When Nebraska became a state in 1867, Lincoln became the capital of Nebraska instead of Omaha, the territorial capital. Today the city is a destination with art, nature, history, and a myriad of things to enjoy.
1. The Capitol: Rising from the boxlike base is the 400-foot Tower of the Plains topped by a 19-foot bronze “The Sower.” It is the second tallest U.S. state capitol. Don’t miss the panoramic view from the top of the tower. Inside, there are mosaic floors, paintings, and murals depicting the Native American and pioneers heritage.
2. History Museum: The museum boasts 10,000 years of history. The First Nebraskans section depicts their clothing, food, pottery and a Pawnee earth lodge circa 1865. Explore Nebraska’s road to statehood with its pitfalls and successes along the way including Nebraska’s complicated position in the Civil War and the impact the Homestead Act had on the state’s development.
3. Art: The Sheldon Museum of Art extensive collection includes works of art by Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, and Andy Warhol. Great Plains Art Museum is a treasure trove of art depicting life on the plains. The Kiechel Fine Arts Gallery specializes in contemporary and 20th century Regionalism art.
4. Gardens: Don’t miss the Sunken Gardens. It was a Depression-era project that turned a dumpsite into beautiful gardens with ponds and sculptures. It was completely renovated in 2005. Outside the Sheldon Museum of Art the gardens are dotted with outstanding sculptures. The University of Nebraska has more than two dozen garden areas that show off the best plants for Nebraska.
5. Live Arts: The Lied Center for Performing Arts is the place for Broadway musicals, country singers, jazz musicians, and international dance groups. Haymarket Theater and Nebraska Youth Theater offer excellent high-quality productions featuring local students. The Zoo Bar is a blues nightclub styled around the Chicago blues clubs.