The lighter side of real estate

30 Things You Need To Know About Omaha Before You Move There

The perfect combination of down-home charm and urban chic, Omaha is so much more than flyover country.

Stephanie Krysl

3 articles, 0 comments

1. The Guy In Line Behind You May Be One Of The World’s Richest

Warren Buffett - Move to Omaha

Source: Flickr user Aaron Friedman

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

Beer Fest - Move to Omaha

Source: Infusion Brewing Company via Facebook

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

Omaha’s Music Scene - Move to Omaha

Source: Rock Paper Dynamite via Facebook

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 - Move to Omaha

Source: Maha Music Festival via Facebook

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

The Alpine Inn - Move to Omaha

Source: Alpine Inn via Facebook

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

Beercade - Move to Omaha

Source: Beercade via Facebook

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

The TV Dinner - Move to Omaha

Source: Flickr user Daniel Oines

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

Everything is 20 Minutes Away - Move to Omaha

Source: Flickr user John Philip Green

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

The College World Series - Move to Omaha

Source: Flickr user Bozell

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

Husker Football - Move to Omaha

Source: Flickr user kippster

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?”

Beef - Move to Omaha

Source: Spezia via Facebook

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

Henry Doorly Zoo - Move to Omaha

Source: Flickr user Kirk Strauser

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

Ads - Move to Omaha

Source: Flickr user katerha

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

The Old Market - Move to Omaha

Source: Omaha Old Market via Facebook

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

American military - Move to Omaha

Source: Flickr user Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

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.

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16. Lights, Camera, Alexander Payne

Alexander Payne - Move to Omaha

Source: Wikipedia Commons

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

Silicon Prairie - Move to Omaha

Source: Flickr user Silicon Prairie News

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?

Runza Restaurants - Move to Omaha

Source: Runza Restaurants via Facebook

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

Reuben Sandwich - Omaha

Source: Flickr user Larry Hoffman

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?

Borsheim’s - Omaha

Source: Flickr user TEDizen

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 - Omaha

Source: Flickr user Beverly & Pack

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

Malcolm X - Omaha

Source: Wikipedia Commons

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)

Fortune 500 companies Omaha

Source: Flickr user Mike Mozart

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

Friendly People of Omaha

Source: Flickr user Silicon Prairie News

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

Saddle Creek Omaha

Source: Desaparecidos via Facebook

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 Love - Omaha

Source: Ted & Wally’s Premium Homemade Ice Cream via Facebook

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

Omaha Farmers Market

Source: Omaha Farmers Market via Facebook

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

Art Work Omaha

Source: Cali Commons via Facebook

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 Omaha

Source: Joslyn Art Museum via Facebook

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

America’s Guinea Pig Omaha

Source: Flickr user Of Corgis & Cocktails

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.

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posted on: April 7, 2014
306,115 views, 76 comments




    • L☆M in response to KAREN DECKER

      Wow..I totally agree Karen! Manheim Steamroller is world renowned and top notch!

  2. d

    Lived here 10 years and this list is a joke. If you like fake nice people and weak art and music scene, then welcome to Omaha

    • Stan in response to d

      I’ve lived here over 50 years and have traveled to at least 75 other cities of equal size. Omaha doesn’t have fake nice people. Who are you hanging with?

      • rjs in response to Stan

        The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but you still have to mow it. I didn’t appreciate the people in Omaha, until I left

    • Molly in response to d

      Agreed, d.

    • Hunyock in response to d

      Been here all my life. Chose to stay here with my family because of the people who live here. Also worked many years at the Ranch Bowl and saw the start of many great artists there including 311 and Conor Oberst.

  3. Ron

    You just had to mention Runza, didn’t you? It isn’t delicious; it’s disgusting. And yeh, I live in Omaha.

  4. Joe Smith

    And no diversity????? are there ANY Latinos, African Americans, Asians in Omaha…..

    • James in response to Joe Smith

      Hey Joe! You need to get out more. There are many, many, many ethnic neighborhoods in Omaha. Omaha is very diverse. Just go to the grocery store and look around…

      • Joe in response to James

        That was my point…sarcasm doesn’t carry well. Doesn’t that ethnic diversity merit any room in the top 30….Malcolm isn’t the sum total of what Omaha has to offer in terms of contributions from people of color (or other ethnicity).

    • Molly in response to Joe Smith

      James, Seriously? True there are a lot of ethnic neighborhoods – though they are all segregated. North Omaha – African Americans, South Omaha – Latin Americans, Caucasions – Omaha, Mid Omaha, West Omaha — And anyone who has live in Omaha for like 6 months or more knows this!!!

      • James in response to Molly

        So you agree with me Molly. You and Nate and the other haters need to get over yourselves. Take your hate elsewhere. Perhaps there’s a reason why you have such a negative view of Omaha? You live life as negative Nancy’s, you can’t deal with adversity and blame others for YOUR life. You think that you are the only ones that have had things happen to you. Yea….my little violin is playing for you. To take something that is aimed at being a positive and make it into you little whining session of hate is so telling. Remember, the world is watching you.

        • Molly in response to James

          You’re obviously not grasping my point, James. And I am no longer going to waste my time attempting to rid you of, likely, one small portion of your ignorance. It serves little purpose, as I have learned.

          • James in response to Molly

            Gee Molly. I guess you told me! Wow…you hurt my feelings (can you hear my little violin playing?) Like it’s been said a number of times in this thread, if you don’t like it here then leave. Why would anybody live someplace that they despise or hate? Some folks just want to be miserable and whine. I’m told that it makes them feel superior.

            Nobody is forcing you to be here with your hateful heart towards all that you don’t agree with. Well, unless you are on probation but then, in that case, that would explain a lot.

      • Bonni in response to Molly

        Molly, you must really have tunnel vision & only see what you want to see vs what is truly out there. Clearly you’ve never visited a Millard classroom because if you had you would know that there are plenty of Latinos/Mexicans who do happen to venture off south 24th street. And you would also see plenty of blacks in the same Millard classrooms as whites, Mexicans, Chinese, Vietnamese etc… Millard schools are pretty diverse which means their “west” Omaha neighborhoods are also diverse. After all, busing ended a LONG time ago. Burke also has a lot of diversity even though its immediate neighborhood is “Fairacres West.” Even Westside/District 66, the traditionally Jewish school has a lot of diversity. And so does Creighton Prep. And please don’t reply with your shallow & uninformed biases and judgments about Prep. Prep is far from being solely a wealthy white boy school. There are many “minorities” (I use that term loosely) and white boys whose parents work 2-3 jobs to be able to afford the school because they believe in its value. There are even many boys who pay their own tuition by working nights, weekends, and summers because they WANT to go there…& yes…there IS diversity there. St. Cecilia’s, one of the best grade schools in Omaha will have very kids from the most well-known & wealthy families sitting next to and being friends with kids whose parents struggle just to keep the lights on. So Molly, those are the facts…there is diversity in Omaha. In all parts of Omaha, except maybe way way west; Millard West area i.e. 180th almost Gretna area…, but not Millard North & Millard South areas…because they both have diverse populations. Open your eyes.

  5. Paula

    Bozell is not the largest ad agency in Omaha, not anymore at least. If you’re going to call out Omaha’s advertising scene why not mention that Bailey Lauerman, the 2013 AdAge Small Agency of the Year, is located in Omaha?

  6. Jake

    There’s plenty of Latinos African Americans and even asians in omaha. Just not in west omaha where you live.

  7. Jake

    I live in an area full of a mixture. Close to downtown. Come see us sometime.

  8. BS

    Highest number of Fortune 500 companies? Not even close. A lot of this other stuff is outdated or cheesy. Omaha is one of the most boring, overrated cities in the country. I got job transferred here and after two years I was ready to escape to a coast and culture. Culture here is a joke.

  9. Diane Hayes

    As much as I’d like to, I can’t celebrate this article. Our politics are ridiculously backward, our police department is known for its corruption, we do not celebrate diversity, and Omaha,NE has recently been declared the most dangerous city/state in America to be black because of its poverty and homicide rate among that subset. Until we fix those things, that list of 30 (including being the place where the TV dinner was invented) seems lacking.

    • randy in response to Diane Hayes

      it was only “most dangerous” because of the smaller population of blacks compared to other metros, please read that article again.

  10. Michelle Moerke

    Joe Smith-seriously? Theyre everywhere! There is a huge population of Sudanese refugees, my neighbors are from Zimbabwe and Italy, I have to hire an interpreter at least 2xs/wk at work for Spanish and Karen, a huge section of south Omahas signs are in Spanish….

  11. emily

    They forgot Omaha Central High School, established in 1859. A hub of great success and history.

    • Molly in response to emily

      Emily, I hope you are kidding.

      • Bonni in response to Molly

        Actually Molly, Emily is not kidding. Central is an internationally known & respected high school. It has one of the best Math programs in the world. And the history of the school, its many great accomplishments and alumni…yes, Central is a great school.

      • Al in response to Molly

        Uh, no. Most of the time you hear good things happening in Omaha in national news, it’s usually because of a Central grad (Warren Buffett, Henry Fonda, Gale Sayers, Calvin Jones, Peter Kiewit). For being a school that has 47% of its students on free and reduced lunch, I think it does a damn good job.

        • Joe in response to Al

          Go Eagles…C/O 87. I concur, one of the best schools in the nation and certainly worthy of a mention based on history, architecture, famous alums etc.

  12. Nate

    It doesn’t matter how long this list is. One thing cancels it all out. Racially segregated neighborhoods. You want to meet a Latin? South O. A black? North O. As a Latin male who went to Creighton I was pulled over more than once and flat out told that it looked bad being a Latin male and driving a honda around Creighton. The hallmark of a Nebraskan even the “worldly” onces tends to be well meaning yet incredibly racist beliefs that they don’t realize are racist. The comments before mine are prime example.

    • rjs in response to Nate

      That remark itself can be deemed racist. A white male born in the North O projects in the 60s can tell you anyone CAN live anywhere in the Big O. You can blame your self pity on anyone else, but you must ultimately look in the mirror.

      • Robert Perrigo in response to rjs

        I was born in “O” in 1953 and lived at 211 Fort, for grade school I went to Kellom Grade school in the 1960’s, and had many friends that lived in the projects and then I attended Tech High. And I’m white and never had any problems. The thing about it is, if you go looking for trouble you will find it, if your not well….. I live in Oklahoma now and I’m 60 years old and I wish I could be back home in Omaha, I get so home sick that I started a Face Book page called…Simply Omaha. visit it some time and you will learn a lot about Omaha.

        • Joe in response to Robert Perrigo

          While your comment is partially true as it relates to the 40 and early 50’s you have to admit that by the 60’s segregation in housing had firmly taken hold. I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s…and segregation in housing was the RULE….in schools….of course we rode buses all over the city to “remedy” that…but in housing and economic opportunity…no one can argue that Omaha is not one of the most segregated cities in the country…ala Chicago.

    • Diane Hayes in response to Nate

      Nate’s got it correct. Omaha’s attitudes toward minorities, gay, anyone thinking differently is responded with, “Well, then leave.” No one wants to fix Omaha’s issues. Until we pull ourselves into the current century, we’ll remain a flyover destination.

  13. Bill Mehlahter

    Omaha has got to be one of the most overrated towns in the world. It is not a city.

    It’s very telling that multiple things on this list aren’t even from Omaha, but rather NE as a whole. You can’t claim the Huskers or the Runza, geesh.

    Omaha’s music scene blows ass and so does it’s art. You CANNOT get anywhere in town in 20 min and thank god for the grocery stores 9 months out of the year.

    Lincoln is the city with culture and an identity in Nebraska and it’s not even close. The Haymarket is far superior to the old market, Huskers over Creighton obviously, better university and local breweries, bar scene, etc, etc, etc.

  14. Mel

    And I agree With the Fake people spoken about above. I have NEVER experienced such jealousy and greed and back stabbing as I have in this town. I cannot wait to leave in a few more years. Runza’s are disgusting. The beef here needs to be seasoned bc it’s flavorless without it. And I wish it took 20 minutes to get somewhere. That’s a joke. What is TRUE is that This state has made the TOP spot 2 years in a row for drunkest state. Ya’ll should be proud. NOT! The weather sucks. The food is bland. And if you aren’t FROM here then you aren’t accepted here! Period. The zoo is Nice. A few bands are above average. And in The Summer its decent. NO I didn’t just move here. No I haven’t made a true friend here yet. And yes I have tried to like it. Sorry but Omaha is NOT a place I would recommend as a great place to anyone.

    • Molly in response to Mel

      Agreed, Mel. I could have said all of the same.

  15. Nicole

    I’ve lived in Omaha my whole life, almost 23 years.. I hate it here. It’s boring as crap. It has no scenery at all.

  16. Inigo Montoya

    Agreed that this list sucks balls- a bunch of platitudinal bullshit. The music scene is ok – nothing more, nothing less. Beercade is a joke, Maha is mediocre as well. Omaha has farmers markets, like it’s the only town that does (same with as agencies). TV dinners suck balls, Runzas are diarrhea machines and the Husker losses are a reason spousal abuse occurs in Western Nebraska.

    Minnesotans get to party at Prince’s house while hipsters here fap to the thought of going to Conor Oberst’s bar.

  17. Diane Hayes

    Today’s headline: Backers of bill to outlaw gay bias fall short in Nebraska Legislature. BUT BUT we like ice cream and TV dinners were invented here. And how bout them Huskers??!! It’s a GREAT place. Until this is fixed, every single one of us should be ashamed.

    **Backers of bill to outlaw gay bias fall short in Nebraska Legislature.**

  18. Nancy

    I can’t help but laugh at everyone’s responses. I’m not a native of Omaha, yet I’ve lived in Bellevue since Jan 1995. I’ve lived here just as long as the town I grew up in.. Before I moved here, I was warned that the people were kind of snooty. I’ll admit, that really is true, especially when you’re used to living in a small town like Mayberry, where EVERYONE is friendly and easygoing. In all these years, I’ve not made one friend that I can call my best friend other than my husband. But this place became home to my kids, so we stayed. They were tired of the military life of moving around.
    The taxes here are ridiculously high even though the cost of living is reasonable. The weather sucks most months out of the year, and I’ve never in my life seen such an ugly landscape. Where are the colors in the autumn? Other than the zoo, the museums, and the baseball, there’s not much to do here. There is a great diversity of people, however the groups are segregated, unless one is in the military and lives in Bellevue, which I’m happy to say I do.
    In saying all this, there are some positives. This has become home to me. I have many great memories with my kids and meeting my best friend here just 4 years ago….my husband. Our unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the nation, we are home to Offutt AFB, CWS, Henry Doorly Zoo, great beer and I do occasionally run into some very nice people. Home is what you make of it. Yes, I could think of better places to live, and I have. And I even have the opportunity to leave if I want. But something keeps bringing me back here. And if I continue to stay, I choose to not complain about things that I can’t control and enjoy my life here in NE.
    All cities and towns have their ups and downs. The worst thing about Omaha are the attitudes and negativity of some of the people that live here.

    • Michelle in response to Nancy

      Nancy –

      Well said about your experience in Omaha. I am contemplating a move to Omaha, NE from Columbia, SC. I could almost say the exact same things about Columbia, SC that you have said about Omaha. We have been here for 17 years and are transplants from Riverside, California. We now face a possible move to NE because my husband works for Conagra and I have been accepted to Creighton Law. We are not rich, we are poor middle class. We are in our forties and have one grown child and one in grade school. I am of Asian and Irish descent and my husband is white. Our could be mistaken for a Sumo wrestler at 13 years old he looks like a linebacker football player, but he is a gentle soul that plays in the orchestra (cello) & plays baseball. I am concerned about our relocation to NE because of diversity. I am a Valley girl and my son is a southerner, but nonetheless, we have never fit in in South Carolina because of our Asian descent. My husband too being a Valley boy, even though he is white, has never fit in with all the southerners. We are moving to NE for more opportunity. The south has an equal population of whites and blacks and the racism runs both ways. We are tired of this area and hope that NE will be a breath of fresh air. I am, however, concerned because it sounds like there are some racial issues and segregation going on there. Hope it is not violent in any way and that there is not a lot of gangs. We are also avid kayakers and hope that there are some really fun water activities being that the Missouri River is close by – I have heard no one mention anything about any kind of River Hippee scene?

      • Nancy in response to Michelle

        Hi Michelle,

        As far as Council Bluffs, if you want to buy a home and want to pay much less in real estate taxes, then that’s the place to go. Not to mention taxes on your vehicle. Nebraska is outrageous in real estate taxes! My husband and I are contemplating a move there ourselves or into a quaint little town in IA simply because of the taxes on a home. And you’re right in that Council Bluffs is right across the river from Omaha.

        As far as great water sports….I’d say you’re out of luck here, especially with you being an avid kayaker. The only thing the Missouri River is good for is boating, and even that remains questionable at times. Nebraska is not known for great water adventures, clean lakes, or good fishing. I’m afraid you’ll need to head to CO for that, where there are plenty of white rapids.

        You say you and your husband are in your 40’s with a grown child and one in school, right? And you’re concerned about fitting in? Yes, you’re right in that there seems to be some segregated areas in Omaha. I would advise picking a neutral place to live, such as Bellevue which is extremely adverse. Offutt AFB is a stone’s throw from me. Other areas might include Papillion, Millard, Ralston and LaVista. The further west you go out in Omaha, you’re going to find yourself in Mansion land, where everyone there seems to be made of money. Either that, or they are living well beyond their means. Wherever you decide to live, you’ll fit it quite well. Like all cities, we have our issues, but it’s all what you make of it. My husband and I met here, so we’ve made it our home. Good luck and welcome to Omaha!

        • Michelle in response to Nancy

          Thank you so much for your reply and sharing your insight about Council Bluffs. We look forward to touring the area in short order and hope that we will find the perfect fit. I will follow up on my posts in the upcoming months as we make the transition – so someone else moving to the area might also be able to benefit from my newbie experience.

          • Nancy in response to Michelle

            You are most welcome Michelle! When I moved here years ago, I wish I had the information like you’re getting now to know what to expect in Omaha, what areas to live, schools, etc. Any assistance that you need, we are here to help. I wish you and your family a safe journey from SC. Moving can be stressful, expensive, tiring….I moved 4 times myself in the last 2 years, moving from here to NC, to VA, to NC again, then back to NE. I guess I couldn’t stay away! If there is anything you need, even once you get here, do let me know. Or at the least, you may have just unknowingly found a new friend already. You and your husband will be busy. But when you’re all settled in, and you need a breather, I’m sure there’s a way to get each other’s contact info, and maybe we can hit one of the many Starbucks around the area or go to lunch. Again, good luck and safe travels!!

  19. Tim Hower

    I grew up in Omaha, now live near LA. Omahans want to be big city but they are just not. Be happy with your provincial status. Omaha is achin’ to be.

  20. JR

    They forgot a few things. Omaha does have the best pizza, and if you like Mexican food that’s the place to be. Other then that The best thing out of Omaha is interstate 80 and do be careful when you’re leaving for your not ran over by a John Deere.

  21. USAF

    Offutt AFB is in Bellevue. Its not in Omaha.

  22. Tammy

    Omaha does not have enough diversity and culture and yes I do deem it as a racist state..For example: throughout my employment career, A white person has done either something similar on the job or worse, whereas a minority has been immediately terminated for the exact or similar infraction. I also find that minorities work twice as hard as their white counterpart. One can say its not true, I tell you it is TRUE!! I encounter racism daily, and it’s very sad that we are not treated equally. Some white folks are so snotty when you speak to them.Let me let one in on a clue.If you are racist “It Shows” we know it!! You’re not good at hiding it..please note this. Segregated city big time, I’ve even heard white people say this, and yes BORING and too overpriced for ant kind of attraction or event. I can go to a major city and see 5 groups for 30-40 bucks easy..Omaha wants $80 for one person..seriously!! Yes, crooked cops are here, come to northand south “O”. Overrated big time and lots of job discrimination, I wont even put my address on my resume..So those if you who say these things dont exist here..lets trade places..Oh, and one last thing dont disagree or give your viewpoint and opinion in the workplace, you will then become a marked target and eventually fired for expressing yourself, all the crooked mess that goes on in rhe workplace, but you better not spwak on it!!

  23. tammy

    Sorry for the typos, but Im sure it’s not hard to understand a few typos..I guess one would say, I should have proofread, well I didn’t..

  24. gabe

    It appears many of you should move.

    • Tammy in response to gabe

      @Gabe, somehow your comment fits part of the problem. I have my mom here and believe me, I dont want to be here, but I refuse to be like some who have moved away and could care less about their aging parent and stick them in a nursing home and leave them to be miserable and lonely, wishing for their children just to visit, I see it everyday…Would that be you?

  25. Jim

    Yes, some of the things on this list are either silly, not specific to Omaha, or not to everyone’s taste. Any town I have lived in has positives and negatives, so what’s new there? As far as workplace frustrations, I suppose it depends on where you work, but I worked for years in a place that was diverse, enjoyable, and beneficial to the community. Unfortunately, and this is true nearly everywhere, many great places to work are gone due to big box retailers and the online options. There are limited opportunities to get job experience for young people. Buy local when you can, and support local arts and services. I’d as that about any town. If you truly hate it here, then you owe it to yourself to go somewhere that better fits your needs and wants, but if you find yourself complaining about the same things, then you might consider whether or not it’s an attitude issue. Some people love Omaha, and others don’t. Fake friendly people are everywhere. Is that some kind of news flash? Ethnic neighborhoods are everywhere. People who have different beliefs than you are everywhere. That’s diversity too. If Omaha doesn’t suit your needs, then why are you here? If you’re stuck in a job, then move when you get the opportunity. If you’re just a complainer, then try to make a difference in whatever way you can. A city is only as good as the people that live in it.

  26. Jane

    Omaha? More like Comaha. There’s a reason Alexander Payne lives in L.A. and Conor Oberst NYC. The city rolls up its sidewalks every night at 8PM. Seriously, go to Old Market on a Saturday night and it’s dead by then. Omahans are the classic example of “Midwest nice” in that if you went to high school with them or Catholic school with them they will treat you like family but if not, it’s guarded friendship at best. It’s an awful place to be single. Same losers at the same select group of bars. I’ve noticed most of the people that love Omaha either have never left or couldn’t hack it in a bigger city. Very big fish-small pond mentality. The unemployment/economy picture is deceiving at best. There is almost no manufacturing in the area. It’s very service oriented with a strong emphasis on call centers. All the Creighton grads and their families have the good jobs at one of the five Fortune 500 companies. NYC alone has over 50 Fortune 500 companies and the states of California, New York and Texas have over 50 each, so I have no idea where this “Omaha has more Fortune 500 companies than anywhere else” fantasy came from. And who honestly really cares that a billionaire calls Omaha home? I work in advertising and “Got Milk?” wasn’t created in Omaha. Bozell has shrunk in size considerably since the early 2000s and all things considered is more of a NYC agency now than it is an Omaha one. Diversity? Ha. Good one. Omaha’s racial issues are hidden well, but the city doesn’t give a flip that their African-American population is killing each other and not graduating school. For a city of it’s size, it’s a big issue, one that major papers have covered before. Husker football is a cult. Creighton basketball is an excuse for the WASP Catholics to get together and get drunk. The museum and music scenes are weak. Nobody does anything outside, they only care about eating and drinking, so there’s a lot of fat people. Scenery? No such thing. Best things about Omaha? The zoo is good. Quiet place to hide out and die. Great pit stop on Interstate 80 on your way to Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis or Kansas City. I moved to Austin a couple months ago and already like it much, much more than Comaha.

    • Bonnie Cosentino in response to Jane

      Yes, Jane– I was looking through here to see if anyone corrected the writer about the GOT MILK campaign..that was Goodby-Silverstein, not Bozell and Jacobs. You made some excellent points in your post. I relocated back here from Seattle, and not a lot has changed. One thing that stands out to me a lot is the polarization of races, still, after all this time. Different minorities in different sections of town, and the rich further and further out west. High taxes, considering, and they tax social security here, too..very strange.

  27. Larry McNair

    I think a read all the comments regarding Omaha. However, no mention of Boys Town. At one time, it was 10 mile west of Omaha. Now it’s surrounded. It’s a nice place to visit when your in Omaha.

  28. Martin L1

    im thinking on moving to omaha in a few weeks , i have a friend there that is doing well there . says that there are job opportunities everywhere (did i say he knows alot of folks ). hows the rent scene there?

    • Nancy in response to Martin L1

      In reply to Martin L1,

      I rent here as well, an apartment. It all depends on what you’re looking for. But there is a wide selection of apartment complexes to choose from plus homes. Just know that if you want to rent a home here, I’d not recommend that at all. I’ve also looked into that, and the price of renting a home, versus owning is it outrageous. Depending on the home, expect to pay 1300 a month for rent. You can get a mortgage for much less than that. Apartments though are plentiful and very reasonable in price.
      I rent in Bellevue, which is south of Omaha. And to those folks that say you can’t get anywhere in 20 minutes, I do. I live south of Offutt AFB, and I can easily get to West O in 20 minutes. It’s all interstate!
      If you have any questions, feel free. Good luck on your move. Your friend is correct, there are lots of job opportunities here.

  29. Betty

    How could you forget Mannheim Steamrollers?

  30. Michael

    Hee. I’m 50. “when I was a boy…” Cruisin dodge street. yay westside. crossroads was a mall shortly after it was a cornfield. its good bad and ugly all at once here. big cowtown but were gettin there. the grass is always greener I guess.

  31. Alan Cobbs

    Nice article and great information about the BIG “O”

  32. Kimberly

    Omaha rocks and Nebraskans are the cream of the crop. It’s all what you make it, but if you leave you’ll yearn to be back where everyone can feel at home.

  33. Michelle

    Nice to get the scoop about Omaha (the good and the bad). I am considering relocating to the area from Columbia, SC. Sounds like it will be a big change! Lookout Omaha – here I come!

  34. Michelle

    I know that this is about Omaha, NE, but I was wondering if anyone had any good information about the neighboring city/state of Council Bluffs, Iowa? Seems like it is a 15 minute ride across the river to Omaha? It is an area that I was looking at for housing.

  35. Michelle

    I am looking to relocate to Omaha, NE from Columbia, SC – sounds like it will be a big change! Thanks to everyone for their comments (both good and bad) – your comments have given me a great amount of information since I am a complete outsider. Lookout Omaha – here I come!

    BTW – does anyone have any information about the neighboring state/city of Council Bluffs, IA. I was thinking of looking for housing in that area since it seems to be only a 15 minute ride from Omaha across the river.

  36. sister11

    This article sounded kind of pompous and self important.. much like the cities inhabitants :) I would say this.. don’t go past 72nd street west if you are a minority.. they will treat you like a east indian untouchable.. and women in groups out west sound like hags around a witches cauldron or hyenas.. either is acceptable. different parts of the city are extremely racially segregated.. north omaha is mostly black community.. south omaha is mostly latino.. west is almost all white.. if you are native american forget it.. they can and will treat you like a leperous disease ridden dog, you either need to develop a thick tough skin and be willing to fight at a moments notice if need be, learn the subtle art of sarcasm and put downs (politely) or learn how to be walked on, these jokers will not respect you as a human being… and did you think just because you were raised in another state by parents who weren’t alchoholics that you can just ‘walk’ into a restaurant that happens to serve alcohol and eat dinner with friends (not from here as well)without being publicly humiliated? oh noo.. strangers can and will say something if you order a beer (being Native American is not easy here)At the very least they will give you the stink eye the whole time your in there.. don’t expect a warm welcome. Don’t think for an instant you can just move to Omaha and make friends with locals from here.. not going to happen.. you could work right next to people born and bred here for 40 hrs a wk for 40 years and they do not care to know you. Ditto goes for anyone outside of work. sure they wave at strangers.. but if you want a friend.. expect Ice treatements. Not to mention.. don’t even try to socialize with anyone ‘not in your group’ at a bar.. that is asking for trouble. Expect rude behavior from strangers not limited to grocery stores, the post office, museums etc. Malcolm X was born here, stayed until he was 4 and then his family moved him someplace just as bad or worse to minorities.. read his autobiography.. it’s not a pretty way to grow up. If you are a minority and not from this town, I did warn you.. on the other hand.. there are little pockets of ‘just okay’ that you can go to.. I recommend finding a mixed minority community to live in (like i did north of sorenson and 78th street) when I do go out on occasion to dance, (I am in my 20’s for gods sake)I stick to LOOM downtown and the Max (gay club) and I made one friend here who is from here.. every other friend i’ve made is from somewhere else and they can and do pick up and leave.. I will go too eventually myself.. after I’ve gotten every thing I deserve and want and when i’m good and ready, any a*holes who have a problem with me can expect that I don’t give a sh* about what you think :)

  37. bolton carley

    Great read! Good to see Omaha highlighted! Say what you want, but the assets outweigh the downfalls.

  38. Omahasucks

    @sister11….come to Arizona. Way better than Omaha. I live in Arizona and love it. No racial divide with neighborhoods at all.

  39. Frank Cotti

    Moving to Omaha is a big step for you and your family! I moved here last year with my wife and four children for a job offer and we are really happy here. I definitely recommend to do your homework and hire a professional and reliable moving and storage company. We hired All My Sons Moving and Storage and they did a great job. We would definitely use them again.

    Hope this helps! Good luck!

    -Frank Cotti

  40. Fwizzle

    Omaha is America’s worst city. Your rivers are mucky, muddy, brown and that’s no way to float. Your weather sucks with winds blowing pollen in the summer and ice in the winters. Majority of people have never left and therefore hangout with high school friends, The city’s layout is slow and dated, the gun violence is insanely high. People need realize why every movie references NE as the worst state. Because it is. embrace it, don’t argue with it.

  41. Mister C

    Omaha is an amazing place to live, retire, or visit. The women are beautiful, never seen so many great looking blondes in my life. I lived there for 14 years, and would come back in a heartbeat. I love this place. A very high quality of life.

  42. Patrick

    Love my Family that live in Papillion
    Wish they would’ve legalized same sex marriage
    A little slow in that dept…..

  43. Sandy

    Hi everybody, I know I’m asking completely different thing but if someone reply to this it’ll be a great help. I’M curious about Nebraska state boys soccer championship, what are the different classes of schools in it ( like class 2a,1a etc) is it based on schools student strength ? Does each class have separate state champions or there will be a single champion?

    Do the different class school play each other? Is state championship is a single event or multiple small tournaments across the state and team progression through them?


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