20 Best Things to Do in Lincoln, NE (for 2023)

Lincoln is Nebraska’s capital city and its attractions are captivating. The range of attractions includes romantic gardens and a winery, several museums and countless natural attractions.

The city was conceived in 1856 and its historic atmosphere remains evident across the streets of the historic district and its numerous museum displays. Lincoln is an agronomist city and offers plenty of tourist spots for everyone.

So, what are the best things about Lincoln, NE?

1. Stroll through the Historic Haymarket District

Historic Haymarket District

Haymarket is an interesting place for walking, eating or simply being watched. The neighborhood is compact and consists of charming and restored brick warehouses from late nineteenth and early twentieth-century brick streets, an enormous tower and a special clock.

Haymarket District has an active vibe because Nebraska’s universities are within walking distance and students frequent several restaurants and bars positioned within the small area. Among the notable structures was Lincoln’s Station. Once an old railway depot, the building now contains visitor centers and restaurants. Summertime is often closed for festivals and farm markets.

2. Cheer On The Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium

Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium
Image source: si.com

The most interesting place in Lincoln, literary and figuratively speaking, is a memorial stadium that hosts the College Cornhuskers football team. This Stadium has been built without state funding on Lincoln’s central campus for Nebraska’s rivalry game against Oklahoma.

Since its opening the stadium has received numerous renovations and upgrades and can comfortably house more than 900,000 supporters during the year. The Memorial Stadium is the ideal setting to watch local football and the local acoustics.

3. Explore the University of Nebraska Lincoln Campus

University of Nebraska Lincoln Campus
Image source: campusplanning.unl.edu

Nebraska University is Cornhusker State’s oldest university of all time. It’s impossible for a college to learn as much about its prowess as the main campus of a nationally-ranked school in Lincoln City.

Lincoln has served as the university’s official headquarters ever since forming the institution in 1869 and has today over 806 acres of the Lincoln City Centre.

Lincoln campus offers many attractions for tourists including a Nebraska State Museum memorial stadium and a historical architectural hall. Lincoln’s campus can be found at 1400 R Street in Lincoln NE 68588.

4. See Historic Cars at the Museum of American Speed

Museum of American Speed
Image source: museumofamericanspeed.com

Fans of racing cars, engines, and anything else going fast can visit the American Speed Museum. Originally established in 1922, it boasts 175,000 square feet of exhibit space. The archive holds a number of important exhibitions including Autoia cars and motorcycles, toys and models.

The museums are tricky to find because they are within one-hectare industrial parks, but they’re worth the effort. Use the GPS location provided by the website. The tour will be conducted on weekends and evenings and lasts two to three hours.

Alternatively, the Museum offers a range of guided tours for those who want more freedom. The address of the museum is 589 Oak Creek Boulevard, Lincoln Nebraska 59901.

5. Tour Nebraska State Capitol

Nebraska State Capitol

It is the most significant landmark in the Lincoln neighborhood designed by New Yorker Bertram Goodhue. It is a legislative hub within the Cornhuskers State and the government’s official residence. The capitol is nicknamed the “Tower of Plains” featuring three-story architecture and a 437-foot tall tower visible up to 32 km out from Lincoln.

This historic monument is accessible year-round to visitors and is an outstanding attraction in Omaha. Nebraska’s state capitol is in Lincoln, Nebraska 68408.

6. Stroll Beautiful Sunken Gardens

Sunken Gardens
Image source: tripadvisor.com

The Sunken Garden is the first garden in 1930 which is currently incorporated into a National Historic Landmark. The stunning garden includes a range of well-known and sculptured plants and includes a pavilion and fountain. It is probably the greatest garden on the west coast.

Sunken Park is open all year long, with a large variety of activities for weddings. This place was listed in National Geographic’s top 100 gardens.

7. Visit Lincoln Children’s Zoo

Lincoln Children's Zoo
Image source: bvh.com

The Lincoln Children’s Zoo has more than 100 species that are endangered, and 40 are endangered. It is also a great place for kids to explore in Lincoln. The site opened in 1965 and is deliberately designed by architect Arnott Folsom. The Zoo is among Nebraskas’ most famous scientific and artistic attractions with more than 210,000 visitors each year. For updated prices check their website.

Among the inhabitants of the zoo are tiger sumatran kangaroos matschies leopards, red pandas, and kangaroos. Lincoln Childrens Zoo is located at 11225 S 27t Street in Lincoln, New Jersey 68202.

8. Tour the University of Nebraska State Museum

University of Nebraska State Museum
Image source: museum.unl.edu

The University of Nebraska State Museum commonly known as the Elephant Hall is one of the most interesting historic museums in Nebraska. The site opened in 1871 and houses the largest elephant fossil collection in the world and vast minerals and meteorites, African-Indian artifacts, dinosaurs, and old weapons. This amazing museum is one of the most visited attractions in Nebraska.

9. Visit Great Plains Art Museum

Great Plains Art Museum
Image source: topbrunchspots.com

It is one of the largest museums in the Midwest. This center is located on the campus of the University of Nebraska. Originally it began by drawing print paintings, sculptures, and artwork from a collection from Christlieb.

The museum has developed into Lincoln’s largest artistic and cultural institution, and it has exhibited some of America’s most impressive works of art including the artworks of Charles Russell, Henry Jackson and John Forsberg.

10. Play at the Lincoln Children’s Museum

Lincoln Children's Museum
Image source: visitnebraska.com

The Lincoln Childrens Museum offers an excellent environment to learn and enjoy while learning for children. It has interactive exhibitions in science, art, and culture including crafts and arts in its activity room.

The Lincoln Children’s Museum has become an interactive, edgy, educational museum focusing largely on kids. The exhibition hall opened in 1989, containing over 23,000 square feet (2137 sqm2).

Teaching kids subjects as varied as art to science it is a good place for children to visit and the site is convenient and close to all the main attractions. Lincoln Children’s Museum is located at 1420 N P Street, Lincoln, Nebraska 6808.

11. Stop for a coffee at Mill Coffee & Tea

The Mill Coffee and Tea Lincoln, NE

Opened in 1975, this family-owned coffee shop is a landmark in Lincoln, NE and a preferred place for locals. With a variety of teas, and coffees with or without ice you can choose from, this place also has food in case you get hungry.

12. Catch A Show At The Pinnacle Bank Arena

Pinnacle Bank Arena is one of the more recently added entertainment attractions to Lincoln. Since 2013 it is a vital center of live entertainment, music, and entertainment.

This modern event venue is located right beside Memorial Stadium and offers more than 15,500 seats. If the entertainment in Lincoln is top-notch, no bigger venue is available, so check their event calendar in advance to make sure you secure your sit. The Pinnacle Bank Arena is located at 400 Pinnacle Arena Drive Lincoln, NE 68208..

13. Drink Great Beer at Kinkaider Brewing

Kinkaider Brewery Lincoln, NE

Have you tried brewing at a smack local beer bar in Lincoln? Look beyond Kinkaider Brewery, the location that turned me into a beer lover!

Treat yourself to Nebraska-made Craft Beers. These include Nut Crusher, Hiram’s Bone, or Date Mike Cherry Stem Sour just to name some. Get ready for the best-selling seasonal kinkaider products.

14. Go shopping and dining at the Gateway Mall

Are you in the mood for some shopping? Then you should know that Gateway Mall is one of the largest shopping centers in the city that covers a total retail space of approximately 820,000 square feet. It features a single-level layout, making it easily accessible and convenient for shoppers. Here you will find all kinds of brands and dining restaurants to stop at in case you get tired.

15. Explore the Nebraska History Museum

Nebraska History Museum
Image source: lundross.com

The museum has been recognized for its cultural significance since the 19th century as the most important museum in the state and the largest museum in the country in the world. Opening its doors in 1878, the museum’s vast archive contains more than 120 individual exhibit items across several permanent and rotating exhibitions.

The museum tells Nebraska stories from the time when the Natives lived here until today. This includes important moments ranging from the day Nebraska became a state or when Lewis and Clark arrived west of Omaha.

Nebraska Historical Museum is located at 131 Centennial Mall NW at Lincoln, NNE 60584.

16. See The Cosmos At Mueller Planetarium

Mueller Planetarium

Mueller Planetarium is a pioneering center for audiovisual content at Nebraska’s University of Nebraska State Museum. Originally opened in 1958, the planetarium is surrounded by a 30-ft (9m), 360 x 360 mm dome.

This domed theater is a unique fish eye projector designed specifically to dazzle visitors. It can hold 60 people in its private windows and hosts all types of events and tours during the night.

Mueller Planetarium is in Morrill Hall, 644 North 14th St, Lincoln, NE 68488.

17. Tour the Governor’s Residence

Governor's Residence
Image source: thewalkingtourists.com

It sits in a picturesque area with a beautiful tree-covered lawn and colorful gardens and boasts a manicured garden. Governor’s Residence is an impressive house. It was initially built in 1958 and was extensively rebuilt in 1997. There are 32 rooms but only five bedrooms.

The mansion is just a couple miles from the Nebraska Legislature. Both the garden and the residence can be visited together it has free entrance. However, the forty-minute guided tours can only be ordered on Thursday nights and require booking two weeks before.

18. Engage in Wildlife Spotting at Pioneers Park Nature Center

Pioneers Park Natural Center
Image source: Tripadvisor.com

Pioneers Park Natural Center offers great outdoor activities that are affordable but still offer education. The park is surrounded by 606 acres and is an excellent place to reconnect with nature as these are the landscapes that were seen before modern farming.

Eight miles of walking trails wind through it and guests will find a herd of bison, deer and elk in the vicinity.

19. Stop by the International Quilt Museum

New Quilt Center in Lincoln
Image source: visitnebraska.com

A unique Lincoln-based cultural institution is the International Quilt Museum. It is a unique facility with the world’s largest collection of quilts. The museum opened in 1997 through the gift of more than 750 quilts by Robert and Ardis James which became the centerpiece of its ever-increasing collections.

The exhibition has 6,000 quilts which range from early European and American quilts to more contemporary designs. Quilt Museum is located at 1522 NW 33rd St in Lincoln, Nebraska 68584.

20. Visit the National Museum of Roller Skating

Museum of Roller Skating
Image source: onlyinyourstate.com

The American Roller Skating Association is the only museum specifically for roller skating around the world. It has become an attractive destination in eastern Nebraska since its opening in 1980. It boasts the largest collection of roller skating memorabilia worldwide as well as some rare items.

This fascinating and historic center offers an excellent addition to any Lincoln trip. The National Museum for Roller Skating can be found in Lincoln, NE 68606.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Lincoln Nebraska best known for?

Lincoln, NE is known for being the capital city of Nebraska. It is also home to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which brings a vibrant college-town atmosphere. Lincoln is also recognized for its rich history, including landmarks such as the Nebraska State Capitol and the historic Haymarket District.

What is interesting about Lincoln Nebraska?

Lincoln, Nebraska offers several interesting aspects that make it a unique and appealing city like the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), The Haymarket District or the Nebraska State Capitol.

How did Lincoln, NB get its name?

Lincoln, Nebraska, the capital city of the U.S. state of Nebraska was named in honor of former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. The naming of the city was attributed to the efforts of early settlers and politicians in the region.

Is Lincoln Nebraska worth visiting?

Yes, absolutely. As the state’s capital and residence for the top-respected universities, the city has a wide variety of historical and cultural attractions.

What is the number 1 tourist attraction in Nebraska?

The number 1 tourist attraction in Nebraska is The Henry Doorly Zoo. This world-renowned zoo consistently ranks among the top zoos in the United States with a surface of more than 130 ha and over 200 million visitors each year.

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