OMAHA, NE -20 APR 2019- View of the landmark Omaha Old Market Artists Gallery located in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. - Image
Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Why would anyone visit Nebraaaaska???

“Nebraaaaska??? Why would anyone go to Nebraaaaska? was the response most folks gave me when they learned I was heading to the Cornhusker State to support one of my best friends.

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Tiffany, the now-college professor I met when we were bubble-headed kids at Ohio University, is running a half marathon in each of our 50 states.

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Nebraska was half-marathon number 46, but the first one I was able to see.

When Tiffany told me what was up next, I’ll have to admit that I at first thought “Nebraaaaska???

But then I thought Nebraaaaska” could easily be swapped for“O-hia.”

Hollywood Pinball & Arcade Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, features over 85 games from 1960s era pinball machines and arcade games. AMELIA ROBINSON/STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

Lord knows how many times I’ve heard “O-hia?” when outsiders find out I’m from the Buckeye State.

“Why would anyone live in O-hia? 

Why would anyone visit Nebraaaaska?”

Blergh.

Heck, some Dayton natives have asked me why I live in Daaaaayton as if I must be running from the law.

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Of course, there is fun to be had in corn-fed flyover states like O-hia and NebraaaaskaYou don’t have to look too hard to find those things, either. You need only leave what you think you know about a group of people at the door.

Breakfast Naan at Over Easy near Omaha, Nebraska, is one of the city’s many tasty dining destinations. AMELIA ROBINSON/STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

No matter how you pronounce it, I have big fun here in Dayton and had a blast in Nebraska nearly from the moment I landed in delightful, quirky Omaha.

No, it’s not New York, but neither is Miami. There is one New York and there is one Miami.

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Dayton is Dayton with the things that make it Dayton — just as Omaha, Nebraska, is Omaha, Nebraska, with all of the history and personality that come with that.

And guess what? That’s pretty fantastic.

First of all, it’s not a small town. Nearly 470,000 people live in the city, according to the United States Census Bureau.

Second of all, there is a lot to do.

Oysters at Plank Seafood Provision in Old Market in Omaha, Nebraska. AMELIA ROBINSON/STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

There are more than 45 bars, breweries and restaurants in Old Market alone. That says nothing of the shopping. You can find everything from goofball socks at City Limits to throwback candy at Hollywood Candy.

And the people in Omaha loved where they were, just the same as how I love it here. Pride is not a tourist attraction, but maybe it should be.

Amanda, the bartender at M’s Pub, proved this. She might as well have been employed by the chamber of commerce, for all the info she shared about the city’s museums and food scene. The blue-haired young woman we spotted rearranging metal roosters, suns and other creations outside of Iron Decor and More, might as well have been mayor.

A beer from UpStream Brewing Company in Omaha, Nebraska. AMELIA ROBINSON/STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

My answer to why anyone would go to Nebraaaaska is simpleI like a good time and nice people.

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