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, kid-friendly restaurants, 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 US state even during busy work weeks. Simply take a short weekend trip to the nearest destinations, and you can even opt for RV rentals for a comfortable stay. Check out our list of best weekend getaways from Omaha, Nebraska.
1. Indian Cave State Park, NE
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission manages the Indian Cave State Park, about an hour and a half from Omaha, and is all about magnificent landscapes and leisure. It usually takes at least about 56 minutes to finish this course, which is commonly regarded as easy. Although this is a famous track for hiking, strolling, and other environmental activities, you may still find some tranquility during quiet hours of the day.
Explore the refurbished blacksmith and local shop in St. Deroin to see the local historical displays. Also, seek Native American carvings on the walls of the cave. The ideal months to visit the trail is from April through October. Dogs are allowed but should be kept on a leash.
Indian Cave State Park
Address: 65296 720 Rd, Shubert, NE 68437, United States
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
2. Ponca State Park, NE
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Now is the perfect time to reserve your campsites.Posted by Ponca State Park on Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Ponca State Park is a popular attraction for travelers from all around Nebraska and the United States, and is two hours away from Omaha. As being one of Nebraska’s eight state parks, it aims to be a stunning natural asset as well as an appealing area to come, discover, enjoy, and relax. There are several activities to do and places to stay in the park. Facilities can be rented for a family gathering or a wedding celebration.
There are 31 cottages in the area for housing, as well as over 70 powered campgrounds and more than 40 primitive camping sites. There are a lot of entertainment options that can be found on site such as the outdoor swimming pool, kayaks, horseback rising and many more.
Ponca State Park
Address: 88090 Spur 26 E, Ponca, NE 68770, United States
Website: Ponca State Park
Opening hours: 8am - 8pm (daily)
3. Council Bluffs, IA
Council Bluffs, sometimes called “Iowa’s Leading Edge” is 6 kilometers (4 miles), or an eight-minute drive, from Omaha. It is famous for its casinos and access to the transcontinental railroad. This city is a good place to stay for travelers because the cost of living is incredibly low and there are a few fun activities that you can enjoy.
You shouldn’t miss visiting some of their historical attractions such as Lewis and Clark Monument and Scenic Overlook, Historic General Dodge House, and Golden Spike Monument.
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4. Kansas City, MO
Kansas City is located 185.4 miles (298.37 kilometers) away from Omaha. It is a superb destination for gourmands and its exceptional barbecue offerings play a big part in that. In Kansas City, the barbecue generates so much buzz and excitement that you’d be understood for believing that there is nothing else going on in town.
From heritage, entertainment, and design to wonderful things to do, fascinating places to visit, and perhaps even incredible methods to travel about town, Kansas City seems to have it all. It is a must-see place when on a driving vacation from Omaha.
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.
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.
Lincoln is another great option for a quick 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.
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.
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. With a distance 47 miles (75 kilometers), this park is an ideal place to go for a weekend trip from Omaha,
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).
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.
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 road trip from Omaha.
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.
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.
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.
Frequently asked questions about weekend getaways from Omaha, Nebraska
1. Which lakes can we visit on weekends from Omaha?
There are a few lakes that you can visit just a few hours of travel from Omaha. You can try kayaking on the Willow Lake Recreation Area, check out the ecosystems at Grove Lake Wildlife Management Area, or enjoy sightseeing at Gray’s Lake in Des Moines, Iowa.
2. Which cities can I visit on weekends from Omaha?
Kansas City, Nebraska City, and Lincoln City are nearby cities that will take you an hour or less from Omaha. These are great places to visit on weekends with its beautiful attractions and fun activities. You won’t spend a lot of time on travel, so you’ll get to enjoy the place for a day.
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