Capitol building in Lincoln Nebraska

How to Make the Most of 24 Hours in Lincoln, Nebraska

Capitol building in Lincoln Nebraska

How to Make the Most of 24 Hours in Lincoln, Nebraska

If you're in town for business and find you have spare time to explore, here is how you can make the most of 24 hours in Lincoln, Nebraska.

f you find yourself with a day to kill in between meetings or after completing your business in the capital city of the Cornhusker State, you can find plenty of interesting ways to spend the time. “Lincoln, Nebraska has earned a reputation as one of the Midwest’s most beloved cities,” says Jeff Maul, Executive Director of the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau. Consider these tips to make the most of 24 hours of freedom in the city:

Rise and Shine

Start your morning downtown at Cultiva, a locally owned coffee roaster and creperie. Enjoy a Black Label house espresso, and if you’re in the mood for something sweet, try The Parisian, a delicate crepe filled with sliced bananas and Nutella and then dusted with powdered sugar. Alternatively, try the house-made bourbon papaya pecan granola — a local legacy — plain, with milk, or with yogurt.
After fueling up, head to the Sheldon Museum of Art, located about a mile away. The academic museum features exhibits and collections that emphasize 19th- and 20th-century American art as well as cultural and trans-national themes. If art isn’t your scene, spend a few hours exploring the Nebraska History Museum or the Frank H. Woods Telephone Museum (only open on Sunday afternoons), both of which are also nearby.

Time for Lunch

For lunch, travel a short distance over to North 8th Street to bread&cup, a culinary gem that keeps both locals and visitors coming back for more. “Chef Kevin Shinn brings so much personality to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as he often visits with patrons during their meals,” says Maul. “The restaurant incorporates local foods as part of the farm-to-fork experience.” That means you can trust your meal is always made with the freshest ingredients, and your patronage helps support the local farming economy as well.

Afternoon Adventures

After lunch, make your way a half-mile downtown through the Historic Haymarket District and into Lincoln’s new Railyard District, which Maul describes as “a refreshing indoor/outdoor experience featuring over 13 restaurants and bars as well as a public market.” Grab a refreshing afternoon drink, peruse the farmers’ market, and stop by Rocket Fizz — a soda pop and candy shop — for a treat. If you’re visiting during the winter months, the venue offers outdoor ice skating.
Head three miles west and spend the last few hours of daylight at the city’s Sunken Garden, which was named one of the 300 best gardens in North America by National Geographic. The garden is open until 11 p.m. each day, so take your time relaxing among the serene and colorful floral displays.
Little boy in cowboy hat at Haymarket Farmers Market in Lincoln Nebraska
Image of trees in the Sunken Garden in Lincoln Nebraska

Ring the Dinner Bell

If you’re staying downtown, swing by The Starlite Lounge (below Buzzard Billy’s) or The Copper Kettle for dinner on your way back to your hotel. Both spots tend to cater more to professionals than the collegiate crowd. If you’d prefer to avoid the bustle of downtown at night or if you’re looking for a more elegant dining experience, consider Carmela’s Bistro & Wine Bar on Pioneer Woods Drive. To top off the day with a hearty meal, look no further than Honest Abe’s Burgers & Freedom, which claims to make the greatest burger ever and boasts a menu of unique creations that “revolves like a pistol.”

After Hours

Still have energy to burn? If you want to find a late-night spot for adults, head to Rule G Nightclub on the third floor of the Railyard and party in The Spin Room, The Ultra Lounge, or The Rooftop Patio on Fridays or Saturdays. Thumping beats and laser lights provide the perfect setting for dancing and mingling.

The Morning After

The next morning, squeeze in breakfast at the Engine House Cafe before leaving town or heading to your next meeting. Once the home of Havelock Fire Station, the building was constructed in 1900 and still features wooden ceiling accents and large wooden entrance beams from the original architecture. Enjoy a hot, hearty breakfast in this historic space before starting a new day.

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