Local Attractions

Omaha is home to a number of world-class attractions for visitors with some extra time to spend in the city. It also makes a wonderful base to begin exploring the region. We’ve provided some of our favorite area attractions here for those interested, but you can also find up to date information about area and events at http://www.visitomaha.com/ and http://www.visitnebraska.com/

Around the City

Henry Doorly Zoo
Omaha’s zoo and aquarium is regularly rated as one of the top 10 zoos in the United States. It boasts the world’s largest nocturnal exhibit, the world’s largest indoor desert, and the world’s largest geodesic dome! No visit to Omaha would be complete without a trip to the zoo.
Lauritzen Gardens
Just blocks away from the zoo you’ll find a beautiful botanical garden covering 100 acres (0.4 square kilometers). Stroll through the gardens on a nice day or relax in the soon to be opened 17,500 sq ft (1625 sq meter) indoor conservatory.
The Historic Old Market
Wander through the Old Market business district and enjoy historic architecture, street music, unique shops, and many fantastic restaurants.
Union Pacific Railroad Museum
Omaha is the home of the Union Pacific Railroad, and you can explore Omaha’s railroading past, present, and future at the UP Railroad Museum just across the state line in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
The Durham Museum
On the edge of the Old Market you’ll see an imposing Art Deco building that once operated as Union Station. For the last four decades, the building has housed the Durham Museum, with exhibits exploring westward heritage, Omaha’s history, and the station’s role in passenger rail service. The museum regularly hosts temporary exhibits as well–check their website for information about current offerings.
Joslyn Art Museum
The Joslyn is the largest art musem in the state of Nebraska and is another wonderful example of Art Deco architecture. General admission to the museum is free to the public, though special exhibitions may require a paid ticket. Explore the sculpture garden, consider the two towering Chihuly blown glass installations, and hear the story of Degas’ Tiny Dancer.
Joslyn Castle
Explore the stately home and gardens of George and Sarah Joslyn. If that name sounds familiar, you’re right! Sarah Joslyn was the original benefactor of the art museum in the 1920s and had it built in memory of her husband. Explore the grounds and imagine what it would have been like to live there at the turn of the 20th century and into the roaring twenties!
Jazz on the Green at Midtown Crossing
Every Thursday night all summer you can enjoy a free outdoor jazz concert at Midtown Crossing. Seating opens at 5pm.
Omaha Storm Chasers
Omaha is home to the Storm Chasers, the minor league baseball team affiliated with the Kansas City Royals. Enjoy a game at Werner Park while you’re in town!
Love’s Jazz and Arts Center
Learn about the jazz music and influential Omaha musicians that contributed to this uniquely American musical genre!
Want more?
There’s plenty more to see and do in the metro area: http://www.visitomaha.com/. For performing arts tickets, see http://www.ticketomaha.com/.

In the Area

Strategic Air and Space Museum
25 minutes by car from the conference hotel, you’ll find the Strategic Air and Space Museum. You’ll get up close and personal with several notable aircraft like the SR-71A Blackbird and an Apollo mission Command Module.
Mahoney State Park
Get out of the city and enjoy some time with nature! Mahoney State Park is conveniently close to the Air and Space Museum and offers a wide range of outdoor activities including fishing, horseback riding, golf, and a scenic overlook that gives you a great view of the Platte River Valley.
Arbor Lodge
If you’ve got some extra time before or after the conference, take a drive through Southeast Nebraska. The Lied Lodge and Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City are a fantastic destination on your roadtrip. You can learn about the history of Arbor Day and its origins in Nebraska, but you can also relax at the spa and enjoy a great meal at the lodge’s restaurant.
Homestead National Monument
First time to the prairie? Consider taking a drive to Beatrice, NE to visit the Homestead National Monument. This national park provides a glimpse into the lives of the immigrants and pioneers who headed west during the 1800s to settle much of the Great Plains of North America. You can see a native tall-grass prairie, learn about sod houses, and experience a one room schoolhouse.
Southeast Nebraska Wine Trail
The fields of Nebraska aren’t just for growing corn! Several wineries have sprung up in recent years, and there’s now a regional wine trail for those interesting in tasting their way around the countryside.
Want more?
There’s plenty more to see and do around Nebraska: http://www.visitnebraska.com/