Lincoln is a lively, liveable, and surprisingly diverse community with many cultural and natural amenities.
Lincoln’s historic Haymarket district is a lively area adjacent to downtown and walking distance from city campus. It has recently undergone a major revitalization that transformed Lincoln’s former place of agricultural commodities trading into a neighborhood with plenty of coffee shops, bars, and restaurants. The district hosts a well-attended Farmers' Market May-October with no shortage of local produce, vendors, and entertainment.
Michael Forsberg photography
Acclaimed wildlife photographer Michael Forsberg operates a gallery in the Haymarket where visitors can see Forsberg’s iconic Great Plains photos in large prints. Moreover, the Forsberg Gallery offers seminars and visiting speakers from time to time, educating the public on issues related to ecology and wildlife of the Great Plains.
Eating locally grown food is not at all difficult in Lincoln. The Nebraska Local Foods Network is a great resource for those who wish to take advantage of the many local food opportunities in Lincoln. The University hosts a Buy Fresh Buy Local website. Shadowbrook Farm is a 34-acre organic farm on the outskirts of Lincoln that raises meat and produce made available for sale at the many area farmers markets, and through a CSA program run on the farm.
The city of Lincoln maintains several wonderful parks. Friends of Wilderness Park is an organization of volunteers who provide community education and involvement opportunities in local events ranging from 5k runs to native seed sales. Pioneer’s Park operates a knowledge-filled visitor’s center as well as herds of bison, elk, and deer. The park also features instructive native plant gardens and over eight miles of trails – all within city limits.
If you enjoy running, cycling, hiking, or just want to get out of town without travelling too far, Lincoln offers many recreational opportunities within short driving/biking distance. Check out Rails to Trails compendium of railways that have been converted to public trails and The Great Plains Trails Network for networks of running, walking, and bike paths that exist within Lincoln and its surrounding environs. Many UNL faculty and students use the city's extensive bike trail system to commute to campus. A popular ride is to take the MoPac trail to the One-Eyed Dog Saloon in Eagle for a beer and nachos.
Music, art, and film
Lincoln also has a thriving music, art, and film scene. Top small music venues include Duffy's Tavern, The Zoo Bar, Knickerbockers, and The Bourbon Theater. Ballroom dancing enthusiasts gather at the DelRay Ballroom. Major concert venues include the Lied Center for Performing Arts and the new Pinnacle Bank Arena. Lincoln has more than 50 art galleries, many of which participate in the popular first Friday art walks. The Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center showcases a wide variety of independent and international films.
Lincoln is home to a variety of cultural centers which host cultural events from the city's extensive Asian, Latino, Native, and African-American communities.