Plan a romantic weekend getaway or a family vacation to one of these relaxing hotels, inns and B&Bs. Some are surrounded by scenic country views while others are close to famous museums, restaurants and attractions in Omaha, Lincoln and other destinations. Whether you are looking for a modern guest room, glamping or a home-away-from-home experience at a cozy inn, you will find ideas for nearly every taste and budget. Here are the best Nebraska vacation ideas.
1. South Sioux City Marriott Riverfront
2. Slattery Vintage Estates
3. Oft's Bed and Breakfast in Bennington
4. Lied Lodge
5. Hotel Deco Omaha
6. Burchell's White Hill Farmhouse Inn
7. Heartland Elk Guest Ranch
8. The River Inn Resort
9. Hyatt Place Omaha
10. The Rogers House Bed and Breakfast Inn
11. The Magnolia Hotel Omaha
12. The Red Cloud Bed and Breakfast
13. Middle Loup River Ranch Guest House
14. The Cambridge Bed and Breakfast
15. Whispering Pines Bed and Breakfast
16. Niobrara River Ranch Cabins
What are the 16 Best Romantic Getaways & Places to Visit in Nebraska?
The 16 Best Romantic Getaways & Places to Visit in Nebraska according to local experts are:
- South Sioux City Marriott Riverfront
- Slattery Vintage Estates
- Oft's Bed and Breakfast in Bennington
- Lied Lodge
- Hotel Deco Omaha
- Burchell's White Hill Farmhouse Inn
- Heartland Elk Guest Ranch
- The River Inn Resort
- Hyatt Place Omaha
- The Rogers House Bed and Breakfast Inn
- The Magnolia Hotel Omaha
- The Red Cloud Bed and Breakfast
- Middle Loup River Ranch Guest House
- The Cambridge Bed and Breakfast
- Whispering Pines Bed and Breakfast
- Niobrara River Ranch Cabins
Largest Cities in Nebraska
Situated in both the Midwest and Great Plains regions of the United States, Nebraska is the 16th biggest state in terms of area but has the 37th biggest population, resulting in this state being one of the most sparsely populated areas of America. Nebraska covers an area of 77,358 square miles and has an estimated population of 1.92 million. Nebraska has borders with the following states: South Dakota, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming.
Nebraska has the unique distinction of being the only 'triply landlocked' state of America, meaning that one would have to travel through three separate states in any direction in order to reach the coast. The Missouri River runs along the eastern side of Nebraska, which became the 37th official state in 1867. The largest city in Nebraska is Omaha, and the biggest metropolitan area is the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro. The capital city of Nebraska is Lincoln. Read on for some additional details on the largest cities of Nebraska.
Situated in Douglas County, of which it is the county seat, Omaha is the biggest city in the state of Nebraska. It is located on the Missouri River, not far from the Platte River, in the eastern part of the state. Omaha covers a total area of 130.58 square miles and has an estimated population of 466,000, with over 975,000 in the surrounding metropolitan area.
Omaha is a key industrial and business hub for the state of Nebraska, being home to four Fortune 500 companies and many other major corporations. The city was founded in 1854 and incorporated just a few years later, in 1857. In the 19th century, the city was seen as a key transportation hub, linking the east and west parts of America and earning the nickname 'Gateway to the West'. Over time, the city developed its own industries and built up a successful economy that has stayed strong in the modern era.
Lincoln is located in Lancaster County and is the state capital of Nebraska. It is the second biggest city in the state and one of only two cities (with the other being Omaha) to have a population exceeding 100,000. Lincoln covers an area of 94.267 square miles and has an estimated population of 258,000.
This city is situated in the southeastern part of the state and was founded in 1856. It was originally called Lancaster but the name was changed to Lincoln, in honor of Abraham Lincoln, in 1867. The city of Lincoln is home to the University of Nebraska, which was established in 1867 and is one of the biggest employers in the area. Over 25,000 students attend this university each year, making Lincoln a big college town.
Located in Sarpy County, Bellevue is the third largest city in all of Nebraska. It is located in the eastern part of the state and is technically a suburb of the city of Omaha. Bellevue covers a relatively small area of 16.02 square miles and has an estimated population of 53,000.
This city is officially regarded as the second oldest settlement of Nebraska and was founded at some time in the 1830s, before being incorporated in 1855. The name of this city comes from a French word meaning 'beautiful view'.
Situated in Hall County, of which it is the county seat, Grand Island is the fourth biggest city in Nebraska. This city is located in the central eastern part of the state and covers an area of 28.55 square miles.
Grand Island has an estimated population of 51,000 and is the main city of the Grand Island metropolitan area, which also includes Merric, Howard, and Hamilton Counties. One of the major locations in Grand Island is the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center, which is the only training location of its kind in the state.
Located in Buffalo County, of which it is the county seat, Kearney is the fifth biggest city in Nebraska. Due to the state's relatively small overall population, Kearney is quite a small location despite being one of the top five cities of Nebraska. It covers an area of 13 square miles and has an estimated population of around 33,000.
Kearney is found in the south central part of the state in quite an important strategic location, offering access to much larger cities like Des Moines, Omaha, Denver, and more. Originally known as Dobytown, Kearney was given a new name in honor nearby Fort Kearny, which was named after General Stephen W. Kearny, an important officer in the Mexican-American War.
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More Ideas: Joslyn Art Museum
Located in Omaha, Nebraska, the Joslyn Art Museum is the premiere fine arts museum in the state of Nebraska and its only arts institution with an extensive permanent collection. he museum was dedicated as a gift to the people of Omaha by Sarah H. Joslyn, in memory of her husband, newspaper magnate George Joslyn.
TNative New Englanders, the Joslyns moved to Omaha in 1880, where George became president and general manager of the Western Newspaper Union, the largest newspaper service organization in the world at the time, operating plants and offices in 32 prominent cities. At the time of his death, George Joslyn was the richest man in Nebraska.
The Joslyns were noted philanthropists in the Omaha community during their lifetimes, donating more than seven million dollars to local organizations such as the University of Omaha, the Humane Society, and the Child Saving Institute, so upon George’s death, Sarah set out to create a memorial that would honor this legacy of philanthropy and continue to serve the community. Drawing upon their shared love of art and music, she settled on an art museum and concert hall as the design for the memorial.
After three years of construction, the museum was opened on November 29, 1931. It is housed in a large Art Deco style building that was named one of the 100 most beautiful buildings in the country in 1938. Designed by architects John and Alan McDonald, the building’s exterior is constructed from Georgia Pink marble, with more than 38 types of marble from France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, and Morocco utilized in its interior. Decorative themes in the building’s interior, including panels designed by John David Brcin, pay homage to the area’s indigenous Native American populations.
Several renovations in the past decades have added substantial expansions onto the museum. The Walter and Suzanne Scott Pavilion, a 58,000-square-foot pavilion added in 1994 by British architect Lord Norman Foster, connects the building to the ConAgra Foods Atrium. In 2009, the addition of the Joslyn Sculpture Garden revamped the building’s exterior, featuring granite pathways, a reflecting pool, and a waterfall.
The museum is home to a number of permanent exhibits, featuring items from its international arts collection.
The Ancient Collection includes pieces dating back to Egyptian, Greek, and Roman societies. A sizeable collection of Greek pottery is featured, along with a bust of Egyptian princess Amenirdas I dating back to 700 B.C. and a head of Roman emperor Augustus commissioned around 20 A.D. An American Indian Collection features historic works by indigenous peoples, including preserved ledger books by Southern Cheyenne warrior Howling Wolf and Kiowa chief White Horse, noted artists among their tribes. Contemporary Native American art is also highlighted, with works by artists such as Fritz Scholder, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, Allan Houser, Bob Haozous, and Zig Jackson.
A notable collection of Art of the American West includes extensive holdings of the works of Swiss artist Karl Bodmer that document his 1832-1834 journey through the Missouri River frontier area. A collection of watercolors by Alfred Jacob Miller also serves as a travelogue of the frontier West, inspired by Miller’s travels through the Rocky Mountains in 1837. The American Collection includes colonial portraits and landscapes by artists such as James Peale, Mather Brown, Thomas Cole, and Homer Dodge Martin, as well as holdings of early American furniture, sculpture, and decorative arts.
The museum is noted for its 19th- and 20th-century European Collection, which features significant holdings of artists such as William Adolphe Bouguereau and Pierre Auguste Renoir. Pieces by Claude Monet and Edgar Degas are also of note, including one of two plaster versions in existence of Degas’ Little Dancer sculpture. A collection of Modern and Contemporary Art is anchored by Jackson Pollock’s 1947 work Galaxy, along with other significant regionalist, Abstract Expressionist, and Pop Art works.
The Asian Collection presents a 4,000-year overview of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, and Tibetan art, including a carved red lacquer screen preserved from the Kang-xi period. A small but notable holding of Spanish colonial missionary art anchors the Latin American Collection, including a travelling scroll by José María Hernández and an Our Lady of Guadalupe retablo.
Ongoing Programs and Education
A number of educational programs engage the Omaha community with the museum’s collections and art studio space. In addition to school group visits, the Outreach Trunks program brings reproductions of museum artwork directly into the classroom, with activities structured around the pieces and themes represented. Art classes for all ages are offered throughout the year, incorporating themes of current and permanent exhibits, and the Kent Bellows Mentoring Program provides teens interested in art with a chance to work in an interdisciplinary studio with professional artist support.
Special events held throughout the year include a concert series with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra, held at the museum’s Witherspoon Concert Hall, and the popular Late ‘til 8 happy hour series, featuring gallery talks, film showings, and music performances.
2200 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE 68102-1292, Phone: 402-342-3300
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More Ideas: Bemis Center for Contemporary Art
Located in Omaha, Nebraska’s Old Market Historic District, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art is an artist-run exhibition and community arts space, bringing contemporary art to the Omaha community through public workshops and events and an artist-in-residency program.
The Bemis Center’s roots can be traced back to 1981, when Lorne Falk, Tony Hepburn, Jun Kaneko, and Ree Schonlau founded the Alternative Worksite artist-in-residency program, which provided artists with work space at local industrial sites in order to foster creativity and experimentation. The program’s success resulted in the establishment of a permanent worksite at the Bemis Bag Warehouse, part of city’s historic Old Market building, and as such, the organization’s name was changed to The Bemis Foundation to honor its new space. In 1995, the organization revamped again, moving into the former McCord-Brady grocery warehouse and rebranding as the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts to reflect its expanded variety of its programming.
In 2011, the Center expanded again, adding five live-in studios, a 2,000-square-foot multipurpose space, a loading dock, and a garden at the Okada Center for Sculpture and Ceramics.
Ongoing Programs and Exhibits
Central to the Bemis Center’s work is its Artist-in-Residence program, which is frequently cited as one of the top artist residency programs in the world. Over 900 artists have participated in the program since its inception in 1981, with 1,200 annual applicants vying for 36 residency spots. Interdisciplinary artists from all fields are encouraged to apply, with past program recipients representing the fields of painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, fiber arts, architecture, installation, photography, writing, performance, theater, and puppetry. Selected artists-in-residence are provided with $750 monthly stipend, as well as a live-in work studio at Omaha’s Old Market and 24-hour access to production and installation spaces, including the Okada Sculpture and Ceramics facility. Artists are encouraged to work communally in order to facilitate creative growth and experimentation.
The Center’s galleries host more than 20 rotating annual exhibitions, inviting local and international artists to create site-specific, socially engaged works. In addition to cutting-edge installations across a variety of disciplines, the galleries also frequently present compilations of works by Nebraska artists and retrospectives of art created by the Center’s programming over the years.
Through its Community Arts program, the Center seeks to engage the Omaha community in a number of outreach programs, including public art projects and in-school educational programming. The program’s roots came out of the Art 4 Omaha Initiative, a public arts initiative started in 2005 seeking to enhance the city’s cultural landscape and raise awareness for contemporary art among its citizens. Many competitions and collaborations run as part of the Community Arts program have incorporated art into public Omaha spaces via permanent installations, including the Fertile Ground mural on the east and north walls of the NRG Energy building, a steel sculpture collaboration and painted quilt project developed for Qwest Center Omaha, and a campus-wide artwork master plan for Project Harmony, a local child abuse center.
In addition to Community Arts program initiatives, several exhibits presented at the Center have continued to have an impact on Omaha’s cultural landscape, including the ongoing Urban Fruit Trails installation. Organized in conjunction with the 2015 Fallen Fruit: Power of People, Power of Place exhibition, the natural exhibit presents a walking path of apple trees planted throughout the city by teenagers in the Joslyn Art Museum’s Kent Bellows Mentoring Program. The path of trees connects Omaha’s neighborhoods from north to south, with bilingual signage at each tree encouraging visitors to pick and share apples during the harvest season.
The Community Arts program has also sponsored initiatives with local schools, seeking to encourage appreciation for contemporary arts among Omaha’s youth. The TEAM initiative brings local high school students to the community’s public libraries for forums discussing community issues and art workshops with Center educators. Another Art 4 Omaha initiative with Bancroft Elementary students created banners that are now on display at a community visual arts facility, and the Building Bridges youth residency project allowed students to create scale models of their ideas for public art projects.
The Center also hosts a number of public events throughout the year, including an annual art auction benefit evening. More than 250 works created specifically for the event by local, national, and international artists are auctioned, with all proceeds benefitting the Center’s future programming. Artist-led classes and workshops are offered throughout the year for the public, along with ARTalks lectures, open studio events, panel discussions, and film screenings. Theater and dance performances are also frequently presented at the Center as part of multidisciplinary exhibits.
724 South 12th Street, Omaha, NE 68102, Phone: 402-341-7130