Thinking about relocating and not sure about which state to call home? Many factors should be considered when moving, and Nebraska has a range of different communities tailored to fit the needs of anyone. From great school districts and state parks to vibrant art districts and a low cost of living, Nebraska has it all.
Also known as the Cornhusker State, Nebraska is home to the College World Series, the largest indoor rainforest, and even billionaire Warren Buffett. The Great Plains aren’t the only thing that makes this Midwest state great, check out these top reasons to move to Nebraska!
Being the capital of the state and second in size, Lincoln is well-developed and is rich in job opportunities. In fact, Lincoln was even ranked No. 1 on NerdWallet’s Best Cities for Job Seekers in 2015. It tops the list due to its low unemployment (only 2.7% as of May 2018!), as well as its low housing costs and large employers.
If you live in Lincoln, going to the Nebraska Cornhuskers football games are a pretty big deal. Part of the Big Ten, the Cornhuskers have claimed 46 conference championships and 5 national championships. This victorious football team belongs to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which is the oldest and largest university in Nebraska, as well as one of the biggest employers in Lincoln.
Looking for a delicious restaurant or a unique shopping experience? Check out Haymarket District! Filled with dining, shopping, arts, culture, service and entertainment businesses, this area is buzzing with excitement and activity. It is located among restored turn-of-the-century warehouses and even includes the first microbrewery in Nebraska.
In 1872, one million trees were planted in Nebraska City, making it America’s first Arbor Day. Since then, the holiday has been celebrated year-round. Bask in the fresh air and enjoy nature at Arbor Day Farm, a 260-acre National Historic Landmark where “inspiration comes naturally.” Activities and attractions include: Tree Adventure, Discovery Ride, and Apple House Market.
One of the best ways to experience Nebraska’s beautiful trees and other scenery is on a bike, and Nebraska City is the perfect destination for cyclists. Enjoy 21 miles of trail along the Missouri River on the Steamboat Trace Bicycle Trail, an abandoned railroad corridor.
A suburb of Omaha, Papillion repeatedly tops the list on CNN Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live. Great schools, plentiful jobs, affordable housing and a vibrant downtown is what earns it this title. Even Miss USA 2018, Sarah Rose Summers, grew up in Papillion, becoming the first woman from Nebraska to win.
Papillion is also home to Nebraska Brewing Company, a provider of quality craft beers and artisanal barrel-aged products, making it easy to have an exceptional happy hour in this beautiful city.
Seward gives all the small-town feel while still having the luxury of being so close to the capital. It is the perfect place for commuting into the city, letting residents take advantage of the affordable housing, low crime rate, and the close-knit community feel.
Just because Independence Day just passed doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for next year, and Steward is the ideal place to be to celebrate the anniversary of America. It is recognized as “America’s Official Fourth of July City-Small Town USA” and is not taken lightly by this community. Thousands of people are in attendance each year to enjoy their activities which include the Grand Parade, a car show, live entertainment, and of course, a giant fireworks extravaganza.
Kearney is a hidden gem in the Cornhusker State. If you enjoy the city lifestyle but without the crime or the higher cost of living, Kearney could be the perfect place to call home. There are plenty of eateries, events, and museums to keep you fed and entertained all year. Kearney is home to the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA), which is the official museum art museum of Nebraska and displays artwork from the 19th century to the present.
Voted #28 for best places to live by US News, Omaha is the biggest city in Nebraska and is the 40th-largest city nationwide. A low cost of living matched with a strong job market and multiple universities attracts young professionals to Omaha. In fact, Forbes named it among its list of the Best Places for Business and Careers in 2013. They are home to the headquarters of four Fortune 500 companies including Berkshire Hathaway and Union Pacific Corporation. Omaha is also considered one of the top tech meccas in the country.
Need some entertainment? Omaha hosts the College World Series, which is an NCAA Division I Baseball Championship tournament. It is also home to Henry Doorly Zoo, ranked as the best zoo in the world by Trip Advisor in 2014.
In Elkhorn, you get to embrace all the small-town vibes while also getting to enjoy being so close to Omaha. Although Elkhorn is no longer considered its own city, it is still a wonderful area to live and raise a family. Annexed officially by Omaha in 2007, Elkhorn is ranked as having the best school district in the state of Nebraska. According to Niche, Elkhorn Public Schools received an A+ overall and received an A+ in the categories: academics, teachers, administration, resources & facilities, and health & safety.
Nestled right in the center of Nebraska, Grand Island is the fourth largest Cornhusker city.
Since 2010, Grand Island has hosted the Nebraska State Fair. Grand Island is also home to the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center, which is responsible for training law enforcement officers throughout the state.
Love the outdoors? The Nebraska Sandhills are 20,000 square miles of sand dunes that represent the largest remaining grassland ecosystem in the US that is still fully intact for both flora and fauna. Each spring, 500,000+ Sandhill Cranes gather on the central Platte River valley. Be sure to check out this world-renowned Spring Migration of Sandhill Cranes.
Gering is another great town for outdoor lovers. It is centrally located between the Colorado Front Range, Yellowstone National Park, and Mt. Rushmore. Gering is home to the Scotts Bluff National Monument, a 19th-century landmark on the Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail. The monument has become a great location for hikers and nature lovers.
Additional Nebraska Facts
- Unemployment rate: 2.8%, fifth lowest in the country
- Health ranking: 13th overall
- Median Home Value: ∼$155,000
- Average Salary: $50,880