Back in 2005, in a complete twist of irony, I decided to accompany a friend travelling to Omaha and experienced one of the most surprisingly fun spots in the US! Having visited the more typical tourist spots in the country, travelling to the Midwest felt like an adventure, and I had no idea what to expect.
Thankfully, I had an unforgettable experience in Omaha. It was a month full of what to me was an exotic adventure, all the while getting to know interesting people, stories, great food, and enjoying a place that is unique like no other.
What did I love about Omaha? Well, I could rave non-stop. But since I have to limit myself, here are 5 of the main reasons why I absolutely fell for the city and its people:
I can confidently say that Omaha has the best zoo I have ever visited. I loved the different areas and how you can “experience” visiting various corners of the world: from deserts to jungles to deep, dark caves. Having grown up close to the Amazon Rainforest myself, I was astounded by how real the Lied Jungle at the zoo felt. I loved the rope bridge, the waterfalls and birds freely flying around, and being a huge bat fan, the bat cave on its own was a thrill. Anyone who has a chance to visit the Omaha Zoo should book their ticket and head on there.
Video from the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
2) The people are unforgettable
What a kaleidoscope of people that exist in Omaha! For starters, they are some of the nicest and friendliest people I have ever met. Omahans, for the most part, are genuinely good-hearted people. I also met a variety of people during my time there: goths, punks, rabbis, stay-at-home moms, immigrants, wild partiers. It felt like a genuine US travel experience and it involved everything from people trying to convince me to find a job in Omaha (apparently, they have very low unemployment and great job prospects) to trying to set me up with Warren Buffet’s financial consultant (yes, please!).
3) Omaha is deceitfully simple & unique
I’ve traveled to other parts of the US; namely, New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco (the more “standard” tourist cities). But one thing is for sure: Omaha is different, unique and a lot more down-to-earth.
For me, it was a complete culture shock. Omaha was a different experience than any other US city I visited. Here’s a few things I noticed about Omaha that make it different from other cities:
• You can’t get around the city without a car. It’s close to impossible.
• There’s so much distance between homes and regions, but it’s all still considered part of the city. Even though there’s vast space, driving was quick and easy, so everything is twenty minutes away. The center of the city was very urban and hi-tech; it felt like night and day from the residential areas.
• There are neighborhoods where every single house looked the same. 9 out of 10 times, I went to the wrong house by mistake. Drove me nuts!
• Everyone will mention that Warren Buffet lives in Omaha, in the same house that he lived in prior to becoming a multi-billionaire. They all suggest you pass by there (I didn’t).
• There are numerous accents within the city. Some I understood, others I did not. It’s also very multi-national: there are people in Omaha from all over the world, from Senegal to Pakistan to Central America. I didn’t expect that at all!
4) The parties were FUN
I had a lot of fun clubbing and partying in Omaha. There were a variety of parties, and the clubs had good music, fun environments and outgoing people. I met and laughed with a lot of interesting Omahans in the club & mostly enjoyed messing about. I liked that they forbid selling alcohol past 2 a.m.; it made the partying (and post-partying driving) safer while continuing the party.
5) There’s so much to do!
People who have never visited Omaha may assume it looks like the corn-filled rural areas of Nebraska or Iowa, but they are far off-mark. There is SO much to do in Omaha. There are bars, clubs, shows, events, stores and top notch museums – it’s a very active city. You can see and cheer for your team in sports games, go to conventions, music festivals and even big concerts from globally famous artists including Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones, and Green Day.
— Jen (@jenlivlaughlove) February 12, 2014
Omaha is the place to be. I hope to visit the wonderful city again in the near future!
Ronnie is a blogger at Home Life Abroad, where she writes about her experiences living far away from home, having moved from the mountains of Bolivia to distant, but beautiful Israel. She’s travelled to a few great locations around the world and considers Omaha way up on her list. She also blogs at All the Frugal Ladies, where she talks about how to save money and budget.
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This post contains affiliate links. It is not sponsored or endorsed by the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo or any of the restaurants or establishments pictures. We’re just big fans!