Centered in the middle of America’s heartland, Omaha has a dual history as both a center for enterprise and creativity. In 2008, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine named Omaha the nation’s third-“best city to live, work and play.” Currently, Omaha is home to five Fortune 500 and four Fortune 1000 companies. This city is also known for its rich and diverse musical history and is sometimes credited as beign the birthplace of the blues.
Omaha is located on the eastern Nebraska-Iowa state border on the western bank of the Missouri River. The city is about 140 miles west of Des Moines, Iowa, and 60 miles northeast of Lincoln, Nebraska. Omaha falls in the Central Standard Time zone and is 331 square-miles in area. On average, Omaha’s hottest month is July, its coldest month is January, and its wettest month is May.
The city is located in Douglas County, where it also is the county seat. Omaha has worked to build its business sector and it is the headquarters of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., ConAgra Foods, Mutual of Omaha, Kiewit, and the Union Pacific Railroad. The city also touts a growing bioscience industry serviced through two teaching-research hospitals, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Creighton University, as well as Streck Laboratories, a noted medical instruments supplier.
The Henry Doorly Zoo is located in Omaha and houses several permanent exhibits, such as the Desert Dome—a fully enclosed re-creation of a true desert environment, and the Scott Aquarium with its 70-foot "shark tunnel." History buffs can visit the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center or the Durham Museum. Art lovers can stop by the Anderson O’Brien Fine Art Gallery or the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery. Omaha offers outdoor recreation with guided wildlife tours through the Fontenelle Nature Association, and water recreation can be found at the Pioneer State Recreation Area.
Lodging in Omaha can be a five-star experience by staying in the Hotel Deco XV, a premium locale that features city-view rooms and an on-site fitness facility with a spa tub and sauna. The CoCo Key Water Resort Hotel is near the University of Nebraska-Omaha campus and has an indoor water park. Accommodations with fewer frills can be conveniently found all around the city.
Written by Michael Paul Maupin