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7 Top Attractions of Omaha the Big O ...

By Neecey

If you’re heading down Nebraska way you’ll need to know which attractions of Omaha to stick on your visit list. The Big O, as it is known, is no ordinary place even if it doesn’t appear anywhere near the top of tourist destinations in the USA. Its favorable location made it a major transport hub in the country’s formative years but these days it is the home of Warren Buffet, and the city has enough billionaires and Fortune 500 companies per capita to put it in the top 10. Check out these attractions of Omaha.

1 Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters

Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter QuartersAmong the many attractions of Omaha is the commemorative Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters and the Mormon Pioneer Cemetery. In the winter of 1846 and 1848, the Mormons set up their winter headquarters in Omaha on their way to Salt Lake City. The Mormon Trail was used between 1864-1869. The Mormon Trail Center show details of the migration, including maps, a log cabin, a covered wagon and a cemetery. A great stop for those interested in both Mormon history and history in general.

2 Boys Town

Boys TownAnyone who’s a fan of old movies will probably remember “Boy’s Town” with Spencer Tracy, filmed in 1938, based on the true story of Father Flanagan and the institution he opened for the care of young people in 1917. Today, you can visit the original site, featuring Father Flanagan’s shrine, the Garden of the Bible, the Dowd Memorial Chapel and Father Flanagan’s house. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its motto, “he ain’t heavy mister – he’s my brother” was the inspiration for a song by The Hollies in 1969.

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3 Henry Doorly Zoo

Henry Doorly ZooThis zoo is anything but ordinary - it features the largest big cat complex in North America, and also has the largest nocturnal exhibit, called “Kingdoms of the Night.” The Desert Dome is an impressive indoor desert under a geodisc dome, and the Lied Jungle is a massive indoor rainforest. Within the many exhibits are found some of the most beautiful and interesting animals, including white tigers, pygmy hippopotamus, white rhinos, Indian crested porcupines, butterflies, and gorillas. Visit Durham’s Treetops Restaurant for a view of the jungle through a 90 feet floor-to-ceiling window.

4 Lauritzen Gardens

Lauritzen GardensLauritzen Gardens is situated on 100 acres of land, and features a number of separate specialty gardens and attractions. Stroll along the many styles of gardening displayed in the bird sanctuary, children’s garden, herb garden, rose garden and a model railroad garden. Perhaps one of the most stunning of the garden’s destinations is the Marjorie Daugherty Conservatory, a beautiful glass structure under which large palms, azaleas, moss covered oaks, and other seasonal displays thrive.

5 Gerald R Ford Conservation Center/Ford Birthplace and Gardens

Gerald R Ford Conservation Center/Ford Birthplace and GardensThese two attractions are adjacent to each other and can be enjoyed at the same time. The conservation center conserves cultural materials such as ceramics, glass, metals, archeological materials, wooden artifacts, photographs, books, and textiles. An exhibit honoring President Gerald Ford is open by appointment. On the grounds is the Betty Ford Rose Garden, honoring the former first lady.

6 Malcolm X Birth Site

Malcolm X Birth SiteMalcolm X, a prominent civil rights leader, was born in Omaha. At the place of his birth stands a beautiful plaza and an official marker, which is still in the process of being developed. Nearby is the Malcom X Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating through the teachings of Malcolm X. Although Malcolm X had little to do with his birthplace after leaving it at a young age, the legacy he left is memorialized in this lovely park.

7 St. Cecilia’s Cathedral

St. Cecilia’s CathedralSt. Cecilia’s is a lovely Spanish Renaissance-style cathedral with impressive 222’ tall spires. Begun in 1905, it ranked among the 10 largest cathedrals in the U.S. when it was completed and occupies a place on the National Register of Historic Places. The stained-glass windows came from a 16th century cathedral in Spain, the pulpit is hand-carved mahogany and the marble altar hails from Italy. It’s like a taste of Europe’s great cathedrals, without the long flight!

Ready for a trip to the Big O?

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