February 18, 2017 Lisa Turner

Omaha’s Best Kept Secrets

As a seasoned Event Planner in Omaha, I get to know about the city in a way that most people don’t. I work with so many vendors on behalf of my clients that I get to experience much of what this city has to offer. Here are some fun hidden gems in Omaha to experience:


  1. The Old Market Passageway– A unique area in downtown Omaha, the Old Market Passageway has something to offer for everyone in the family. There’s upscale dining, casual dining, trendy shops, book stores, and art galleries. Find an evening with nice weather and stroll through the Old Market Passageway.
  2. Hitchcock Nature Center– While technically not an “Omaha” gem, it’s within arm’s reach for those in the city. Located in Crescent, IA (about 20 min outside Omaha) the nature center is ideal for hiking, running, snowshoeing, sledding, bird watching, camping, and generally a good way to spend the day outdoors. Locally, you would also enjoy the Fontenelle Forest.
  3. Downtown Farmer’s Market– This started out as the initial farmer’s market in downtown, but now it has expanded to several other locations in Omaha. You’ll find locally grown produce, meat, and food items every week. The Farmer’s Market usually run from May-Oct and it’s a great way to start your day and then explore other downtown hot spots such as the Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha Children’s Museum, Durham Museum, or Lauritzen Gardens.


  1. Alpine Inn “Home of the Wildlife”– While the name may lead you think it’s a place to lay your head, it’s actually a restaurant where you can dine with Raccoons. Yes, Raccoons! According to Yelpers, it’s located in the middle of nowhere and people come for the experience of dining beside wildlife animals. Like upscale establishments in Omaha, then this may not be for you, but if you’re up for adventure then check it out!
  2. The Surfside Club– Located beside the Missouri, this one-of-a-kind restaurant offers a typical Midwest “fish and chips” using catfish. You could always opt for their fried chicken if fish isn’t your thing. Diners can eat inside or outside on the patio and enjoy views of boats cruising up and down the river.
  3. Lisa’s Radial Cafe– When you imagine a picturesque hometown breakfast joint, Lisa’s Radial Cafe comes to mind. Friendly wait staff that knows the regulars by name, cheap food cooked right, and a place that still only accepts cash. These are the marks of a comfortable cafe to make your own!
  4. The Drover– Known for their whiskey steakhouse, the Drover is tucked away off 72nd and Grover St. in Omaha and serves all types of clientele. It’s your typical “iceberg salad” steakhouse with a homely feel and foil-wrapped baked potato. Everyone says their steak is unforgettable so dig into your Midwest beef!

These are just a few spots we wanted to highlight and there are definitely others that could have made this list. If you go try out any of these spots, let us know what you think!

Photo Courtesy of Light Illusions Photography