Omaha, once the gateway to the western frontier, has evolved into a thriving metropolis known for its constantly evolving dining scene, friendly people and successful businesses. With a population of just under a half million citizens, we are on the cusp of being a large city, but we still maintain our small town charm.
It’s the perfect place to call home — if we do say so ourselves — and we can prove it! We rounded up 12 wonderful reasons to consider moving to Omaha to help make your decision a little bit easier. And once you’re convinced, make sure to contact us to learn more. Our agents know the city of Omaha like the back of their own hands.
1. The cost of living is low.
In Omaha, you can enjoy the perks of a larger city (think: thriving business scene, vibrant nightlife and plenty of entertainment options), without the high price tag. The cost of living in Omaha is 8% lower than the national average, and the Penny Hoarder recently named it one of the best cities for millennials. And in 2016, Yahoo! Finance named Omaha as one of the best, most affordable places to live in the US, showing that residents typically get to keep more than 71% of their income in their wallets. The median home value (according to Zillow) is currently $161,000, but experts predict that those numbers will rise 3-4% in the coming years.
2. The food here is delicious.
Even if you’re not a local, you’ve probably heard that Omaha is famous for its steaks and burgers. In addition to these classic staples, we have been noticing a foodie renaissance in Omaha over the past few years. Chefs from culinary hubs across the country, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, are looking to Omaha for its business prospects, and working with local chefs and restaurateurs to create new concepts. We are also no strangers to the farm-to-table movement, and pioneers like Block 16, the Boiler Room and the Grey Plume are bringing the flavors of Nebraska to our dining tables.
We welcomed so many new eateries to the scene in 2017, and can’t wait to see what this year has in store. Here are 10 of our favorite new restaurants.
3. And the craft beer scene isn’t doing too badly either.
Photo courtesy of Brian Collins via Farnam House Brewing Company
Omaha isn’t considered a craft beer city, but we guarantee that wherever you are, there is an excellent brewery within just a few minutes, each pouring out flavorful, hoppy and malty creations worth savoring. Go on a self-guided tour with Omaha’s ultimate craft brewery guide.
4. The city is laid-back.
Photo courtesy of Hope Jewell via Hardy Coffee Co.
Though our population is nearing half a million, it hasn’t lost that midwestern charm. People here never seem to be in too much of a hurry — lingering over a conversation at the coffee counter or spending valuable leisure time with their families on the weekends.
5. It is a great place to find a job (or start a business).
At 2.9%, Omaha has the lowest unemployment rate in America — well below the national average. That likely has something to do with the lure Omaha holds for large companies who want to escape to a metropolis with a bit more room to breathe. And while it’s easy to find a job at one of these established, successful companies, Omaha is also very welcoming to new business. Nicknamed “Silicon Prairie,” the city is gaining momentum as a hub for tech startups and entrepreneurs. Get your start by attending the Big Omaha Conference, where you’ll be able to meet like-minded entrepreneurs and forward-thinking men and women.
6. It is one of the top places to raise a family in the country.
Forbes recently ranked Omaha as the seventh best city for raising a family in the US, due to its great schools, housing affordability, ease of commuting, and low crime rate. Plus, there are just so many family-friendly activities! For your little animal lovers, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo is one of the biggest and best zoos in the country, and also manages an incredible drive-through safari wildlife rescue just a few minutes outside of the city. Additionally, there are so many incredible birthday party venues in town, and when it comes time for trick-or-treating this fall, our city goes all out.
7. There is always something going on.
Photo courtesy of the Omaha Old Market Facebook Page
There is certainly no shortage of things to do in the Omaha area. Whether it’s engaging in a bit of friendly competition at a local trivia night, tailgating for an upcoming sporting event, dancing along to a concert at one of our town’s buzzing venues, or seeking out the latest community event, there is always something to entertain you and your family.
The city boasts a thriving arts and music scene, and was even named the home of Indie Rock. On any night of the week, there are several local and national acts performing in a bar or venue across town, especially these talented Omaha bands that should definitely be on your Spotify playlist.
The Joslyn Art Museum displays thousands of works from all over the globe (and offers free admission), but you can also view local pieces at Hot Shops Art Center, Cali Commons or the galleries in Old Market. You definitely won’t be bored!
8. We are fashion pioneers.
Photo courtesy of Omaha Fashion Week
We are known for a lot of things in Omaha, and fashion is at the top of the list! This town is the midwestern hub for up-and-coming fashion designers, and designers from all over the country travel here in February to show their stuff at Omaha Fashion Week — the fifth largest fashion event in the country.
9. You can get almost anywhere within 20 minutes.
Omaha is not a small town by any means — we have a thriving business scene and a gorgeous skyline — but it still maintains that small town charm. There is rarely any traffic, and you can usually reach the other side of the city within a 20 minute drive. Additionally, there are several areas that don’t even require a car, especially downtown and Old Market. Park and spend the rest of the day walking around, visiting parks and restaurants, and taking it all in.
10. It’s one of the friendliest cities in the world.
Everyone feels incredibly lucky to live here, so you won’t find many frowns. In fact, Omaha was recently named in the top 30 most caring cities in the country by WalletHub, and our neighbor to the west (Lincoln) landed the #3 spot. It’s so easy to strike up a conversation with your local grocer, your Uber driver or a dog-walker on the street, and we bet if you ask them why they love living here, they’ll name several items on this list (and likely dole out a few restaurant recommendations).
11. There are plenty of beautiful homes for sale in Omaha.
This home is for sale at 603 N. 62 Street
Omaha is always on the move, so whether you’re looking for a charming Victorian-style home or a more modern abode, there are so many gorgeous homes for sale in the area at every price point. Explore the local market and find a house to call home.
12. It’s all-around one of the best cities to live in.
If you haven’t gotten this from the rest of the article, Omaha consistently makes “best of” lists in almost every category, but most notably, it made National Geographic’s list of the 30 best cities in the U.S., as well as U.S. News’ list of the best places to live. There are so many reasons that we are straight up lucky to live here, there’s no way we could possibly list all of them.
Ready to move?
If Omaha sounds like the ideal city to you, check out our newcomer’s guide to familiarize yourself with our restaurants, cultural attractions, real estate and more.