Omaha is not going to blow you away. In all accounts, it is an average city. It has restaurants, shops, parks, museums, etc. It is not a big tourist stop. Most people are here because of business or they have family in the area. For one or two days, it's not a bad place to go, but you'll start getting bored after that. The day I moved away from it. It'll always be home and I'm glad to be from there, but I'm also glad to move on to new adventures in my life.
Other things to check out
If you find yourself scratching your head and saying, "what do I do now?", here are some options:
1. Durham Western Heritage Museum: Close to the downtown area, this museum talks about the importance of the railroad in Nebraska.
2. Joslyn Art Museum: Not a bad art museum to go through.
3. Heartland of America Park/Gene Leahy Mall: This man-made lake and creek have some nice areas to walk around in. Also included are the big slides and gondola rides. The General Marion, the boat that used to go on there, I used to work for. The fountain at night changes many different colors.
4. Regency: If you like higher-class, unique shopping, this is the place to check out.
Best mix of Asian cuisines
This place was a rare find that we found on our most recent trip to Omaha, a little off our normal path of Dodge St. The first thing I noticed when entering was that half the people there were Asian - I figured if that many Asians were there, the food must be both good and authentic! I was right :)
The waitress told us they have been there for 10 years, but that many people never knew they were there until a friend tells them about it. I don't know many people in Omaha, so I figure this is the best way to tell my friends about it!
We were recognized on our second visit and treated like "regulars" - they remembered our order from the day before. The service was great, quick and friendly. I was impressed to see the cook come out and give Vietnamese food "newbies" a demonstration on soaking and rolling rice wrappers. How's that for service? We loved the spring rolls and had them two days in a row, but my favorite was the combination fried rice. Unlike most Chinese restaurant fried rice, it was very delicate in flavor and texture, not greasy or too salty from soy sauce. It reminded me of the good fried rice that we got while in China.
My son's favorite is on the Thai side of the menu and is called Street Vendor Noodles. It has rice noodles stir fried with beef, broccoli and egg. He gave it the ultimate compliment - he asked me to make it for him at home, so I know he really liked it.
I don't like spicy food, but the people in the booth next to me were raving about the soup they had, so I asked what it was. The man told me he comes here just for the Thai hot and spicy soup, with shrimp, mushroom and lemongrass. SO if you like spicy stuff, give that a try. It came highly recommended.
If your are adventurous. give a few of the more unusual, authentic things a try, like the salty lemonade or desserts that include things like red beans. I had the three color jello with coconut milk, which included red beans and mung bean paste, and it was really good!
Gene Leahy Park
When I first started to visit Omaha, the area covered by the park was just another part of the old warehouse district (from which the Old Market remains). Blocks of multi-storied brick buildings with loading docks lined each street. Then the buildings came down and the digging began. Running from the Library on 15th street east to the Missouri river is now the Gene Leahy Park . It's a green oasis in the city. It offers a place for a lunchtime walk. An early evening stroll and the home for various song birds (including some pigeons).
In the summer, it is very pleasant. Since I'm (mostly) a winter visitor I've seen it with the leaves gone and the sun streaming in. You can walk all the way to the Missouri River. There are benches, a meandering creek, and numerous places for public displays of art or music groups (none have I seen, but then it's been winter).
I've come to enjoy getting a chance to get out before dark to walk the length of the park and back. I'm able to leave the business of the day behind. I don't consider it a hazardous venture. But I do recommend you walk with a friend, unless you're comfortable in the city- See Warnings or Danger Tips.
Strategic Air Command Museum
Lots of planes actually used in various wars. They don't give you a lot of information, but I went with my Dad who knew quite a bit. It's pretty awesome to get a grasp on parts of history that way. Definately worth the 6 bucks!