Having been born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, I often wondered what life was like outside of my little “Midwestern bubble”. Everything (outside of the Midwest) just seemed so much more interesting than what the Midwest had to offer. It wasn’t until I turned 18, packed my bags to go to college out of state, said goodbye to my hometown of Omaha that I finally realized how sorely mistaken I was. That in fact Omaha is much more interesting, down to earth, and exciting than many other places I’ve lived. And since I’ve had this revelation I’ve been on a mission to find the best places in Omaha by exploring each of the Omaha neighborhoods; one by one.
Sure, you won’t find Times Square, a coast line, or the Space Needle in Omaha, but instead you’ll find a charming old market brimming with bars and restaurants. You’ll find that Omaha has both historic and new neighborhoods that make Omaha unique. There are tons of things to see and do in our little corner of the Midwest, and I’d highly recommend anyone to come and see Omaha for themselves.
The Best Neighborhoods in Omaha + What to See and Do in Each Neighborhood
BROWSE WHERE TO STAY IN OMAHA!
Don’t miss: A Local’s Guide to Visiting Omaha, Nebraska
Downtown Omaha has gone through quite a revitalization in the past few years. There are tons of great bars, restaurants, boutiques, and outdoor activities downtown. When you’re on cobblestone streets of the Old Market you’ll notice horse drawn carriages trotting by, twinkle lights at night, and friendly Nebraskans offering a smile and a wave. Because Omaha was a railway epicenter, connecting the east to the west, downtown Omaha has seen tons of traffic throughout the 19th-century. But no matter how much time has passed, the Old Market has still seemed to keep a hold of its historical charm.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO DOWNTOWN
Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge – Have you seen A Walk to Remember? Well in Omaha you truly can be in two places at once. Straddle the Nebraska, Iowa border as you walk along this bridge overlooking downtown Omaha.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium – A zoo that continues to rank as the “top best zoo’s in the world”, Henry Doorly draws visitors from all over the country. With exhibits ranging from the African grasslands to the Asian highlands, there are tons of animals to spot while roaming this 130 acre zoo.
TD Ameritrade Park – TD Ameritrade Park is where the College World Series, which is unique to Omaha, is played every June. And while Omaha doesn’t have their own professional baseball team, the CWS is an annual two(ish) week baseball tournament that brings in thousands of visitors around the country.
The Old Market – Omaha’s Old Market is a historic area with cobblestone streets, amazing bars and restaurants, and so much more. Most recently, the riverwalk has been revitalized, bringing new life to the Old Market/downtown area. Here you can walk along the river, sit outside, and enjoy the good weather. It’s also incredibly kid friendly.
- La Buvette Wine & Grocery – Wine
- Le Bouillon – French
- Plank Seafood Provisions – Seafood
- The Berry & Rye – Cocktails
- Wicked Rabbit – Speakeasy
Omaha’s Blackstone District is a neighborhood found around in middle of Omaha (between downtown and “out West”), and is a newer and livelier part of the city. It’s a great area for young people who are looking to go out at night, couples looking for a date night, or really anyone who is in search of good food and good drinks.
BARS/RESTAURANTS IN THE BLACKSTONE DISTRICT
- Coneflower Creamery – Ice cream
- Nite Owl – Bar/late night food
- Stirnella – Elevated American
Read more about Omaha’s Blackstone District, A Neighborhood Guide to Omaha’s Blackstone District
Located in North Omaha, you’ll find the Benson neighborhood. A historic, trendy, and laid-back neighborhood stuffed with bars and restaurants and crawling with people looking for a good time. With a lively nightlife, Benson is the neighborhood to head to if you’re looking for a late night out.
BARS/RESTAURANTS IN BLACKSTONE
- Au Courant Regional Kitchen – European
- Krug Park – Bloody Mary’s
- Yoshitomo – Sushi
Being my favorite neighborhood in Omaha, I am definitely biased when it comes to Dundee. Besides some of the best restaurants and bars in town, Dundee is packed with history. Dundee is Omaha’s first suburb since 1880. It plays a role in WWII when it was bombed by Japan. Now Memorial Park is in Dundee to honor those who have served in the armed forces.
BARS/RESTAURANTS IN DUNDEE
- Avoli Osteria – Italian
- Dundee Cork & Bottle – Dive bar
- eCreamery – Ice cream
- Pitch Pizzeria – Pizza
RENT A CAR TO EXPLORE OMAHA!
While one may hear “Nebraska” and not even know where it’s located on the map; Omaha is a thriving city that I strongly believe everyone should visit. Although I moved away a long time ago, I come back to Omaha time and time again. And exploring the Omaha neighborhoods has found itself to be one of my favorite things to do.
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