We were in Kansas City, headed for Denver, so it seemed the logical next stop was Omaha. Neither of us knew much about the city, other than the College World Series is held there (because we come from a school that won the College World Series in 2015). It seemed to us to be a clean, pretty, not terribly exciting city and we enjoyed our day in Omaha. But we were okay with only having one day to spend there.
We stayed at what seemed to be the closest campground to downtown Omaha, the KOA West Omaha in Gretna. It was a long drive into downtown (like 25 minutes), so long that we scuttled our plans to go back into town for dinner after a day of exploring and instead picked up carryout to eat at home.
After dropping the Airstream at the distant KOA, we zoomed into Omaha and grabbed lunch to take on a little picnic. Block 16 specializes in local, seasonal food, including the Croque Garçon that is Alton Brown’s all-time favorite burger. J got that burger, of course, and agreed that it’s phenomenal. My salmon and veggie wrap was delicious too, and the sweet potato fries were top-notch.
For dinner, we planned to come back into Omaha, but after a long day we didn’t want to do the loooong Uber back in. Had we returned, our first choice for dinner was The Grey Plume, a highly-rated locavore and eco-friendly restaurant. They were all booked up, so we had a reservation at The Boiler Room, another impressive farm-to-table place with craft cocktails. Alas, instead, we got carryout from a very average sushi place in the suburbs on the way home.
J did a ton of beer research, as he does. We had one at Vis Major (I liked the mango passion fruit mint gose) and the beertender recommended Kros Strain Brewing, so that’s where we went next. Their IPA was really tasty, and the patio is dog-friendly. Bugsy the recluse even made a friend there!
My favorite thing about Omaha is Bob! Bob is a 3000 ft work of art masquerading as a pedestrian bridge over the Missouri River, connecting Omaha to Council Bluffs, Iowa. We took our Block 16 sandwiches across to Iowa and picnicked in the park overlooking downtown Omaha. Delightful!
Near Bob on the Omaha side is a gorgeous dancing fountain in the Heartland of America Park, from which we started a stroll along the lagoon in the Gene Leahy Pedestrian Mall, snaking between downtown buildings up to the Old Market district. We vaguely followed this walking tour around the neat Old Market cobblestoned area. If you’re roaming the Old Market with your dog and need coffee, Scooter Coffee welcomes dogs inside the cafe.