Nebraska. What is Nebraska known for? Google it and you will find that Kool-Aid was invented there, Arbor Day was founded there, it's the birthplace of the Reuben Sandwich, and Spam (the meat in a can) is produced there. However, Fall in Nebraska means Huskers football. The University of Nebraska Is located in Lincoln, NE. Their football team, the Cornhuskers, play their games in Memorial Stadium located within walking distance from the vibrant Haymarket District of the city. The sights & sounds on game day cannot be beat, and the food, cocktails, and people make Lincoln a great spot to spend the weekend!
We wanted to really get the feel of the whole Iowa/Nebraska Route 80 corridor, so we did a road trip with some interesting stops. Iowa is a wide state with corn & soy bean farms lining both sides of the highway. You cross the Mighty Mississippi to enter Iowa from Illinois and it brings you to the city of Le Claire. Best known for the History Channel's 'American Pickers,' you can visit the Antique Archeology store where many of the treasures Mike & Frank uncover can be seen. We also stopped at the world's largest truck stop, the site of the first train robbery by the Jesse James gang, and the Lewis & Clark monument overlooking the Missouri River.
Once we crossed the Missouri into Nebraska we passed through Omaha and continued on to Lincoln. We found that the people in Nebraska are some of the friendliest we have ever encountered! We were welcomed time and time again, asked about our trip, given tips on everything from beer, food, parking and then some. Forget taking a selfie. People will run over and offer to take your picture constantly. There are some good breweries in Lincoln. It was also Oktoberfest so that was an added incentive to try some new beers. We liked Blue Blood Brewing Co the best. The company was founded by three members of the Lincoln Police Dept in 2011. The sign on the wall behind the bar says - Justice. Served. Their Oktoberfest flight was great. The brewery is built above Robber's Cave and tours are given every weekend of the brewery & cave. Zipline Brewing Co was another good one with a brewery and beer hall in town. Their Copper Alt was our favorite there.
Nebraska is known for their beef. When you order a Ribeye you will not be disappointed. Everyone we met told us we had to have a runza. A runza is a bread pocket stuffed with spicy beef, sautéed onions, and cabbage. We were told Memorial Stadium concession stands had great Runzas. On game day we decided to take their advice and try them. Appearance wise they look like stuffed hot dog rolls, not very impressive. Take a bite and it proves you can't judge a book by it's cover. Great meat and seasonings. It gets two thumbs up from us.
Game day in Lincoln is really something. We started the day off at the farmer's market in the Haymarket District. Stalls filled with baked goods, condiments, fresh produce, crafts, gifts, and antiques. The University of Nebraska Alumni Band was marching up and down the streets playing the fight song. Various musicians played on corners for tips. Boiler Brewing Co, Empyrean Brewing Co, and many bars & restaurants were open for business. After drinking in the local flavor we headed to the stadium. The University Marching band was making their way inside and when we entered the stadium concourse, it was loud! Upon emerging from the tunnel out to the seats it was even louder! Memorial Stadium claims to hold the NCAA record for consecutive sellouts. It was 354 games at the beginning of the season. This was honestly the loudest stadium we have ever been to in our travels. It beat out Ohio State, our previous loudest. The first Husker score starts a balloon launch as hundreds of red balloons get released from all sections in the stadium. We got a laugh from the plastic ear of corn hats some of the fans were wearing. Others wore red cowboy hats. It was great to watch such rabid fans enjoy the game!
It was a great Fall weekend in Lincoln. We crammed a lot into a few days, and decided that Lincoln was another Midwestern gem!
Written by Jeanne Maria
After years of working hard, Jeanne now just does what she wants. Painting, writing, traveling, daily beach walks with her puppy, and the occasional cocktail make her a very happy person. Life is too short, make a long bucket list and get to it!