Omaha is Nebraska's largest city, and is the county seat of Douglas County. It's located on the Missouri River, and is the anchor of the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area. As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 432,921 inhabitants, making it the nation's 42nd-largest city.
The city was founded in 1854 by speculators from Kanesville, Iowa. It is nicknamed the "Gateway to the West" because Omaha was founded on the Missouri River and a crossing called the Lone Tree Ferry. This central location caused it to be used as an important national transportation hub during the 19th century. The transportation industry lost it's preeminence but continued to be a major part of the economy. In the following century, the Omaha meatpacking plants and stockyards gained national prominence.
Omaha Community Playhouse, the largest community theater in the nation, has received national acclaim from newspapers such as the New York Times. Other than the playhouse, there are many theaters, museums, and festivals to for any music/opera/music fans. Outside of the artistic realm, the Henry Doorly Zoo has made a name for itself, as it is considered one of the premier zoos in the world. It is home to the largest indoor rainforest, largest indoor swamp and nocturnal exhibit, as well as the largest indoor desert.
The Old Market, located in the historic district of Downtown Omaha, is another major attraction in the area. It is listed on the national register of historical places, and is currently has a large collection of warehouses, house shops, bars, art galleries, and restaurants. There are many places in Omaha to feel the history of not only the nation, but perhaps even your own roots.