8 Fun Things to Do in Omaha

Omaha, Nebraska, is an underrated gem of the Midwest. Sure, Chicago and Milwaukee may be bigger, but Omaha and its residents have a character all their own. The Nebraska city is known for many things, including being home to five Fortune 500 companies – as well as Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world.

Omaha Nebraska skyline at sunset

But that’s not what makes the city so great. From delicious food to friendly locals, there are a variety of fun things to do in Omaha. Here are just a few:

1. Visit the Animals

Three words: Henry. Doorly. Zoo. If you love visiting zoos, this is one you definitely don’t want to miss. It’s been dubbed the “world’s best zoo,” and it’s no wonder – it has some of the biggest and most well-known exhibits of any zoo across the globe.

Just a few notable sites you don’t want to miss: the world’s largest indoor desert, the world’s largest nocturnal exhibit and indoor swamp, one of the world’s largest indoor rainforests, and the country’s largest big-cat exhibit.

2. Hit the Mall

No, not a shopping mall. One of the most popular things to do in Omaha is meander through the Gene Leahy Pedestrian Mall. Affectionately known as simply “The Mall” by locals, this area of downtown includes acres of walking paths, waterfalls, a lagoon, an outdoor amphitheater that’s always booked with cool bands and events during the summer, a playground, and giant slides that neither kids nor adults can resist.

The Mall is beautiful over the summer, but it’s just as fun to wander through during the winter when it’s full of holiday lights.

3. Be an Art Consumer

If you haven’t figured it out already, Omaha is a lot more cultured than you may have thought. Nebraska’s largest city actually has several world-renowned museums, including the Joslyn Art Museum and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. Even if you don’t love art, the interesting exhibits at these celebrated venues may just convert you into a connoisseur. Either way, you’ll have fun spending an afternoon there.

4. Sample Some Brews

Another thing Omaha is known for? Believe it or not, its breweries! Infusion Brewing Company and Brickway Brewery and Distillery both offer behind-the-scenes tours, but there are tons of other microbreweries and tap rooms to check out during your time in Omaha.

If you have a free evening, you should also check out Beercade. Located in the heart of Omaha’s Beer District (right across the street from Infusion), the bar/arcade’s selection of craft brews, arcade games, and pinball draws fun crowds every night of the week.

5. Eat Steak

Omaha may not be the first city you think of when you hear “steak house,” but it’s home to one of the biggest meat manufacturers in the world, Omaha Steaks. Because of this, there are tons of restaurants in Omaha where you can find amazing sirloins, filets, ribeyes and more.

If you prefer your beef corned, you should also make sure to find a Reuben sandwich while you’re in Omaha. The lunch staple is said to have originated in the Nebraska city, so you’ll never have a better Reuben than the one you have here.

6. Enjoy the Nightlife

While Nebraska isn’t the most-populated state in the U.S., Omaha is actually a pretty big city. That means the nightlife scene is as lively and exciting as it is in any other metropolis. If you’re into live music, head to one of the city’s many venues, including Slowdown, The Waiting Room, and Chrome.

If you’re simply looking for some laid-back bars with great drinks and fun crowds, head downtown where there are so many trendy options you’ll be able to do a little bar-hopping.

7. Make Friends with Raccoons

If you’ve ever wanted to make friends with wild animals (and who hasn’t?), now’s your chance. There’s one particular spot in Omaha that’s known for its population of friendly raccoons: The Alpine Inn. This little hole-in-the-wall eatery serves bar basics, like chicken wings and potato salad. That’s not what makes it so fun, though.

When you’re finished eating, you can toss your scraps to the nearby raccoons that are waiting to pounce on your delicious leftovers. Now that’s an experience you won’t forget.

8. See Historic Sites

Omaha has a cool and storied history, and it’s done a great job of preserving old houses and buildings that hold some significance. During your time in the city, spend an afternoon wandering around the historic Old Market neighborhood, where you’ll find shops, restaurants, galleries, and cafes lining the cobblestone streets.

Other interesting sites where you can get a glimpse into Omaha’s past include the General Crook House Museum and Durham Museum, which is located in Omaha’s former Union Station. The building’s art deco architecture and the museum’s interesting exhibits are the perfect combination for history lovers.

There are tons of fun things to do in Omaha – take your time exploring the city’s neighborhoods, and don’t forget to make some friends along the way.

 

Top Ten Metros for Green-Friendly Apartments

Top Ten Metros for Green-Friendly ApartmentsAccording to a survey of 200,000 apartment residents conducted by the National Multi Housing Council and Kingsley Associates, 71% expressed interest in green considerations for apartment living. For 23% of respondents, green practices were a basic requirement in choosing an apartment community.

Apartment Guide has assembled the top cities with apartment communities which actively support green living. According to our data, more apartments in these ten cities offer a combination of apartment options with LEED Certification, energy-efficient windows, lighting and plumbing, and drought-resistant landscaping to help use water more efficiently.

If you value an apartment living experience that embraces conservation and green living, you’re sure to find a home you’ll be proud of in one of these cities!

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Top 10 Metros for Apartment Entertaining This Holiday Season

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They’re here again!

It seems the holiday season starts just a bit earlier each year.

If you’re feeling a little “bah, humbug!” about the return of the holidays, perhaps we can lift your spirits.

Here at Apartment Guide, we’ve given some thought to the challenges of apartment entertaining.

Take a look at our feng shui tips on how to set up a comfortable party at home in your apartment this season.

We’ve also scoured our apartment listing information to find the overall best cities for apartment entertaining.

According to our data, apartment dwellers in ten certain cities enjoy the most at-home advantages that make holiday entertaining a pleasure. These cities boast the most apartments with balconies, island kitchens, dishwashers, washers and dryers in-unit, microwave ovens and extra storage space. With all these amenities, hosting a holiday party is much easier and a lot more enjoyable!

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Apartment Guide Reveals the Best Cities for Closet Space

Apartment Guide Reveals the Best Cities for Closet Space

If spacious closet real estate is high on your apartment priority list, Apartment Guide has information you need.

In cities across the country, closet storage varies greatly. Apartment Guide analyzed its own nationwide rental listings, looking specifically at storage square footage.

In May, the Huffington Post and Triangle Business Journal reported on Apartment Guide’s research revealing the cities with the largest average closet space.

Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Kansas City-Lawrence, Missouri areas topped the list for generous, out-of-the-way storage.

After the jump, check out the full list of cities offering more spacious storage.

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Omaha for Art Lovers

Named after an American Indian Tribe, Omaha means “those going against the wind or current.” Today, the city is home to an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, and bohemian gathering spots. As its name implies, much of Omaha is anything but conventional.

Old Market

Set in an historic neighborhood, locals and visitors flock to Old Market for its unique clothing boutiques, antique stores, art galleries, pubs and entertainment. On the first Friday of every month, artists and art lovers stroll the area’s local galleries thanks to First Fridays – when gallery patrons enjoy free admission and light bites. Old Market also offers more than 30 restaurants and close proximity to Joslyn Art Museum and the Omaha Children’s Museum.

Where: Omaha, NE 68102

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

Omaha is also home to a record-breaking structural work of art – the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. As the longest pedestrian bridge to link two states (Nebraska and Iowa), it provides an illuminated arc over the Missouri River for walking and biking enthusiasts, connecting to 150 miles of trails on each side. The cable stay bridge is 3,000 feet long, including the landings, and carries pedestrians 60 feet above the river. At night, LED lights outlining the deck, cables and pylons are visible for miles. The design team also incorporated specific protections for migratory birds and added interactive sculptures to educate visitors about local endangered species.

Where: 705 Riverfront Drive, Omaha, NE 68102

Orpheum Theater

Omaha’s celebrated Orpheum Theater has served as the home of the finest in local and national performing arts for almost a century, including the best of Broadway’s national touring companies. Located in Downtown Omaha, the Orpheum was renovated in 2002 at a cost of $10 million to upgrade the experience of patrons and performers, while also restoring the theater’s ornate splendor. A cornerstone of Omaha’s cultural history, this former vaudeville house was constructed in 1927.

Where: 409 S. 16th St., Omaha, NE 68102

Slowdown

Over the last decade, Omaha’s indie rock music scene and Saddle Creek Records have gained national attention. And many of the area’s well-known bands such as Cursive and The Faint played a gig or two at Slowdown. The venue was featured as the 2007 Esquire Magazine’s Club of the Year, and continues to showcase some of the city’s hottest new punk, hardcore and rock performances.

Where: 729 N. 14th St., Omaha, NE 68102

Illumina

In 2007, Omaha sculptor Matthew Placzek created “Illumina,” a $2 million public art project that now graces the grounds of the Qwest Center Omaha. The installation’s six bronze sculptures – including a 14-foot stilts walker – are reminiscent of an era in which performers were an active part of daily street life and local events. Numerous multicolored spheres are also placed in the arena lobby, adding depth and vibrancy to the sculpture. The entire project consists of more than 2,000 LED lights, 4,000 pounds of bronze, 28,000 pounds of stainless steel and 360 tons of concrete.

Where: Qwest Center, 455 N. 10th St., Omaha, NE 68102

Omaha offers a vibrant arts scene for both locals and visitors. From the city’s diverse art galleries and thriving music venues to its public art installations, Omaha welcomes artists of all walks to America’s heartland.

Photo credit: iStockphoto/emptyclouds

8 Fun, Affordable College Towns That Won’t Leave You in Debt

most affordable cities

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If you’re a college student, chances are you’re on a limited budget. A life of ramen noodles and frozen pizzas might be your reality, and, even though you’re living in an exciting college apartment in a cool town, you might not have the cash flow to really enjoy yourself.

Luckily, with a little know-how and some creativity, you can have a great time in your city without breaking the bank. Read on to find out about the top free or inexpensive things to do in the most affordable college towns in the nation.

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