One week from today, the world’s best senior golfers will be making their final preparations for the 2013 U.S. Senior Open at Omaha Country Club. While the pros and their caddies are charting greens, examining angles, and getting a feel for the elevation changes OCC will throw at them, you’ll need to prepare, too. Omaha offers some wonderful attractions while you are not frequenting the course, a ton of highly-rated restaurants, and a handful of comfortable hotels that will make you feel right at home in Nebraska’s largest city. Read on to find out what to do, where to sleep, what to eat, and more while in Omaha for the 2013 U.S. Senior Open.
Where to stay
If you haven’t already booked your hotel accommodations, you’ll want to check out your options before deciding where you’ll pack it in each night. As Omaha Country Club is located in north central Omaha, just off of Interstate 680, you are no more than 20 minutes from anywhere in town.
Downtown is located on the Missouri riverfront and has experienced much growth in the last decade or so when it comes to hospitality. With the new home of the College World Series located there, a fairly new event center which holds between 15 and 20 thousand people, and a rejuvenation of north downtown, more hotels were needed. Check out this list of rankings for hotels, including many from downtown and midtown Omaha. Downtown features many of Omaha’s best attractions and is located only about 15 minutes from the Senior Open site. If you’d like to stay elsewhere, the list also includes a few new hotels in West Omaha and a couple of others that are centrally located. I’ve had great experiences at the Hampton Inn in southwest Omaha (next to Cabela’s) and also at the Hilton downtown (adjacent to the Century Link Center).
Want to play a little golf yourself while in town for the Champions Tour event? Check out this list of the best places to tee it up in Omaha.
Attractions, what to do while you aren’t taking in the event
Whatever your taste, Omaha has amenities, attractions, and places built with you in mind. From the extensive bike trail system that traverses the entire Metro area, to the state parks located just west of town, the outdoor enthusiast has many options in Omaha. Family-friendly places are at no shortage, either. Recently, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo was rated the country’s best. The Western Heritage, Josyln, and Omaha Children’s Museums are always fun and interesting. Music lovers can catch any number of shows at intimate venues in Benson or north downtown. And as any visitor to the city can tell you, Omaha’s Old Market, located just south of downtown, always provides an interesting stroll and feel for the town. With quaint shops, brick-paved roads, a weekend Farmer’s Market, and more, the Old Market is a must see. For a list of the highest rated things to do while in town, check out this list. For the shoppers in your group, Village Pointe is a great outdoor mall located at 168th and West Dodge Road. Some other great spots are: Shadow Lake in Papillion, Westroads Mall at 102nd and Dodge, and Oakview Mall at 144th and West Center Road.
Where to eat
At one point, and it still may be the case, Omaha had the most restaurants per capita in the United States. There are staples and decades-old family restaurants all over town, new and trendy hot spots, sushi bars, gastropubs galore, and of course, steakhouses littered throughout the city. Without making any specific suggestions, here are a list of areas you can travel to and have no trouble finding what you are looking for:
- Downtown/Old Market area- some of the most popular and expensive eats can be found here, but that’s not to say you can’t eat on the cheap. From famous steakhouses to huge chain restaurants, downtown has it all. Niche restaurants and family owned ones are easy to find, too.
- Midtown Crossing- located just west of downtown at about 32nd and Dodge, Midtown Crossing is a new-ish development full of clean, comfortable eateries. Nothing in this area is too cheap or too expensive, and there is plenty of outdoor seating with views of surrounding parks and the Omaha skyline.
- Aksarben Village- another new-ish area of town, Aksarben Village holds a handful of fairly good restaurants. Natural and organic food can be found all over. As can specialty meats, dessert shops, and even a movie theatre if you’d like to catch a show after dinner.
- Village Pointe- previously mentioned as a hot spot for shoppers, Village Pointe also has a handful of decent restaurants. If you are headed that way to shop, you’ll find steakhouses, Japanese restaurants, and a couple of chains. Jimmy Buffett also has a burger joint there.
- Westroads- the mall has a food court, but if you want a sit-down-type meal, there are options located on the campus as well. Most are giant chains like P.F. Chang’s and TGIFridays, but there are a couple of other fairly nice places. A gastropub that brews its own beer, a Chinese restaurant, and more can be found near Westroads. Just across Dodge, too, is the Regency area. Regency has a number of upscale spots to appease your growling stomach. Check out this list of top spots to eat in Omaha for more detailed info or if you want something specific.
When you aren’t at OCC taking in the major championship golf, spend your mornings and evenings out on the town in Omaha! You won’t regret it. From 5-star golf courses to great shopping and eating, from niche boutique hotels to massive hospitality venues with all the amenities, you shan’t be at a loss for things to do in Omaha.