After visiting The Durham Museum, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, and The Omaha Children’s Museum, we chose to wrap-up our busy weekend in Omaha, Nebraska by walking to Iowa! Actually we had a quiet evening stroll across the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, which links Nebraska and Iowa and then enjoyed the Heartland of America Park in the very park-like downtown of Omaha.
|Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge|
The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is fairly new, having opened in 2008, and links downtown Omaha, Nebraska with Council Bluffs, Iowa. On the Nebraska side, the bridge entrance is in a brand-new fairly upscale area of Omaha with park land all around. We easily walked to the bridge entrance from downtown Omaha on all the various green walking paths that seem to be everywhere in Omaha!
|Two states at the same time!|
The bridge is in fact the longest pedestrian bridge to link two states, and exactly half-way through the bridge the state lines are marked. The bridge offers a plethora of photo opportunities, and plenty of amazing views of the Omaha skyline and surrounding areas.
|View of downtown Omaha from the bridge|
In the background of the above photo, on the left side, you can also clearly see Fertile Ground, the largest singly funded public art mural project in America. The mural was in flawless shape and of course huge, visible from the bridge nearly half a mile away!
|National Park Service Visitor’s Center|
After walking to Iowa, we chose to walk back to our car parked in downtown Omaha (there is actually plenty of parking right next to the bridge if you wish to drive) by taking the many walking & bike paths along the river and through the Heartland of America Park. Along the paths are various sites, including the National Park Service Visitors Center (which we did not get to visit as this was a Sunday evening), complete with a tent to play in!
|Playing in the gravel with a truck, bridge in background|
After playing in the tent, and taking a much longer stop to play in the dirt, we continued our walk along the river towards the Heartland of America Park. Along the way there were several statues, including this one, right at the entrance to the park:
|Entering the Heartland of America Park|
The park features a huge lake, complete with gondola’s that you can ride. I didn’t believe it when I first heard you can take a gondola ride in downtown Omaha, but you certainly can! And it’s a gorgeous area for a ride in the lake.
|Lake view with some boats (there were real gondola’s as well)|
|Another view of the lake|
Our evening stroll across the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge from Nebraska into Iowa, and our walk through the Heartland of America Park concluded our wonderful visit to Omaha. We had a busy and fun weekend enjoying The Durham Museum, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, and The Omaha Children’s Museum. I was very shocked by the size and cosmopolitan feel of Omaha, and had a fantastic time enjoying everything this city had to offer!
|All over Omaha they have these pins
indicating you are at a tourist site