Situated among the rolling hills along the West bank of the Missouri River, the city was named after the Omaha tribe, which means "Dwellers on the bluff," one of the many local Native American groups that lived in the area since the 1600s. Founded on July 4, 1854, Omaha played a pivotal role in the Westward migration of the 1800s and in the development of the transcontinental railroad, which allowed the city to boom with the resulting cattle stockyards and other trade.
Today the Omaha metropolitan area has approximately 850,000 citizens and has been rated as one of the top 10 US cities for quality of living due to low living expenses, and in 2012 made over a dozen "Top Rankings Lists" nationwide. Aside from the low living expenses, Omaha also boasts excellent educational, recreational, and cultural opportunities (Omaha Symphony, Opera Omaha, College World Series, Old Market, Joslyn Art Museum, Durham Museum, Omaha Community Playhouse, and the Henry Doorly Zoo). Omaha is also known for its variety and quality of restaurants and live music venues. Near Omaha are several scenic areas such as the Loess Hills, Fontenelle Forest, DeSoto Bend Wildlife Refuge, the sixty mile Wabash Trace Nature Trail (a bike & hiking trail), and several state park recreational areas with lakes and trails. Omaha has a small town feeling, but with big city opportunities. If you can't find anything to do in Omaha, you aren't looking hard enough!
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