10 Best Weekend Trips From Omaha, Nebraska

weekend getaways from omaha

Omaha is the largest city in the US state of Nebraska and is home to pioneer history spaces, museums, galleries, buildings, and the very famous Henry Doorly Zoo. This city is located on the Missouri River, bordered by the state of Iowa, loaded with a number of scenic landscapes, parks, and picnic spots. Omaha is also conveniently located close to the state’s noteworthy cities and towns, making it a perfect starting point for weekend getaways in Nebraska. You can explore this stunning U.S. state even during busy work weeks simply by taking a short weekend trip to the nearest destinations. Check out our list of best weekend trips from Omaha, Nebraska.

1. Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

Platte River
Source: Photo by user Babymestizo used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Eugene T. Mahoney State Park is a public space on Platte River, located just 30.4 miles (48.2 kilometers) from Omaha. This is a popular picnic spot and a perfect weekend camping spot that you can reach in just 30 minutes. It is a modern park with vast camping grounds and cabins. There is a swimming pool, equestrian trails, biking trails, hiking trails, a fishing spot, and a children’s playground here. You can find comfortable accommodations with views of Platte River at Peter Kiewit Lodge. The park also has a range of adventure activities and an observation tower.

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2. Nebraska City, NE

Arbor Lodge
Source: Photo by user Workman used under CC BY 2.5

Nebraska City is located 44.7 miles (75 kilometers) away from Omaha, just less than an hour’s ride from the city. This destination has a ton of attractions worth exploring, starting from the Arbor Lodge of the first US secretary of Agriculture, Tree Adventure Park, Wildwood Historic Center, Mayhew Cain Museum, Lewis and Clark Interpretive Trails, Steinhart Park, and many other places. It is also close to the city of Lincoln. Explore Nebraska City with your family for a fun-filled picnic or a history walk.

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3. Lincoln, NE

Picture of downtown Lincoln,NE
Source: Photo by user Unknown author used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Lincoln is another great option for a weekend getaway from Omaha, Nebraska. This city is home to theme parks, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Sheldon Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden, Capitol Building, and many other amazing sights. You can also explore the wildlife refuge hub at Pioneers Park Nature Center. It is the capital city of the state and has numerous historic buildings, parks, and recreational areas. Sunken Gardens in Lincoln is a unique attraction that you cannot miss. This city is just 59 miles (94.9 kilometers) from Omaha.

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4. Platte River State Park

Horses and thunderstorm1
Source: Photo by user MONGO used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Another great spot for camping and recreation is Platte River State Park. This park has an archery range as well as a shooting range where you can practice hitting targets. It also has accommodation options for visitors such as camping cabins and lodges. You can explore through the scenic biking and horse riding trails. There are facilities for fishing, canoeing, boating, and other interesting water activities. You can also go hiking and picnicking here. The park has options for food service and a children’s playground. It is at an easy commuting distance of 31 miles (49.8 kilometers) from Omaha City.

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5. Willow Lake, IA

Mt. Sanford and Willow Lake
Source: Photo by Flickr user Wrangell-St. Elia... used under CC BY-SA 2.0

When speaking of weekend getaways near Omaha, you cannot miss the hidden gems on Iowa State Border. One such great destination is Willow Lake Recreation Area. This is an amazing campsite with shelters and six large cabins suitable for outdoor camping and picnics. This place also has tent sites and RV parks. At Willow Lake, you can go kayaking, canoeing, fishing, geocaching, hunting, swimming, hiking, and even enjoy a range of seasonal winter activities. This park is 47 miles (75 kilometers) from Omaha, Nebraska.

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6. Royal, NE

Ashfall Fossil Beds - Hubbard Rhino Barn 3
Source: Photo by user Ammodramus used under CC0

Royal is a small village in Nebraska filled with pre-historic artifacts that attract archeology enthusiasts from across the country. This village is home to the infamous Ashfall Fossil Beds National Historical Park. Check out the fascinating eco-systems of Grove Lake Wildlife Management Area. Go fishing and camping at Grove Lake Bait Shop and RV Park. Royal takes a few hours to reach from Omaha since it is at a distance of 166.2 miles (267 kilometers).

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7. Kearney, NE

Source: Photo by user MMarshall used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Kearney is a spectacular city located 185.3 miles (298 kilometers) from Omaha. This city has numerous historic and modern attractions like the Archway on I-80, a historical monument consisting of a museum that speaks of the history of the Platte River. This city has amazing camping and picnicking spots such as Yanney Park, Harmon Park, Fort Kearney State Recreation Area, and more. It is also home to a number of museums like Fort Kearney Museum, Nebraska Firefighters Museum, Trails and Rails Museum, MONA Gallery, and Kearney Children’s Museum.

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8. Grand Island

US ne grand island stuhrmuseumpp
Source: Photo by user [Unknown] used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This city is located in central Nebraska, 148 miles (238 kilometers) from Omaha. It was named after Le Grand Island on Platte River. Check out the 19th-century architectural marvel Stuhr Museum - Praire Pioneer to learn about the life of Nebraska’s people during that period. Spend a day of fun at Island Oasis Water Park or Stolley Park Kids Kingdom. Pitch a tent and camp at Morman Island Recreation Park. Go fishing at the pier and Suck’s Lake. Grand Island City in Nebraska has so many activities to offer, and it is a great choice for a memorable weekend trip.

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9. Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines City Hall
Source: Photo by user Iowahwyman used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Des Moines is the capital city of Iowa and is a popular tourist attraction. This city is at an easy distance from Omaha, 126 miles (202 kilometers) away. It has numerous sights to explore such as Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa State Capitol Building, Living History Farms, Gray’s Lake, Western Gateway Park, museums, historic houses, and various other spots. It is a great place to learn about Iowa’s history and lifestyle.

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10. Yankton, South Dakota

Yankton and the Meridian Bridge
Source: Photo by user National Park Ser... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Yankton, a city in South Dakota just 159 miles (255 kilometers) from Omaha, is also popularly called River City mainly because of its scenic location along Missouri River. You can go camping, fishing, hiking, and experience numerous river activities at the Missouri River Recreational Area. It has other notable attractions such as Meridian Bridge, Gavins Point Dam, a number of parks along the water, heritage homes, and Lake Yankton. This place has a wide range of options for picnics, camps, adventures, and water activities that will be worth trying during the weekend.

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Hit the outdoors and revamp your mind and body in Omaha

Omaha a hub for numerous camping parks and historic cities that will offer you the perfect weekend getaway from the bustling city life. As these attractions are located conveniently on the Missouri River and Platte River, they provide a wide array of options for fishing, picnicking, and water activities. Check out some of these amazing attractions around Omaha for some fresh air and peace.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Sharadha is a happy 'paw'rent to beautiful GSDs - Max n Tuffey. At times, when she is not too busy pampering her furry kids, she is trying her best to stay fit, write and travel. She loves...Read more

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