State 3: Nebraska | Omaha

Bob, Henry and Joslyn. Be sure to “meet” them while in Omaha. My boyfriend and I spent Memorial Day Weekend in Nebraska (state number 30 for me!) and those were our favorite finds. There are two Bob’s actually. The first Bob is the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. The bridge is 3,000 feet long and connects Omaha, Nebraska with Council Bluffs, Iowa. It overlooks the Missouri River and is perfect to walk along on a nice day.

Bob Kerrey Bridge
Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

Be sure to stop and take a picture in the middle of the bridge where you can stand in both Iowa and Nebraska at the same time! Leading up to the bridge is beautiful and peaceful Heartland of America Park, which had a scenic fountain and even a boat ride.

Iowa/Nebraska State Line
Iowa/Nebraska State Line

The second Bob is Bob’s Donuts in the Blackstone District. This area of Omaha has many restaurants, eateries and coffee shops and gives off a newer vibe. It seems like a younger area and is near a college. Even though I know donuts have dairy, they are the one sweet treat where I splurge. I loved Bob’s blueberry cake donut. Their donuts were fresh and delicious. After donuts on our last morning in Omaha, we walked over to Archetype Coffee and had the pour over. We were excited that they had this coffee option as many shops do not since it takes about five minutes to brew. The coffee came to us in a beaker which we could then pour into our mugs.

Bob's Donuts
Bob’s Donuts

Another favorite in the Blackstone District was Coneflower Creamery. I was excited to see that they catered to the vegan crowd and had at least three vegan flavors of not only sorbets, but also ice creams! We went on a Saturday night after dinner and this was the place to be. The line was down the street and when they run out of a flavor for the night, that’s it, so get there early and be prepared.

Coneflower Creamery
Coneflower Creamery

After ice cream, we went to Speilbound in Midtown which was walking distance from the Blackstone District. I’m so glad our waitress at dinner at Flatiron Cafe recommended it to us since it is more of a local hangout and we probably would not have found it otherwise. An interesting observation is that servers in Omaha frequently asked what your plans are for the rest of the day, which I had never been asked before, but it really worked out in our favor. You pay $5 at Spielbound and then you have your choice of shelves and shelves of all sorts of board games to play while you enjoy snacks, coffee and tea or a drink. This was the hidden gem of the trip!

Flatiron Cafe
Flatiron Cafe

Our best meal was definitely at Flatiron Cafe (no, not at a steakhouse) as the service was fantastic, food was amazing quality and it had a beautiful atmosphere. The building is modeled after the Flatiron Building in NYC. We sat outside on their front patio and they were excited that we chose the outdoor seating. Inside it is definitely an upscale environment and they said that although they offer the outdoor seating, it generally is not very popular which I thought was interesting. I had the mushroom fries, grilled watermelon and honey brussel sprouts as I wanted to try several dishes and they did not disappoint. 

Desert Dome
Desert Dome

Next up: Henry. Henry is the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. I am a fan of visiting zoos in new cities that I explore and this one definitely lived up to my expectations. They have a very unique desert dome that can be seen when driving up to the attraction. Once inside, it is like you are actually walking through the desert. The scenery is spectacular and it is different from anything I have seen before. As you wind through the desert, you see all different animals ranging from cats to reptiles. 

Now onto Joslyn. Josyln is the Joslyn Art Museum. The museum is free to the public and has a wide array of artwork including pieces dating back to the 1200s to recent modern art. One of my favorite pieces was a new acquisition called Still Life of Flowers painted by Dutch artist Maria van Oosterwyck in the 1600s. This piece was particularly fascinating as it was done by a female artist, which was atypical of the time period. Van Oosterwyck was one of the few female painters who was active in the 17th century. My favorite genre of art is impressionism and I was very inspired by this museum’s display of work, including two pieces by Monet, Haymakers by Pisarro, Young Girls at the Piano by Renoir, as well as sculptures: Little Dancer by Degas and Eve by Rodin. The museum also had a huge glass blown sculpture by Chihuly, as well as Andy Warhol’s Flowers

Still Life of Flowers
Still Life of Flowers

We also visited a botanical garden and the Durham Museum which is a converted museum inside the former Omaha Union Station. Lastly, I can’t leave out the Old Market. This was a fun area to walk around with cobblestone streets, though I preferred the restaurants in other neighborhoods. The Old Market was mostly casual, pub-style food that I felt like you could have anywhere, and the two restaurants we went to were not as attentive of my lactose intolerance. 

I loved experiencing all that Omaha has to offer and a three day trip was just the right amount of time to explore the city.

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