Courtesy of Surface Finishing Academy
If "wear a cob of corn on my head" is on your bucket list, we have good news.
Lincoln, Neb. is a bit of a contradiction. One of the most livable cities in the United States with great schools and clusters of picture-perfect neighborhoods, it's also one rocking place on game day when the Huskers take to the football field. Quite honestly, we're charmed by the juxtaposition of Lincoln's midwestern appeal with its penchant for good old-fashioned fun. Here's a short and sweet guide to enjoying game day as well as sticking around the city to experience the multifaceted offerings of Nebraska's capital.
Where to stay
Close to the University of Nebraska and the stadium, book your stay at the Embassy Suites Downtown, where you will enjoy a daily manager's reception with drinks and snacks as well as complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast. We also think the Holiday Inn, comfortable and within proximity to the field, is a solid choice.
Where to eat/drink
The stadium offerings here are on our "must eat" list. A Nebraska favorite, Runza is a simple sandwich of ground beef and cabbage that's baked inside dough and is one of the best snacks you can find during halftime. The Fairbury hot dogs are fan favorites and for the past few years, it's been a tradition for the "Hotdog Guy" to fling local Fairbury- brand hot dogs into the stands for eager folks to grab. While we're not entirely convinced of the appeal, we just can't seem to stay away.
Every university town worth its salt offers a handful of pubs that fit the phrase "college bar" to a T. In Lincoln, you'll want to start at Sidetrack the night before the game for a legendary piano performance of Husker music. Tailgating fun begins day of at the large patio at Brewsky's, in the Historic Haymarket area. To swill a fun throwback, buy a 12-ounce can of cheap beer at Buzzard Billy's, two blocks from the stadium.
For the rest of your time in Lincoln, get beyond the french fries and burgers to scope out delicious cuisine and java at other local favorites. Yia Yia's Pizza serves the perfect pizza pies in their charming, brick-walled location, while you can't go wrong with a meal at Dish or Lazlo's. At the latter, try a pint of local ale from the Empyrean Brewing Company, Nebraska's oldest brewery. In the morning, before you take to the hiking trails or local museums, grab a foamy latte at Cultiva Coffee.
Game day tips
Midwestern values persist even on the gridiron. The fans here are known to applaud the visiting team whether or not the outcome of the game is favorable to home. You can park around the campus at a number of spots, and we recommend visiting the University of Nebraska website for the latest information on the safest locations to stash your vehicle.
What to do
Lincoln is the seat of the state government with a skyline dominated by the towering capitol building, a feat of architectural genius designed by Bertram Goodhue that took 10 years to construct. The wholesome atmosphere of this town is reflected in its offerings of family-friendly and outdoor activities. While the youngsters in your group will appreciate the rough and tumble interactive exhibits at the Lincoln Children's Museum, the adults may opt for grown-up fun wine tasting at nearby Deer Spring Winery or spending quality time perusing the local antique stores. A mere 1 ½-acres, the perennial displays at the Sunken Gardens are quite lovely even in the fall and winter. Carefully tended by local volunteers, this recessed oasis has been one of Lincoln's favorite outdoor enclaves since 1930. A 15-minute drive southwest of the University of Nebraska, enjoy learning the central planes at Pioneer Park Nature Center. Here, you'll discover walking paths that curve through acres of woodlands and prairies, complete with a natural play area and wildlife sightings.