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Visit Lincoln History In 5 Quick Stops

One of my friends is a wealth of Nebraska knowledge. So, when Gretchen told me she’d written a new book, “A History Lover’s Guide to Lincoln,” I knew it would be something packed with information…and maybe, travel inspiration. I’ve been to Lincoln many times, but it’s always good to have a new reason to visit.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I received a complimentary copy of “A History Lover’s Guide to Lincoln” in order to write this review.

About the book

Gretchen Garrison published  “A History Lover’s Guide to Lincoln” in 2020. It’s divided into sections that explore the history of dozens of buildings in the city, including the areas most visitors are familiar with: Downtown Lincoln, the Haymarket, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

I thought it was interesting to read how some of my favorite places, like Rococo Theater, got their start. Rococco was originally Lyric Theater, which presented vaudeville before closing in 1929.

Tip: Gretchen points out that you can see an artifact from the old Lyric Theater – the painted curtain – at Barrymore’s next-door.

The Appendix in the book is full of more ways to explore Lincoln. If you want to see works by Lincoln artists, Gretchen shares where to see public sculptures, galleries and other displays of known Lincoln artists. She also has a section for Lincoln architects.

A Mini Lincoln History Tour

Want to do a mini history tour of Lincoln? Here are a few of my favorite Lincoln attractions, each with their own bit of history shared in the book. These buildings are fairly close to each other, making it a manageable walking or driving experience.

Morrill Hall

Where: 645 N. 14th St.

Dad and kids standing by Archie the Mammoth, located in front of Morrill Hall in Lincoln, Neb.

Why: This is Nebraska’s wonderful natural history museum located on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. The photo opp with Archie the Mammoth in front of the building is just the start. Venture inside too see the unique collection of mammoth bones and native Nebraska species.

If you’re visiting Lincoln with kids, don’t skip the children’s area in Morrill Hall. There is an admission fee to Morrill Hall.

Tip: If have time, make plans to visit the Nebraska History Museum or the Lincoln Children’s Museum near campus.

Related post: Best Things To do With Kids In Lincoln

Kimball’s Administration Building

Where: 12th and R streets

Why: This building is now home to the remarkable contemporary art museum, Sheldon Art Gallery. The gallery is FREE to visit.

Beatrice Creamery Building

Where: 701 P St.

Why: This grand building in the Haymarket is home to two of my favorite must-visit places in Lincoln: Ivanna Cone, a cute ice cream shop, and Indigo Bridge Books, a wonderful, independent bookstore.

Tip: The alleyway next to the building is Art Alley, an impressive block of murals and artwork. Visit at night for the full affect.

H.P. Lau Coffee & Spice Annex Telesis Inc.

Where: 729 Q St.

Why: This awesome warehouse is now home to Lazlo’s and Empyrean Brewing. I love the food here, plus the beer is top notch. It’s family-friendly, as well.

Exterior of Lazlo's and Empyrean Brewing Co. in the Haymarket of Lincoln.

FYI: Lazlo’s was Nebraska’s first brewpub, which opened in 1991 at a nearby site. 

Hotel Lincoln

Where: 141 N. Ninth St.

Reception desk at the Graduate Hotel in Lincoln. The building was originally the Hotel Lincoln.

Why: This grand, seven-story building has gone through a few hotel iterations, starting first in 1890 as Hotel Lincoln. For a time, it was also a Holiday Inn. Today, it’s the chic Graduate Lincoln Hotel.

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A unique way to visit Lincoln, Nebraska: Exploring its history! Here's a mini history tour of Lincoln inspired by a new book called

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