Lincoln, the capital of Nebraska and the county seat of Lancaster, is the second largest city in the state with a population around 225,000. Located in the southeast corner of Nebraska, the city was originally named Lancaster, but was renamed for Abraham Lincoln after his assassination.
Though tucked away in the Heartland, Lincoln is a cultural hub, centering around the University of Nebraska. Because it has no real suburbs, Lincoln's residents enjoy a mix of the peaceful countryside, city living, and the thrill of a college town. Lincoln was named the healthiest city in the U.S. in 2008 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
- The Downtown area is made up of business offices, restaurants, shops, and some housing. However, most housing near this area can be found to the east, in the older area of Hartley.
- College neighborhoods include College View (near Union College), Hawley (near the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, or UNL), North Bottoms (also near UNL), and University Place (near Nebraska Wesleyan University).
- Fox Hollow, Irvingdale, Highlands, and Arnold Heights are among Lincoln's middle-class neighborhoods.
- South Bottoms, Near South, Huskerville, and Clinton are all older areas currently undergoing revitalization.
- Haymarket is a historic area known for its shopping, dining, entertainment, and nightlife.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Lincoln was founded in 1859 by a group of prospectors hoping to build a salt industry from the salt basin of what is now called Salt Creek. Not long thereafter, the prospectors turned from salt mining to agriculture, which became the foundation of the state's economy.
Today, Lincoln's important industries include banking, insurance, technology, service, and transportation by both trains and trucks. As the capital of Nebraska, Lincoln also provides many government jobs to residents. Some of the largest employers include:
- State of Nebraska
- University of Nebraska
- BryanLGH Medical Center
- City of Lincoln
- Alltel Communications
- Lincoln Public Schools
- Ameritas Life Insurance
- Burlington Northern/Santa Fe
- Sunken Gardens: Located in the Near South area of Lincoln, this breathtaking garden display has been thrilling visitors since 1931.
- Lincoln Children's Zoo: More than 300 animals are on display at this 19-acre zoo, which operates mid-April through mid-October.
- Pioneer Park Nature Center: This nature preserve encompasses more than 600 acres with ponds, trails, gardens, animal exhibits, and an interpretative center.
- The MoPac Trail: This trail is built for riding bikes, horseback riding, or hiking, and it follows the former path of the now-defunct Missouri Pacific Railroad tracks. It runs for 26 miles and will be expanded in the future so that it connects to other city trails.
- City Parks: Lincoln boasts more than 100 parks. The largest is Antelope Park, which houses the Sunken Garden and the Lincoln's Children Zoo. Holmes Park, Woods Park, Wilderness Park, and Oak Creek Park are just a few of the more popular recreation areas in Lincoln, and all parks are connected by trails that meander throughout the city.
- The Lied Center: This venue regularly hosts ballets, symphonies, concerts, and plays, and is known as one of the best entertainment centers in the country.
- Nebraska State Capitol: The building, built in 1922, is the state's third capitol, as the first two were torn down due to structural deficiencies. The artwork and sculptures found throughout are products of local artists, and most depict Nebraska's pioneers. It is the second-tallest state capitol building in the country.
- Hyde Observatory: Located near Holmes Lake, this public observatory was created in 1977 to help Lincoln residents to enjoy the stars.
- Museum of Nebraska History: Exhibits focus on thousands of years past in the area now called Nebraska.
- National Museum of Rollerskating: Located inside of the USA Roller Sports headquarters, the National Museum of Rollerskating features a wall of wheels demonstrating actual skates over the years. The museum also exhibits costumes of award-winning skaters and other skating memorabilia. Admission is free.
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Founded in 1869, this school regularly makes the U.S. News & World Report list of the country's 50 top public universities.
- Nebraska Wesleyan University: Located in historic University Place, this private 4-year liberal arts institution offers nearly 50 majors. About 1,600 students attend this school, which was founded in 1887. Master's degrees are also offered.
- Union College: This 4-year college has about 1,000 students, counting its small size as an advantage. Its campus spans 50 acres and holds plenty of history, having been founded in 1891.
- BryanLGH College of Health Sciences: This four-year college provides instruction to future nurses, anesthesiologists, and more. It maintains close contact with the renowned BryanLGH Medical Center, allowing students to get a glimpse of medical care in the real world.
- Air Travel: The Lincoln Airport is one of the largest airports in the state.
- Bus and Train Travel: StarTran is the public bus system, with 60 buses serving residents. Amtrak also provides service to Lincoln.
- Highways: Nebraska Highway 2 begins its eastern end in Lincoln. U.S. 34 also passes through the city, along with U.S. 77.
- Baseball: The Lincoln Saltdogs are the local American Association minor-league baseball team.
- Ice Hockey: The Lincoln Stars play United States Hockey League junior ice hockey.
- Football: College football fans follow the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the University of Nebraska's football team.
The University of Nebraska also boasts 21 male and female athletic teams in 14 categories of NCAA Division I sports. They compete in the Big 12 Conference.