What Travel Writers Say

From Cornhuskers to a skyscraper capitol in Lincoln, Nebraska!

© By Adam Southwood
  Lincoln, Nebraska Skyline I'm in Lincoln, and from the natives, I quickly assemble the following trivia - which may or may not establish local values:
  · Before becoming known as the Cornhuskers, the Nebraska football team was called the Antelope Boys, Bug-eaters and Rattlesnake Boys. I think that's a plus.
  · Hilary Swank, two-time Academy Award-winning actress, was born in Lincoln. Another plus.
  · Johnny Carson, television host and comedian, attended college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A definite plus.
  · Dick Cheney, U.S. V.P. under George W. Bush, Secretary of Defence under daddy Bush, and former CEO of Halliburton, was born in Lincoln. Hmm. Perhaps our first negative?
  · Each February, Lincoln, the largest city in the world to be named for Abraham Lincoln, celebrates his birthday.
  · This Prairie Capital City offers more parks per capita than anywhere else in the country.

     Okay, put your sneakers on, and let's explore the city. A walk through Lincoln's Historic Haymarket area reflects its early beginnings and heyday as a wholesale and retail center through the decades to today's fine dining, friendly shopping and great entertainment district. Antique shops, art galleries and the first microbrewery in Nebraska draw visitors here day and night. The Historic Haymarket name derives from the original market square of 1867 where wagons, camping equipment and hay were bought and sold. In 1874 the city shifted the area a few blocks west and north and renamed it "Haymarket." The spirit of the 1800s flows into Iron Horse Park located on the north side of the historic Burlington railroad depot. A three-dimensional brick mural, "Iron Horse Legacy," displays old locomotive Number 710 pulling the first train into Lincoln in 1870 on July 4th.
     Next, we explore a treasure, the State Capitol, one of four skyscraper capitols in the nation. The capitol building is topped by a golden dome, crowned by a 6-meter (20 ft) statue of a farmer sowing grain on a pedestal of wheat and corn, sculpted by Lee Lawrie to represent the state's agricultural heritage. The interior details Nebraska history, and is home to the only non-partisan, one-house state legislature in the country. Elaborate mosaics detail Nebraska's pioneer spirit, culture and history.
     A statue of Abraham Lincoln was sculpted by Daniel Chester French and dedicated in 1912. French later completed the statue of the seated Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
     The Governor's Mansion sits across the street and a few blocks away. Stop at the Thomas P. Kennard House, furnished in 1870's décor, a memorial to Nebraska's first secretary of state.

President Lincoln  Lincoln Gardens  Lincoln Capitol

     Okay, good start; here are some other worthwhile visits:
  · A short trip to the downtown area takes you to the Nebraska History Museum, featuring Native American cultures of the Great Plains, along with lives of pioneer settlers. Take a drive south to 48th and Sumner streets to Fairview. The Bryan Museum includes authentic displays and recordings of William Jennings Bryan, who served two terms in Congress, was U.S. Secretary of State and a three time Democratic Party nominee for President.
  · A short drive southeast of Lincoln takes you to Spring Creek Prairie, which is an 800 acre native tall grass prairie education center with miles of walking trails. Wagon trail ruts are visible from the Nebraska City-Fort Kearny cut-off, for which the site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  · If you enjoy nature and the outdoors, Lincoln has quite an extensive park system, with over 100 individual parks. The largest parks are Antelope Park (which contains the Lincoln's Children's Zoo and the Sunken Gardens), Woods Park, Holmes Park, Oak Lake Park, Pioneers Park, Tierra Park, and Wilderness Park. The parks are connected by a 159 km (99 mi.) system of recreational trails. You can easily spend several leisurely days here. But don't forget your running shoes!

Adam Southwood writes for Canadian, U.S. and European magazines and newspapers. He is a graduate of McMaster University in Hamilton and UWO in London with an interest in culture and history and has produced several educational programs for TV.

Photo Credits
Courtesy of Lincoln Visitors and Convention Bureau.

If you go
This Destination
as seen on
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_nebraska
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Lincoln_%28Nebraska%29
Lincoln Convention & Visitors Bureau: http://www.lincoln.org/
Visit Nebraska: http://www.visitnebraska.gov/

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

Transportation, visas, health, maps and temperature
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Google interactive map: http://maps.google.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/


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