It’s a shame we have to work to survive because traveling at any time would be freeing. Until those days come, we focus on breaking up regular life with an assortment of trips. Sometimes a week-long vacation doesn’t fit, so an extended weekend has to work. Lincoln, Nebraska was the target for one of these types of getaways. A 3-hour drive meant departing early so we had plenty of time for exploring. The next two days would be filled with fun, food, and interesting finds. Let’s take a look at how we maximized our time in Nebraska’s Capital City.
We want to thank the Lincoln CVB and the local businesses for hosting our visit. Rest assured all opinions are our own.
Day 1: Our First Impressions of Lincoln
By 6:30 we were on the road. We rolled into Lincoln around 10:00 and headed toward downtown. Parking near the capital is plentiful and soon we found ourselves strolling into this landmark. As we made our way toward the entrance, we found Abe watching over us. The statehouse behind him helped bolster his already impressive image. If you include the statue on the top of the dome, this structure is 400-feet tall. That makes it the second-tallest capital building in the United States, behind Louisiana. It certainly offers impressive views of the distant horizon.
For lunch, we wanted to find something within walking distance from the capital. Muchachos is a hole-in-the-wall local hangout that serves up mouthwatering meals. The bright blue storefront told us we had arrived. The funky vibe flowed right inside and all through the space. It seems like each year we see new cuisines appear, like this Mexican BBQ in our hometown. By blending multiple cuisines together, some amazing culinary discoveries are made. Being major foodies, (aren’t we all in reality?) we love all of the options that brings to the table. Muchachos blend of traditional Mexican and smoky barbecue had us savoring every bite. Head chef Nick Maestas stopped by and thanked us for visiting. During our conversation, we could hear his passion for delivering unique flavors. Feel free to test out a couple of the meat choices, which include brisket, pork, and chicken. We loved them all.
Speed Lover’s Paradise
We felt good about our progress, as we made our way to the Museum of American Speed. I knew when I added this to the itinerary that it would be more of my speed than Crystal’s. Of course, if truth be told, she likes to push the pedal down, as well. Covering three floors, this place has 150,000 square-feet of exhibits and they’re adding 100,000 more. I was grinning from ear-to-ear, as we headed off on a tour. When people ask me what type of racing this museum covers, I simply tell them all of it. Whether you prefer Indy, road course, Nascar, drag, land speed, or just want to see show cars, this is the place. I kid you not when I say that their collections are impressive, but they have to be seen in person to truly appreciate them.
Perfect Lodging Placement
Our visit to the Speed Museum lasted longer than expected, but fortunately, every place on our itinerary was fairly close together. Dinnertime was approaching, but first we wanted to get situated in our lodging. Our stay was scheduled at the Graduate Lincoln, which is situated on the edge of the Haymarket District. From the moment we stepped into the lobby, we were reminded of college days. The vivid palette of colors makes the hotel cheerful and fun. Even our room was unique and Nebraska themed. We loved the convenience of being in the entertainment district for Lincoln, Nebraska. After getting situated in our room, we headed out to explore before calling it a day. The next morning we discovered their Saturday Farmers Market, which offered a chance to sample some more of the local flavors.
Day 2: Local Life
During checkout at the hotel, we discovered they were okay with us leaving our car in the garage until late afternoon. This offered us plenty of time to finish our itinerary. A short walk and we were at the Nebraska History Museum. Since our explorations of Nebraska had been minimal, this offered us some insight to how the city and state grew from its earliest days. As luck would have it, they were featuring a temporary exhibit on the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Nebraska. We’ve viewed exhibits on this subject in other cities, so it was good to compare how different regions of the nation handled this change.
Daylight was burning and we only had one more attraction on our schedule. Before that, we needed to refuel with a lunch stop. Honest Abe’s sits near the history museum and has great ratings. We are always up for a burger and this place has some interesting flavor combinations. This Lincoln, Nebraska chain draws in tons of visitors, which was obvious by the steady stream passing through the doors. Our meals were protein-packed, as well as being delicious. We added some Freedom Fries and Tots to the mix for a complete meal. While our appetites were ferocious, we still couldn’t finish these massive burgers and sides.
Travel Back in Time
Our last stop was situated on the University of Nebraska campus, so our stroll included some interesting views. We like our downtown visits, especially ones that allow us plenty of walking time. It helps us not feel so guilty about the meals and treats we enjoy while traveling. The Nebraska State Museum at Morrill Hall is an impressive collection of life from the past. No matter how many times we are reminded that the Plains used to be an ocean and marshes. It’s hard to fathom what life was like back then, but the exhibits at this university museum certainly help paint the picture. We especially enjoyed the displays that show how the terrain around Lincoln, Nebraska has changed to bring us to what we see today.
Time To Head Home
Our time at the natural history museum came to an end, which signaled time for us to start our return home. Not wanting to hurry, we took a leisurely stroll back toward our car. The sun had broken free of the clouds and everything shined like new. On this walk we spent more time taking in some of the local outdoor art that dots downtown Lincoln, Nebraska. We knew that our drive home would be filled with conversation about what we liked best about this visit. Those conversations help me jumpstart my ideas about how these articles will be written. As you can see, we found plenty to keep us busy and we hope this inspires you to look at Lincoln for an upcoming adventure. Be sure to return and tell us what you liked most from your visit.
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Love your photos! Your descriptions were insightful and helpful for planning a visit. Thank you!
Thanks! We are glad you enjoyed the info and hope you find some great vacation destinations on our blog. Travel safely!
As usual, you have such great arrivals. I only wish I could travel to different areas like I used to. At least now I can see the US through your blog. Stay safe & enjoy your time together. You are truly blessed to spend time together.
Thank you for those kind words. As we age, we know that travel will become more cumbersome in the future. We are happy to be your surrogate travel couple for the time bieng.
My in-laws traveled to Lincoln from Dickinson County, in central Kansas, for their honeymoon in 1948. That prompted our visit a few years ago. We also enjoyed the Haymarket area.
We thought the Hay Market was a good home base since it has so many restaurants and shops.