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Omaha is off the beaten track

Having always gone to California for weekend getaways, we decided a trip to Omaha which is a fresh, dynamic city was on the cards.We were told it was a city where the best in Midwestern hospitality merged with a growing and energetic new destiantion for travellers to enjoy. “ There is something here for everyone”, said Dr. Andrew, a young doctor from India who worked in Creighton Hospital, “ and do make it a point to visit Omaha. In addition to all of the great attractions and things to do in Omaha, you'll find a number of things that are budget-friendly ‘cause it’s a much smaller town.”

We sepnt one afternoon walking over a swinging bridge in the largest indoor rainforest in the world at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. Being crazy about foliage and nature, this was one romantic walk we are not likely to forget in a hurry. Picture being surrounded by an incredible arboretum and bird sanctuary which can make you wonderstruck walking through them.

On our second day in Omaha we visited the Strategic Air and Space Museum and took great pics after climbing on board a vintage bomber from World War II. And if you are heavily into museums don’t miss climbing into the restored train cars at The Durham Museum. Kept in mint condition the cars give you an idea of how trains have evolved into the sleek machines we travel in today, from clunky box shaped carriages.

Later arm in arm we took a cultural walk through the first Latino art and history museum in the Midwest, El Museo Latino.We were museum freaks so we submerged ourselves in all the museums across the city. There was everything from public art displays spread throughout the city to contemporary art centers, award-winning Smithsonian museums, local galleries and hands-on interactive art houses, Omaha seemed to be steeped in a creative spirit.

We were told by Andrew that the Qwest Center in Omaha is a key tour stop for music legends and top recording artists. But we got lucky and were able to wallow in the the Omaha Symphony at the Holland Centre for the Performing Arts which is an acoustical wonder, the perfect place to listen to an orchestra in full flow. And you cant go away without enjoying a romantic gondola ride atHeartland of America Park and Fountain.
Hey Shopperholics! this is a suitcase alert! Bring an empty one and after wandering through the city you'll be able to fill it to your hearts content. Indoor and outdoor malls, quaint shopping centers and unique boutiques cater to the shopaholic in all of us.
Andrew had told us about Borsheim's, America's largest independent jewelry store, owned by Billionaire Warren Buffett. We walked around and gaped at all the bling on display, but since we were not big on jewelry ( read our wallets did not hold the required green stuff!) we only looked and drooled . He also suggested walking through Nebraska Furniture Mart, which is another Buffett gem. We would have loved to be able to ride scooters through the place it was that enormous. And good luck getting that new couch in your spare suitcase - don't worry the Mart delivers, anywhere your heart desires.

Come nightfall and Omaha’s nightlife offers a great variety. Irish and Micro Brew Pubs, Dance Clubs, live Jazz and Rock bands. We were in our element and gave in to listening to the smooth sounds of the live Blues bands wherever we could. For sports lovers there were Sports Bars where you can watch a game and indulge in Buffalo wings as you watch. “ During the summer we enjoy live music along the riverfront,” revealed Annika, which makes it imperative for us to come back.

For walkers, birders and bikers, theBob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge connects over 100 miles of nature trails along the Missouri River. Crazy about birds we borrowed a pair of binoculars and went birding one morning along the Missouri. What impressed us is to preserve shore birds there were fenced areas to avoid trampling nests and causing disturbance. Infact since I am an environment journalist I spoke to Dr Ruud Kleinpaste (advisory trustee) about the great work they are doing via the Omaha Shorebird Protection Trust Check: http://www.omahashorebirds.co.nz/help.php

Take a trip to Omaha, which is off the beaten track and enjoy a holiday which is unique and throughly laid back and romantic.

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