Posted March 2, 2021

Explore Hidden Gems in Omaha’s Blackstone District


No longer just a flyover town, Omaha is becoming a hip destination in itself. And there’s no better place to experience the transformation unfolding in the city than the historic Blackstone District, now home to the Kimpton Cottonwood.

Stroll or cycle amongst centuries-old buildings that have undergone a modern facelift. Then sip and taste your way through the revitalizing neighborhood’s many tempting bars and restaurants before turning in for a restful night’s sleep.

Be an Early Bird

If you’re craving a hearty meal to start your day, head straight to Early Bird. Here, they serve brunch specials Wednesday to Sunday (that’s right—you can finally enjoy brunch during the work week!) Dig into breakfast nachos, chicken fried steak or cornmeal pancakes, all washed down with a drip coffee or Early Bird cocktail.

Photo by Early Bird

If you’ve already had breakfast at the hotel and just need a jolt of caffeine, stop by Archetype Coffee. Get yourself a cold brew, pour over coffee, or latte and some of their locally roasted beans to take home.

Revel in history

After breakfast, it’s a short walk or bike ride over to the grounds of the Joslyn Castle. Built in 1893 as the residence of philanthropists George and Sarah Joslyn, the opulent castle offers public tours Monday mornings and the first and third Sunday of each month. If you aren’t in town during on one of these days, you can still enjoy walking in the gardens, which are open to the public.

Photo of Joslyn Castle by Mitchell Lee Photography

Cool off

When your sweet tooth calls, stop into Coneflower Creamery for a cool treat with local roots. All the ingredients used for the ice cream, including fresh milk, lavender, blackberries and coffee beans, all come from Nebraska farms and artisans. The menu changes seasonally, but the signature Blackstone butterbrickle flavor is always available.

Photo of Coneflower Creamy by Daniel Muller

What’s old is new again

For shopping, stop into Wannabee’s Vintage, where the owners create new and repurposed apparel with an 80’s and 90’s vibe. Check out the selection of bags, jackets, sweatshirts, jeans and more for sustainable fashion that doubles as a souvenir.

Dinner with a local twist

Make a dinner reservation at Stirnella for a dose of Midwestern comfort cuisine with an international twist. The menu features dishes like chicken and dumplings in a smoked bacon broth and the Blackstone burger, made with Wagyu beef. Save room for a gooey butter bar with Nutella ice cream for dessert.

Photo of Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel

Time for a nightcap

Cocktails at Red Lion Lounge is how you’ll want to end your evening. Once home to Omaha’s top jazz club in the 1950s, history fills the walls of the now modernized space. The drinks remain classic, though—a perfectly concocted Manhattan or Old Fashioned will send you off to bed in style.


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