1. The Guy In Line Behind You May Be One Of The World’s Richest
Home to the former world’s richest man Warren Buffett and a slew of other multi-millionaires, Omaha has a high concentration of wealthy inhabitants. You’d never know it, as most of them are completely unassuming. Maybe some of their luck will rub off on you, eh?
2. Omahans Love Them Some Tasty Brews
With a wealth of local breweries and establishments offering a wide array of craft beers, Omaha is a beer-lover’s paradise.
From Omaha Beer Week to Beer Fest, there are festivals throughout the year devoted to Omaha’s favorite beverage. It seems like a brewery pops up every month, so you’ll never run out of new places to get some good hops.
3. Omaha’s Music Scene Is Cooler Than Yours
With one of the best and most diverse music scenes in the country, it’s no wonder Omaha is on list after list of the top music cities in the United States. Catch a great local show at The Waiting Room, Slowdown, Barley Street Tavern or Venue 51. There’s a concert or open mic every night in this city.
4. And It’ll Rock Your Face Off At Maha
The Maha Music Festival features a full day of rocking on two stages. From outstanding local acts to national independent artists, beautiful Stinson Park in the Aksarben area of the city is filled with people for this fest. Highlights of last year’s event include Flaming Lips, Matt & Kim and Bob Mould.
5. Grab A Bite To Eat With The Raccoons At The Alpine Inn
At the Alpine Inn you can enjoy some of the best fried chicken around in the comfortable divey atmosphere. The staff throws food scraps out for stray cats and raccoons to dine on (up close to plate glass windows), providing the quirkiest dinner show you’ll ever see.
6. Beercade Is The Perfect Place For Adult Arcade Junkies
The grown-up playground of Beercade features all your favorite retro arcade games–yes, they have Galaga–along with an amazing selection of craft beers. It’s all the fun of being a kid, but with a full bar. Don’t forget your quarters!
7. You Can Thank Omaha For The TV Dinner
That’s right, this mid-century staple was invented right here in the heartland by C.A. Swanson and Sons in 1954. As housewives rejoiced, the family gathered around for Swanson’s finest frozen creations. Salisbury steak and whipped potatoes, anyone?
8. Everything Is 20 Minutes Away
Ask a local how long it takes to get from any point A to any point B, and the answer will be 20 minutes. Kind of like when you order Chinese take-out and the wait time is always 10 minutes.
With easy interstate access and manageable traffic (even at rush hour), it’s quick and easy to get around the entire city.
9. Omaha’s Home To The College World Series
Since 1950, people from around the U.S. have flocked to Omaha to participate in America’s favorite pastime.
Held at the brand new TD Ameritrade Park, downtown is rocking when the CWS is on. The beer tents outside the park are a favorite gathering place for locals during the championship.
10. Husker Football Is The State Religion
With no pro teams in the state, Nebraskans take Husker sports seriously–especially football. You’ll see a lot of red on game days, and don’t bother going into a sports bar if you don’t want to watch the game.
Fun fact: During games, Memorial Stadium becomes the third largest city in Nebraska, and every game has been sold out since 1962. They don’t call it the Cornhusker State for nothing.
11. Omaha Is The Answer To The Question “Where’s The Beef?”
Everyone’s heard of Omaha Steaks, and this city definitely knows its way around a cow.
Omaha is brimming with excellent steakhouses, so skip the chains and try Brother Sebastian’s, The Drover, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse or Warren Buffet’s favorite–Gorat’s.
12. We Have The Best Zoo In The Nation–Seriously
Deemed the best in the U.S.–and not just by locals–the Henry Doorly Zoo boasts the largest geodesic dome in the nation, as well as the largest indoor rainforest. Bears, monkeys, penguins and any other animal you can think of is housed in this massive zoo.
13. You’ve Seen Our Ads
Everyone is familiar with the “Got Milk?” and “Pork. The Other White Meat” ad campaigns, but not many know they came from Omaha. Don Draper would be proud of Omaha’s largest ad agency Bozell.
14. There’s Always Something New In The Old Market
Omaha’s hip downtown scene is full of interesting shops, trendy bars, urban lofts, restaurants and a decidedly big-city feeling. This is definitely the place to be for a night on the town.
15. Offutt Air Force Base Is The Bomb
Headquarters for the U.S. Strategic Command, this thriving hub of American military aviation is where the Enola Gay was built. With all this high-level military strategy, we’re certain they’ll make an action film about Omaha soon.
16. Lights, Camera, Alexander Payne
Director Alexander Payne of Oscar-nominated “Nebraska” fame hails from the River City. He’s often spotted around town, as he still spends much of his time in Omaha. “About Schmidt,” “Sideways” and “Election” would have never been made if not for this son of Omaha.
17. Welcome To The Silicon Prairie
Known as part of the Silicon Prairie, tech startups and entrepreneurs abound in Omaha. Check out the “Silicon Prairie News” for the latest in tech and creative in this booming sector, and if you’re entrepreneurially minded, you’ve got to go to The Big Omaha conference.
18. Ever Heard Of A Runza?
Maybe not, but this Nebraska fast food chain is everywhere and has been enjoyed by presidents and celebrities alike. The signature sandwich is a mixture of ground beef and cabbage encased in bread. Don’t knock it until you try it. It’s delicious.
19. We Know You’ve Heard Of The Reuben
Yep, the famous sandwich was invented right here at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha. It seems every restaurant in town boasts the “best Reuben in Omaha,” but it’s pretty much agreed that the true best Reuben is at Crescent Moon Ale House.
20. Everything’s Bigger In…Omaha?
Talk about retail giants. Omaha boasts both the largest furniture store in the U.S. (Nebraska Furniture Mart) and the biggest jewelry store (Borsheim’s).
Borsheim’s includes clientele such as Hillary Clinton and Bill Gates, so you never know who you may run into there.
21. Omaha Birthed A President
Gerald Ford’s birthplace stands in the Field Club area of the city. Home to lovely gardens and a gazebo, you can see what the beginning of this former U.S. President’s life was like.
22. And A Civil Rights Leader
You probably never would have guessed that Malcolm X was born right here in little old Omaha. The Malcolm X Memorial Foundation has built a beautiful plaza and educational memorial site at the place of his birth that’s worth a visit for history buffs.
23. Omaha’s Got The Fab Fortune Five (Hundred)
With a total of five Fortune 500 companies in town, Omaha has the highest number of Fortune 500 companies of any city in the nation. Berkshire Hathaway, ConAgra Foods, Union Pacific, Peter Kiewit Sons’ and Mutual of Omaha are all headquartered in Omaha.
24. Talking To Strangers Is Encouraged Here
Omaha is known far and wide as one of the friendliest cities in the world. Strangers talk to each other, and it’s small enough that everyone you meet is friends with someone you know. Hospitality? We invented it.
25. Saddle Creek Records Probably Spawned Some Of Your Favorites
Omaha is basically Nashville for indie rock, and Saddle Creek is a big part of it. This record label’s most famous performer is Bright Eyes, but many artists hail from this cozy Omaha recording label, such as:
- Azure Ray
- Big Harp
- Orenda Fink
- The Faint
- The Mynabirds
- Neva Dinova
- Son Ambulance
26. Omahans All Scream For Ice Cream
Ice cream is a big deal around here. Local favorites Ted and Wally’s, eCreamery and Petrow’s all dish up some of the tastiest and most innovative locally-made flavors you can find. Ever-changing menus make it an unexpected treat year-round.
27. Omaha’s Fresh And Local Scene Will Ruin You On Supermarkets Forever
Being an agricultural state definitely has its perks. From restaurants serving locally sourced food to the excellent Omaha Farmers Market, you can get fresh local produce, meat and dairy aplenty.
28. Your Eyes Will Be Overstimulated By All The Awesome Art
Local artists abound, and we love to showcase them. Benson First Friday features an art walk every month, while Hot Shops Studio or Cali Commons are the perfect spots to see some of the latest pieces from Omahans. From downtown galleries to coffee shop displays, we’re proud of our talent.
29. Omaha’s Museums Are Top Notch
Joslyn Art Museum boasts an amazing collection of fine art from Rembrandt’s to modern masters. The best part? Admission is free.
The Art Deco masterpiece that was once Union Station has been turned into Durham Museum, where you can tour vintage trains and view changing exhibits ranging from the 1960’s to fashion to photos.
Both museums are perfect destinations for rainy Saturdays.
30. Omaha Is America’s Guinea Pig
If you like a certain soft drink, snack food, ad campaign or fast food menu item, chances are it was tested in Omaha first. Since the city’s demographics are similar to that of the nation as a whole, we usually get it first–and sometimes only–here.