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8 Outdoor Destinations for a Weekend Getaway from Omaha

Where to go in OmahaWhere to go in Omaha
Published on
November 7, 2023
There's no time like the present to plan your next outdoor adventure! Even though the Midwest isn’t nationally renowned as a summer vacation destination, anyone who lives here knows that our vast scenic landscapes are full to the brim with hidden gems. 

A weekend road trip to one of these local vacation spots is one of the best ways to rejuvenate your spirit in nature, without breaking the bank or getting stressed out by too much planning. In this article, we’ll explore eight beautiful locations all within driving distance of Omaha, perfect for your next relaxing weekend getaway this summer.

Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area

2.5 hours from Omaha
Yankton, SD 

Just enough nature, but still within reach of modern amenities. This recreation area comprises three separate campgrounds, attracting water lovers with their sandy beaches, marinas, and camping grounds. Other attractions include archery ranges, fishing piers, hiking trails, horse trails, playgrounds, and swimming beaches. 

Learn more on their website

Chichaqua Wildlife Area (Greenbelt Bottoms) 

2.5 hours from Omaha 
Polk County near Des Moines, IA

This magnificent wildlife area sustains over 8,388+ acres of wetlands, prairies, woodlands, lakes, and oxbows. Offering electric and non-electric campsites, picnic areas, nature trails, canoe rentals, and wildlife viewing platforms and bird blinds. Perfect for a true nature getaway!

Learn more on their website.

Lake McConaughy 

5 hours from Omaha
Ogallala, NE 

Got a long weekend coming up? Hit up Lake McConaughy in Ogallala! Affectionately called “Lake Mac” by locals, this area boasts a variety of attractions and activities. Historic tours, camping, cabins, fishing, boating, golfing, shopping, and even geocaching! 

Learn more on their website.

Iowa Great Lakes 

3 hours from Omaha
Okoboji, Iowa 

You’d be hard pressed to find a native Midwesterner who hasn’t heard of or been to one of Okoboji’s gorgeous lakes! The six interconnected lakes are a popular hub for summer activities and attractions, including shopping, concerts, amusement parks, museums, golfing, racetracks, and of course - swimming! 

Learn more on their website.

Hitchcock Nature Center 

Less than an hour from Omaha
Honey Creek, Iowa 

Just a hop, skip, and a jump from the bustling Omaha metro is a gorgeous nature reserve perfect for hiking and camping. Featuring an archery range and hunting facilities, this area is also home to the famous Loess Hills - a unique landscape phenomena that now houses rare animal and plant species. 

Learn more on their website

Mahoney State Park

Less than an hour from Omaha
Ashland, NE

About halfway between Lincoln and Omaha is a modern state park, perfect for both the adults-only and family-friendly road tripping crowds. Hiking trails, swimming, picnicking spots, horseback riding, biking trails, and many more attractions are available within this accessible park. 

Learn more on their website.

Indian Cave State Park

1.5 hours from Omaha
Shubert, NE

Offering attractions year round, in the summer Indian Cave State Park is a stunning place to hike, bike, or horseback ride through nature. The area’s beautiful hardwood trees frame a pristine river that winds along the paths, where tourists can camp, fish, hunt, bird watch, or just enjoy the night sky through the trees. 

Learn more on their website.

Calamus State Recreation Area

3.5 - 4 hours from Omaha
Burwell, NE

Located in Nebraska’s sandhills, the Calamus Reservoir recreation area is a bountiful 50,000 acres, offering modern amenities like electric campgrounds and golfing for your long weekend getaway. Swim, fish, boat, jet ski, and more on the lake and then grill out under the stars at one of their many picnic areas.

Learn more on their website.

Before you hit the road….

Have you had your car looked over top-to-bottom? Extended periods of driving can potentially damage cars that are not road trip ready. Have one of our expert mechanics give your vehicle the stamp of approval before it takes you out on your next adventure. 

Gateway Auto is a family-owned business located in Omaha, Nebraska, taking care of our customers for all their car buying, collision repair, and mechanical service needs. Book an appointment online with us or give us a call at 402-932-0500.

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