Lincoln Tourist Information and Tourism

(Lincoln, Nebraska - NE, USA)

Officially founded in the middle of the 1850s and named in honour of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th US President, the city of Lincoln grew rapidly and became the capital of Nebraska as soon as the following decade. For visitors and tourists, this medium-sized state capital provides plenty to see and do, such as the lively eateries, busy bars and historic buildings within the trendy Haymarket District.

The spreading centrally located campus of the University of Nebraska is where the resident Cornhuskers are based. This football team has become famous throughout the state and participates in huge games each fall season. When it comes to green spaces, Lincoln manages to boast more public parks than any other American city of this size. It has also recently been recognized as one of the 'Best Places to Retire' in the whole of the United States, due to its established cultural scene and favorable climate.

Tourism in Lincoln is certainly well-developed and includes museums, galleries, festivals, theaters, sporting events and zoological gardens. Free guided tours of the spectacular Art Deco skyscraper that is the Nebraska State Capitol Building are certainly recommended, with its observation decks on the 14th floor offering superb cityscape panoramas.

Just a few blocks away from the Capitol and the Centennial Mall, the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau on M Street is a good place to come for the latest tourist information, being found close to the St. Paul United Methodist Church.

Lincoln Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

Being a fair size city means that Lincoln has more than a few decent tourist attractions to fill a holiday with, whether you are looking for a family day out, an infusion of culture or an afternoon of sports. On a sunny afternoon, a leisurely stroll is often in order and the MoPac Trail, formerly the track of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, is ready to oblige. Enjoying some of the city's highest visitor numbers is the Lincoln Children's Zoo on South 27th Street, where particular highlights of note include the zookeeper talks at Critter Encounter, the animal petting at Firsthand Farm, and the colourful flutters within Laura's Butterfly Pavilion, not to mention the bald eagles, lemurs, leopards and camels.

Evening entertainment is provided by a healthy choice of theaters, such as the historical Rococo Theater, the Haymarket and the Lied Center for Performing Arts, where audiences of more than 2,000 people regularly gather to watch concerts, musicals and comedy events. Sports fans can choose between football games at the simply enormous Memorial Stadium, baseball at Haymarket Park, indoor athletics at the Bob Devaney Sports Center (on the University of Nebraska's campus) and basketball at the Pinnacle Bank Arena, where big-name artists often also stage their concerts. More information about Lincoln Tourist Attractions.

Along with the Nebraska State Capitol are a number of additional landmarks of note. Virtually next-door is the Nebraska Governor's Mansion, which was built in the 1950s and is the official residence of the state's governor. This is an especially grand house, with a stately Georgian Colonial-style facade dressed with a fitting portico. Just down the road is the oldest building still standing in the city, the Thomas P. Kennard House. Dating back to the 1860s, this attractive house was once called home by the earliest secretary of the state and today welcomes visitors, with its Victorian antiques and tales of bygone days providing plenty of interest. On the eastern side of Lincoln, tourists may like to check out the William Jennings Bryan House (or simply 'Fairview'), where guided tours can easily be arranged by phoning ahead. More information about Lincoln Landmarks and Monuments.

Information about how the state of Nebraska came into being and how Lincoln was chosen to be its capital city is all explained in detail at the sensibly named Museum of Nebraska History on 15th Street. Established towards the end of the 1870s, this museum was founded to preserve many of the state's relics and to document the aboriginal heritage of Nebraska. Families will find that the epic woolly mammoth skeleton at the University of Nebraska State Museum is certainly memorable, particularly when you learn that its name is 'Archie' and that it was discovered relatively close by, in Lincoln County.

Located on P Street, the Lincoln Children's Museum is sure to be another hit with younger visitors, thanks to its innumerable fun displays and plentiful opportunities to interact with the exhibits, such as the mini hot-air balloon launch, car mechanics and a play area based around a large fake tree. The International Quilt Study Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is quite unique in that it can proudly boast the largest collection of quilts in the world, and at the Museum of American Speed on Oak Creek Drive, you will find a real wealth of automotive history, vintage race cars and lots of related memorabilia. The Lester F. Larsen Tractor Test and Power Museum, the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery and the Sheldon Museum of Art are just some of the further cultural attractions awaiting tourists. More information about Lincoln Museums and Lincoln Art Galleries.

Lincoln is far from being central in Nebraska and in fact lives within the southeastern corner of the state, relatively close to the bordering states of Iowa (northeast), Kansas (south) and Montana (southeast). However, there are certainly plenty of excursions closer to Lincoln, many of which serve as extremely popular day trips, such as various lakes and state parks. The nearby Pawnee Lake State Recreation Area lies to the west and the small town of Beatrice to the south, where the magnificent Gage County courthouse is quite the centerpiece. Roughly an hour to the east is Nebraska City, which is at its busiest during the annual AppleJack Festival each September, where a carnival, processions, craft show, classic cars and a fun run draw in the region of 50,000 visitors.

A little further afield is the sizeable city of Omaha, just over an hour to the northeast, which is actually Nebraska's largest city and something of a tourism hotspot. Must-sees in Omaha include the Henry Doorly Zoo, the Strategic Air and Space Museum, and also the Heartland of America Park, where open-air concerts are frequently staged in the summer. A similar distance away, only this time to the north, is the town of Fremont, home of the Louis E. May Historical Museum and a number of important buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), such as the Love-Larson Opera House. Each year in July, the John C. Fremont Days celebration is worth looking out for here. More information about Lincoln Attractions Nearby.

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