Discovering Nebraska: 15 Must-See Locations in the Cornhusker State

Welcome to Nebraska, also known as the Cornhusker State! If you are planning a trip to this beautiful state, you are in for a treat. Nebraska is home to a diverse range of attractions and natural wonders that are sure to captivate any traveler. In this article, we will guide you through 15 must-see locations in Nebraska, each offering a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you are interested in exploring stunning landscapes, historical sites, or vibrant cities, Nebraska has something for everyone. So, let’s dive in and discover the hidden gems of the Cornhusker State!


1.1 Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha is a must-see attraction for animal enthusiasts and nature lovers. Known for its world-class exhibits and conservation efforts, this zoo offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

With over 130 acres of land, the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is home to a diverse range of animals from around the world. From the majestic elephants to the playful penguins, you can observe and learn about various species in their natural habitats.

One of the highlights of this zoo is the Desert Dome, the world’s largest indoor desert. Step inside and be amazed by the unique flora and fauna that thrive in arid environments. You can also explore the Lied Jungle, a lush tropical rainforest filled with exotic plants and animals.

1.2 Old Market District

Immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant atmosphere of the Old Market District in Omaha. This charming neighborhood is a hub of entertainment, dining, and shopping, making it a perfect destination for a day of exploration.

As you stroll through the cobblestone streets, you’ll encounter a wide array of boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops. From unique clothing to handmade crafts, the Old Market District offers something for every taste and preference.

When it comes to dining, the district is known for its diverse culinary scene. Whether you’re craving a juicy steak, international cuisine, or local specialties, you’ll find a plethora of restaurants and cafes to satisfy your taste buds.

1.3 Joslyn Art Museum

Art enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to visit the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha. This renowned institution houses an extensive collection of art from various periods and cultures, showcasing both classic and contemporary works.

The museum’s collection includes paintings, sculptures, and decorative art pieces that span over 5,000 years of history. From Renaissance masterpieces to modern installations, you can admire the artistic talent that has shaped the world.

In addition to the permanent collection, the Joslyn Art Museum hosts temporary exhibitions that feature works from both local and international artists. These exhibitions provide a glimpse into the ever-evolving world of art and offer a fresh perspective to visitors.

Visiting the Joslyn Art Museum is not only an opportunity to appreciate art but also a chance to engage in educational programs and workshops. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply curious about the creative world, this museum offers a captivating experience for all.

2. Lincoln

2.1 Nebraska State Capitol

The Nebraska State Capitol, located in Lincoln, is a magnificent architectural marvel that is worth exploring. As the seat of government for the state of Nebraska, this iconic building showcases a blend of classical and modern architectural styles, making it a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts.

The Nebraska State Capitol stands tall with its distinctive white stone exterior and a towering central tower. Step inside and be prepared to be amazed by the stunning interior adorned with intricate artwork, mosaics, and impressive murals that depict the history and culture of Nebraska.

Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the building’s history, architecture, and the functioning of the state government. The observation deck on the 14th floor offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city, allowing visitors to appreciate Lincoln’s beauty from a different perspective.

2.2 Sunken Gardens

Nature lovers and gardening enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to visit the Sunken Gardens in Lincoln. This enchanting oasis is a testament to the transformative power of landscaping and a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The Sunken Gardens feature a diverse collection of meticulously manicured plants, vibrant flowers, and tranquil water features. As you wander through the winding paths, you’ll encounter various themed gardens, including a rose garden, perennial garden, and an annual flower garden. Each season brings its own colorful display, ensuring a unique experience throughout the year.

Visitors can take a leisurely stroll, relax on one of the benches, or simply soak in the peaceful ambiance. The Sunken Gardens also host special events and concerts, making it a lively destination for both locals and tourists.

2.3 Sheldon Museum of Art

For art enthusiasts, the Sheldon Museum of Art in Lincoln is a treasure trove of masterpieces. Located on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, this renowned museum boasts an impressive collection of American art spanning various periods and styles.

The museum’s architecture itself is a work of art, designed by Philip Johnson, one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. With its clean lines and modernist aesthetic, the building perfectly complements the artworks it houses.

Inside, visitors can explore galleries filled with paintings, sculptures, photographs, and other artistic expressions. From classic pieces by renowned artists to contemporary works that push boundaries, the Sheldon Museum of Art offers a diverse and thought-provoking experience.

The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and educational programs that delve deeper into the world of art. Whether you’re an art connoisseur or simply appreciate creativity, a visit to the Sheldon Museum of Art is sure to leave you inspired and enlightened.

3. Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock is a prominent natural landmark located in Morrill County, Nebraska. It is renowned for its unique geological formations and rich history, making it a must-see destination in the Cornhusker State.

3.1 Geology and History

Chimney Rock stands tall at approximately 325 feet, standing as a testament to the forces of erosion and time. Composed of layers of volcanic ash, clay, and sandstone, this towering rock formation has become an iconic symbol of the American West.

The significance of Chimney Rock extends beyond its geological features. For centuries, it served as a prominent landmark for early pioneers traveling along the Oregon Trail. Its distinctive shape and visibility for miles around made it a crucial navigational point, guiding thousands of settlers on their westward journey.

3.2 Visitor Center

To enhance the visitor experience, Chimney Rock has a well-equipped visitor center that offers a wealth of information about the landmark’s geological significance and historical importance. The center features interactive exhibits, displays, and educational materials that delve into the geology, wildlife, and human history associated with Chimney Rock.

Knowledgeable staff members are available to answer questions and provide insights about the region. Visitors can also browse through a variety of souvenirs, books, and maps to further enrich their understanding and appreciation of Chimney Rock.

3.3 Trails and Hiking

Exploring Chimney Rock on foot is an exhilarating experience that allows visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. The monument offers several well-maintained trails that cater to varying levels of hiking expertise.

The most popular trail is the Chimney Rock Loop Trail, which takes you on a scenic journey around the base of the rock formation. This moderate-level hike provides breathtaking views of the surrounding plains and the towering Chimney Rock itself.

For more adventurous hikers, the Ridge Trail offers a more challenging experience with steep inclines and rewarding panoramic views from the top. This trail allows visitors to appreciate the vastness of the Nebraska landscape while experiencing the thrill of conquering a challenging ascent.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking an unforgettable experience, Chimney Rock is an absolute must-see in Nebraska. Its geological wonders, historical significance, and captivating trails make it a destination that truly showcases the splendor of the Cornhusker State.

4. Scotts Bluff National Monument

Scotts Bluff National Monument is a stunning geological formation located in western Nebraska. It offers visitors a chance to explore the rich history and natural beauty of the area. Here are some key attractions within the monument that you won’t want to miss:

4.1 Mitchell Pass

Mitchell Pass is a significant feature within Scotts Bluff National Monument. This historic landmark served as a crucial passage for pioneers traveling along the Oregon Trail in the 19th century. Today, visitors can hike along the same trails as these early settlers and experience the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

4.2 Oregon Trail

For history enthusiasts, the Oregon Trail is a must-see attraction within Scotts Bluff National Monument. This iconic trail was a lifeline for thousands of pioneers seeking a better life in the West. Exploring the Oregon Trail allows visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and triumphs faced by these brave individuals.

4.3 Visitor Center and Museum

The Visitor Center and Museum at Scotts Bluff National Monument provide a wealth of information about the area’s history, geology, and wildlife. Inside, you’ll find interactive exhibits, artifacts, and educational displays that bring the past to life. The knowledgeable staff is always ready to answer questions and provide insights into the monument’s significance.

Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or simply looking for a scenic adventure, Scotts Bluff National Monument offers something for everyone. Don’t miss the chance to explore Mitchell Pass, walk in the footsteps of pioneers along the Oregon Trail, and immerse yourself in the fascinating exhibits at the Visitor Center and Museum. Plan your visit to this remarkable destination in Nebraska’s Cornhusker State today!

5. Sandhills

The Sandhills region in Nebraska is a unique and captivating destination that offers a wide range of attractions for visitors to explore. From breathtaking natural landscapes to abundant wildlife, the Sandhills truly have something for everyone. Here are three must-see locations within the Sandhills that will leave you in awe:

5.1 Niobrara National Scenic River

The Niobrara National Scenic River is a hidden gem nestled within the Sandhills region. Flowing through majestic canyons and prairies, this river offers a serene and picturesque setting for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re interested in kayaking, canoeing, or simply enjoying a peaceful hike along the riverbank, the Niobrara National Scenic River provides endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation.

5.2 Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge

For nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, a visit to the Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge is an absolute must. This refuge spans over 19,000 acres and is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species. From bison and elk to prairie dogs and coyotes, you’ll have the chance to witness these incredible creatures in their natural habitat. Explore the refuge’s hiking trails or embark on a scenic drive to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of this wildlife haven.

5.3 Sandhills Golf Courses

Golf enthusiasts will be delighted to discover the exceptional golf courses scattered throughout the Sandhills region. With their rolling hills and stunning views, these courses offer a unique golfing experience that is unparalleled. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just starting out, you’ll find a variety of courses suitable for all skill levels. Take a swing amidst the breathtaking scenery and enjoy a round of golf you won’t soon forget.

The Sandhills region of Nebraska is a treasure trove of natural wonders and recreational opportunities. From the tranquil Niobrara National Scenic River to the captivating Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge and the picturesque golf courses, there is no shortage of must-see locations within the Sandhills. Plan your visit to this remarkable region and prepare to be amazed by the beauty and serenity it has to offer.

6. Kearney

Kearney is a vibrant city located in the heart of Nebraska. It is home to a variety of attractions that offer a glimpse into the state’s rich history and cultural heritage. From the iconic Great Platte River Road Archway to the fascinating Fort Kearny State Historical Park and the captivating Museum of Nebraska Art, there is something for everyone in Kearney.

6.1 Great Platte River Road Archway

The Great Platte River Road Archway is an architectural marvel that spans Interstate 80, serving as a gateway to the west. This unique monument commemorates the pioneers who traveled along the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails during the westward expansion of the United States. As you walk through the archway, you’ll be transported back in time, experiencing interactive exhibits, life-size dioramas, and engaging multimedia presentations that tell the story of those who ventured through Nebraska on their way to a new life.

6.2 Fort Kearny State Historical Park

Step into the past at Fort Kearny State Historical Park, where you can explore the remnants of a once-thriving military outpost. This historic site played a crucial role in protecting pioneers as they journeyed along the Oregon and California Trails in the mid-1800s. Wander through the reconstructed stockade, visit the blacksmith shop, and imagine what life was like for the soldiers stationed here. The park also offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and opportunities for fishing and wildlife viewing along the nearby Platte River.

6.3 Museum of Nebraska Art

Immerse yourself in the artistic heritage of Nebraska at the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA). Located in downtown Kearney, this museum showcases a diverse collection of artworks created by Nebraska artists or inspired by the state. From paintings and sculptures to photography and contemporary installations, MONA presents a comprehensive overview of Nebraska’s artistic legacy. Explore the galleries to discover the works of renowned artists such as Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Reynard, as well as emerging talents shaping the contemporary art scene in the Cornhusker State.

In conclusion, Kearney is a hidden gem within Nebraska, offering a range of attractions that highlight the state’s history, culture, and art. The Great Platte River Road Archway, Fort Kearny State Historical Park, and the Museum of Nebraska Art are must-see locations that provide visitors with a deeper understanding of Nebraska’s past and present. Whether you are a history enthusiast, nature lover, or art connoisseur, Kearney has something to captivate your interest. Plan a visit to Kearney and embark on a journey of discovery in the Cornhusker State.

7. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Located in Omaha, Nebraska, the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is a must-visit attraction for animal lovers and nature enthusiasts. With its extensive collection of animals and diverse exhibits, this zoo offers a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

7.1 Lied Jungle

One of the highlights of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is the Lied Jungle. This expansive indoor exhibit replicates a tropical rainforest, immersing visitors in a lush and vibrant environment. As you explore the winding pathways, you’ll encounter a variety of exotic plant species, cascading waterfalls, and stunning wildlife. Keep an eye out for colorful birds, playful primates, and elusive reptiles as they go about their natural habitat.

7.2 Desert Dome

Step into the Desert Dome and experience the wonders of the world’s largest indoor desert. This unique exhibit showcases the diverse ecosystems of deserts from around the globe. As you stroll through the arid landscapes, you’ll encounter fascinating plants and animals that have adapted to survive in harsh desert conditions. Marvel at the towering cacti, observe the intricate burrows of desert rodents, and learn about the resilient species that call the desert their home.

7.3 Scott Aquarium

For those who are fascinated by marine life, the Scott Aquarium at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is a must-see. This state-of-the-art facility boasts a wide range of exhibits, allowing visitors to explore the wonders of the underwater world. From vibrant coral reefs teeming with tropical fish to mesmerizing jellyfish displays, the Scott Aquarium offers a captivating glimpse into the beauty and diversity of aquatic life. Don’t miss the opportunity to watch graceful sea turtles glide through the water or get up close to mesmerizing sharks in the shark tunnel.

Plan your visit to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium to witness the wonders of the Lied Jungle, Desert Dome, and Scott Aquarium. These unique exhibits offer an immersive and educational experience, making your trip to Nebraska’s Cornhusker State truly unforgettable.

8. Carhenge

Carhenge is a unique and fascinating attraction located in Alliance, Nebraska. This quirky roadside attraction is a replica of England’s famous Stonehenge, but with a twist – it is made entirely out of old cars. Carhenge is one of the must-see locations in Nebraska that captures the imaginative spirit of the state.

8.1 History and Construction

Carhenge was created in 1987 by Jim Reinders as a memorial to his father. Using 39 vintage automobiles, Reinders meticulously arranged them in the same proportions and dimensions as the original Stonehenge. The project took six days to complete, and since then, Carhenge has become an iconic symbol of Nebraska’s creative spirit.

8.2 Car Sculptures

The car sculptures at Carhenge are a sight to behold. Each car is strategically placed to mimic the position of the stones at Stonehenge, creating a remarkable resemblance. The cars vary in make, model, and color, adding a vibrant touch to the structure. Visitors can explore the site, marvel at the unique sculptures, and snap memorable photos with this unusual masterpiece.

8.3 Visitor Center

Carhenge offers a visitor center that provides further insights into the history and construction of this peculiar attraction. Here, you can learn more about the inspiration behind Carhenge, its significance to the local community, and the intricacies of its construction. The visitor center also houses a gift shop where you can find unique souvenirs and mementos to remember your visit to this extraordinary site.

Visiting Carhenge is a must for anyone traveling through Nebraska. This offbeat landmark showcases the state’s creativity and has become a symbol of its unique character. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply looking for something out of the ordinary, Carhenge is sure to captivate your imagination and leave you with lasting memories.

9. Omaha Children’s Museum

Located in the heart of Omaha, the Omaha Children’s Museum is a must-visit destination for families with young children. With its interactive exhibits and engaging activities, this museum offers a fun and educational experience for children of all ages.

9.1 Permanent Exhibits

The Omaha Children’s Museum boasts a variety of permanent exhibits that are sure to captivate the imaginations of young visitors. These exhibits provide hands-on learning opportunities and encourage children to explore, discover, and create. Here are a few highlights:

  • Imagination Playground: This exhibit allows children to build and create using oversized foam blocks, fostering their creativity and problem-solving skills.
  • Charlie Campbell Science and Technology Center: Here, kids can engage in scientific exploration and experimentation, with exhibits that focus on physics, engineering, and technology.
  • Sandy’s Splish Splash Garden: Perfect for warm summer days, this outdoor water play area provides children with a chance to splash and have fun while learning about the properties of water.

9.2 Special Exhibits

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the Omaha Children’s Museum also hosts a variety of special exhibits throughout the year. These exhibits are often themed and offer unique experiences for children to engage with. Some examples of past special exhibits include:

  • Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice: Children can travel back in time to the age of dinosaurs, exploring their habitats and learning about their characteristics through interactive displays and activities.
  • Super Sports: This exhibit allows kids to test their athletic abilities and learn about different sports through various interactive stations, encouraging physical activity and teamwork.
  • Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids: Delve into the world of mythical creatures through this exhibit, where children can learn about the origins and legends surrounding these fascinating beings.

9.3 Creative Arts Center

The Omaha Children’s Museum is committed to nurturing children’s creativity and artistic expression. The Creative Arts Center provides a space for kids to engage in various art forms, from painting and drawing to sculpting and crafting. Children can let their imaginations run wild as they experiment with different materials and techniques.

With its diverse range of exhibits and activities, the Omaha Children’s Museum offers endless opportunities for children to learn, play, and explore. Whether they are fascinated by science, art, or just having a great time, this museum provides a memorable experience for families visiting Nebraska.

10. Great Platte River Road Archway

10.1 Pioneer Spirit

The Great Platte River Road Archway in Nebraska is a testament to the pioneer spirit that shaped the history of the Cornhusker State. As visitors step inside this iconic structure, they are transported back in time to relive the arduous journey of early settlers who traveled along the Oregon, California, and Mormon Pioneer Trails.

10.2 Building and Architecture

The Great Platte River Road Archway itself is a marvel of modern architecture. Spanning over 300 feet across Interstate 80, this unique structure captures the essence of the pioneer era with its impressive design. The archway serves as a gateway to the West, paying homage to Nebraska’s rich heritage and serving as a reminder of the significant role the state played in the westward expansion of the United States.

10.3 Archway Museum

Within the Great Platte River Road Archway lies a fascinating museum that offers an immersive experience into the history of Nebraska and the pioneers who traversed its lands. The Archway Museum showcases interactive exhibits, captivating displays, and engaging narratives that bring the pioneer journey to life. Visitors can explore the hardships and triumphs of the pioneers, learn about the diverse cultures that shaped Nebraska, and gain a deeper understanding of the state’s role in the westward expansion.

The museum also features a collection of artifacts, photographs, and personal stories that provide a glimpse into the daily lives of those who traveled along the Great Platte River Road. From covered wagons and authentic replicas of pioneer settlements to audiovisual presentations and interactive activities, the Archway Museum offers a comprehensive and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply curious about Nebraska’s past, a visit to the Great Platte River Road Archway and its accompanying museum is a must. It is an opportunity to step back in time, gain a deeper appreciation for the pioneer spirit, and discover the rich heritage that makes the Cornhusker State truly unique.

11. Joslyn Art Museum

Located in Omaha, Nebraska, the Joslyn Art Museum is a renowned cultural institution that houses an impressive collection of artworks spanning various periods and genres. With its stunning architecture and comprehensive educational programs, the museum offers visitors a unique and enriching experience.

11.1 Collection Highlights

The Joslyn Art Museum boasts a diverse collection of over 11,000 artworks, including paintings, sculptures, prints, and decorative arts. Here are some of the collection highlights that visitors should not miss:

  • European Art: Explore the museum’s European Art collection, which features renowned artists such as Monet, Renoir, and Degas. Admire the beauty of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces that provide insights into the development of European art.
  • American Art: Immerse yourself in the rich history of American art with works by iconic artists like Thomas Cole, Mary Cassatt, and William Merritt Chase. From landscapes to portraits, the American Art collection showcases the nation’s artistic heritage.
  • Ancient Art: Witness the wonders of ancient civilizations through the museum’s collection of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art. Marvel at intricately carved sculptures, exquisite pottery, and captivating artifacts that offer a glimpse into ancient cultures.

11.2 Architecture

Beyond its exceptional art collection, the Joslyn Art Museum is also celebrated for its remarkable architecture. Designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson, the building itself is an artistic masterpiece. The museum’s unique blend of classical and modern architectural styles creates a captivating visual experience.

The exterior of the museum features a stunning facade adorned with intricate detailing, while the interior boasts spacious galleries that provide the perfect backdrop for displaying artworks. The museum’s design successfully combines elegance and functionality, making it an architectural gem in the heart of Nebraska.

11.3 Education Programs

The Joslyn Art Museum is committed to providing educational opportunities for visitors of all ages. Through its diverse range of educational programs, the museum aims to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of art. Here are some of the educational programs offered:

  • Guided Tours: Join a guided tour led by knowledgeable docents who provide fascinating insights into the museum’s collection and exhibitions. Learn about the stories behind the artworks and gain a deeper understanding of the artistic techniques and styles.
  • Art Classes: Enroll in art classes offered by the museum’s education department. From painting and drawing to sculpture and photography, these classes cater to individuals of all skill levels, providing a platform for artistic expression and growth.
  • Workshops and Lectures: Attend workshops and lectures hosted by visiting artists, scholars, and experts in the field. These events offer opportunities for in-depth discussions, interactive sessions, and hands-on learning experiences.

Whether you are a seasoned art enthusiast or a curious beginner, the Joslyn Art Museum’s education programs cater to all levels of interest and provide a platform for exploration and inspiration.

In conclusion, the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, is a must-visit destination for art lovers and cultural enthusiasts. With its extensive collection, captivating architecture, and enriching educational programs, the museum offers a well-rounded experience that showcases the beauty and significance of art.

12. Nebraska State Capitol

The Nebraska State Capitol, located in Lincoln, is an architectural marvel that showcases the rich history and culture of Nebraska. This iconic building stands tall as a symbol of the state’s progressive spirit and is considered one of the must-see locations in the Cornhusker State.

12.1 Art and Architecture

The Nebraska State Capitol is renowned for its stunning art and architecture. Designed by renowned architect Bertram Goodhue, this majestic building combines elements of Gothic, Renaissance, and Art Deco styles. The exterior features intricate carvings and sculptures, including the famous “The Sower” statue that stands atop the central tower.

Inside the Capitol, visitors are greeted with awe-inspiring murals, mosaics, and decorative elements that depict the history and natural beauty of Nebraska. The impressive mural “The Spirit of Nebraska” by artist Hildreth Meiere adorns the ceiling of the legislative chamber, while other artworks and sculptures are scattered throughout the building.

12.2 Observation Deck

One of the highlights of the Nebraska State Capitol is its observation deck, which offers panoramic views of Lincoln and the surrounding area. Visitors can take an elevator ride to the 14th floor and step out onto the deck, where they can marvel at the cityscape, the vast Nebraska plains, and even catch a glimpse of the distant horizon. It’s a perfect spot for photographers, history enthusiasts, and anyone seeking a unique perspective of the Cornhusker State.

12.3 Tours

To fully appreciate the beauty and significance of the Nebraska State Capitol, guided tours are available for visitors. These tours provide a fascinating insight into the history, architecture, and functioning of the Capitol. Knowledgeable guides lead visitors through the various chambers, halls, and exhibits, sharing stories and facts about the building and its importance to Nebraska.

During the tour, visitors can explore the legislative chamber, the Governor’s office, and the Supreme Court chamber. They can also learn about the state’s political history, the legislative process, and the role of the Capitol in shaping Nebraska’s governance.

Visiting the Nebraska State Capitol is not only an educational experience but also an opportunity to admire remarkable art, marvel at stunning architecture, and gain a deeper understanding of the state’s heritage. Whether you are a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply curious about Nebraska’s rich culture, the Nebraska State Capitol should definitely be on your list of must-see locations in the Cornhusker State.

13. Old Market District

The Old Market District is a vibrant and historic neighborhood located in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. With its cobblestone streets, brick buildings, and unique charm, it is a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike. The district offers a variety of attractions, including historic buildings, dining and shopping options, and a bustling farmers market.

13.1 Historic Buildings

One of the main highlights of the Old Market District is its collection of well-preserved historic buildings. Walking through the district feels like stepping back in time, as you admire the architectural beauty and craftsmanship of these structures. Many of the buildings date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, showcasing a mix of Victorian, Romanesque, and Renaissance Revival styles.

Some notable historic buildings in the Old Market District include the Old Market Passageway, the Warehouses on Howard Street, and the Burlington Train Station. Each building has its own unique story and adds to the district’s rich history. Visitors can explore the area on foot and take in the beautiful facades, ornate details, and historical markers that provide insights into the past.

13.2 Dining and Shopping

The Old Market District is also known for its diverse dining and shopping scene. Whether you’re in the mood for a gourmet meal, a quick bite, or a craft cocktail, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your cravings. The district is home to a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and bars, offering cuisines from around the world.

In addition to its culinary delights, the Old Market District boasts a variety of unique boutiques, art galleries, and specialty shops. From fashion and jewelry to home decor and antiques, there’s something for every shopper’s taste. Take a leisurely stroll through the district’s charming streets, and you’ll discover hidden gems and one-of-a-kind treasures.

13.3 Farmers Market

For those who appreciate fresh produce, local crafts, and a lively atmosphere, the Old Market Farmers Market is a must-see attraction. Held every Saturday morning from May to October, the market brings together local farmers, artisans, and vendors to showcase their goods. Stroll through the bustling stalls, and you’ll find a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, baked goods, flowers, and more.

The Farmers Market is not just about shopping; it’s also a community gathering place. Live music fills the air, and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and delicious food wafts through the crowd. It’s a perfect opportunity to engage with locals, learn about Nebraska’s agricultural heritage, and support small businesses.

Visiting the Old Market District’s Farmers Market is a sensory experience that captures the essence of Nebraska’s rich agricultural traditions and the vibrant spirit of the community.

14. Sunken Gardens

Nebraska’s Sunken Gardens is a breathtaking oasis located in the heart of Lincoln. With its lush greenery, vibrant floral displays, enchanting rose garden, and captivating statues and fountains, it is undoubtedly a must-see attraction in the Cornhusker State.

14.1 Floral Displays

The Sunken Gardens boasts an impressive array of floral displays that will leave visitors in awe. From vibrant tulips and daffodils in the spring to colorful mums and marigolds in the fall, there is always something beautiful in bloom. The meticulously designed flowerbeds showcase a wide variety of plants, creating a stunning tapestry of colors and fragrances.

14.2 Rose Garden

One of the highlights of the Sunken Gardens is its exquisite rose garden. This serene sanctuary is home to over 1,000 roses, including hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras, and climbers. Walking through the rose garden is a sensory experience like no other, as the intoxicating scent of the roses fills the air. Whether you are a gardening enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of roses, this section of the Sunken Gardens is sure to captivate your senses.

14.3 Statues and Fountains

Adding to the charm and elegance of the Sunken Gardens are the numerous statues and fountains scattered throughout the park. These artistic features not only enhance the aesthetic appeal but also serve as focal points for visitors to admire and appreciate. From graceful angel sculptures to whimsical animal statues, each piece of art adds a unique touch to the overall ambiance of the gardens. The tranquil sound of water cascading from the fountains further enhances the peaceful atmosphere, making it a perfect spot for relaxation and contemplation.

Visiting the Sunken Gardens in Nebraska is like stepping into a serene paradise. With its spectacular floral displays, enchanting rose garden, and captivating statues and fountains, it is a destination that will leave a lasting impression on anyone who appreciates the beauty of nature and art.

15. Scott Aquarium

The Scott Aquarium, located in Nebraska, is a must-visit destination for all marine life enthusiasts. With its diverse range of exhibits and interactive experiences, it offers a unique opportunity to explore the wonders of the underwater world. Here are three highlights that you shouldn’t miss:

15.1 Underwater Tunnel

One of the most thrilling experiences at the Scott Aquarium is the underwater tunnel. As you walk through the tunnel, you’ll be surrounded by a breathtaking display of marine life. From colorful tropical fish to majestic sea turtles, this immersive experience gives you a chance to observe these fascinating creatures up close and personal. The tunnel provides a unique perspective, allowing you to feel as though you’re submerged in the depths of the ocean.

15.2 Shark Reef

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, the Shark Reef exhibit at the Scott Aquarium is a must-see. This exhibit houses a variety of shark species, including the awe-inspiring hammerhead shark and the fierce tiger shark. As you watch these magnificent creatures glide through the water, you’ll gain a newfound appreciation for their power and grace. With informative displays and knowledgeable staff on hand, you’ll also learn about the importance of shark conservation and the role they play in maintaining the balance of marine ecosystems.

15.3 Penguin Exhibit

The Scott Aquarium’s Penguin Exhibit is a delight for visitors of all ages. Home to a colony of adorable and playful penguins, this exhibit allows you to observe their antics and learn about their behavior. From waddling on land to gracefully swimming through the water, these charismatic creatures are sure to capture your heart. The exhibit also offers educational presentations where you can discover interesting facts about penguins and their natural habitats.

In conclusion, the Scott Aquarium in Nebraska offers an unforgettable experience for anyone interested in marine life. Whether you’re fascinated by underwater tunnels, intrigued by sharks, or charmed by penguins, this attraction has something for everyone. Plan your visit today and embark on a journey of discovery through the fascinating world of the Cornhusker State’s aquatic wonders.

In conclusion, Nebraska offers a wealth of captivating destinations that showcase its rich history, natural beauty, and cultural diversity. From the iconic Chimney Rock to the enchanting Sandhills, the Cornhusker State truly has something for everyone. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a unique travel experience, exploring these 15 must-see locations in Nebraska will undoubtedly leave you with unforgettable memories. So pack your bags, hit the road, and let Nebraska surprise you with its hidden gems and endless possibilities for discovery.

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