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BIG ERN

Omaha Zoo Recommendations

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Taking a weekend trip to the zoo next month with the family. Inquiring about a few things:

 

  1. Best hotel to stay at - doesn't have to be right next to the zoo
  2. Best restaurants around this area
  3. Best places to shop...to keep the wife happy and I want some Husker gear 
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Outside of the zoo and former Rosenblatt (RIP), I've never spent much time in that part of Omaha.

 

'Best' is naturally subjective but, in terms of quality, downtown is only about a 10-15 minutes drive from the zoo depending on traffic and there a lot of great choices. The EVEN hotel has good reviews from people I know who've stayed there and the Double Tree has always been good to us. The new Marriott across from the CenturyLink Center is cool because it's right by the new outdoor Capitol District which has a lot of new restaurants/bars. It's a smaller version of KC's Power and Light, in essence. Lincoln's Railyard would be a more apt comparison.

 

As for restaurants, some of it depends on what you want to spend. There are some nice steakhouses and places to eat downtown like 801 and Spencer's. Block 16 is a MUST (great hamburgers and unique food, check out their Facebook page.) Jazz (a southern/Louisiana type restaurant) is solid if you enjoy that sort of food and pretty inexpensive. Wilson & Washburn is my favorite bar in the area, but I HIGHLY recommend the tiki bar Laka Lono if it's not busy.

 

Some people really like the restaurants Upstream and Twisted Fork but they've never really been my thing.

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You can find any good hotel that is close to restaurants and bars in the downtown area if you are willing to pay some extra cash.  Even if you stay further away from the downtown area, you can get to find a decent hotel within 20 minutes of the zoo.

 

It's not hard to use a site like Hotels.com, which has a map feature.

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3 hours ago, BIG ERN said:

Taking a weekend trip to the zoo next month with the family. Inquiring about a few things:

 

  1. Best hotel to stay at - doesn't have to be right next to the zoo
  2. Best restaurants around this area
  3. Best places to shop...to keep the wife happy and I want some Husker gear 

 

 

Definitely stay in/near the old market, and don't stay near the zoo. I can't think of any reason you'd need to go west of 20th street during your trip. (Other than Husker gear and I don't know where to buy that in Omaha).

Walking around in the old market you'll find restaurants and fun shops to look around in. Dunno how old your kids are but I really liked going to the old market when I was 12+. If they're younger you could take a ride on the horse-pulled carriage. I've never done this so I don't know the details. I just see them around.

 

Quote

The Old Market is a neighborhood located in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, United States, and is bordered by South 10th Street to the east, 13th Street to the west, Farnam Street to the north and Jackson Street to the South

 

^ I know you're a Husker fan obviously but don't know how well you know the area. Passageway Gallery is a nice little area to spend an hour in that you might miss if you didn't know it's there, so just google where to find it.

 

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Another thing to do in the area is visit the Heartland of America Park and Fountain. It was built 2-3 years ago I believe.

 

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I recommend M's Pub and Upstream Brewing Company for restaurants - but I don't think I've been to either of these places with kids. I would imagine Upstream would be better with kids but it is a brewery. One big hint that M's Pub is well-liked is that it burned down in 2016 and they built another building in the same spot and re-opened in November. (The fire was not the restaurant's fault).

 

 

The funny thing is I work near the area but I haven't walked around in it since moving to Omaha. I always just want to get the heck home after work. I used to visit a lot as a teenager.

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The purest advice I can offer is walking the park counterclockwise.  Starting with the African Grasslands (hitting the indoor exhibits at your discretion).  This way you'll only need to walk uphill if you want to see the lions.  Which I recommend.  By the time you loop around to the Gorilla Valley exhibit you can take the elevator back up that godforsaken hill.

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15 hours ago, The Dude said:

The purest advice I can offer is walking the park counterclockwise.  Starting with the African Grasslands (hitting the indoor exhibits at your discretion).  This way you'll only need to walk uphill if you want to see the lions.  Which I recommend.  By the time you loop around to the Gorilla Valley exhibit you can take the elevator back up that godforsaken hill.

You can also do the park front to back and then take the sky lift back to the front and avoid the hills.

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I’m a big fan of Embassy Suites when traveling with the fam for the extra room (and the free cocktails and omlettes).  There is one on downtown that I’ve got pretty good deals on before, and it’s right by all the old market stuff.

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Huskerhounds on 84th just south of Center and north of Interstate 80 for your Husker gear.

And we would like to invite you to the Blackstone area for good bars good food and good fun, up Farnam to 40th

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I live 5 minutes from Jonesys.  Can confirm their deliciousness.  Although it's not even the best restaurant in that area...that would go to Tracks for their delicious fried chicken.

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1 hour ago, scarletNcream said:

Huskerhounds on 84th just south of Center and north of Interstate 80 for your Husker gear.

And we would like to invite you to the Blackstone area for good bars good food and good fun, up Farnam to 40th

 

Is Husker Hounds still open?  I thought I heard a radio advert saying they were going out of business.  That could easily be another Husker store though.

 

Cosign the Blackstone area.  Lots of really cool places.

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23 hours ago, Xmas32 said:

 

Is Husker Hounds still open?  I thought I heard a radio advert saying they were going out of business.  That could easily be another Husker store though.

 

Cosign the Blackstone area.  Lots of really cool places.

Still there. I believe its the last true Husker store in town.

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5 minutes ago, scarletNcream said:

Still there. I believe its the last true Husker store in town.

There are 2 Husker Hounds locations, one on 84th, and one out west by Zorinsky Lake.  Although, I went to the Omaha Scheels a couple years ago and was very pleased with the amount of Cornhusker apparel they had.

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On 5/15/2018 at 10:59 AM, Red Five said:

I’m a big fan of Embassy Suites when traveling with the fam for the extra room (and the free c$%ktails and omlettes).  There is one on downtown that I’ve got pretty good deals on before, and it’s right by all the old market stuff.

There is also one about 10 minutes away, which is about $100 bucks cheaper a night.

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On 5/16/2018 at 1:03 PM, ColoradoHusk said:

There are 2 Husker Hounds locations, one on 84th, and one out west by Zorinsky Lake.  Although, I went to the Omaha Scheels a couple years ago and was very pleased with the amount of Cornhusker apparel they had.

There are 3 now...one on 150th and Maple...

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