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Omaha, Nebraska: Midwestern Vacation Destination

Visitors to Omaha, Nebraska may find themselves pleasantly surprised by the quality of attractions that abound in and around this Midwestern metropolis. Whether you prefer to spend your vacation outdoors, in a museum, or just experiencing new locales, Omaha is the place for a great vacation.

Nature enthusiasts hoping to get a glimpse of some amazing creatures will find Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo at the top of their list of Omaha activities. Open daily, the Henry Doorly Zoo was named the best zoo in the United States by Reader's Digest. Guests of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo should expect to devote an entire day to this extensive collection of animals and amazing exhibits. The Lied Jungle featuring the world's largest indoor rainforest, the Scott Aquarium housing the shark tunnel, and the Desert Dome showcasing the world's largest indoor desert are just a few of the elaborate displays in the Henry Doorly Zoo. With such astounding exhibits, the Henry Doorly Zoo is a must-see attraction for everyone.

For vacationers who are more excited by technology than nature, the Strategic Air and Space Museum, located in nearby Ashland, NE, is just the place to get their fill of some hi-tech excitement. Visitors to the Strategic Air and Space Museum have their first close encounter with one of the United States' finest achievements in aircraft before they even enter the building. Housed in the enormous atrium, which is constructed of 525 glass panels, a Lockheed "Blackbird" hangs suspended over the museum lobby. Guests in the museum have the opportunity to make their way through two display hangers filled to capacity with a collection of aircraft dating as far back as far as the 1940's.

History buffs will find something to appreciate at the Strategic Air and Space Museum, as well. The museum features exhibits highlighting different pieces of United States History with an emphasis on its military. One exhibit focuses on the history of the United Service Organization (USO); another exhibit gives a detailed description of the United States' bombing raid of Tokyo during World War II as experienced by one of Nebraska's own members of the legendary "Doolittle's Raiders." With its moving historical displays and awesome aircraft, the Strategic Air and Space Museum is sure to hold something to appeal to every member of your vacation group.

Finally, travelers who simply want to relax and enjoy Omaha's local flavor will find the Old Market district to be the perfect destination. Nestled in the heart of downtown Omaha, the Old Market is a collection of eclectic shops and restaurants that is sure to charm visitors. The atmosphere of this neighborhood is reminiscent of turn of the century New York. During the early morning, shop owners can be seen sweeping the sidewalks in front of their stores. Awning tops are lined with window boxes filled with cascading plants. You won't find the standard shopping center favorites here such as a Borders Bookstore or a Chili's Restaurant; tenants in the Old Market include unique stores such as Tannenbaum Christmas Shop or Drastic Plastic and diverse restaurants including Indian Oven, Vincenzo's and Matsu Sushi.

A visit to Omaha, Nebraska can be as activity-filled or low-keyed as you would like it to be. Although the Henry Doorly Zoo, the Strategic Air and Space Museum, and the Old Market are wonderful attractions, they are simply the beginning of the list of Omaha's special treasures. Plan a trip to Omaha and be prepared to explore this often overlooked vacation destination.

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