I was lucky enough recently to be part of a North Iowa Bloggers trip to Omaha, Nebraska. My thanks to the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau for hosting me! As always, all the views expressed here are 100% mine.

This trip was so great and full of so many wonderful things to do and see, one post won’t be enough to tell you all about it. In fact, this is just the first of several posts on my visit to the incredible city of Omaha!

When we were traveling home, I got to thinking about how we stereotype not only people but places, too.  I know many have a preconceived notion about Iowa and I thought I probably had done the same with Nebraska. I was soon to find out that Omaha is a vibrant exciting city!

When we arrived in town our first stop was to the Omaha Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.


After getting our welcome packets we decided to walk up the street to find some much needed lunch before we headed out for our first activity. We decided to stop at Pickleman’s, a gourmet cafe serving sandwiches, salads, and pizza. We settled on the pizza after seeing it was thin crust.  It didn’t disappoint at all. It was delicious and a perfect choice for lunch.

After lunch off we headed to our first attraction Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium! Before this zoo visit, it had been 40 years since I had visited a zoo. The weather was perfect and I was excited to see what this zoo had to offer. It did NOT disappoint! It is understandable how the Omaha Zoo continues to be a top rated zoo.

It amazed me to see such beautiful birds, butterflies and exotic animals all in one place. I was in awe of the beauty of all the creatures, great and small.

The giraffe was beautiful and captivating and we stood for a long time watching him.
The always majestic lion.

It fast became apparent that there is just not enough time in one day to see everything. In the future there will be even more to take in. There is a 28 acre African Grasslands under construction. Phase 1 is scheduled to be open in 2016 and it will include an elephant family quarters and giraffe herd rooms amongst many other exciting animals and features.  Phase 2 is scheduled to be complete in 2017. You can read all about it here. The African Grasslands

After our visit to the Omaha Zoo it was time to check in to our hotel the Hampton Inn Hotel in Omaha-Midtown Aksarben. This is a new hotel located just one mile north of I-80 and easily accessible from everywhere we went!


Such a beautiful room.

These rooms were incredibly comfortable and clean. It was truly the best night’s sleep I have had in a long time and the best one ever in a hotel room! No hard bed to keep me awake. Even with all the walking I did that day, nothing hurt the next morning! The first thing I noticed getting into bed, after the comfort, of course, was that even the comforter had a clean smell. Come to find out, when reading the piece of paper on the headboard, this hotel washes even those every time. I think all hotels should do the same!

After checking in and freshening up, we ventured back out to find a place for dinner. We ended up at The Old Market a wonderful historic area of Omaha. (We returned there for one of our culinary tours that I will tell you about in another post! ) We decided on Stokes Grill and Bar, a casual southwestern grill. It had a great atmosphere and delicious food.

After dinner we took a walk to the Heartland of America Park and Fountain, also located in the Old Market on Douglas Street. The weather was perfect and the sunset couldn’t have been more beautiful that night.


We ended the walk in the park with a stop at the fountain.


I could have stood here all night, but we had a busy day in store for us the next day.

Come back soon for Visiting Omaha-Part Two!