If you’re a resident of Omaha, NE, or thinking about making it your new home, you’ll find a wealth of attractions waiting for you. Whether you’re searching for the perfect apartment to rent in Omaha or a home to buy, Omaha has it all. From a variety of engaging activities to an array of dining options, newcomers may feel overwhelmed by the choices. To make your transition smoother, Redfin has carefully compiled a list of must-try adventures, fantastic dining spots, and one-of-a-kind experiences endorsed by locals. Lace up your walking shoes, embrace your sense of adventure, and get ready to experience the ultimate Omaha bucket list.
1. Visit Aksarben Village
“Located in the heart of Omaha, Aksarben Village is the city’s premier entertainment and shopping community, a walkable place of unique shops, restaurants, bars, bike trails and green spaces,” shares the Aksarben Village team. “Whatever you love to do, Aksarben Village is where it all starts. Catch a movie, see a concert, hit the bars, or enjoy the game.
At Aksarben Village, you can enjoy a cool drink and charcuterie from Sonny’s, experience 10 diverse cuisines and craft libations at Inner Rail Food Hall, nosh on late-night sushi and sashimi at Ponzu, enjoy a movie and a drink at Aksarben Cinema, and visit fresh-tomato Sundays every summer at the Omaha Farmers Market.”
2. Try the local cuisine
Embark on a journey through Omaha’s diverse flavors. From sizzling steakhouses that pay homage to the city’s heritage to cozy cafes serving up farm-to-table delights, exploring Omaha’s local cuisine promises a delectable experience.
“As a sushi and coffee enthusiast my top two local Omaha favorites are Koji and Amatuer coffee,” says local photographer Julie Trin. “At Koji, the sushi is truly a work of art. Chef David Utterback is a mastermind that Omaha is so lucky to have. Amatuer coffee is one of a kind with all of its unique aroma and vibrant taste.”
“We make it a priority to have dinner at our favorite restaurant in Omaha, Mula in the Blackstone district,” states local photographer Christine Matrangos, owner of Images By Christine M. “We discovered Mula after returning from a fun trip to NYC and our goal was to find a taco place locally that could compare to the delicious taco restaurants we tried in NYC. Mula was our first restaurant we tried, and it was so good that our journey to find the best tacos was over as fast as it began. The chicken nachos and carne asada tacos are delicious.”
“Johnny’s Cafe is Omaha’s Original Steakhouse, serving locals and visitors for over 100 years,” shares co-owner of Johnny’s Cafe Sally Kawa. “Our family owned and operated steakhouse specializes in hand-cut, aged on premise steaks, slow-roasted prime rib and a variety of other dishes combined with excellent service. We recommend you try the hand-breaded onion rings, Omaha Strip Steak or slow-roasted Prime Rib.”
According to Thomas Bartsch of Gather in Omaha, “you need to experience the ultimate farm-to-table journey at our unique restaurant in the heart of Old Market Omaha. Discover our Hydroponic Vertical Urban Farm, providing fresh produce for our modern eclectic dishes and signature cocktails. We recommend grabbing a craft cocktail at the bar, then heading downstairs to the lounge to see the farm in action – a truly unique experience.”
3. Explore nature at Fontenelle Forest
Embrace the serenity of Fontenelle Forest, an oasis nestled in Nebraska’s heart. Wander along its tranquil trails, enveloped by tall trees and lush foliage. This natural retreat offers an escape from the daily grind, inviting you to reconnect with the outdoors and find solace in its beauty.
According to local photographer Allison Garrett Johnson, “ For someone who loves spending time in nature , this is an amazing spot. There are hiking trails, a natural playground and my personal favorite, the TreeRush ropes course. It’s also a great spot for wildlife photography.”
4. Being your day with the perfect cup of coffee
Kickstart your mornings by indulging in the rich aroma and comforting warmth of a perfectly brewed cup of coffee. Whether you prefer a bold espresso shot or a creamy latte, starting your day with coffee is more than a routine – it’s an enjoyable ritual that sets the tone for the hours ahead. “If you’re not a local to the Omaha area, a visit to our vibrant, local coffee shop should be on your to-do list. Freshly roasted coffee and specialty drinks paired with house made breakfast, lunch or appetizers will be a delightful treat. Did we mention live music on the weekends and craft cocktails? Stop in for a visit,” says Brooke, Owner of Stories Coffee
5. Spend some time in the Capitol District
“Located in the heart of Downtown Omaha, The Capitol District has many amenities for everyone to enjoy,” states Omaha local Katie P. “Begin your day with breakfast at Lula B’s and then catch the game at Let It Fly Sports Bar. Discover the District’s vibrant nightlife with concerts at nearby venues such as Steelhouse Omaha, karaoke at Moe & Curly’s, a golf simulator at DJ’s Dugout, a country hoedown at Beer Can Alley, or any of our other unique bars and restaurants.”
6. Spend the day at the Omaha Zoo
Immerse yourself in a world of creatures and natural beauty at the Omaha Zoo. Wander through lush habitats, witness majestic wildlife up close, and embrace the thrill of discovery. A visit to this renowned zoo promises an unforgettable adventure that educates, entertains, and fosters a deeper connection with the animal kingdom.
Omaha bucket list: the bottom line
Omaha, NE offers must-have experiences for your bucket list. From Aksarben Village’s buzz to Fontenelle Forest’s tranquility, and the Capitol District’s dynamic vibe, each adventure adds to Omaha’s unique identity. Whether local or visitor, these memories will last a lifetime.