Wanting to visit more states to complete our picture map of the United States, Tyler and I decided to visit Omaha, Nebraska, during our long weekend for Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, which we both happened to have off from work. Being one of our most spontaneous trips, we planned and booked our hotel on Wednesday, driving down Saturday and coming back on Sunday. Although we were worried there wouldn’t be much to do, we found plenty, at least to fill up our 2 days there.
From St. Paul it was about a five and half hour drive, so we got up bright and early and left around seven in the morning in order to arrive at the Henry Doorly Zoo by one in the afternoon, giving us 3 hours before they closed the zoo (although the buildings stay open an hour later).
If you’ve never been to this zoo, you need to go!! And I’m not just saying that, it is seriously the most amazing zoo I’ve ever been to. Walking through exhibits without glass and birds flying freely right over your head, it was truly an amazing experience. We were also able to see plenty of animals being fed and were able to visit all the indoor exhibits and animals within the 3 hours we were there.
Afterwards we checked into our hotel, Aksarben Suites, which had a really unique, open lobby and was also close to downtown. The rooms were very nice (and pretty cheap!) and the hotel had pools and free continental breakfast.
For dinner we went to The Old Spaghetti Works, a restaurant in the Old Market neighborhood in downtown Omaha. The food was amazing (we got lasagna, cheesy bread, and Alfredo) and they had traditional cream soda, which I had never had before!
While we walked around, it didn’t take us too long to realize this area on the riverfront was much more active in the Summer, with many shops being closed for the season. However, we did find many cute places, such as the Old Market Passageway, CupCake! Omaha and Tannenbaum, a store with all Christmas everything.
We also made our way to Hollywood Candy before heading home. Although at first it just seems like a really large candy store, inside there is a diner and ice cream parlor, movie theater, and rooms upon rooms of old collectibles (wait till you see the owner’s personal PEZ collection).
Making it back just in time to watch the last 10 minutes of the Vikings game (#minnesotamiracle) we ate our cupcakes as a celebratory dessert!
After searching online for the “best Omaha breakfast place” we decided to go with 11 Worth Cafe, a very local cafe with a large menu and even larger portions. Plus super yummy hot chocolate!
Because the tour for Joslyn Castle wasn’t until 10:30, we chose to drive around and see some sights, like the TD Ameritrade Park where the NCAA Men World’s Series is held, and the famous millionaire, Warren Buffett’s home. (Yes, we were those people that drove by super slow to snap a pic.)
Making our way to the center of a neighborhood filled with too many one way streets, we found Joslyn Castle. Although there weren’t too many signs to tell you which way to go, we found an open door and went on in. The tour started right away as there was only Tyler, myself, another older couple, and the tour guide. Although we weren’t sure if we would enjoy it at first, the building was gorgeous with a lot of the original wall paper, chandeliers, and some furniture. (People were tiny back then!!) The tour was only about an hour long, which also included a 15 minute video at the beginning explaining the Joslyn Family and how they came to live in Nebraska.
Having plenty of time to drive the five and a half hours back to Minnesota we decided we would begin to make our way back. It was a fun weekend, and I never would have figured we would find this much to do! What are your favorite places and activities in Omaha?!