What Omaha offers
Omaha is a working class town with many restaurants. That's what most peole do here often: go eat at a good restaurant, of which there are many. Hence the plethura of fatasses in this state. There aren't too many THINGS to do here if you're visiting, but living here affords you a wide variety of places to eat & ACTIVITIES. I've lived up & down the East Coast & a few places in between, and I've NEVER seen a non-oceanside town with more sand Volleyball courts than Omaha. Lots of people, some true A league players, some people in their 60's playing for fun, play on the sand Vball leagues from April through early October. There's even DIGZ (former McCormack's), which boasts 3 really good indoor sand Vball courts with good, almost ashy sand at the right depth. Fall & Winter leagues can be expensive ($160-200 compared with $120 in Spring & Summer) but the point is you could play sand Volleyball year 'round if it's your passion, like it is mine.
Visitors are always pointed to the Old Market downtown, a former meeting point for local farmers to sell their crops, which has now turned into a Manhattan-ish part of Omaha, with pricey places to eat, drink & buy that crap you buy when you go places. Sure there are fine eateries, SPAs, art galleries, playhouses and a nice park to stroll in the Old Market, but you'll get your fill of all that in less than 1 day. The rest of the city is far less exciting. Businesses, restaurants, houses & fast food joints make up the majority of the town. People have fun by getting together with others, usually for the 'Huskers games, at which time you can a month's worth of grocery shopping at lightening speed. Every local is hunkered around some TV somewhere watching dem Cornhuskers, so the shops don't do much business & streets are easily traversed. It's weird if you haven't lived here for a few years. The variety of places artound town to play sand Volleyball. It's what keeps me living here, but then, I AM a Volleyball slut.
Coming in from Iowa, down I-680 to I29
Usually, I take I-80 directly (well as direct as the roads out here are) into Omaha, through Council Bluffs, southside. This time, we to I-680 to the Missouri River from I-80, while still 20-30 miles (32-48 km) out of town. There is an overlook on the westbound lanes that look down into the Missouri River Valley and across Nebraska. I expected to see the River, but here, it is on the far side of the valley. The skyline of Omaha was visible and a change of pace.
I don't think I'd go out of my way to get here, but if it's a choice of I-80 to Council Bluffs, or taking I-680 to I-29 to Council Bluffs/Omaha, Take the later. On a nice day, the break in driving is welcome and the view worth the stop.
Located in the Old Market, Upstreams is only a few years old. It has already made a name for itself. After work, many come to sit, talk, and have a pint. The appetizers are great and the meals wonderful. The old Firehouse, which it occupies adds a unique flavor to any evening.
The second floor has pool tables for those so inclined. The building is an original fire stations designed to large fire trucks. Quesedas, Calamari, Prime Rib, Top Sirlon, and even the Philly Cheese Steak top my list.
Kids get cultured, learn and have fun
My kids, ages 4 and 10, spent one dayhere, and enjoyed it so much that they wanted to go back again the next day - I think that is a great compliment and testament to the fun things that they have there.
My oldest like the science and technology center. The both worked together to build a house with giant building blocks. Both took a turn driving the authentic, antique fire truack and practicing their emergency response skills.
A wonderful place to spend that day!
NEBRASKA FURNITURE MART
A VAST, ENORMOUS FURNITURE STORE that gives you a huge selection of whatever furniture item you are looking for. A clock? They have hundreds. A chair? They have thousands.
Its fun to browse but its also a good place to buy. Prices are good and the salespeople are knowledgable and friendly. We have practically furnished our house from NFM, including carpeting.
Its so big they have a food court.