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capitol tours lincoln ne

The Thomas P. Kennard House is the oldest surviving house in the original plat of Lincoln. It was built in 1869 in the Italianate style for its namesake, Thomas P. Kennard, who was elected Nebraska's first Secretary of State in 1867, the same year the federal government granted Nebraska statehood. The house is a museum operated by the Nebraska State Historical Society which offers tours of the house by appointment. Visitors will learn about the process that resulted in Lincoln becoming the state's new capital, Victorian life, and the archaeological excavations that shed light on the house's history. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.

capitol tours lincoln ne

Successful businessman William Henry Ferguson built this elegant home around 1911. It is considered one of the best examples of Renaissance Revival architecture in the city and probably the state. It was built of brick and features smooth limestone detailing, a clay tile roof, and a large porch with an arched main entrance. The house is also notable for how it was built. The first floor structure was erected using a concrete slab system and the second floor was framed using steel beams. The house might be the first in Iowa constructed using these two methods. Today it is owned by the state and occupied by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, whose offices are on the second floor. The first floor is available to rent.

capitol tours lincoln ne

Located across the street from the state capital building, the Nebraska Governor's Mansion has been the official home of Nebraska governors since it was built in 1957. The Classical Revival building was designed by the Selmer Solheim & Associates firm. It features 31 rooms (five of which are bedrooms), 12 bathrooms, 4 fireplaces and a 3-stall garage. It underwent extensive renovations beginning in 1997 that were completed the following year. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.

capitol tours lincoln ne

Built in ten years between 1922-1932, the Nebraska State Capitol was the country's first vernacular architectural styled state capitol building. It marked a departure from typical designs where state capitol buildings emulated the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. Instead, the architect, Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, chosen from ten submissions, designed a building with an enormous tower rising to a height of 400 feet, making it the second tallest state capitol in the country after Louisiana's. Atop the tower stands a 19-foot statue called "The Sower," which depicts a man gesturing as if he is planting seeds, honoring the importance of agriculture to the state. The building combines elements of the Gothic Revival, Art Deco, and Classical styles. The Nebraska State Capitol was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

capitol tours lincoln ne

Immediately upon becoming a state in 1867 the Nebraska state legislature debated women’s suffrage in every session. While women did earn the right to vote in school board elections in 1869 there was no other progress made. In 1881 Erasmus Correll (Nebraska House of Representatives) introduced a bill to take the word “male” out of the state constitution, thus allowing women to vote. There was very little support for this measure, but he negotiated with fellow lawmakers to pass the change if it was approved by Nebraska voters. Suffragists campaigned into the next year to gain support for the measure, but it was defeated in the popular vote in November 1882. The Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association continued to work towards extending voting rights, but there were strong anti-suffrage sentiments in the state (especially from religious leaders and also from the alcohol industry due to women’s work in the temperance movement). Progress came in 1917 when pro-suffrage governor Keith Neville took office. In that year both municipal and presidential suffrage for women passed the legislature and became law. Opponents tried to challenge the new law but were not successful prior to the 19th Amendment passing Congress. Nebraska voted unanimously to ratify the amendment on August 2, 1919.

capitol tours lincoln ne

The Woods Brothers Companies was formed in 1889 by Mark, George and Frank Woods. The real estate company was a major player ion the early development of many Lincoln neighborhoods. Woods Brothers had this building constructed by 1916 from their design. The Neo-classical style is evidenced by a number of architectural details. The ears of corn above the balcony are an homage to Nebraska. The building housed the brothers' company until 1939, and has been used for commercial purposes since then. The Woods Brothers Building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Today, Woods Bros Realty continues the tradition after 130 years in the Lincoln area, in other offices.

capitol tours lincoln ne

This three-story building was built in 1894 for the Nebraska Telephone Company and is believed to be the first purpose-built structure designed to hold the heavy equipment needed to operate a telephone exchange. The Renaissance Revival style building housed the Lincoln Telephone and Telegraph Company from 1912 to 1927. The structure was later home to many area businesses. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The building's facade includes alternating lotus and palmette, a design that was also used in the Acropolis in Greece. The ground floor is now occupied by the Francie & Finch Bookshop.

This Tour is a Walking Tour .

Historic Walking Tour, Downtown Lincoln, Nebraska, South of O Street

Get a QR Code for this tour


This very short walk includes a variety of historic landmarks including the governor's house, the State Capitol, the Ferguson House, the Kennard House, and several commercial buildings along O Street such as the Woods Brothers Building and Nebraska Telephone Company Building.

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14 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Lincoln, NE

Written by Lana Law Updated Dec 26, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

As the capital of Nebraska, Lincoln is home to a wealth of museums and cultural attractions, but it is also a university city with an active and vibrant atmosphere. If you decide to pull off the highway and spend a bit of time here, you'll find no shortage of things to do.

In the city center is the Historic Haymarket District, an interesting area with shops, galleries, and restaurants, popular with both locals and tourists. The area around the capitol building has a number of important sites, including the Governor's Residence.

On the University of Nebraska campus, conveniently located in the heart of the city, are the Sheldon Museum of Art and the University of Nebraska State Museum. Outside the city center, but still within easy driving distance, some unique attractions are worth checking out, including the Speed Museum and the Quilt Museum.

For more ideas on things to do, see our list of the top attractions in Lincoln.

See also: Where to Stay in Lincoln

1. Stroll through the Historic Haymarket District

2. tour the nebraska state capitol, 3. visit the university of nebraska state museum, 4. take in a game at memorial stadium, 5. relax at the sunken gardens, 6. see historic cars at the museum of american speed, 7. engage in wildlife spotting at pioneers park nature center, 8. catch up on culture at the sheldon museum of art, 9. feed the animals at the lincoln children's zoo, 10. take the kids to the lincoln children's museum, 11. international quilt study center & museum, 12. tour the governor's residence, 13. national roller skating museum, 14. lester f. larsen tractor test and power museum, where to stay in lincoln for sightseeing, map of attractions & things to do in lincoln, ne, lincoln, ne - climate chart.

Historic Haymarket District

The Historic Haymarket District is a wonderful place to stroll around, grab a bite to eat, or just people watch. The area is compact and consists of beautifully renovated and restored late 19th-century brick warehouses, brick streets, a large water tower, and a unique clock.

The Haymarket District has a lively vibe, as the University of Nebraska is nearby and the students frequent the many establishments packed into this small area. The most notable building is the Lincoln station . Once a railway depot, today it houses the visitor center and a restaurant. In the summer, the streets are frequently closed off for festivals and farmers markets.

Location: 7th and P Streets, Lincoln, Nebraska

Nebraska State Capitol

It took three tries for Nebraska to construct a capitol building that would last. The building today, the third one on this site, is unique in respect to other state capitols. It doesn't have the traditional dome, but instead, it incorporates a 400-foot tower containing offices.

The cost of the building was 10 million dollars and construction took 10 years, starting in 1922. The Nebraska State Capitol is well worth a visit for its limestone exterior depicting 3,000 years of democracy through carvings, and its ornate interior of marble columns, mosaic floors, and murals. The figure on the very top is a 19-foot-tall bronze figure of The Sower .

Address: 1445 K Street, Lincoln, Nebraska

Official site:

University of Nebraska State Museum

For fans of paleontology, the University of Nebraska State Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate , is a must-see attraction in Lincoln. Housed here is the world's largest articulated mammoth, along with a well-regarded exhibit of fossilized elephants. As a result, the museum is sometimes referred to as Elephant Hall. The museum has other collections related to the natural history of Nebraska and is home to the Mueller Planetarium .

A trip to the museum can be part of a pleasant stroll around the lovely grounds of the University of Nebraska campus in Lincoln and can also be combined with a visit to the Quilt Museum and the Lester F. Larsen Tractor Test and Power Museum

Address: 645 North 14th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska

Official site:

Memorial Stadium

Nebraskans are fanatical about their sports teams, and the Cornhuskers are no exception to this rule. If the team is playing when you are in town (and you can get tickets), a visit to the stadium during a home game is a fun thing to do. The nearly 90,000-person crowd is not shy about showing their allegiance, and the roar when the home team scores can be deafening.

Even if no games are scheduled, and you are a fan of college football, check out the Hall of Fame walk outside the arena and take the free self-guided tour. Some of the main highlights include the Bob Devaney statue, a set of historic columns dating from 1892, the trophy case, and, of course, the Huskers store full of all kinds of jerseys and other team swag. The self guided tour also allows you to enter the stadium and look at the playing field from gate 23A.

You can take the self guided tour any day of the week, although on game days and the lead up to game days, certain areas may be inaccessible. If you'd like a guided tour, these are available on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

Official site:

Sunken Gardens

The beautiful Sunken Gardens are a work of natural art that pleases all the senses. Founded in 1930 and renovated in 2004, the gardens are a point of civic pride in Lincoln.

The park has three main gardens: the Healing Garden, where all the plants bloom white; the Perennial Garden; and the Annual Garden. In the Annual Garden, more than 30,000 plants are used each year to create new designs and themes. The gardens are relatively small, covering less than two acres so they can be visited quickly, however don't be surprised if you end up staying longer.

Address: 27th and Capitol Parkway, Lincoln, Nebraska

Official site:

Museum of American Speed

Fans of race cars, engines, and generally anything that goes fast will enjoy the Museum of American Speed. The museum was founded in 1922 and today boasts 135,000 square feet of exhibition space.

In addition to an extensive archive collection, there are three major exhibitions, namely Automobilia, Cars and Engines, and Toys and Models. The museum can be tricky to find as it is located in an industrial park, but it is worth the effort, use the GPS coordinates provided on the website.

Tours are offered in the afternoons, weekdays only, and last two hours. If you prefer to go at your own pace, the museum is set up to be self-guided as well.

Address: 599 Oak Creek Drive, Lincoln, Nebraska

Official site:

Pioneers Park Nature Center

Pioneers Park Nature Center is ideal for those on a budget looking for free outdoor fun with some education thrown in. The park is set on 668 acres and is a great place to get back to nature, this is what the Great Plains used to look like before the advent of modern farming.

Eight miles of hiking trails wind around the property, and visitors will see herds of bison, white-tailed deer, and elk. Those with keen eyes may also spot red-tailed hawks, barred owls, and wild turkeys.

In the Nature Center building, caged animals can be seen up close, and for those wishing to touch a turtle or a snake, it can be easily arranged simply by asking.

A children's play area has climbing structures and a big patch of dirt with digging toys provided.

Address: 3201 S. Coddington Ave, Lincoln, Nebraska

Official site:

Sheldon Museum of Art

The fascinating Sheldon Museum of Art consists of 12,000 pieces of art spanning many different media. This museum is just a short stroll from the University of Nebraska State Museum , and along the way are unusual sculptures that are part of the Sheldon Museum's collection.

Of particular note is the untitled big head by the artist Jun Kaneko, on the steps of the museum. There are more than 30 sculptures, with pieces by Jacques Lipchitz, Claes Richard Serra, and William Tucker among others. Inside, the main focus of the museum is on American Art. Notable artists in the collection include Mary Cassatt, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Andy Warhol.

Address: 12th and R Streets, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska

Official site:

African crowned crane

With its more than 400 animals, the Lincoln Children's Zoo is an ideal family thing to do in Lincoln. One of the highlights of a visit is a ride on the scale model train . In operation for over 55 years, the train delights young and old as it travels around the zoo. There is a small fee to ride.

Another fun activity is feeding the giraffes. Bundles of feed are available for a modest fee, and the animals are keen to participate. Be sure to check out the Animal Encounter Stage , where you can get up close and personal with a range of creatures, including armadillos, owls, boa constrictors, and an alligator. Guided horse rides are also available.

Address: 1222 South 27th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska

Official site:

Lincoln Children's Museum

Ideal for children of all ages, the Lincoln Children's Museum is both fun and educational. Colorful and exciting exhibits are spread out over 20,000 square feet and three floors. The interactive nature of the displays will be sure to keep little people entertained for hours.

The museum allows children to be active and creative in a learning environment. Exhibits change all the time, so visitors may want to check in advance to see what experiences they can expect to find during their trip.

Address: 1420 P Street, Lincoln, Nebraska

Official site:

International Quilt Study Center & Museum

Housed in a unique modern building on the East Campus of the University of Nebraska, the International Quilt Study Center & Museum is an unexpected delight. Quilting aficionados will not want to miss the main collection showcasing 400 years of quilting, with 3,500 items from more than 30 countries. Even those without any knowledge of quilting will find the colors and patterns displayed here mesmerizing.

The museum also hosts a regular roster of traveling exhibits and offers a diverse set of educational programs and activities.

Address: 1523 N 33rd Street, Lincoln, Nebraska

Official site:

Governor's Residence

Set on beautiful grounds with large trees, colorful gardens, and manicured lawns, the Governor's Residence is a picture-perfect mansion. The building, originally opened in 1958 and extensively remodeled in 1997, contains 31 rooms, but only five bedrooms.

The architectural style is modified Georgian Colonial. The mansion is just a short walk from the Nebraska State Capitol, and the two can be combined in one visit. Forty-minute guided tours are available once a week on Thursdays only and need to be booked at least two weeks in advance. Tours are free.

Official site:

Roller skates

This free attraction is a worthwhile stop and not something you see every day. Those of a certain age will be impressed by the wide range of roller skates and memorabilia on display.

The museum focuses on five different types of rolling fun: Inline skating, Artistic Skating, Roller Hockey, Speed Skating, and Roller Derby. The tour is self-guided, so you can take as long as you'd like to browse through the exhibits; staff are on hand to answer any questions.

Some of the highlights are the powered skates, the elevator skates, and one pair dating from 1814.

Address: 4730 South Street, Lincoln, Nebraska

Official site:

This small museum is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of gas-powered tractors and their impact on farming. Located on the East Campus of the University of Nebraska, the museum can be a bit tricky to find.

A wide variety of beautifully restored tractors dating back to 1915 are on display along with other farm implements. A very knowledgeable guide is on staff to answer questions. As the museum is located on the university campus, a visit here can be combined with stops at the State Museum and the Quilt Museum. Admission is by donation.

Address: 1925 N 37th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska

Official site:

Luxury Hotels:

  • The Kindler Hotel is Lincoln's newest hotel. Small and luxurious with the finest amenities, the hotel has only 49 rooms and is in a great location.
  • The Graduate Lincoln oozes hipness and cool. Check out the corn wallpaper, ping pong table, and pinball machines. The hotel is in the heart of the Haymarket District.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • The Hilton Garden Inn Lincoln Downtown / Haymarket has an indoor pool with a whirlpool, a 24-hour fitness center, and complimentary airport shuttle.
  • Nearby is the new Hyatt Place Lincoln Haymarket . All rooms come with breakfast, and there are great restaurants nearby.
  • For larger rooms with kitchens, check out the Embassy Suites by Hilton Lincoln . The rate includes a complimentary breakfast with made-to-order omelets, and the property has an indoor pool.

Budget Hotels:

  • A good-value option is the Comfort Suites University . On offer are spacious suites, an indoor pool and Jacuzzi, and a small fitness room. Just off Interstate 80 is the family run and recently renovated Horizon Inn Motel.

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Exploring Nebraska: Whether you are passing through Nebraska or planning your vacation here, be sure to see our article on the top-rated tourist attractions in Nebraska . If you are heading to Omaha, one of Nebraska's top places to visit, be sure to see our article on the top-rated tourist attractions in Omaha .

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Nebraska State Capitol Building with statue of Abraham Lincoln by Daniel Chester.

While visiting Nebraska in the fall of 2012, I toured the state capitol building in Lincoln , known as the Tower of the Plains. The structure bursts with symbolism and art and made me realize a tour of all 50 US state capitols might be a worthwhile quest.

The building was designed by architect Bertram Goodhue in neo-gothic or what I consider Art Deco style.  It stands on the site of the previous Capitol and features a “cross within a square” floor plan. The broad square base runs 437 feet on each side, partially underground, and rises three levels in height standing for the rolling prairie fields.  The landmark domed tower rises 400-feet and supports a 19- foot tall bronze figure of “The Sower”. The figure represents agriculture as the heart of Nebraska’s prosperity. Mosiac Thunderbirds beneath the “Sower” imply rain.

"The Sower" atop the Capitol dome.

Construction began in 1922 around the old building and continued for ten years. Landscaping was competed in 1934 at which  time the Capitol was fully paid for at a cost of $9.8 million.

I found a plethora of art on every wall and corner, on the ceilings and the floor. Why, the place out ranks most art museums. My guide explained that each piece tells the story of Nebraskans from the Native Americans to the pioneers, to the present day.

My favorite artworks included the following areas with descriptions taken from the official website: .

Capitol Building-3

Vestibule The theme of the Vestibule is “Gifts of Nature to Man on the Plains”. The sun, an important gift of nature, is represented in the top of the dome, the chandelier and the large floor mosaic. In the mosaic tile dome, surrounding the sun in a large circle are agricultural products of Nebraska, and in the corners of the dome are the four seasons of agriculture.

Floor of the Nebraska Capitol Building

Warner Chamber Native American doors

The colorful doors to the Warner Chamber tell of Native American culture and life. Corn, the Native American’s main agricultural crop and important food source is in the center of the doorway, represented as a tree of life. The Thunderbird, a symbol of rain and life is pictured at its center. On the sides, an Indian man is standing on an otter, a symbol of medicine and an Indian woman is standing on a turtle, symbol of fertility.

Doors to the Warner Chamber

Hildreth Meiere’s ceiling mosaics within the chamber represent the daily activities of the Native American cultures of the Plains: women hoeing corn, a war party, a tribal council, and a buffalo hunt. The mosaics and decorative borders were designed to look like Native American beadwork.

Ceiling resembling Native American beadwork.

West Legislative Chamber doors

The leather doors of the West Chamber show the agricultural foundation of Western Civilization in the ancient middle eastern region. With the Assyrian man and woman planting a tree of life under an Egyptian sun.

West Chamber Doors

Supreme Court

The 8000 piece carved walnut ceiling aids in the acoustical quality of the Chamber. It has coffers which along with the Guastavino Acoustic Tile walls capture sound waves and prevent echos. The public is welcome to attend the court’s sessions and enter from the rear of the Chamber.

Ceiling of the Supreme Court Chambers

Memorial Chamber The central room of the 14th Floor Observation Level is the Memorial Chamber, it is “dedicated to the forms of heroism called for in the public service and in devotion to humanity”.

Memorial Chamber Dome


www.Visit The Capitol is open 7 days a week. 445 K Street On K, between 14th and 16th Streets Lincoln, Nebraska 68509–4696 [email protected] • (402) 471–0448

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Hello, My great grandfather, David Bonin did mosaic tile work in the Capitol Building in Lincoln, NE. I was wondering if this fact that my family has written in his obituary is indeed factual. Do you have a list of artists who worked on the murals in the Capitol? I have never traveled to the building to see it for myself but If he did work on the mosaics, I will. Thank you, Terri Sharkey Barresi

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Exploring The Capital City: The Ultimate Guide To Lincoln & Things To Do


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Lincoln’s vital role as Nebraska’s capital city placed it on the map, however, this isn’t the only thing the city has to offer. There’s a friendliness among the people that’s appealing: it’s no wonder Lincoln was named the happiest city in America . Visitors are drawn to the wealth of attractions in Nebraska’s capital, from a tour of the State Capitol to exploring the museums, and even experiencing nature’s beauty in the over 130 parks.

For those who would like to experience this big city with the vibe of a small town, there’s so much to see and do that planning a trip might take a lot of research—and the right attitude. After all, Nebraska's tourism board says it's "not for everyone." To see whether Lincoln is the right fit, this ultimate guide to Lincoln has compiled the most essential information that a traveler would need to know, like the best time to visit, the top things to do and so much more.

Although Lincoln is the capital city of Nebraska, it isn’t the state’s largest city. That title goes to Omaha, another great travel destination , which has a population of close to 500,000 people. Lincoln is the second-largest city in the state with about 290,000.

Size doesn't always make for a better trip, though; Nebraska has many small-town destinations ideal for a vacation. Lincoln is better suited to those interested in cityscapes and trying new things.

Related: Here's Why Grand Island, Nebraska Is A Great Alternative To Lincoln Or Omaha

The capital is home to the University of Nebraska’s Lincoln Campus, which boasts close to 30,000 students. The university is a popular attraction, foremost for prospective students who come to tour the campus, but also for tourists who want to check out the historic buildings.

The best time to tour the campus is during warm weather, although tours are conducted year-round.

The best time to visit Lincoln for good weather is from April to June and from September to October. Below is a look at what Lincoln is like during the different seasons and why the months above are the best times to visit.

Spring (March to May)

Early March is usually still a bit chilly, but as spring progresses, temperatures start to rise. April and May enjoy average highs of 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) and average lows of 46 degrees (8 degrees Celsius).

The weather is neither too hot nor too cold, which is ideal for spending time outdoors. This is also considered football season, and visitors who are fans of the sport can catch matches at Memorial Stadium.

However, the chances of rain are highest in May, so visitors should prepare for some wet days.

Summer (June to August)

It gets quite warm and humid in summer, with temperatures reaching highs of 89 degrees (32 degrees Celsius) in July and August. These are also busy tourist months in Lincoln, so hotel rates are highest during these months.

June is a good month to visit as temperatures don’t go as high as they do in July, but it’s still warm enough for those who prefer the heat. Highs in June are about 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius).

Related: 10 Small Towns In Nebraska For A Fun-Filled Weekend

Autumn (September to November)

For visitors who prefer fewer crowds, autumn is a good time to visit. The weather in September and October is still pleasant, although these months experience some rainy days. Still, with average highs of 73 degrees (23 degrees Celsius), visitors can enjoy the outdoors without excessive heat.

However, November can be a chilly month, with highs of just 50 degrees (10 degrees Celsius) and lows of 28 (-2 degrees Celsius).

Winter (December to February)

Winter temperatures tumble to as low as 14 Fahrenheit (-10 Celsius), with January being the coldest (and snowiest) month of the season. This isn’t a good time to visit Lincoln as the weather is inappropriate for outdoor activities, limiting visitors to spending time indoors.

Visitors can fly into the Lincoln Airport , which receives flights from Chicago, Denver, and Houston. Those flying in from other US cities can land at the Omaha Eppley Airfield , which receives flights from Dallas, New York, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Phoenix, San Francisco, Vegas, and Atlanta, as well as Chicago, Denver, and Houston.

Related: These Are The 10 Most Beautiful Towns In Nebraska You Should Visit

Car rental services are available at both airports from companies like Alamo, Avis, Budget, and Enterprise. The drive from Omaha to Lincoln lasts about an hour via Interstate 80.

For visitors not bringing their vehicle or renting one, the following means are the most cost-effective and convenient ways to get around Lincoln.

The City of Lincoln operates the StarTran bus, which is the city’s public bus system. The bus runs on about 20 routes around the city, operating on weekdays and Saturdays. The buses start running as early as 5:40 am on some routes up to 7 pm.

  • Fares cost $1.25 for a single ride and a day pass costs $2.50.

Lincoln is a bike-friendly city, with about 130 miles of bike trails. This includes a protected bikeway—the N Street Cycle Track—which runs from West Haymarket to the Antelope Valley Trails. This is the only protected bikeway in the state.

Because of the city’s vast trail network, visitors can choose to get around the city on a bike. There’s a bike share program known as BikeLNK , with e-bikes and conventional bikes available for use.

Visitors can take one-hour rides before returning the bike at any station.

  • It costs $8 to access the bikes for 24 hours and $12 for 72-hour access, allowing unlimited 1-hour rides.

Breakfast: Hi-Way Diner

This old-timey restaurant harkens back to the 80s-style American diners, with rustic fixtures and antique pieces like an old water heater. Hi-Way’s main draw is its dishes, which are simple but sumptuous. The breakfast menu, in particular, has earned rave reviews from past customers.

The diner’s options include beloved dishes like French toast, pancakes, bacon, and sausages. They also serve Eggs Benedict, hash browns, breakfast burritos, and several omelet variations.

  • Address : 2105 Nebraska Pkwy, Lincoln, NE 68502, United States
  • Hours : 6 am - 10 pm (daily)

Lunch: Buzzard Billy's

This unassuming restaurant offers a vibrant ambiance with the classic Lincoln warmth and geniality. Diners are drawn to Buzzard Billy’s because of the restaurant’s delectable chicken wings, which come in different varieties, from Buffalo to Spicy BBQ. Lovers of pasta aren’t left behind as there are over 10 pasta dishes on the menu.

However, Buzzard Billy’s is most known for its Cajun-Creole dishes, which include Shrimp Creole, Chicken Creole, Jambalaya, and Crawfish Platter, among others.

  • Address : 247 N 8th St Ste 101, Lincoln, NE 68508, United States
  • Hours : Mon - Thu: 11 am - 10 pm; Fri: 11 am - 11 pm; Sat: 8 am - 11 pm; Sun: 8 am - 10 pm

Dinner: Rodizio Grill Brazilian Steakhouse Lincoln

Visitors can end their day with a meal at this Brazilian steakhouse, Rodizio Grill. Diners can enjoy beef, pork, chicken, lamb, or seafood from the grill, accompanied by sides like black bean stew, collard greens, or grilled vegetables. These can be downed with Brazilian wine or beer.

  • Address : 737 P St, Lincoln, NE 68508, United States
  • Hours : Tue - Thu: 4 pm - 8 pm; Fri & Sat: 11 am - 9 pm; Sun: 11 am - 8 pm

Drinks: Tavern on the Square

The relaxing vibe at Tavern on the Square is perfect for an evening of drinks amidst great company. This bar is found in Historic Haymarket Square, boasting a private courtyard offering outdoor seating space.

Their drinks include tequila, vodkas, whiskeys, seltzers, and beers, with special offers at happy hour on weekdays from 4 to 7 pm.

  • Address : 816 P St, Lincoln, NE 68508, United States
  • Hours : Mon - Thu: 4 pm - 2 am; Fri - Sun: 2 pm - 2 am

There's so much to do in Lincoln that disproves the stereotype of Nebraska being just cornfields .

Explore the Historic Haymarket District

The Historic Haymarket District was a market where hay, livestock, and produce were sold in the late 1800s. Today, it is an iconic part of Downtown Lincoln, with a number of restaurants, bars, and shopping outlets found here.

This is a good place for visitors to start their Lincoln experience.

  • Address : 335 N 8th & P St Lincoln, NE 68508, United States

Visit the Nebraska State Capitol

Construction of the Nebraska State Capitol was completed in 1932, and it has since then been a key symbol of Lincoln. The building’s 14-storied tower is crowned by a golden dome which is a key part of the city’s skyline.

Visitors can tour this building and head up to the observation deck on the 14th floor or explore the Capitol’s chambers like the East Chamber, the Memorial Chamber, and the Rotunda.

  • Address : 1445 K St, Lincoln, NE 68508, United States
  • Hours : Mon - Fri: 8 am - 5 pm; Sat: 10 am - 5 pm; Sun: 1 pm - 5 pm
  • Admission : Free

Stroll Around the Sunken Gardens

It’s hard to believe that this beautiful site was once a dumpsite that now has a place on the list of best gardens in the United States. It was first developed in 1930 but has undergone renovations to bring it to its current grand state.

The site boasts sculptures dotted around the property and walkways that traverse the 1.5 acres of real estate. And, of course, there are thousands of plant species across the three gardens.

  • Address : 2600 D St, Lincoln, NE 68502, United States
  • Hours : 5 am - 11 pm (daily)

Related: There's More To Nebraska Than Cornfields: Here's What To See, According To TripAdvisor

Fun For The Kids

Lincoln is a city for the whole family, so there are excellent places to bring the kids like the Lincoln Children’s Zoo and the Lincoln Children’s Museum.

Lincoln Children’s Zoo

The zoo is home to more than 400 animals, like the Matschie’s tree kangaroo, the Sumatran tiger, the American alligator, and the African Serval cat. Even adults are fascinated by the animals at this zoo.

  • Address : 1222 S 27th St Lincoln, NE 68502
  • Hours : 10 am - 5 pm (daily)
  • Admission : $14.95 (adults from 13 to 61 yrs); $12.95 (children 2 to 12 & seniors 62 and over)

Lincoln Children’s Museum

This museum has spaces that appeal to children of different ages, from the Grow Zone, which is ideal for toddlers, to Frontier Harley-Davidson, where they can ride a police motorcycle. There are also exhibits on outer space, aviation, and even banking.

  • Address : 1420 P St, Lincoln, NE 68508, United States
  • Hours : Wed - Sat: 9 am - 5 pm; Sun: 11 am - 5 pm (closed on Mon & Tue)
  • Admission : $12.95 (Adults 16+); Seniors (65+): $11.95; $14.95 (Children 19 months to 15 yrs); Free (children 0 to 18 months)

Hike in Pioneers Park Nature Center

Pioneers Park Nature Center is made up of over 660 acres of natural space with about 8 miles of hiking trails that traverse the different parts of the park. Visitors get to pass prairies, wetlands, a bird center, a children’s garden, a herb garden, and woodland, as well as see animals like elk, bison, and deer.

  • Address : 3201 South Coddington, Lincoln, NE 68522, United States
  • Hours : Mon - Sat: 9 am - 4:30 pm; Sun: 12 pm - 4:30 pm

Below are some of the best-rated hotels and vacation rentals in different parts of Lincoln.

5 Starz Hotel

  • Address : 3400 NW 12th St, Lincoln, NE 68521
  • Amenities : Casino, workspace, standard room, free internet, bathroom essentials
  • Rate : From $65

The Kindler Hotel

  • Address : 216 North 11th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508
  • Amenities : Bar, lounge, restaurant, free airport shuttle, gym, laundry facilities, outdoor seating
  • Rate : From $331

Annabell Gardens

  • Address : 200 South 68th Place, Lincoln, NE 68510
  • Amenities : Family rooms, fireplace, outdoor seating, picnic area, free parking, airport shuttle, gym, heated pool, hot tub, vending machines
  • Rate : From $113

Vacation Rentals

Cozy Private Bedroom

  • Address : Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
  • Amenities : Off-street parking, washer, TV, kitchen, fire pit, BBQ grill,

Haymarket Loft

  • Amenities : 1 bedroom, full kitchen, free parking, coin-operated laundry, king bed, sofa-bed
  • Rate : From $151

Apartment near Historic Haymarket

  • Amenities : Self-check-in, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, laundry facilities, full kitchen, TV with Roku
  • Rate : From $246

Start the day with some breakfast in Downtown Lincoln before strolling around the Haymarket District. Afterward, tour the Nebraska State Capitol to check out this iconic building and learn about the city’s history.

Then, pack some lunch and head to the Pioneers Park Nature Center for a picnic and an afternoon hike in the park. From here, take the kids to the Children’s Zoo to visit the animals before winding down at the Sunken Gardens.

Have dinner at a restaurant like the Rodizio Grill then end the day with some fun at the Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park , for those with children. Alternatively, catch a performance at the Bourbon Theatre before ending the day with drinks at a local bar.

Q: Is Lincoln Nebraska a good city to live in?

Yes, Lincoln, Nebraska is a good city to live in because it has a low cost of living and is among the top 10 happiest cities in the United States.

Q: What is Lincoln Nebraska known for?

Lincoln, Nebraska is known for being the state's capital city, with the State Capitol building as a famous attraction. It may also be known for cornfields , but there's far more to the city and its state than just that.

Q: What food is Nebraska known for?

Nebraska is best known for the Runza sandwich , which is soft bread stuffed with beef sautéed with cabbage and onions.

Central US States: Complete Travel Guide

Lesser-known city gems: the ultimate guide to kearney & things to do.

  • Things To Do & Travel Guides

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Book a Tour

Reservations are recommended .

The Capitol Visitor Center is open Monday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tours begin every 10 minutes until 3:20 p.m. All tours are led by our professional tour guides and visit the  Crypt , the  Rotunda  and  National Statuary Hall . The tour does not include the  Senate and House Galleries . The tour route is subject to change.

Reservations are recommended, but not required. Visit the  schedule a tour  page to select a day/time for a reservation. Same day passes may be available. Visitors without reservations are encouraged to arrive at the Capitol Visitor Center as early in the day as possible, but no later than 2:30 p.m., to obtain passes.

All tours, programs and activities are free of charge.

Visitors enter through the Capitol Visitor Center, located underground on the east side of the Capitol. Please leave time to go through security and review the U.S. Capitol’s  prohibited items list  before your visit.

You can begin your Capitol experience at the Visitor Center by visiting Exhibition Hall , perusing our Gift Shops or getting a bite to eat at the Capitol Cafe.

For information on tours offered in Mandarin and Spanish, please view the Foreign Language Tours page.

How Do I Cancel My Reservation?

You can cancel your reservation through your account in the Capitol Visitor Center’s online reservation system.

  • Go to  (A new page will open.)
  • Beneath the blue banner reading “Reserve a Tour of the Capitol,” click on the link to log in. (A sign in/signup dialog box will open.)
  • In the sign in section, log in with your email address and password.
  • Search for reservations by clicking “More” in the “My Reservations” tab.
  • Once you have located your reservation, click the link to “Cancel.”

People in hall

The 8 Best Sightseeing Tours in Nebraska!

ne sightseeing tours

There is a ton to explore in the state of Nebraska. From historical sites in Omaha and the state capitol to natural sights along the many winding rivers, there are plenty of ways to get out there and discover everything the magnificent state has to offer. Here are the 8 best sightseeing tours in Nebraska.

Crane Migration Tours, Wood River, NE

The Crane Trust preserves approximately 10,000 acres of land in and along the central Platte River where, each year, thousands of cranes and other migratory birds make their way to rest and refuel. Book a tour and get up close and personal when the cranes arrive at dawn and sunset for an awe-inspiring experience.

Omaha History Tour, Omaha, NE

From prohibition to steamboats, the Omaha History Tour will take you back in time to learn how the state got its start and the pivotal moments in its history. Learn how the city of Omaha developed during times of the Oregon Trail and how it became the booming destination it is today. 

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park, North Platte, NE

The infamous Buffalo Bill built his mansion home in Nebraska in the 1800s and it has since been restored and open to the public for tours. Surrounded by acres of camping ground, this is perfect place for a weekend getaway with plenty of natural and historical sights to see.

Bryson Airboat Tours, Fremont, NE

For incredible sightseeing along the Platte River, book your spot on a Bryson Airboat Tour for hours of fun. The boat can carry up to 11 passengers and features movie-theater style seating so everyone can enjoy astonishing views along the Platte River.

Group Therapy Bike Tours, Lincoln, NE

Whatever is going on in your life, you can pedal it out with a Group Therapy Tour in Lincoln. This 15-seat passenger-powered bicycle takes you on a wild ride around the city and stops at dozens of fun sights along the way. 

River City Star Riverboat, Omaha, NE

The River City Star Riverboat offers family-friend sightseeing tours featuring Park Rangers from the National Parks Services so you can not only soak in the beautiful scenery along the Missouri River but also learn about Lewis & Clark’s expedition across the area. Enjoy music and concessions and all the sights and sounds of life on the river.

Nebraska State Capitol Tour, Lincoln, NE

Sightseeing tours at the Nebraska State Capitol are available every day on the hour. Get to know the amazing capitol building which is 400 feet-tall and was constructed in 1922. The Memorial Chamber is the central room of the capitol building and is a stunning sight to see.

Joslyn Castle, Omaha, NE

Every first and third Sunday of the month, the grounds of the Joslyn Castle are open to visitors to tour and enjoy. This beautiful, Scottish style castle located in the heart of the city was built by George and Sarah Joslyn, who were important business leaders and the wealthiest couple in Nebraska during the first two decades of the 20th century.

Best Paint & Wine Spots in Nebraska 2024!

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  • Abie Butler
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  • Dwight Butler
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  • Elwood Gosper
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  • Emerson Dakota
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  • Greeley Greeley
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  • Holbrook Furnas
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  • Howells Colfax
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  • Inland Clay
  • Imperial Chase
  • Inavale Webster
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  • Jansen Jefferson
  • Jackson Dakota
  • Johnson Nemaha
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  • Juniata Adams
  • Kearney Buffalo
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  • La Vista Sarpy
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  • Linwood Butler
  • Louisville Cass
  • Lodgepole Cheyenne
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  • Lorton Otoe
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  • Loup City Sherman
  • Magnet Cedar
  • Madison Madison
  • Malcolm Lancaster
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  • Marsland Dawes
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  • Martell Lancaster
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  • Mason City Custer
  • Mc Cook Red Willow
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  • Mead Saunders
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  • Merriman Cherry
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  • Morse Bluff Saunders
  • Murdock Cass
  • Nehawka Cass
  • Nebraska City Otoe
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  • Oakdale Antelope
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  • Willow Island Dawson
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  • Wilsonville Furnas
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  • Wisner Cuming
  • Wolbach Greeley
  • Winside Wayne
  • Wood Lake Cherry
  • Winslow Dodge
  • Wymore Gage
  • Yutan Saunders
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  • Wood River Hall

Former Lincoln dentist runs 17,000 miles to raise awareness about grief

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Former Lincoln dentist Joshua Nehring and his family are running from state capitol to state capitol across the country in a tour called the Black Pearl Project, raising awareness about grief.

The tour will cover 17,000 miles across 48 states in one calendar year and Joshua will run approximately 60 miles per day to make it to all the capitols on the tour.

In 2017, former Lincoln residents Joshua and Stacy Nehring lost their teenage daughter in a fatal car crash.

Since then, the family has been helping others cope with grief through service.

Together, the pair created a non-profit called SRVIVRS, which supports people who have lost a loved one or friend.

Lilli Nehring

The run started from the gravesite of their daughter Lilli Nehring in Rapid City, South Dakota, on June 3 and made its way across South Dakota with its first Capitol Tour stop in Pierre.

They will be in Nebraska next and will arrive in Lincoln on June 20. A special ceremony will be held on the Nebraska State Capitol steps that afternoon from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

“No one has ever run from capitol to capitol across our country for grief awareness. Just like in running, grief can feel isolating, but is best accomplished with the support of those around you,” Joshua said. “My calling is to serve others in knowing they aren’t alone. Grief is something we all share from the cornfields to the mountains to the coasts.”

The Nehring’s named the Tour the “Black Pearl Project” because as Joshua believes, “Over time, beauty can emerge from overcoming stress and challenges – just like a rare pearl found in the ocean.”

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Copyright 2024 KOLN. All rights reserved.

Deadly rest stop stabbing near Grand Island

Victims identified in deadly I-80 rest stop stabbing

Gary Weaver, shown here with a grandchild.

Stabbing victim was musician, beloved grandfather

Lancaster County Attorney Pat Condon said Stephen “Max” D’Amore, 14, will be tried as an adult...

Teen accused in fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Lincoln boy posts bail

James Thompson Jr appeared in court Thursday for the murder at a Grand Island area rest stop.

Missouri man was found bleeding to death at Grand Island area rest stop

An assault last Friday sent a Lincoln woman to the hospital; now, she's breathing a little...

‘Long road ahead’: Lincoln woman recovering after being attacked with brick

Latest news.

The Center for People celebrated the achievements of its learners Friday morning.

Center for People hosts first Quarterly Milestone Celebration for learners

NSP searching for wanted man, plus new video shows wildfire containment efforts in the panhandle.

WATCH: Morning Pulse June 21, 2024

capitol tours lincoln ne

Lincoln Children's Zoo previews 'First brews at the zoo' this Saturday

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Here’s the answer to today’s Question of the Day!

capitol tours lincoln ne

Friday Fast Facts (6-21-24)

Juneteenth 2024: Here's what will be open and closed on the holiday

capitol tours lincoln ne

The nation's newest federal holiday - Juneteenth - lands in the middle of the workweek next week. Here's everything you need to know about the holiday, including what day it takes place, what will be closed and why we celebrate.

When is Juneteenth 2024?

Juneteenth always falls on June 19. In 2024, the holiday is on a Wednesday.

Are banks open on Juneteenth?

Like most federal holidays, expect your local banks and credit unions to be closed in observance of Juneteenth. Plan ahead if you think you will need anything from your bank on June 19.

Are government offices open on Juneteenth?

No. All non-essential federal, state and city government offices are closed Wednesday, June 19, for the holiday.

Government closures would include high-traffic spots including the Monroe County Department of Motor Vehicles . and the Monroe County Clerk's Office.

Will you get mail on Juneteenth?

Your regular mail will not be delivered on June 19 because the  United States Postal Service  also recognizes the Juneteenth holiday.

However, you may still receive deliveries:  FedEx  and  UPS  will be open and offering their usual services.

Are schools closed for Juneteenth?

Yes, public schools will be closed for the federal holiday, even with the holiday landing during the last week of school in the Rochester region.

Regarding private schools and universities, check the academic calendar to see if it is closed.

Will stores, restaurants close for Juneteenth?

Even though it is a federally recognized holiday, individual businesses decide whether or not they would like to be open on Juneteenth. You may want to call any local stores or restaurants you're planning on going to and ask if they'll be open.

Why do we celebrate Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a holiday marking slaves in Texas learning in 1865 that they had been freed by President Abraham Lincoln's  Emancipation Proclamation . The executive order outlawed slavery in Confederate states beginning Jan. 1, 1863, the midpoint of the Civil War. The holiday rose to prominence in 2020 amid the nationwide protests about racial inequality after the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and George Floyd in Minnesota. President Joe Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday in 2021.

How many federal holidays remain in 2024?

Each year, there are 11 federal holidays. Juneteenth is fifth in the annual lineup.

After Juneteenth, six federal holidays remain in 2024:

  • Independence Day  (July 4, 2024)
  • Labor Day  (First Monday in September - Sept. 2, 2024)
  • Columbus Day  (Second Monday in October - Oct. 14, 2024)
  • Veterans Day  (Nov. 11, 2024)
  • Thanksgiving Day  (Fourth Thursday of November - Nov. 28, 2024)
  • Christmas Day  (Dec. 25, 2024)

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Ex-NASCAR driver Tighe Scott and 3 other Pennsylvania men face charges stemming from Capitol riot

FILE - Rioters loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021. Retired NASCAR driver Tighe Scott, his adult son and two other Pennsylvania men are facing felony charges stemming from confrontations with police during the Jan. 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

FILE - Rioters loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021. Retired NASCAR driver Tighe Scott, his adult son and two other Pennsylvania men are facing felony charges stemming from confrontations with police during the Jan. 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

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Retired NASCAR driver Tighe Scott, his adult son and two other Pennsylvania men are facing felony charges stemming from confrontations with police during the Jan. 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol.

Scott, 75, of Pen Argyl, and three Saylorsburg residents — Jarret Scott, 48; Scott Slater Sr., 56, and his son Scott Alex Slater Jr., 26 — were arrested Wednesday by the FBI. Court records did not list attorneys for any of the men, and prosecutors said Thursday they did not know if any of the men had retained attorneys.

Tipsters helped identify the men after authorities posted photos and videos of the riot online, including one who recognized Tighe Scott from his racing days.

The four men entered the restricted grounds of the Capitol during the insurrection and physically engaged with police attempting to hold the line of protesters, according to the release. During this time, Tighe Scott struck police riot shields and attempted to rip one out of an officer’s hands while the two Slaters — both holding golf clubs — pushed and resisted against police shields, authorities said.

When an officer pushed Tighe Scott off of him, Scott stumbled backward into his son, who then began screaming profanities at officers, according to the release. Meanwhile, Scott Slater Jr. threw a flagpole and an “Area Closed” sign at officers, investigators said.

FILE - Steve Bannon appears in court in New York, Jan. 12, 2023. A federal appeals court panel on Thursday, June 20, 2024, rejected longtime Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon's bid to stay out of prison while he fights his conviction for defying a subpoena from the House committee that investigated the U.S. Capitol attack. (Steven Hirsch/New York Post via AP, Pool, File)

Tighe Scott and Jarret Scott were both charged with two felonies — obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers — and five misdemeanor counts.

Scott Slater Jr. faces three felony counts — obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder, assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers with a deadly or dangerous weapon. His father faces a felony charge of obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder, and both Slaters face several misdemeanor counts.

Tighe Scott competed in dirt racing events before moving into the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in the late ’70s and early ’80s. He didn’t win any races but made multiple top-10 finishes and raced in the Daytona 500 on several occasions.

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