With a population of just over 275,000, the city is bustling with life and energy at all times of the year, which you'll quickly discover if you're moving to a new home in the area.
The Nebraska State Capitol is distinct for the large and surprisingly functional tower that's situated in the center of the building. In fact, it was the first state capitol building to use a tower in its design. While this alone is worth viewing, there's a lot more to see in the capitol building that should pique your interest. Tours are available on the hour that take you through some of the main historic rooms in the building, including the ornate Governor's Suite that was made in the Italian Renaissance style and the massive Memorial Chamber that includes eight murals outlining the lengthy history of Nebraska. Lincoln was actually the third capitol of Nebraska. The capitol building itself was completed in 1932.
Lincoln Children's Museum
The Lincoln Children's Museum is a premier destination in the city of Lincoln that can be enjoyed by children and parents alike. The motto for this museum is "Create, discover, learn, play." The many fun and exciting exhibits include the Grow Zone, a small garden for children to play in, and Cuckoo Construction. The latter is a large clock tower that can actually be built by the children in attendance. The workers at this museum hold education days for all age groups that you can join for a small fee. You can even rent out a room in the museum if you wish to host a birthday party. The museum takes care of everything.
Honest Abe's Burgers & Freedom
The self-proclaimed home of the greatest burger ever, Honest Abe's Burgers & Freedom is one of the most popular restaurants in Lincoln. The menu is filled with delicious burgers of nine special varieties. Each burger is distinctly different from the others, but all of them make use of a hearty 6-ounce patty. The Fireside Burger combines sriracha ketchup and cumin-lime mayo with jalapeño-bacon crumble for a dish that takes inspiration from Mexican cuisine. If you want a simple American burger, try the Greatest Burger Ever. This burger comes with crisp Applewood bacon, crunchy grilled onions, American cheese and ketchup. For the side, consider house-made freedom fries or Parmesan truffle fries. A wide selection of beverages is available as well as a separate kids' menu, so the whole family can head to Honest Abe's for a classic meal.
Lied Center for Performing Arts
If you're a fan of music, theater or dance, consider traveling to the well-known Lied Center for Performing Arts. Performers from all around the world come to the Lied Center to display their talents. Numerous events of all types are held every week. No matter which performance you wish to see, tickets are relatively inexpensive. One of the best aspects of traveling to this destination is that it's situated in the middle of the downtown Lincoln area near the University of Nebraska. You will have close proximity to numerous restaurants and shops to go to before the start of whichever event you're attending. Performances generally last a total of two hours in duration with a 15-minute intermission.
University of Nebraska State Museum
The University of Nebraska State Museum is a prime destination for anyone who loves nature or history. People of all ages will find a lot to enjoy in the numerous exhibits that can be found at this spacious museum. Consider dropping by the National Geographic Photo Ark or the Weapons Throughout Time exhibit, both of which make for fascinating viewing. There's something here for everyone. If you're a fan of paleontology, the Paleontology of Nebraska exhibit houses a large collection of fossils found on the lands of Nebraska for animals like giant camels, large elephants and rhinos. If dinosaurs interest you, the interactive Mesozoic gallery might be more to your liking. Additional exhibits you might wish to explore include the Tree of Life exhibit, Bizarre Beasts exhibit and Explore Evolution exhibit. Botany, anthropology and entomology collections are also scattered throughout the museum. If you have children, consider taking them to one of the many scientific events held at the museum throughout the year.
Sheldon Museum of Art
For fans of American art, the Sheldon Museum of Art is one of the renowned art galleries in Nebraska. While this museum houses a great number of art collections, it has a special focus on American art through a cultural and transnational study. Several temporary exhibits are held at the museum every year, each of which provide a thorough look at the artistic talent on display throughout Nebraska and the whole of the United States. The permanent collections hosted at the museum consist of a total of 12,000 objects. Spending a whole day at this museum wouldn't be enough to take in all that the place has to offer. Photography, landscape and painting collections are among the most popular at this destination.
Museum of American Speed
Anyone who loves or appreciates cars will find themselves at home at the exciting Museum of American Speed. At nearly 25 years old, this museum is designed primarily to preserve and display a large variety of items that were pertinent to the history of automobiles and racing. At this destination, you will discover collections centered on automobilia, toys and model cars, full-sized cars and engines. Many people will find the automobilia exhibits to be among the most interesting as they contain old movie posters, artwork and albums that are specifically auto-themed in nature. The antique cars found in this museum include show cars, racecars and everything in between. Thousands of books and newspapers detailing and covering the history of the automobile are also on display.
For nature lovers, there's no better place to travel in Nebraska than the Sunken Gardens. It's widely considered one of the best gardens to visit in all of North America. This majestic outdoor preserve is home to well over 30,000 types of plants, all of which go on display during the annual floral event held at the Sunken Gardens. No matter which time of year you visit, you're sure to be met with spectacular views although the summer season is when most of these plants are in full bloom. The venue is separated into three different gardens. The healing garden consists almost entirely of white blossoms while the perennial garden is made for plants that love shade. Stop by the annual garden to view the thousands of annuals planted every year.
International Quilt Study Center & Museum
One of the smaller but equally interesting museums found in Lincoln is the International Quilt Study Center & Museum. This destination houses a myriad of intriguing collections and exhibits of quilts from all over the world. The exhibits on display throughout the year are well curated to tell a story, and the stories can be about anything. When it comes to the permanent collections on display, this museum represents quilts from around 30 different nations. For instance, the Kathryn Wilson Berenson collection specifically focuses on rare French quilts from the 18th and 19th centuries while the Robert and Helen Cargo collection is designed to showcase African-American quilts, of which there are over 150 currently on display.
Leadbelly is a delicious eatery that focuses primarily on American cuisine. Though the portion sizes are ample, the prices are more than affordable. The vast menu found here includes everything from the Leadbelly cheesesteak sandwich to a Reuben burger. If you would rather have a soup or salad, there are many to choose from. A gluten-free menu is also available if necessary. The atmosphere is comfortable and cozy, but the seating is generous. Happy hour is held at Leadbelly at certain times of the week. During these hours, prices for alcohol drop significantly. Draft beers are $1 off, and craft cocktails, sparklings and house martinis are a mere $5. A selection of additional tasty beverages can be had for only $3 each.
If you're making a move to Lincoln, these destinations are some of the best attractions the city has to offer. No matter what your tastes or interests are, each of the museums, restaurants and gardens on this list offers so much to do and see that you'll easily be able to explore your new neighborhood and make friends. From the Sunken Gardens to the Lincoln Capitol, these establishments provide fun for the whole family.