September 22, 2014  

Weekend Getaway: Omaha’s Old Market

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!

Omaha Old Market
Omaha Old Market

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.

Overland Leather & Sheepskin store - Omaha Old Market
Overland Leather & Sheepskin – Omaha Old Market

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 🙂

Old Market Candy Store - Omaha, Nebraska
Old Market Candy Shop – Omaha, Nebraska

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.

S'more Brownie Sundae - Twisted Fork, Omaha Old Market
S’more Brownie Sundae – Twisted Fork, Omaha Old Market

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.

David & I enjoying the Old Market.
David & I enjoying a night out in Omaha’s Old Market.
Our friends Zach and Emily
Our friends Zach and Emily spent the weekend in Omaha with us.

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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About the author

Emily Counts is the founder of Small Stuff Counts, a home and organization blog she created in 2013. Her goal is to help moms make home life easier so they can create beautiful, organized, and thriving homes. She shares life at home as a mom juggling two young kids and being a working mom with a corporate job. The Iowa-based blogger lives in the suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband, two children, and rescue dog. Emily has collaborated with brands including The Container Store, Cricut, Command Brand, Bissell, Sam's Club and Rubbermaid.

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    1. I think most cities have charming historic districts, you just have to scout them out. If you ever make it to Nebraska, the Old Market is worth a visit. Thanks for stopping by this blog!

  1. I’ve never been to Omaha – never really been East of New York…so that says something! But I love the look of the Old Market – I have to say that I’m a big city girl, but I’m growing more and more to like places that have a homely feel, that has more history and that I can walk around and feel the spirit – it seems like that kind of place 🙂

    1. The Old Market is indeed that type of place. I love to feel the energy and learn the story of places. You just can’t find that in the new parts of cities. Thanks for visiting!

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