Lincoln is the capital city of Nebraska and the second-most populous city in Nebraska. Founded in 1856, the city was renamed after President Abraham Lincoln and became the state capital in 1869. Lincoln is an offbeat city and offers the best of both urban and rural life. The city is home to numerous museums and other cultural attractions and it doesn't matter what interests you, Lincoln has no shortage of things to do for its visitors.
Here is a list of some of the must-visit attractions on your next visit to Lincoln, Nebraska.
Nebraska State Capitol
Located in downtown Lincoln, the Nebraska State Capitol is the seat of the government for the state of Nebraska. It took 3 attempts for Nebraska to build a Capitol building that would last. Constructed between the years 1922 to 1932, the building features a 437-foot three-story tower housing judicial offices and unlike other Capitol buildings, it doesn't feature a dome.
The State Capitol building is a hard-to-miss attraction and can be viewed from as far as 20 miles away. The building has a limestone exterior with carvings that depict the democratic process over the past thousands of years. The interior of the building is beautiful with mosaic floors and murals.
Located at the University of Nebraska State Museum, Mueller Planetarium was Nebraska's first planetarium and without a doubt one of the coolest places to visit in Lincoln. The planetarium features a 30-feet high, 360-degree full-dome theater with a customized fisheye lens projector for an immersive experience. Visitors can experience a variety of space and astronomy based shows and exhibitions in full 3D effect.
Pioneers Park Nature Center
Established in 1963, the Pioneers Park Nature Center is 668 acres of nature preserve with 8-miles of hiking trails to spend some outdoor fun. Visitors may come across wildlife like herds of bison, elk, owls, turkeys, etc. Part of the nature center is the Chet Ager building which is home to live caged animals and a herb garden. The building offers several educational programs to educate visitors about nature and wildlife.
The Historic Haymarket District is a perfect place to grab some food and go for an afternoon stroll. The district, thanks in part to the nearby University of Nebraska, has a very fun vibe despite being filled with several restored and renovated buildings. The place is home to numerous restaurants, shops, and tourist attractions including Lincoln Station and Bill Harris Iron Horse Park.
The Nebraska History Museum
There is no better way to learn about the history of Nebraska and the region than to visit the Nebraska History Museum. The museum features numerous exhibits and artifacts depicting the 12,000 years old history of Nebraska. The story of Lincoln itself goes back to 1867 when it was founded as a railroad town. The museum also offers several programs, workshops, and activities to educate visitors about the history of Lincoln and Nebraska.
Sheldon Museum of Art
Focusing on the art from the 19th and 20th centuries, Sheldon Museum of Art is located near the University of Nebraska State Museum and features over 12,000 works of art in several media ranging from paintings to sculptures. The museum also has a spectacular sculpture garden featuring over 30 sculptures from renowned artists like Jacques Lipchitz and William Tucker. A great place to visit for anyone interested in arts.
Sunken Gardens have a very interesting history. The place used to be a literal dump but it was turned into beautiful gardens in the 1930s. The place is ranked as one of the top 300 most beautiful gardens in the United States. Sunken Gardens are a set of a variety of gardens including a Healing Garden, a perennial garden, and a garden with annually rotating themes.
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