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Why fly to Omaha?
It is the home of one of the most brilliant animal-encounter experiences in the world and besides that, everyone is just really, really nice. Omaha is a wonderful little secret set in the US Midwest.
The city sits on the Missouri River in Nebraska and has really made a name for itself since its humble beginnings. Today, it is home to some of the world's top Fortune 500 companies and is developing its own signature brand of midwest hospitality.
Omaha is home to one of the world's premier zoos and this site alone is worth a visit much like families will visit Orlando just to go to Disney World. The site is home to an indoor swamp, rainforest and well as an indoor desert so you can just imagine the types of creature you will encounter in such an extensive setting.
Some of the coolest exhibits include the Hubbard Orangutan Forest and Gorilla Valley as well as the bear canyon. The nocturnal animal exhibit is definitely not one you want to miss as it is one of the largest in the world. Its almost as though the world has been shrunk and fitted into a dome for your visiting pleasure.
One of the great outdoor sites in the city is the Omaha Botanical Center. The center sits on a hilly expanse and is broken up into various sections. There is a herb area, rose garden as well as a neat space full of miniature trains running throughout. You can walk or take a tram through the various exhibits.
For great dining and shopping head to he old market historic district. Stroll through the area filled with specialty shops and enjoy a nice meal at one of the restaurants housed in the reinvented buildings. You can also find galleries featuring the best of Omaha's art world. A great way to top off your visit to the old market is with a horse and carriage ride.
There is a lot to see and do in the city besides the signature zoo so give yourself some time to explore the lesser known areas. The staff at the visitor's center have a reputation for being uber nice and supremely helpful.
Omaha is a city of extreme temperatures so when its hot it is very hot and when it's cold it can get cold to the extreme. Summer temperatures on average are in the low 30s and the air is fairly humid. The city is at particular risk for thunderstorms and has also seen tornadoes. Moving into the fall months the weather cools down significantly and it is downright cold once December arrives. On average, the temperatures fall below 0 and slide right down to the minus teens during January. Snow falls on the city from December to February.
When to fly to Omaha
Late summer and fall are a popular time to visit the city as the tornado season wraps up and temperatures are quite balmy. This means flight ticket prices are fairly high at this time.
Late spring and summer is tornado season and therefore, unless you're a tornado-chaser, it is not a particularly popular time to visit the city. The period from May to July tends to see a drop in flight ticket prices due to the tornado risk.
The winter months are very cold and they tend to keep tourists from traveling to the city at that time, which means flight tickets drop in an attempt to lure travelers. January and February make for particularly good flight steals, and it also means you can visit all of the city's indoor sites without having to wait in ques.
Getting into Omaha
Your gateway into Omaha opens up at Eppley Airfield, which is located 8 kilometers from the city center. Travel options for getting into the city are limited to shuttle or taxi. If you head to the lower level of the terminal you will find a ground transportation where a number of shuttle services have phones set up to reach them directly. Additionally, your hotel may provide complimentary service so check on that with your agent.
Getting around Omaha
Omaha is a city made for personal vehicles and therefore it may be best to rent a car. However, if you would prefer not to you have the option of using the city's public transit buses to get around. Additionally, taxi service is also an option.
- If you are traveling with children head to the Omaha Children's Museum for an afternoon. The space has some fun things for children as young as 3 to do. The venue includes a carousel as well as a ball room. They also have a farmhouse and supermarket area as well as an old-time fire engine on display. You can even take in a play performed by staff, but it will depend on what time you go.
- For a day in nature head to Zorinsky Lake, here you can go for a nice walk or bike and if you enjoy fishing this is the place to do it. Additionally, there is a children's play area and picnic tables and barbecues so you can enjoy a nice picnic.
- Visit Keneick Park for a fantastic view of the Missouri River and get a chance to check out the old engines that sit there.
- For a cultural break head to St. Cecilia's Cathedral. The church has gorgeous stained-glass windows from the 16th century as well as lovely sculptures and if you attend on a Sunday morning you can take in the beautiful sounds of the pipe organ.
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