Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page > Going to the CWS - What else to do in Omaha and on the way?
Notices

Going to the CWS - What else to do in Omaha and on the way?

Reply

Apr 7th, 2010, 06:51 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 252
Going to the CWS - What else to do in Omaha and on the way?

Hi

DH and I are going to the College World series in Omaha this coming June. We have our reservations at the Omaha Hilton and got tickets last Saturday morning when they went on sale. We will arrive on Tuesday in time for games 7 and 8, driving from Las Cruces, NM and we will stay through Friday morning, after watching games 9 and 10 on Wednesday and Thursday.

On the drive up we are tentatively planning to overnight near Palo Duro Canyon State Park, just outside of Amarillo, TX and visit the park in the morning. From there we thought we would head towards the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and the Flint Hills Scenic Byway, over-nighting somewhere within about a three or four hours drive to Omaha.

Any suggestions as to other scenic sights along this general route ( or places to stay or places to eat ) - we may just head quickly from Amarillo to Omaha and then visit the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and the byway on the way home.

In Omaha, during the day on Wednesday and Thursday, we are thinking of visiting the zoo and Lauritzen Gardens. Coments, other suggestions?

Any suggestions for restaurants in Omaha? We tend to avoid chain restaurants and probably don't want anything too fancy, but we appreciate all types of good food. Suggestions welcome.

We are very excited about going - I have really enjoyed watching the CWS on ESPN and we wanted to get there this year while it was still being held in Rosenblatt Stadium.

All suggestions are gratefully received

Thanks

Pamela
eveningcrane is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2010, 08:17 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 24,177
I can't help much, but can say the Omaha zoo is outstanding, as is Rosenblatt Stadium. We saw an Omaha Royals minor league game there - great place.
sf7307 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2010, 08:31 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 584
Old Market is a fun location to walk and browse. They have fine dining, there is a neat cafe where they serve sandwiches and wine but can't remember the name. I see on this Nebraska site, someone lists several restaraunts in this area of Omaha. The QUEST Center has numerous concerts and events and this venue is a few blocks northeast of Old Market. Beautiful venue, you might want to see if there is something going on there. Waterfront (Missouri River) restaraunt near the Quest Center too. Fun place.
Dyer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 7th, 2010, 08:42 PM
  #4
mms
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,965
I agree, the zoo in Omaha is great. We really like the Old Market area too, and there are loads of restaurants (as well as shops) and it is walkable from the Hilton. We have stayed at the Hilton twice. The only place we went out to dinner was at Upstream Brewery, which was quite good and right in the Old Market.

There is a visitors center there too, with very helpful people.
mms is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 15th, 2010, 05:48 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 579
http://www.archway.org/

This is about 2 1/2 to 3 hours west of Omaha on I80.

http://www.strategicairandspace.com/

This is about halfway between Lincoln and Omaha next to Mahoney State Park.
hulajake is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 15th, 2010, 07:46 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 213
One spot on the way not to miss is the Wichita Mtns Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, OK. Even if all you do is drive up to the top of Mt Scott for the view, you should do it. It is a a unique and spectacular vista.

There is also a much larger Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Bartlesville, OK that is very scenic and has a large herd of a few thousand buffalo roaming around. The Woolaroc Preserve near there is also worth checking out for the various animals. You do not have to spend huge amounts of time at any of these, they are all generally on the way to the Flint Hills Byway.
weimarer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 16th, 2010, 03:58 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 869
I'm a Nebraskan--the Henry Doorly Zoo is a world class zoo and research facility--it's wonderful. The zoo is organized around a number of centrally organized major exhibits housed in individual buildings, with more traditional zoo exhibits around the perimeter. Make sure you see the the Scott Aquarium, the Lied Jungle (rain forest), the Desert Dome, and the Hubbard Orangutan Forest first. They're also opening another new major exhibit in May--Expedition Madagascar. All of these exhibits are located fairly close together. If you want to see the rest of the zoo, the easiest way is to jump on the train, or the Skyfari (sky tram) to move around more easily. Seeing the entire zoo will take a full, very long day, with lots of walking up and down hills. Wear very comfortable shoes.

The Old Market area mentioned above is another must see area in Omaha--it's an eclectic mix of restaurants, galleries and shops in a restored market area. Upstream Brewery is good, as well as M's Pub, but there are tons of other restaurants to choose from.

As you're traveling west on Interstate 80, the Strategic Air Command (SAC) Museum and the Archway museum linked above were also great suggestions. Have fun! Sounds like a great trip.
huskermom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 16th, 2010, 11:19 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 24,177
<<>>

We did this, too. If you have any interest in transportation or military history, it's a great place to visit.
sf7307 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 16th, 2010, 11:41 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,007
The Upstream is outstanding...one of my faves when I visit (I grew up there and still have family in town).

Lauritzen is beautiful and I concur on the recommendations re: the zoo and SAC Museum. Mahoney State Park is located at the same exit as SAC and is very scenic with lots to do...horseback riding, swimming pool/waterpark, a nice restaurant that looks out over the Platte River and a summer playhouse that offers old-fashioned melodramas!

The Durham Western Heritage Museum is just south of the Old Market, basically on the way to the stadium, and is a lovely small museum...some good info on Omaha history and settling the West, the Union Pacific Railroad, Oregon Trail and such.

The Holland Performing Arts Center is downtown...not sure what they would have going on while you are there though.

A relatively recent addition to downtown is the pedestrian bridge...you can walk across it, above the Missouri River, over to Iowa. It is located in the riverfront area just north of the Qwest Center--you will probably be able to see it from your hotel (I've stayed there...very nice!)

I haven't been in years, but one "uniquely Omaha" restaurant is the Bohemian Cafe...also located between your hotel and the stadium and it is what the name suggests...Bohemian food...dumplings, pork, sausages, soups, etc. It either is your thing, or not, but it is unique. Another local favorite (for us anyway) is LaCasa Pizzeria...west of downtown on Leavenworth St. near the University of Nebraska Medical Center...unique, very thin crust; they also offer pastas and salads...it's been there for years--small, and hasn't changed in 40 years. A little further west, near 48th & Center Sts. is Gorat's Steakhouse, Warren Buffett's favorite restaurant in town...Bill Gates has eaten there with him.

That should be a good start--have fun!
musicfan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 16th, 2010, 12:11 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 869
musicfan--I forgot about the Durham (we live near Lincoln). It's a really nice choice as well--my kids loved it when they were little because of all the old steam engines, etc. I think it would make a very nice stop. The Bohemian Cafe is also a fun choice that I didn't think about. Just to clarify--in this case "Bohemian" means from old Bohemia--now part of the Czech Republic. Nebraska has large Czech (Moravian and Bohemian) settlements--my DH is of Czech heritage. My MIL thinks the food at the Bohemian Cafe is authentic and good, and she would know, so it might be really fun to try. If you go, make sure you try a kolache--it's a sweet Czech yeast roll with a fruit filling in the center, although sometimes they use things like prunes and cottage cheese/raisins as well. Very, very good . Czechs here eat kolache for just about every special occasion, but 50 years ago the Czech farmers had them with every meal. Roast duck with potato dumplings and sauerkraut (the Czechs here sweeten sauerkraut, add caraway, cook it down/thicken it and serve it like gravy over dumplings) is really delicious too.

If you decide you need to make a fast food stop in Eastern Nebraska, try finding a RUNZA restaurant. Runzas are unique to Nebraska--I think they're based on a German dish--but they're cooked meat, cheese and cabbage (some of them have mushrooms too) wrapped in yeast dough, kind of like a calzone. They're really good, and it's something completely different than a quick burger.
huskermom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 16th, 2010, 12:32 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,007
I can't believe I forgot about Runzas--thanks for the tip--I love those!

To the OP: the burgers and other offerings at Runza Restaurants are definitely a step above the usual fast food stuff so even if a Runza sandwich itself doesn't sound appealing, keep them in mind for their other stuff. Now I'm really craving one...
musicfan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 16th, 2010, 01:12 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,007
Also, I would encourage you to stop at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve if you have the time...it's really lovely, quite peaceful and beautiful and would still be a nice green at that time of year. There are some chain motels not far away in Emporia, but the nearest town, Strong City I think, has a few b&b's. That would give you about a 4.5 hour drive to Omaha I think...I live in the Kansas suburbs of Kansas City and Omaha is a 3-hour drive from here.
musicfan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 17th, 2010, 07:38 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 869
musicfan is right about Runza--even if you don't want to try a runza sandwich (the calzone type thing), the burgers, etc. there are great as well...
huskermom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 20th, 2010, 08:47 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,608
There are some great stops on the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway. In Cottonwood Falls, visit the 1873 Chase County Courthouse, the Cottonwood River Dam & 1914 Arch Bridge, and beautiful Chase Lake Falls which shold be beautiful in June. http://www.kansastravel.org/chaselakefalls.htm

In Council Bluffs, Hays House restaurant is the oldest restaurant in continuous operation west of the Mississippi River. There are many other neat stops such as the 1851 Kaw Mission, Allegawaho Heritage Memorial Park, and Trial Days Bakery Cafe which is both a restaurant & museum. http://www.kansastravel.org/traildaysbakery.htm

Keith
Keith is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 20th, 2010, 09:08 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,007
I think Keith meant Council Grove (Kansas). I only mention it because Council Bluffs (which is in Iowa) is on the way from Kansas City to Omaha and it might be confusing, especially since it is the destination listed on all the I-29 signage.
musicfan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 20th, 2010, 02:49 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,608
Thanks musicfan. I posted too quickly.

Keith
Keith is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 21st, 2010, 10:50 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 670
Can you devote 2 or 3 hours to "tanking". Google it. We are going to do that in June when we visit Nebraska. Sounds like fun.
laurieb_nyny is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 26th, 2010, 05:58 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 94
There were some great recommendations here EXCEPT the Archway. That thing is an eyesore and money pit.
One of the best things to eat in Omaha is the Napolean Torte by the Lithuanian Bakery, many restaurants and grocery stores have it.

The Old Market suggestions for dining are a great idea, there are some wonderful restaurants and close to where you will be staying.
BellaD is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:37 AM.