years and has been awarded best steakhouse in Omaha.
2121 South 73rd Street, Omaha, NE 68124 || Website
Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge
Get those steps in on this 3000-foot long pedestrian bridge crossing over the Missouri River. Halfway across the bridge, you will find yourself in Iowa while still reaping the benefits of the beautiful Omaha skyline. Yep, that’s right. The bridge is located in both Nebraska and Iowa. The bridge is also connected to more than 150 miles of nature trails!
705 Riverfront Dr Omaha, NE 68102 || Website
Heartland of America Park
This outdoor park is the perfect place to wind down after a day of sightseeing or for a stroll on the trails. Relax and enjoy the captivating Heartland of America Fountain with its 320-ft water jet and light show or take a gondola ride with Heartland Gondola. The park is located across the street from Old Market and close to the pedestrian bridge.
800 Douglas St Omaha, NE 68102 || Website
Looking for some authentic French cuisine in the land of steak and corn (and the Cornhuskers, while we’re at it)? This unexpected gem located in Old Market offers French comfort food made from local ingredients, Sunday Brunch, fine wine, and a raw bar serving oysters & seafood from the east and west coast. Expect dishes like steak tartar, Braised rabbit, Cassoulet, Croque Madame, Quiche, and other French favorites.
1017 Howard St, Omaha, NE 68102 || Website
Escape the city life at the Botanical gardens and Arboretum for a beautiful scenery and peaceful atmosphere. Lauritzen features several different gardens from rose gardens, herb garden, children’s garden, to a bird sanctuary, Japanese garden and more. New gardens are added each year. There’s even a model railroad garden!
100 Bancroft St, Omaha, NE 68108 || Website
Modern Love serves vegan comfort food in a trendy yet homey environment. Isa Chandra Moskowitz, renowned vegan chef and author, puts a twist on homestyle cooking with creative dishes like Wild Mushroom Schnitzel, Mac & Shews, Seitan Gyros, and Spicy Gnocchi Marinara.
This award-winning downtown sandwich shop is not your average sandwich shop. Block 16 serves garden-to-table street food from locally sourced and preservative-free ingredients. Paul and Jessica, owners and chefs of Block 16, even get ingredients from their family farm. They take your street food favorites like burgers, gyros, burritos, and fries and turn them into a fresh and flavorful masterpieces.
1611 Farnam St, Omaha, NE 68106 || Website
This one of a kind museum located in downtown in inside Omaha’s former Union Station. Here you will experience the history of Omaha as well as different exhibits ranging from history and culture to science, industry and more.
801 S 10th St, Omaha, NE 68108 || Website
Explore this historic neighborhood full of foodie-approved restaurants and quaint boutiques. The area is known as the Happy Hollow Historic District so happiness is pretty much guaranteed on these streets. Get a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants serving dishes from locally sourced ingredients or stop by Dundee Dell’s where you will find the nations largest collection of Scotch whiskey.
Happy Hollow District, Omaha, NE || Website
History buffs will love this outdoor Navel museum and park located on the bank of the Missouri River. Freedom Park is home to a collection of helicopters, jets, rocket launchers and more. Also on display is the USS Marlin SST-2 Submarine, the only one of its kind in the United States today. Admission is free and tours are available on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. from April through November.
2497 Freedom Park Rd, Omaha, NE 68110 || Website
Hotel RL, nestled in the heart of the city, is not your average hotel. The hotel features an indoor water park, Victoria Coffee Roasters, the Living Stage, and more. The Living Stage is a place where Authors, artists, musicians, community leaders, and local start-ups come to celebrate art and culture.
3321 S 72nd St. Omaha, NE 68124 || Website
Founded by Father Flanagan in 1917, Boys Town has given at risk youth a safe place to get on track for nearly a century. Anyone can visit though and there is a lot to see. Start with the award-winning Hall of History, it lays out Boys Town unique history in permanent exhibits.
13628 Flanagan Blvd 137th & W Dodge Rd Boystown, NE 68010 || Website
Gene Leahy Pedestrian Mall
Located in the heart of downtown Omaha, this 10-acre park has something for everyone from walking paths, a sculpture garden, art pieces, to waterfalls, amphitheater and play spaces kids will love. It’s a great place for a picnic and to enjoy the great outdoors!
1302 Farnam on the Mall Omaha, NE 68102 || Website
Cancer Survivor Park
This inspirational park was designed to give those fighting cancer a dose of hope and courage and those not fighting an understanding of the battle. The park features a sculpture called the “Cancer…There’s Hope”. The sculpture represents the psychological journey of cancer patients and their supporters. The life-size sculptures represent cancer treatment and lead to a tower of light.
105th and Pacific Sts Omaha, NE 68114 || Website
Joslyn Art Museum
This fine arts museum features galleries, sculpture garden, concert hall, fountain court, education technology gallery, lecture hall, classrooms, and a cafe. Check out the museum this fall to see drawings by artists like Tiepolo, Van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol, and many more. Admission is free!
2200 Dodge St, Omaha, NE 68102 || Website
The Mai Thai Lounge
The Mai Thai Lounge, located inside Mt. Fiji Inn, is a favorite for many locals in Omaha. This dive bar has been around for many decades and features rustic decor, island drinks, and a friendly atmosphere. Try one of their Polynesian cocktails for an authentic island style drink!
7215 Blondo St, Omaha, NE 68134 || Website
This tavern has been voted as one of the Top 100 Craft Beer Bars 7 years in a row. Crescent Moon is known for their great food, atmosphere, and their large selection of beer from all around the world.
3578 Farnam St, Omaha, NE 68131 || Website
Malara’s Italian Restaurant
Craving Italian food? Check out this family-owned bistro near downtown for homemade, authentic Italian cuisine like spaghetti & meatballs, lasagna, ravioli, and pizza. Locals come back time after time for the quality dishes and the friendly, homey atmosphere.
2123 Pierce St, Omaha, NE 68108|| Website
Hotel Deco XV
Feel like royalty at this luxurious, boutique, and pet-friendly hotel located in downtown Omaha. Hotel Deco XV, a landmark treasure, is the perfect location with shopping, sightseeing, restaurants, and bars within walking distance. Expect chic, sleek, and comfortable suites. Hotel Deco aims to make you feel special so take advantage of all their amenities.
1504 Harney St, Omaha, NE 68102 || Website
The Orpheum Theatre
Witness the finest in performing arts at this beautiful, landmark venue located in Downtown. The theater hosts touring Broadway shows along with local and national productions. Check out here for upcoming shows!
409 S 16th St, Omaha, NE 68102 || Website
This historic neighborhood in Omaha is home to many hotspot restaurants and dive bars. The entertainment district is small and walkable, making it the perfect bar-hopping destination. Benson is especially bustling on Friday nights with locals and students.
Maple Street, between 59th-66th || Website
A night out in the Benson District means stopping by at the Benson Brewery is a must. Once upon a time, this popular hangout was a theater. Today, this historic-yet-modern brewery specializes in artisan food and hand-crafted beer.
6059 Maple St Omaha, NE 68104 || Website
Jazz on the Green
Jazz fans– grab some chairs, blankets, food, and your favorite beverage and head to Turner Park for a jazz-filled evening. This event runs Thursdays at 7 pm from July through August. Did we mention this event is free?
31st Avenue and Farnam st. || Website
Escape the urban noise at this 225-acre lake and park. The lake is perfect for boating, fishing, kayaking, and windsurfing. The park offers something for everyone with a playground, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, a football field, hiking and bicycling trails.
156th and F St Omaha, NE 68135 || Website
Seymour Smith Park
This park features an 18 hole disc golf course along with ballfields, soccer fields, skate park, tennis courts, and trails.
2802 Harrison St. || Website
The Surfside Club
This restaurant located along the Missouri River specializes in catfish, chicken, and fritters. Locals come for the family-fun atmosphere and stay for the famous eats and live music. The restaurant has a large outdoor patio for seating along with an indoor and outdoor bar.
14445 N River Dr, Omaha, NE 68112 || Website
The Homy Inn
This dive bar is a local favorite for the homey atmosphere and champagne on tap. The walls of this hangout are lined with baseball cards, Beatles memorabilia, and vintage newspapers. It’s pretty much a little slice of nostalgia heaven.
1510 N Saddle Creek Rd, Omaha, NE 68104 || Website
The Waiting Room Lounge
This venue located in the Benson District is the place to go for live music from local and touring bands along with craft beer and cocktails. The bar regularly rotates their impressive beer collection and not to mention, the prices are affordable for even college students. The Waiting Room Lounge hosts a variety of genres from Wiz Khalifa, Imagine Dragons, to Sara Bareilles, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and many more.
6212 Maple St, Omaha, NE 68104 || Website
Omaha Patio Ride
This giant party bike takes you on a two-hour pub crawl throughout Old Market. The bike holds up to 16 people so it’s perfect for bachelorette/bachelor parties, birthday parties or just anyone looking to have some fun. Every rider is given a wristband for drink specials at all the bar stops. Bonus: drinking and riding is now allowed so go ahead and bring your favorite beverage on board!
The Stadium Club, 414 South 10th St. || Website
General Crook House
History lovers, this one’s for you. Visit the house museum of the Civil War Hero General Crook for a look at what life was like back in the 1880’s. The home also has an heirloom garden with more than 110 varieties of flowers and plants.
5730 N 30th St, Omaha, NE 68111 || Website
Jewish Community Art Gallery
Admire art and learn about Judaism at the same time at this gallery home to some of the world’s premier art from the Jewish community. Expect historic and enlightening exhibits from local, national, and international artists. Admission is free!
333 South 132nd Street Omaha, NE 68154 || Website
Lewis and Clark Landing
This park located along the riverfront is the perfect place to stroll, people watch or relax after a day of sight-seeing. The Landing hosts many concerts, events, and festivals. It is also home to Lewis and Clark exhibits and monuments like the Omaha Firefighter’s Memorial Monument and the second largest labor monument in the United States. Not to mention, the views here are pretty great.
515 N Riverfront Dr Omaha, NE 68102 || Website
Lion’s Mane Vintage
This shop located in the heart of Benson is a vintage lovers dream. Stop by to sell your vintage items or shop eclectic clothing, accessories, and decor pieces. Every item here is carefully selected based on style, condition, and uniqueness. You are sure to walk out of here with a one-of-a-kind item that everyone will be asking “where can I get that?”.
6107 Maple St, Omaha, NE 68104 || Website
Benson Soap Mill
This shop is dedicated to creating homemade beauty products out of local and sustainable resources. Get this– they not only use natural sources to create their soap, they also use discarded products from local restaurants, coffee shops, and farms. They sell bars of soap, foaming hand soap, and bath bombs. Learn more about how they create their soap here.
6120 Military Ave, Omaha, NE 68104 || Website
To say this cafe is one-of-a-kind is an understatement. The Kitchen Table serves sandwiches, salads, and snacks from scratch from fresh and local ingredients. Their menu is constantly changing because they work with local farmers to get the best produce in season and the bread from the sandwiches are made in-house. Does it get any more real than that? They also offer vegetarian options and have beer and wine on tap.
1415 Farnam St, Omaha, NE 68102 || Website
Sullivan’s Steakhouse of Omaha
This award-winning steakhouse is known for their hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, and original cocktails. Expect a relaxing atmosphere, friendly staff, and live music while eating a delicious meal you won’t forget about.
222 South 15th Street Omaha, NE 68102 || Website
Omaha Children’s Museum
This museum located in Old Market is dedicated to fun educational activities and interactive exhibits for children. The museum has a Creative Arts Center that allows kids to “make-and-take” art projects. They also have an Imagination Playground with a farm, a firehouse and a market along with a Science & Technology Center, Zooland, Splash Garden, and more.
500 S 20th St, Omaha, NE 68102 || Website
Coffee is a way of life here at Aromas and baking is their “love language.” Expect high-quality expressos, a cozy environment, live entertainment, and mouth-watering baked goods. All of their products are made on-site, from scratch.
1033 Jones St, Omaha, NE 68102 ||Website
El Museo Latino
This museum features Latino and Hispanic exhibits and events about art and history. In fact, it is the first Latino Art & History Museum and Cultural Center in the Midwest. The museum offers a variety of programs and classes for art, film, history, dance, and many more. Visit the museum during May to celebrate Cinco de Mayo or in September for Spanish Heritage Month!
4701 S 25th St, Omaha, NE 68107 || Website
Orsi’s Italian Bakery & Pizzeria
This pizzeria, bakery and grocery store has been serving Omaha since 1919. Their passion is bringing authentic Italian food to their customers. Orsi’s serves a wide variety of options including fresh baked goods, pizza, bread, and all your favorite Italian items in the grocery section. In the grocery shop you will find imported oils, vinegar, and authentic cheeses, meats, and more.
621 Pacific St, Omaha, NE 68108 || Website
In need of some fresh air? This 217-acre park located in the Benson neighborhood is a fun-filled outdoor oasis for all ages. The park has an ice rink, a lake, pavilion, as well as a scenic area perfect for picnics.
7028 Military Ave, Omaha, NE 68104 || Website
Craving brunch but on a time crunch? Over Easy has you covered. This breakfast and brunch hotspot serves seasonal, local bites in-house and with a drive-thru. They are known for their fresh and creative food and their welcoming atmosphere. Pancake Dippers, Quiche, Chicken & Waffles, and Avacado Toast are just a few of the meals you will find on the menu.
16859 Q St, Omaha, NE 68135 || Website
There are no limits here at City Limits and that’s why it made our list. This shop located in Old Market sells gifts to match every personality. Expect unique, eclectic, and thoughtful items.
1114 Howard St Old Market Omaha, NE 68102 || Website
Old Market Candy Shop
No trip to Omaha is complete without a dose of sugar from Old Market Candy Shop. The shop specializes in handmade fudge and chocolate. They also serve truffles, licorice, salt-water taffy, and just about anything chocolate covered. No complaints here.
1005 Howard St Omaha, NE 68105 || Website
We hope you loved learning the scoop on Omaha, Nebraska!
Make sure to check out the rest of our “51 Scoops” series!