As a recent transplant to the mid-west, there are several things I miss about home; friends and family are of course number one but here are the rest in order:
On a side note, I have found out Arkansas takes credit for creating cheese dip. Apparently it was first served in a Mexico Chequito in North Little Rock, AR in 1935. If the owners are still alive, I’d like to say thank you from all of us… also, if you think my rant about cheese dip is silly well, try and go without it… just try.
PS- I’ve recently been telling people that ask where I’m from that I’ve lived in New York City my entire life. You should see the look on their faces.
Andrew and I have only been living in Omaha for 6 months and we've had countless visitors, we are very grateful for all that have made the trip! We always want to show our friends and family the best of Omaha; there is so much to do that we can't fit it all in one visit. If you find yourself wondering what to do with guests in for a long weekend, I have a few good pointers. You can hit all the highlights and still leave some things to try on their next visit (everyone always wants to come back).
1. Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium: The zoo is always our number 1 thing to do and take everyone to see. We have one of the best zoo's in the country with tons of exhibits, active animals, educational events, and much more! We've been 3 times now and are considering buying a season pass for next year. Every time we have a different experience and the visits never get old. http://www.omahazoo.com/
2. must.eat.steak. Omaha is famous for their wonderful steaks so you've got to take your guests to a steak house! My personal favorite is The Drover. It's wonderful food but doesn't have an over the top price tag. Plus, you feel like you've stepped back in time when you walk in.
3. Old Market: The Old Market area is one of my favorite places in all of Omaha. I love the passageways, the galleries, the wonderful food, and the site seeing! Some of my favorite places to eat are: The Twisted Fork, Stokes Grill and Bar, and Upstream Brewing Company.
4. Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge: While you're in the Old Market area you might as well drive to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, it's worth it! This is one of my favorite outings simply because you get a little fresh air and exercise while also having a really awesome experience! It's the first ever pedestrian bridge to connect 2 states. Here, you can literally have one foot in Nebraska and one foot in Iowa.
5. eCreamery: can we say YUM?! eCreamery is in our neighborhood so we eat here way more than we should but who can resist ice cream?! You can personalize your ice cream picks, create your own flavor, and if your guests are as obsessed as we are... they ship! This ice cream eatery is no regular place, it's been visited by the likes of Sir. Paul McCartney and Mr. Warren Buffett, it's also been featured on Shark Tank!
If you indulge in our top 5 personal favorite tourist attractions all in one weekend your feet will be sore, your bellies will be full, and your heart will be happy! We love showing off our new town!
Arbor Day Farm is located about 45 minutes outside of Omaha in a quaint little town called Nebraska City. This National Historic Landmark would be an amazing place to spend the weekend or just do a quick day trip! We packed a lot into one day and we could have done more. It was such a wonderful experience, we learned so much about Arbor Day- the tree planter's holiday.
First, we started with the Tree Adventure. We went hiking on the South Table Creek trail and it was beautiful! The trail takes about an hour to hike. The trees were starting to change colors and the weather was just perfect. We explored the 50 foot-tall tree house and watched live honeybees in action-they are in a cage of course!
We opted to take the Discovery Ride next, I would recommend this ride to anyone visiting the farm. The cost is a bit extra (only $4 per adult) but it's worth it! You get to go on a one-hour journey into the backwoods of Arbor Day Farm. We traveled through the orchards and vineyards and learned interesting facts about our surroundings. We also got to pick apples from the heritage collection, meaning these are not apples you will find in the store and they are over 50 years old. Andrew picked an Arkansas Black apple, how cool is that?!
Lastly, we visited Arbor Lodge State Historical Park. the park hosts the original estate of J. Sterling Morton- the founder of Arbor Day. He was also the founder of Morton salt (are you picturing the yellow dress girl with her umbrella now?). The mansion has 52 rooms and countless historic artifacts belonging to this family, we could have stayed in the house hours but we were a bit rushed on time.
Next Spring, we are going back to the Farm and spending the weekend in their Lodge. We plan to experience what the springtime has to offer, there won't be any apples but the grapes will be in growing season. Oh... that reminds me, they also have a winery! While we are there for our next visit we plan to play golf on the Arnold Palmer built course on the grounds.
This was by far a wonderful day trip and we can't wait to go back! I'd recommend this experience to people of all ages.
A southern girl living in the Mid-West. My husband and I love to travel and go on new adventures--We love Jesus and the blessings He provides!