Lincoln, the state's capital and second-largest metropolis, is located in eastern Nebraska, midway between Omaha and Denver on I-80. It was founded in 1856 as a trading post for trappers. The population was 30,000 at the end of the nineteenth century.
Today, Lincoln is a thriving city of 280,000 that is home to the state's major institutions of higher education, as well as a growing technology industry. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) alone account for nearly one-fifth of the city's population.
Lincoln gets an average of 300 sunny days per year, which is an excellent thing since you'll never run out of places to explore and enjoy, whether you're hitting the trails, seeking out a museum or gallery, seeking entertainment, or attending one of several festivals every month.
The state capitol is also in Lincoln, and it's worth a visit. The building was designed after the U.S. Capitol and completed in 1932. While you're at it, get a picture with Mr. Hay, the official Nebraska state grasshopper. He's in front of the capitol on the north side.
Places to Visit
Lincoln has the second-largest parkland per person and more parklands than Austin, Portland, and almost every other US city. Lincoln is one of the Midwest's fastest-growing metros, with a more significant number of jobs (and growing) than any other midwestern city outside of Chicago.
What can you see here in Lincoln? Plenty!
You can tour the old Memorial Stadium (29,000 capacity), where Johnny Rodgers won the Heisman in 1972 and hosted three national championship teams.
There's also the Pinnacle Bank Arena, home to UNL Basketball, concerts, and more. The arena has an aluminum-paneled exterior, but don't worry - it looks better in person.
You can tour the University of Nebraska State Museum, which features the Morrill Hall of Conservation and Mammals, Dinosaurs Alive!
The Frank H. Woods Telephone Museum showcases the history of this important invention, and the Lied Center of Kansas has a fascinating collection of art.
The Steven Young Sculpture Garden features over 30 works of art by Nebraska native Young, considered one of America's most significant metal sculptors.
You can also visit downtown Lincoln on Saturdays from June to July for First Friday Art Walks.
Lincoln has over 200 parks, including five city golf courses, two miniature golf courses, three skate parks, seven off-leash dog parks, nine pools (including the Lied Aquatic Center), four recreation centers, eight public tennis courts, and sixteen outdoor tennis courts. The city also operates thirteen indoor ice rinks.
You can bring your dog, too! Lincoln has over 150 miles of on and off-leash trails for you and your pet to explore.
Some people love the International Quilt Study Center & Museum. The center is dedicated to exhibiting theme-related quilts from all eras with an international perspective.
Food and Entertainment
Exhausted from a day of walking and sightseeing? Head down to P Street and/ or O Street in Lincoln's Haymarket District to enjoy a variety of great food.
For superb Italian-style cuisine, we recommend checking out Mia Za's . They have pasta and brick-oven pizzas and outdoor seating. For more traditional American-style pub fare like burgers and fries, check out Brothers Three Lounge & Grill.
If you're looking for traditional American food, Lincoln also has several great family-style restaurants like Greek Islands, El Rancho Mexican Grill, and The Drover.
You can enjoy all these restaurants with a variety of beers on tap, including local craft beers. Try out Haymarket Pub & Brewery.
We've shown you everything you need to know about visiting Lincoln, NE. Now all that's left is for YOU to come to explore it!