Omaha, Nebraska

Home On The Plain

The BUZZ

What's it like to live in Omaha

What are the pros and cons of living in Omaha, Nebraska?

Pros:

It's cheap. You can buy an ok house in the $150k - $200k range. Property taxes are a bit high, but it seems like on most tax analyses Nebraska ranks somewhere in the middle. So taxes aren't too high. Omaha is still developing so building a house is a common option.
Despite what some may tell you there is enough to do here. No, there aren't beaches or mountains nearby, but you can keep yourself busy with : sports leagues, biking trails, bars, dating, etc.
Depending on where you live, commute times usually aren't too bad. It's possible to get a long commute but that's kind of up to you. It doesn't seem as bad as some of the nightmare stories I've heard in other cities, like DC or Chicago.
Omaha is relatively safe. I've lived here my entire life and never been the victim of a crime.
We have plenty of movie theaters and we usually end up getting most indie movies now.
We have several arenas and get a lot of touring bands. I saw Paul McCartney and Soundgarden last year (prior to Chris Cornell passing away). Taylor Swift has played here.
Cons :

Omaha has no major league sports teams. So you'll never experience the frenzy of the home town team winning the world series. We follow college sports and that can be fun though. And the college world series comes once a year.
Not scenic. It's not California or Colorado. Not on a great lake or anything.
Other major cities are a decent drive. Kansas City is like 3 hours away. Chicago and Denver are 7–8 hours. Minneapolis is around 6, I think.
Omaha is segregated. White people live out west. North Omaha is mostly African American. South Omaha is mostly hispanic. I enjoy going all over the city and experiencing different cultures…its just weird that various races are packed into areas of town.
I think that's about it. The main reason I live is here is because of my friends and family. The affordability is also a nice perk.

Oh yeah and the weather is horrible lol. We get both extremes. Cold winters, but not super snowy and hot humid summers. Spring lasted about two weeks this year.

Pros and cons of living in Omaha, Nebraska?

Pros: Henry Doorly Zoo, College World Series, Capitol District with fantastic bars and restaurants, Joslyn Art Museum, Burlington Station Museum, Omaha Children's Museum, hundreds of bars and restaurants with food of nearly every ethnicity you can think of. There are great places to shop, movie theaters galore and you cannot forget about the performing arts — Omaha Community Playhouse, the Orpheum Theatre and the Holland Performing Arts Center (the acoustics have to be experienced!). Lastly, Millard Public and Westside Public School districts in the western side of the city are two of the best, if not the best, schools in Nebraska.

Cons: traffic and constant road construction. The city has sprawled to the west and south and the interstate is now more in the center of town, so getting to those suburbs during rush hour is an exercise in patience. Taxes are high — the city has considered trying to impose its wheel tax on neighboring counties only to be told by the Unicameral they cannot (taxation without representation, duh). Now they are dealing with paying for and completing a federally mandated sewer upgrade for older sections of town. Omaha Public Schools is another problem. The school board is an embarrassment and they continually want to stick their hands into your pocketbook with no positive outcomes to show for it.

Do I live in Omaha? No, but I lived there for 22 years. We live in a little town north of the city, but are considering a move back into Omaha in a couple years when we retire, now that our kids are grown. I do work in the city so I am there every day.

If you are trying to decide if Omaha is the place for you, come visit. Join us for concerts at the CenturyLink Center and the CWS. Or maybe come for River City RoundUp, Septemberfest, Omaha Summer Arts Festival or a Taste of Omaha. We are always celebrating something and it is always a lot of fun!

What the best, worst and in between things about living in Omaha?

Anyway: I moved here last winter. Here is what I think. Best thing about living here is the population size. Omaha's at about 500,000 and that's how I like it. Big enough you can meet people and have niche interests, but small enough that it's not overwhelming.

Worst thing is the car dependency. Omaha by bus or bike is almost a completely different city from Omaha by car, and I'm mad about it.

In between is the weather. I've experienced three seasons here, starting on my fourth. I personally found the winter ugly but bracing, the spring beautiful, and the summer hellish. YMMV.

What the best, worst and in between things about living in Omaha?

Pros:

A decent selection of work with decent income for the CoL

A surprisingly good food culture relative to its population size. I've lived in bigger areas with less good food

World class zoo

People are pretty good here. It is a very hospitable place

Housing is affordable especially relative to the income you can make

Rivera's Mexican food might be the best Mexican food I have ever had, and I have had Mexican food in Mexico

Cons:

Legitimately bad drivers. It is a bit of a joke around here, but it is true. Omahans are the worst drivers of anywhere I have lived, and I have lived a lot of places

Omaha is an oddly segregated city. If you look up the history of Omaha, you'll notice it is pretty ugly in the not too distant past

Occupies a weird position for me with respect to its size. Not big enough while simultaneously being too big. I feel like I would rather go up or down a city size

Any specifics you want to know about, I'll answer as best I can.

Is Omaha, Nebraska The New BEST City in the USA??