So, you’re thinking about coming to Omaha.
You’ll probably like it here. (Most people do.) There’s a lot to do. There’s a lot to see. The cost of living is really low. And the people are nice, too.
But there may be some deal breakers, and here are a few you should know before moving to Omaha.
It’s kind of far away from everything
If the United States were a dart board, Omaha would be the bullseye. It’s more than 1,000 miles to each coast, and most major cities are several hours away by car. If you’re a traveler, you may find your usual trips take a little longer.
The weather is rough
Talk about extremes. In the winter, it snows like crazy and temperatures drop below freezing for months at a time. In the summer, it can feel like you’re walking on the face of the sun as temperatures soar above 100 degrees and the humidity goes through the roof. (You can practically feel the air around you.) You will need plenty of both summer clothes and cold-weather gear to live in Omaha.
There are no pro sports teams
If NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL are your thing, you’ll have to watch on TV. Omaha is home to the College World Series, a Triple-A baseball franchise and some great college sports teams, but the best you’ll have to hope for in terms of major pro sports is an occasional exhibition game held at the CenturyLink Center. Otherwise, you’ll have to invest in a good cable TV package to see your favorite teams.
Nebraska is a (very) red state
The governor is a Republican. The two senators are Republicans. The three representatives are Republicans. Though officially nonpartisan, the legislature is dominated by Republicans. The last time the whole state went for a Democrat in a presidential election was 1964 when Lyndon Johnson won all but six states.
Depending on your political alignment, that may be fine with you. But if you’re not leaning red, you may get frustrated by local politics. (That said, Omaha is the state’s progressive bastion, and due to Nebraska’s interesting way of doing presidential elections, the state threw one of its five electoral votes to Barack Obama in 2012.)
It’s considered flyover country
If you live here, people from elsewhere may act like you live on a farm, exist as some backwoods yokel or walk around like some uncultured buffoon. You and I know that’s not true, but be prepared for occasional questions from friends and family about cows and corn.
Public transportation isn’t great
Most people drive their own cars, and those that don’t have to take the bus. Don’t get me wrong: The bus system in Omaha is pretty good, but it’s not quite the same as major cities with train and subways. A host of Omaha movers and shakers have long proposed a streetcar system in the city, but it’s never gotten off the ground. Make sure you have a car or know how to hail an Uber.
Husker fandom is like its own religion
Really. On Saturdays in the fall, you may wonder why the grocery store is empty and the streets feel a bit desolate. It’s likely because nearly 100,000 people just went to the game and nearly everyone else is holed up in bars or at home wearing red and cheering on the team. If college football is your thing, you may find it kinda fun. If you’re not, it could be incredibly annoying to hear seemingly everyone talking about the team, recruits, coaches, last week’s game and, of course, next week’s game.
Oh, and don’t even try to schedule things on Saturdays from September through November. People either won’t come or will demand the game be on TV.