Since we’re all staying closer to home these days, why not take the opportunity to really explore Omaha? If your kids will be learning virtually, you can even turn the experience into a “class” trip by immersing them in the local history and getting them acquainted with where they live. Unsure of where to start on your Omaha sightseeing adventure? We’ve got you covered. The team here at Hawley Orthodontics is sharing nine Omaha landmarks to add to your itinerary:
Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge
705 Riverfront Drive, Omaha, NE
At the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, take in the view of Omaha’s skyline on this 3,000-foot walkway that spans across the Missouri River. It’s fun to walk between two different states and visit with OMAR the bridge troll. The bridge is also connected to over 150 miles of nature trails so you can make a day out of hiking, biking or walking.
St. Cecilia Cathedral
701 N. 40th Street, Omaha, NE
St. Cecilia Cathedral is an awesome Omaha landmark. The cathedral sits up on a hill overlooking the city and has gorgeous grounds worth exploring on a sunny day. The stained glass and architecture are breathtaking. The cathedral is open daily to visitors from 7am to 6pm.
The Pottawattamie County Squirrel Jail
226 Pearl Street, Council Bluffs, IA
The Pottawattamie County Squirrel Jail was built in 1885 and was in use until 1969. The one-of-a-kind structure has revolving cells and has housed a number of infamous prisoners. It’s a fascinating place to visit and one of the only jails of its kind left standing. Tours are available by appointment only and visitors will have to follow COVID-19 guidelines.
The Old Market is Omaha’s most historic neighborhood. It was the epicenter of activity at the end of the 19th century and continues to be home to a bustling commercial district. Stroll the cobblestone streets and people watch or window shop. You can read all about the history of this Omaha sightseeing destination here.
First National’s Spirit of Nebraska’s Wilderness and Pioneer Courage Park
1601 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE
Another Omaha landmark, the First National’s Spirit of Nebraska’s Wilderness and Pioneer Courage Park, sits at the gateway of Omaha’s central business district. This sculpture park is an homage to the people who settled the land and is the largest installation of stainless steel and bronze art in the United States, and among the largest in the world. You can walk along the path with larger-than-life sculptures of pioneers at this free attraction.
Monarch Tagging at the Hitchcock Nature Center
27792 Ski Hill Loop, Honey Creek, IA
The Hitchcock Nature Center has tons of hiking trails, as well as an observation tower. However, the Hawley family’s favorite event at this Omaha area destination is monarch tagging! Participants learn all about monarchs and their migration to Mexico and get a lesson in catching and handling the butterflies. After the presentation, families go out on the trails to capture butterflies, which are then tagged and released by staff for research purposes. While it may look different this year because of the coronavirus, it’s still fun and informational. Registration is open for the next monarch tagging event on Saturday, September 26.
Lewis and Clark Landing
515 N. Riverfront Drive, Omaha, NE
Lewis and Clark Landing is a 23-acre landing along the Missouri River. You’ll find Lewis and Clark interpretive exhibits, the Omaha Firefighters Memorial Monument and the second biggest labor monument in the country.
3902 Davenport Street, Omaha, NE
Yup, we have a castle in Nebraska! Joslyn Castle, a popular Omaha landmark, was built in 1903 by George and Sarah Joslyn. Just as stunning as the castle are the gardens and grounds. It’s the perfect place to get in touch with local history. The gardens and grounds are open to the public. There are public tours of the castle itself available every Sunday at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm, every Monday at 10:30am, 11:30am and 12:30pm, and every Thursday at 2pm. However, there are special pandemic rules for visitor safety so be sure to read them before heading out to the tour.
100 Bancroft Street, Omaha, NE
Lauritzen Gardens is a 100-acre botanical garden in the riverfront hills. The gardens are gorgeous and educational. You’ll find gardens with themes including Victorian and English, as well as those centered on Nebraskan plant species. To visit, you’ll have to buy timed tickets in advance and follow certain COVID-19 protocols, which you can read about here.
We hope you have a blast on your Omaha sightseeing adventure! If you’d also like to learn more about your Omaha Invisalign or braces options this fall, schedule an in-person or virtual consultation at Hawley Orthodontics today.