We spent the weekend with friends in Omaha, Nebraska. Even though our trip was not even 48 hours, it felt amazing to get away for a couple days. David and I have had a hectic summer with work and starting our business, so we haven’t had any real time off in quite a while. We picked up our friends, Zach and Emily, on the way then drove the couple hours to Omaha. Our only real agenda was the Henry Doorly Zoo, but I really enjoyed getting a chance to explore the Old Market area.
Omaha’s Old Market is like an awesome downtown right in the middle of the city. I loved it. There were several blocks packed with all sorts of unique shops and lively restaurants. It was so much fun to walk up and down the streets and just see what we stumbled on. It was such a charming historic area filled with cool old buildings and cobblestone streets. And the area was full of life and activity. It was definitely the cool place to be.
This photo is inside a sort of mini mall/shop area. The businesses all had doors facing the streets on either side, but their backs faced this little alley area. It was enclosed and there was access to all the shops from inside. The ground level made a great place for restaurant seating. I think the third level housed office space. I would love to work up there!
One of our favorite finds was Overland Sheepskin & Leather. It was a really random shop–not something I’d ever seek out–but it was fun to look around. Everything was way out of our price range, but it was fun to check out all of their clothing and their fur rugs felt a-ma-zing. David now thinks he’s a hat guy. What do you think? I’m not convinced.
We loaded up on every flavor of Jelly Belly at the Old Market Candy Shop. It was a small store packed with old school candy and fudge. They even had the Harry Potter flavored jelly beans! If I owned a place like this, I’d be hyped up on sugar all day every day. David and I had fun scooping out two of every single flavor of jelly beans they had. I’m guessing there were 50 or so flavors. We’ve already sampled all of them 🙂
It happened to be Restaurant Week in Omaha, so we took advantage of some delicious specials at the Twisted Fork. I was very impressed with the service, and the decor was really neat and had a Western glam vibe (of course I forgot to take pictures of it!). Think lots of rustic wood and antlers mixed with crystal chandeliers and red velvet curtains. Very stylish. Oh, and I loved the food. My heart melted when they brought out dessert–a s’more brownie sundae! It was glorious. I will definitely be attempting to replicate it.
I’m so glad we were able to explore the Old Market. It was filled with activity and is a great place to wander. I could have spent an entire weekend just exploring all the shops and sampling food and drinks from all the restaurants. It would be a really fun place to do a mini restaurant crawl with a group of friends. You know, have drinks then move to another place for appetizers and so on. There was even a company offering horse-drawn carriage rides to different areas nearby. We didn’t take a ride, but it would be something I’d do on a future trip. They seemed really popular.
The Old Market had an awesome small town charm to it, even though it is in the middle of a city and is very close to the Interstate and the zoo. We stayed at a so-so hotel near the zoo, but next time I’d definitely book a room in the Old Market area so I wouldn’t have to drive and find parking. Plus, then you wouldn’t have to worry about a designated driver.
Also, the Omaha Zoo was fantastic. I hadn’t been there before, but I was really impressed. We spent seven hours wandering around the place. My favorite exhibit was the rain forest. It was filled with crocodiles and alligators and the design did a good job of making me feel like I was in a swamp/jungle area. The monkeys were my favorite animals! Here’s a random video I took of them. They were so playful!
Omaha is a really cool city for a weekend getaway in the Midwest. You know I love small towns, so whenever I head to a city I try to scout out the areas with the most downtown/small town feel. If I had more time there, I would have loved to explore some of the smaller towns surrounding Omaha. Their visitor guide mentioned a city nearby that was known as a wine destination. That’s on my list for a future trip. Have you been to Omaha before? What are your favorite things to do there?
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