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Omaha Neighborhoods

The first neighborhood many visitors ask about is Dundee, home to Warren Buffett; a lovely residential neighborhood near Memorial Park with well manicured, but not necessarily ostentatious, homes that date to the early 1900s. However, in lieu of stalking Warren Buffett, consider exploring any of the 150 organized neighborhoods in the city, where you’ll find an abundance of intriguing restaurants, attractions and fun shopping experiences.

Benson

A few miles west of downtown, Benson is still home to descendants of many of its original Danish settlers. Benson has a cozy central shopping district filled with small, independent retail shops and restaurants reflecting its Olde World heritage. Identified as the area along Maple Street between NW Radial and 72nd Street, Benson is home to a comedy club and a number of eclectic coffee houses, a couple of art galleries and restaurants. If you’re an artist, you’ll likely find your way to Benson. The Benson Mural Project is partnering professional artists with high school students to brighten up the alleyways and other vacant spaces in the neighborhood. Look for one near 6103 Maple and another at 6056 Maple.

South 24th Street

Once the hub of the city of South Omaha, a community of independent-minded Eastern European immigrants who fought annexation to the bigger city, today South 24th Street is part of a National Historic District that’s home to a growing population of Hispanic immigrants. A walking tour of the area includes the former headquarters for a number of the meat-packing businesses associated with the Omaha stockyards, as well as architecturally significant banks and community buildings. However, the Hispanic community flourishes with three bakeries and dozens of restaurants renowned for authentic food. Shops include Latino artists’ studios and imports from Central America.

North Downtown (NoDo)

In 2011, when the TD Ameritrade Park opens, some of the city’s most exciting activities and annual events will move to NoDo. The College World Series, one of Omaha’s signature events, will be held there, along with Creighton University baseball and United Football League action. While the new arena caters to sports fans, for the last ten years art lovers have found their way north to the Hot Shops Art Center. More than 80 artists of various mediums have studios and galleries here. And the night comes alive in NoDo at Slowdown, one of Omaha’s top clubs for indie music.

Metro Omaha

Metropolitan Omaha is an expansive area covering 50 miles and two states. Locals and travelers move easily across the Missouri River on five highway bridges and one pedestrian bridge. As the metropolitan area grows, many smaller communities, such as Bellevue, Ashland and Papilion are becoming engulfed in the sprawling city. While each of the bedroom communities has its own personality, many of the residents still identify themselves as Omahans. Some of Omaha’s significant attractions are found outside of the city proper, and it’s well worth a few minutes in the car to get out and explore. Public transportation, however, is almost non-existent on the outskirts of the metropolitan city.

Midtown

As the name implies, Midtown is the central part of Omaha, part old, part new, and a racially diverse neighborhood identified by tree-lined streets and some beautiful early 20th Century architecture. Cuming Street is the northern boundary; Center Street the south; 24th Street and Saddle Creek Road are the east and west boundaries, respectively. It’s here in Midtown that you’ll find Creighton University and the University of Nebraska-Omaha Medical Center, but it’s not all student housing and hangouts. Gerald Ford’s birthplace is here, as is Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway. Some great shopping and dining has arrived in recent months, with the development of Midtown Crossings at Turner Park. To really get to know Omaha, you’ll want to spend some time just walking or driving around the Midtown neighborhood. This is where real people live, work and play.

Old Market

This is the oldest part of Omaha, an area of massive warehouses that once stored the necessities for a growing frontier, brought up by steamboats plying the Missouri River. Later, trains carried more supplies from the East Coast. Eventually, as the metropolitan area expanded west, the market area became less important. Then, in the 1960s, one guy renovated an old warehouse for artists, and then another warehouse became a restaurant, and another opened up as condominiums. Now there’s an endless array of boutique shopping, nightclubs, restaurants and art galleries, and the Old Market is new again—once again, the heart of Omaha.

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