A big city in the Midwest with a small-town feel, Omaha is full of friendly and laid-back residents always willing to strike up a conversation, especially at one of the many neighborhood bars. Attractions, including a world-class zoo and plenty of excellent restaurants, are simple; however, a trip to this city by rental car in Omaha is nevertheless delightful.
Omaha's International Airport serves many domestic carriers and offers national travel deals, but there are few direct flights from overseas. Omaha and Lincoln are on Amtrak's Chicago-San Francisco line. Greyhound buses run to destinations throughout the state and cities in the region.
For those travelling by car rental, the interstates that travel though Omaha are I-80 which runs east from the city all the way to Newark (New Jersey) and westward through Salt Lake City, Reno (Nevada) and on to San Francisco. I-76 divides from I-80 in the western part of Nebraska and goes on to Denver (Colorado). I-29 comes down from the Dakotas, through the western part of Iowa, to Omaha and on south to Kansas City (Missouri).
Joslyn Art Museum is a popular attraction in the city and contains some wonderful works by local artist as well as a large collection of Native American, Middle Eastern and African art. Prospect Hill Cemetery is Omaha's pioneer cemetery, dating from 1858 and acting as the resting place of many who gave their names to Omaha's streets. The Fremont & Elkhorn Valley Railroad and Nebraska Rail Museum are also worth a visit.
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo features the impressive Hubbard Gorilla Valley, the world's largest indoor desert, a rain forest, nocturnal exhibits and an underwater tunnel. The Strategic Air & Space Museum contains WWII and Cold War aircraft and artefacts, as well as travelling exhibits, a library, children's gallery, theatre and flight simulator.
Near Omaha, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument was at one time part of a working cattle ranch owned by a friend of the Indians а Captain James Cook. There are numerous quarries here, filled with well preserved 20-million-year-old mammalian fossils. Alternatively, up river from Omaha by car rental is the Missouri National Recreation River area, where a canoe ride on a great river is serene.
Farther afield, Lincoln is the state capital and second largest city. As the home to the popular University of Nebraska, it is filled with students from all over the Midwest and has a youthful and exciting atmosphere, complete with some great bars.
Fontenelle Forest lies on the city's Missouri River shore and offers great opportunities for camping, hiking and fishing. Alternatively, the Lewis & Clark Landing, where the explorers landed in 1804, today features a boardwalk, restaurant for indoor/outdoor dining and live jazz nightly.