Nebraska Itinerary: Southeast Nebraska Art and Cultural Exploration
The Itinerary at a Glance
Experience the exceptional artistic and cultural hotspots of southeast Nebraska. Relive the history and settlement of Omaha by wandering through actual train cars, explore the cultural accomplishments and impact of Omaha’s Latino and African- American communities, and savor a mouthwatering meal in one of the country’s best soul food restaurants. Find your inner artist, get lost in a book over a glass of wine, and explore the life and times of Nebraska’s early settlers and pioneers.
4 Unique Experience on This Trip
- Love’s Jazz & Arts Center
- Homestead National Monument of America
- Sheldon Museum of Art
- Great Plains Art Museum
Duration: 4 Days
This Itinerary is Ideal For: All
Depart your hotel in Omaha and head for the Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters to experience early pioneer life on the Mormon Trail. Enjoy a guided tour that includes a full-size covered wagon with ox team, log cabin, handcart, and interactive electronic and fiber optic exhibits. Stroll through a pioneer cemetery and view the Winter Quarters Temple. Your next stop in north Omaha is Love’s Jazz & Arts Center. Located in the heart of historic north Omaha, this 10,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art center tells the story of the contributions of African-American artists in the Omaha area and nationwide. Taste mouthwatering soul food and traditional American cuisine at the family-owned and operated Big Mama’s Kitchen & Catering, featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.” Try their famous oven-fried chicken and sweet potato pie ice cream.
Depart for downtown Omaha and Durham Museum. Housed in a restored Art Deco train station, this museum showcases the history of Omaha and the Union Pacific Railroad. Walk through train cars still on the lower platform. Afterward, view exquisite works of art from antiquity to the present at the world-class Joslyn Art Museum. Head to south Omaha to explore El Museo Latino, the first Latino art and history museum and cultural center in the Midwest. Enjoy bilingual educational programs and workshops featuring art, theater, dance and music. Sarpy County offers a variety of top-quality restaurants and lodging properties for you to relax in after a fun day of touring.
Start your morning off by releasing your inner artist. Take a hands-on class at Springfield Artworks in Springfield and learn how to make all kinds of art pieces. The gallery features bold contemporary glass art, wearable art, etched glass, mixed media, surface design and handmade jewelry. Your next art stop is Nebraska City, where you’ll explore the Wildwood Historic Center Period House, Barn Art Gallery and Gift Emporium, a restored 1869 Victorian house. The Barn Art Gallery and Gift Emporium features a variety of Nebraska-made gifts, works by local and regional artists and a Victorian garden. Enjoy a mouthwatering lunch overlooking Arbor Lodge at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City.
After lunch, spend some time surrounded by works of art from a renowned artist-in-residency program, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. A permanent collection of works from former artists-in-residence is on display year round. Continue your art exploration with a tour of the Brownville Village Theatre, the oldest repertory theatre in the state. Afterward, browse the shelves of used books or the changing art exhibit while enjoying a delicious coffee at The Lyceum before heading for a tour and wine tasting at Whiskey Run Creek Vineyard and Winery. Dinner that evening is an authentic Amish meal and a buggy ride through the Amish Country near Pawnee City. Afterward, enjoy an informative presentation on the Amish way-of-life and shop for homemade Amish goods. Now it’s off to Beatrice and your lodging for the evening.
The day starts with a step back into time when this land was first settled by early pioneers. The grounds of Homestead National Monument of America include the Homestead Heritage Center, hiking trails through virgin prairie grasses and living history demonstrations. Depart for Wilber, the Czech Capital of Nebraska, and feast on an authentic Czech lunch before taking a tour of this piece of Europe. Vitáme vás! After lunch, your next stop is Lincoln where you’ll gain an up-close understanding of the nation’s only one-house Legislature—the Unicameral—at the Nebraska State Capitol. While downtown, you’ll also explore the impressive Sheldon Museum of Art, an excellent modern art gallery housing 20th century American art. The building, designed by internationally acclaimed architect Phillip Johnson, is a work of art within itself and a definite must see. You’ll end the day with a walking tour of the historic Haymarket District—an area full of unique and quirky shops, restaurants, and hang-outs—followed by a delicious dinner from one of the district’s many fine restaurants. Your evening’s lodging will be in Lincoln.
Featuring the world’s finest collection of fossil elephants, the University of Nebraska State Museum of Natural History and Mueller Planetarium is the region’s premier natural history museum. Explore the stars in the planetarium’s 360-degree, full-dome theater. Watch artists as they work in 36 art studios, learn about a variety of art forms and browse through three levels of galleries at the Burkholder Project. Lincoln offers a number of tasty restaurants you can try for lunch. Your afternoon begins at the Great Plains Art Museum, the premier museum highlighting the history, culture, people and way of life in the Great Plains region. Your final stop in Lincoln is the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, the world’s largest publicly held quilt collection with more than 4,000 quilts from more than 25 countries.