Omaha and Kansas City  share many similarities, and you’ll find much to do and see in Kansas City’s cousin to the north. Although smaller than Kansas City, Omaha still packs a tourism punch thanks to concentrated efforts to make the city a regional destination. Founded in 1854, Omaha is also a railroad city and was home to stockyards, making Omaha at one time, according to historians, “the fastest growing city in America.”
Head to Omaha, and you’ll be in good company. Famous natives include president Gerald Ford, Malcom X, Fred Astaire, Marlon Brando, and Warren Buffett. The nation’s 42nd-largest city offers an appealing array of shopping, dining, and must-see sights, as well as a variety of annual events like the River City Roundup, the Summer Arts Festival, and the Holiday Lights Festival.
Omaha is home to the award-winning Henry Doorly Zoo , and in the heart of downtown Omaha you’ll find the vibrant must-see Old Market  area, a shopping, dining, and entertainment zone so scenic you’ll have a hard time putting your camera away.
Although Omaha has experienced the same outward growth as Kansas City, you’ll still get a feel for the city’s soul if you confine your trip to the downtown area and the immediately surrounding attractions, like the Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge . If you’re feeling adventurous, however, hop on I-80 west for a quick 10-minute drive to the behemoth Nebraska Furniture Mart headquarters that encompasses—no kidding—more than a city block.
Driving is the best and most economical way to get to the southeast corner of Nebraska from Kansas City . At just under three hours, the drive is a relatively straight shot north on I-29. Merge onto I-80 to head into the city; the 13th Street exit will take you to the Henry Doorly Zoo  as well as into the heart of downtown Omaha.
Omaha is a fairly walkable city, especially if you’re planning to spend most of your time in and around the Old Market . Street parking is ample although sometimes hard to find, especially during the Saturday-morning farmers market.
Omaha’s MAT public transit system (www.metroareatransit.com ) offers routes throughout Omaha’s downtown and outlying areas, including numerous routes that take riders directly to the Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge .