It’s been one whole year since the Agnes Robinson Waterloo Public Library’s last “100 Things to Do in Omaha” excursion. Pre-pandemic, our librarian and a group of patrons would take one field trip each month to a special place in the Omaha metro area, from El Museo Latino to the General Crook House to Boys Town. After each tour, we would grab a delicious bite to eat at a local establishment near our destination. (See photos below!)

Our “100 Things to Do in Omaha” library program was inspired by Tim and Lisa Trudell’s book, 100 Things to Do in Omaha Before You Die. We set out to visit every destination the Trudells highlight, and added some of our own!

While we miss our monthly excursions, the safest thing to do during the pandemic is read about them instead. Here is a collection of books you can check out from our library that will transport you to the amazing destinations that the Omaha area has to offer!

Where is your favorite place to visit and eat in Omaha? Comment down below!

100 Things to Do in Omaha Before You Die by Tim & Lisa Trudell

Omaha is often called the best-kept secret in the United States. Once they’ve been there, visitors tend to fall in love with the city and its people. Omaha is famous for its great steaks and being the home of Warren Buffet, the billionaire ”Oracle of Omaha.” Referred to as the Gateway to the West, Omaha has so much to offer, from history, hiking, and an exciting local beer scene to great food. We take you on a tour of the city’s unique and interesting sites and include some fun facts and helpful tips.

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Unique Eats and Eateries of Omaha by Tim & Lisa Trudell

Omaha’s food landscape has grown from the old steak and potato days. Once known as the place to find great steak, nowadays you’re likely to find amazing vegetarian and fresh farm-to-table fare alongside the T-bones and ribeyes. Unique Eats and Eateries of Omaha pops open the top on a culinary scene that’s definitely not just for grandparents anymore. Explore the diverse dining options in Nebraska’s largest city, with recommendations for some of the best in local and international cuisine.

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The Oracle of Omaha: How Warren Buffett and His Hometown Shaped Each Other by Steve Jordan

Warren Buffett, “The Oracle of Omaha,” often speaks fondly of his hometown. The city provided him a comfortable home base, away from Wall Street’s distractions. In return, Omaha benefited from the worldwide attention that came his way and from the generosity of his early investors. It turned out to be a profitable relationship for both The Oracle & Omaha.

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The Rhythm Boys of Omaha Central: High School Basketball at the ’68 Racial Divide by Steve Marantz

In the spring of 1968, the Omaha Central High School basketball team made history with its first all-black starting lineup. Their nickname, the Rhythm Boys, captured who they were and what they did on the court. Led by star center Dwaine Dillard, the Rhythm Boys were a shoo-in to win the state championship. But in early March, segregationist George Wallace made a campaign stop in Omaha. By the time he left town, Dillard was in jail, his coach was caught between angry political factions, and the city teetered on the edge of racial violence. So began the Nebraska state high school basketball tournament the next day, caught in the vise of history.

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Nebraska Off the Beaten Path by Diana Lambdin Meyer

Nebraska Off the Beaten Path features the things travelers and locals want to see and experience––if only they knew about them. From the best in local dining to quirky cultural tidbits to hidden attractions, unique finds, and unusual locales, Nebraska Off the Beaten Path takes the reader down the road less traveled and reveals a side of Nebraska that other guidebooks just don’t offer.

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Nebraska Craft Beer: A History and Guide to Beer Made Here by Blake Ursch

Blake Ursch explores the history of Nebraska craft beer from the early breweries that satisfied the thirst of working immigrants to the craft brewery movement of today. The book features current and archival beer stories, historic and current photographs of Nebraska’s breweries and beer memorabilia from Nebraska collectors. Each craft brewery in the state is listed and an illustrated map by Matt Haney makes it easy to visit and drink the great craft beer being made here.

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24th & Glory: The Intersection of Civil Rights and Omaha’s Greatest Generation of Athletes by Dirk Chatelain

Award-winning journalist Dirk Chatelain uncovers the mystery of Omaha’s greatest generation of athletes. They rose out of segregation as racial tensions in north O boiled hotter and hotter. During the civil rights era, they ascended to national prominence – Bob Boozer, Gale and Roger Sayers, Marlin Briscoe, Ron Boone, Johnny Rodgers and Bob Gibson.

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Boys Town: The Constant Spirit by James R. Ivey

In 1917, Father Edward J. Flanagan, a Roman Catholic priest and Irish immigrant, borrowed $90 from a friend to open a home for wayward boys in downtown Omaha. The first five boys he took off the streets moved in just after Thanksgiving of that year, and a legacy was born. Featured here in vintage photographs are the first house at 25th and Dodge Streets, the move to the spacious Overlook Farm, the road to Hollywood, and Father Flanagan’s rarely noted assistance to Japanese Americans during World War II.

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150@150: Nebraska’s Landmark Buildings at the State’s Sesquicentennial by Jeff Barnes

This book features 150 buildings that tell the story of Nebraska’s history. It’s a beautiful four-color book sponsored by the Architectural Foundation of Nebraska. Barnes has presented an interesting look into places that will be both intimately familiar to Nebraskans (yes, Memorial Stadium made the cut) and maybe less well known (a World War II-era bombsight vault in McCook).

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