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When the first settlers set up camp on the western banks of the Missouri River, the city of Omaha was born. What was once the site of these early dirt roads and crude, makeshift buildings is now a bustling urban area.
Downtown is also a haven for the arts. The
This district hosts the city's older, more established neighborhoods, including the Bemis, Gold Coast and Blackstone areas, all of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Dundee, a charming neighborhood with tree-lined streets, quaint homes and a small shopping district, is also popular. Here you can dine on contemporary Jamaican cuisine at
Known for big, expensive homes and abundant shopping centers, West Central Omaha is home to many of the city's well-to-do residents. Shopping malls are everywhere, with
Take a trip back in time in historic North Omaha. The
Welcome to the fastest growing area in the city, the land of swing-sets and minivans, where housing developments and shopping malls occupy every corner. Catch the latest flick at the
If Omaha has a melting pot of ethnicity and culture, this is it. The city's Polish, Italian, Hispanic and Czech populations have thrived here for generations. The neighborhood was considered its own city until the early 1900s. Many South Omaha residents settled here because of its proximity to the meatpacking plants, the area's main source of business. Most of these plants are long gone, having been replaced by bustling shopping centers and business parks. Some of the city's most popular attractions are located in South Omaha, including
What was once a vast expanse of prairie land and home to the native Omaha, Otoe, Pawnee and Ponca tribes is now one of the fastest growing urban areas in the Midwest. One of the first documented explorers in the area was Sieur de La Salle, a Frenchman who traveled the wilderness in the late 1600s. He named the area Louisiana and claimed the entire region, including Nebraska, in the name of France. For years, possession of the land shuffled between France and Spain, with ownership eventually granted to France by the Treaty of San Ildefonso in 1800.
Three years later, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory under the Treaty of Paris for $15 million. This acquisition opened the area for exploration and eventual colonization. Two of the first Americans to experience the beauty of this vast prairie wilderness were Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Their legendary 1804 expedition along the Missouri River brought their party of explorers to Omaha's front door when a council was held with the Otoe and Missouri Indians, in the area now known as Fort Calhoun.
When reports of Lewis and Clark's journey reached the already-tamed East Coast, adventurous men and women alike packed up their homes and families and began the treacherous trek westward. The abundance of wide-open land, the endless supplies of food and furs, and the possibility of striking gold were attractive to these dream seekers and fortune hunters. Referred to as the "Gateway to the West," Omaha had a proximity to the Missouri River that made it the perfect stopping-off point during the long journey west. The Oregon Trail crossed through Omaha, bringing millions of travelers through the area. Deep ruts carved by the covered wagons are still visible today. Mormons heading westward toward Utah set up Winter Quarters just north of town in what is now known as Florence. The harsh winter of 1846-1847 claimed more than 600 lives, and the
In 1854, the Omaha tribe relinquished its hold on the land, and with the assistance of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, the Nebraska Territory was opened for settlement. With this bill, the city of Omaha was founded. Omaha, which means "above all others upon a stream," was named for the outcast Indian tribe. Initially, housing lots were free to anyone who would make improvements on them, but within three years, these same lots were sold for $4,000 each. As more people streamed into Omaha, shops, hotels, saloons and restaurants began springing up in and around the area now known as downtown. In 1860, Omaha drew national attention when Edward Creighton, for whom
Nebraska was granted statehood in 1867, at a time when Omaha's population had grown to more than 30,000. The city's astonishing growth continued with the opening of the area's first meat packing plant in 1871, the founding of
1888 saw the opening of Fort Crook, a military establishment that would later become part of
The 1898 Trans-Mississippi Exposition brought worldwide attention to Omaha and is considered the start of the "Golden Age" for the Nebraska farmer. In 1917, Father Edward Flanagan founded
Modern-day Omaha offers the best of both worlds, in that it combines the benefits of big city life with the warmth and friendliness of a small town. With more than 700,000 citizens, the city is a cosmopolitan urban center with scores of excellent restaurants, a world-class zoo, a regional medical center, 11 colleges and an active entertainment community. Builders recently broke ground on a multi-million dollar arena/convention center located just north of downtown, a testament to the exciting future that awaits those visiting and living in Omaha.
Omaha's Eppley Airfield Airport (OMA) +1 402 661 8017 http://www.eppleyairfield.com
OMA is located approximately four miles from the northeast of downtown Omaha, provides nonstop service and connections to several destinations from the following airlines:
American ( +1 800 368 1955/ http://www.aa.com ) Delta ( +1 800 221 1212/ http://www.delta.com ) Frontier ( +1 800 432 1359/ http://www.frontierairlines.com ) Southwest ( +1 800 435 9792/ http://www.southwest.com ) United ( +1 800 241 6522/ http://www.ual.com ) US Airways ( +1 800 428 4322/ http://www.usairways.com )
Airport Map & Information: http://www.airguideonline.com/WIDirports/WIDirport_oma.htm
Airport Services: http://www.airguideonline.com/WIDirports/WIDirport_oma2.htm
Airport Transportation: http://www.airguideonline.com/WIDirports/WIDirport_oma3.htm
From the Airport
Shuttle: A & B Shuttle ( +1 877 359 6624/ http://www.citywideride.com ) Dashabout Roadrunner ( +1 800 720 3274/ http://www.dashaboutshuttle.com ) Greater Omaha Tours ( +1 877 868 7662/ http://www.omahatours.com ) I-80 Eppley Express ( +1 800 888 9793/ http://www.eppleyexpress.com ) OMALiNK - Express service between Omaha & Lincoln ( +1 877 473 5465/ http://www.omalink.com ) RT Roundtrip Transport ( +1 877 292 3525/ http://www.rtroundtrip.com )
Car Rental: Alamo ( +1 800 462 5266/ http://www.goalamo.com ) Avis ( +1 800 831 2847/ http://www.avis.com ) Budget ( +1 800 527 0700/ http://www.budget.com ) Dollar ( +1 800 800 4000/ http://www.dollar.com ) Enterprise ( +1 800 325 8007/ http://www.enterprise.com ) Hertz ( +1 800 654 3131/ http://www.hertz.com ) National ( +1 800 227 7368/ http://www.nationalcar.com ) Thrifty ( +1 800 367 2277/ http://www.thrifty.com )
Amtrak ( +1 800 872 7245/ http://www.amtrak.com ), located at 1003 S 9th Street, provides service to Omaha via the California Zephyr, which runs daily between Chicago and San Francisco.
Greyhound ( +1 800 231 2222/ http://www.greyhound.com ) accesses Omaha from major cities around the country. The downtown bus station ( +1 402 341 1906 ), located at 1601 Jackson Street, is open daily 5:30a-10:30p.
Approach Omaha from the east and west via Interstate 80 and from the north and south by Interstate 29.
The Metro Area Transit ( +1 402 341 0800/ http://www.metroareatransit.com ) offers bus service throughout Omaha and its surrounding communities.
Taxi and Shuttle
Some of the major cab and shuttle companies servicing Omaha include:
A & B Shuttle ( +1 402 331 7558/ http://www.citywideride.com ) Checker Cab/Happy Cab/Yellow Cab ( +1 402 339 8294 ) Safeway Cabs ( +1 402 342 7474 ) Shared Mobility Coach ( +1 402 345 6640 )
If traveling overseas, take the safety precaution of registering your trip at https://travelregistration.state.gov and for helpful, practical advice about traveling technicalities and safety standards check out http://travel.state.gov/ .
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