How to Spend a Perfect Day in Fremont, Nebraska

Antique lovers from across the country love to explore the vintage markets of historic downtown Fremont, “the antique capital of eastern Nebraska.” Seven stores within eight blocks create an entertaining antiques trail in a town of about 25,000 people. Located about 30 miles northwest of Omaha, downtown Fremont is home to excellent shopping opportunities as well as architecture dating back to the late 1800s.

The area also offers outdoor entertainment, as well as a bit of history. Having spent my youth in the area, I watched Fremont grow, diversify and develop attractions. With great dining options and other attributes, you can spend a day or plan a weekend exploring this charming city.

Here are my recommendations for a pleasant visit to Fremont.

Tim trudell

Antique dealers in the historic city center

You will have fun exploring each store in Historic downtown Fremont. From cast iron stoves to classic clothing chests, every store, from R Antiques to Park Avenue Antiques, has something different from the rest. AT R Antiques, in addition to stoves, you will find items such as lanterns, canning jars and old license plates. Junction flea market operates as a flea market and antique market, so you’ll find a variety of goods, from toys to housewares.

Antiques Park Avenue offers a selection ranging from 80 year old high school yearbooks to vintage furniture. You’ll even find a theater stage curtain featuring businesses that made downtown Fremont their home a century ago. Fia + Beautiful mixes contemporary boutique clothing with old-fashioned furniture.

Chestnut market features interior decoration including candles, plants and other accessories as well as antique household items. Pickens Thrift and Consignment offers upcycled and vintage furniture and housewares. Yankee Peddler West, housed in an 1880s building, is the place to go if you are looking for classic books and maps. You’ll find magazines dating back to the mid-1900s. Also, be on the lookout for globes from a century ago.

Fremont Opera House Fremont, Nebraska
Tim trudell

Walking tour of downtown architecture

Enjoy a self-guided tour of historic buildings dating from the 1800s and early 1900s. Fremont Opera Today hosts concerts and special events, but it was once the site of the city’s affluent gatherings for musical performances, including operas. Built in 1918, the former Love Opera House, with its classic facade, was Fremont’s first building named on the National Register of Historic Places.

The May Brothers Building was once the headquarters of the grocery tycoons in the 1800s, but today you’ll find MiLady Cafe, named after a brand of coffee widely used by the Mays.

The Dodge County Courthouse was built over 100 years ago by a local architect, who designed it in the neoclassical style.

Built in 1915, the Theater of the Empress has hosted its fair share of vintage films. It’s no wonder locals want to revive the movie theater on Main Street, with its classic design and vintage signage. Plans call for a 200-seat single-screen theater in addition to an events area.

Editor’s Note: MiLady Coffeehouse made Tim’s list of 9 Unique Cafes to Try in the Midwest. See the rest here.

As the headquarters of the Fremont Area Art Association, Gallery 92 West uses its open space with a combination of pieces created by local artists. From pencil drawings and oil paintings to photography and sculpture, you’ll find an array of exceptional works in two rooms. The gallery also offers art classes, including pottery and fiber arts. Gallery 92 West also offers special exhibitions featuring national and regional artists.

Louis E. May Museum Fremont, Nebraska
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Louis E. May Museum

Once the home of Theron Nye, the first mayor of Fremont, it seems fitting that this former mansion occupies a prominent position on Nye Avenue. Built in 1874 using the Italian Revival style, Nye gave the mansion to his son in 1900. Young Nye spent over a decade renovating the property using the neoclassical style of architecture we see today. ‘hui. The domain now serves as Louis E. May Museum, highlighting the history of Fremont and its surroundings.

Inside the mansion you will find exhibits featuring relics and decor from the 19th and early 20th centuries, including furniture, paintings, and bedrooms. The grounds, named the Nebraska Arboretum Site, are immaculate, with flower gardens and a gazebo. Named on the National Register of Historic Places, the May Museum also has an 1868 log cabin on its grounds.

Fremont State Lakes Recreation Area

With 20 sandy lakes, fishing and water enthusiasts have made the Fremont State Lakes Recreation Area a popular attraction in eastern Nebraska. Swimmers and sunbathers can enjoy beach time on the lakes with designated swimming areas. Boating enthusiasts can create waves at lakes 10 and 15. Other lakes are more suitable for kayaks or canoes, as well as electric boats. Fishing is excellent from the shore or the fishing docks. The state’s lakes are great for picnicking, with plenty of picnic tables located throughout the recreation area. It is also a beautiful region for photographers.

Pro tip: A state park entrance permit is required to visit the state lakes. You can buy a permit for the day or the year at the entrance to the recreation area.

Platte River Fremont, Nebraska
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River Life Airboat Tours

Get an up-close look at life on the Platte River on a one- or three-hour ride with the River Life Airboat Tours of Cedar Bluffs, about 15 minutes southwest of Fremont. The shallow depth of the Platte is perfect for hydrofoils, which roam sandbanks when they reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. The open-air craft offers picturesque views of nature, including bald eagles, herons, and other wildlife. You will see beautiful cliffs and densely forested areas lining the shore.

Pro tip: River Life recommends booking at least two weeks in advance of your visit. They also provide hearing protection for the ride.

A look at the grounds of the Old Poor farm
The old poor farm

The old poor farm

Once home to hundreds of unemployed, homeless and financially struggling people, the 246 acres Old poor farm operated north of Fremont, near Nickerson, for about 70 years, starting in 1872. Having had around 400 residents at its peak, the Old Poor Farm closed following the Great Depression. Abandoned over the following years, the farm and surrounding buildings were destroyed. However, in 1989 the four acres where the farm was located were sold, which eventually led to the start of the Old Poor Farm Animal Sanctuary.

Today, the Old Poor Farm provides a home for animals unable to survive on their own or considered “unadoptable”. They may have been rescued from owners unable to care for them or have been abused. Among the adorable animals that inhabit the farm are cats, miniature donkeys, chickens, sheep and horses. Visit the farm and learn about its history and visit the animals. Tours are free, but donations are appreciated.

Pro tip: Call the Old Poor Farm to schedule a visit as it operates with volunteers. Tours last up to two hours. Wear comfortable walking shoes, as the tour covers farmland.

Barnard Park District Fremont, Nebraska
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Barnard Park Historical Walking Tour

With over 30 houses, some dating from the 1860s, the Historic Barnard Park Neighborhood Walking Tour offers a look at the early days of Fremont. Originally the site of the town’s cemetery, Barnard Park is a popular place for strolling, picnicking, and children frolic on the playground. The park celebrates its history by maintaining cast iron lampposts, once common in the region. During your self-guided tour, architectural styles you’ll notice include Queen Anne, American Four Squares, and Bungalows. You will also find churches in the area that were built in the early 1900s.

Fremont Veterans Memorial Fremont, Nebraska
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Fremont Veterans Park

Located on East Military Avenue, Fremont honors veterans with a Veterans Memorial. The oval-shaped memorial features an American bald eagle atop the granite monument and lists every American war and conflict in which local residents have participated. The monuments also honor every branch of the military, including the Merchant Navy, which played a major role during World War II. . Another memorial honors locals who died in the service of their country, featuring a soldier holding a folded American flag while kneeling in front of a battlefield cross (a helmet on a weapon, with boots on either side) . The city’s long-standing eternal flame remains alight, with the flag of each service fluttering nearby. A few blocks east, murals feature Fremonters who served in the military.

Where to eat in Fremont

Fremont is home to excellent Restaurants, from burgers and fries to upscale steak and Italian restaurants. For a taste of northern Italian cuisine, visit Restaurant Osteria Kayla in the historical passage of Kollmeyer. With appetizers such as mussels, squid and bruschetta, you’ll be challenged to move on to the starter part of the menu. However, when you do, the spaghetti and meatballs look amazing, coated in marinara and topped with a dollop of ricotta cheese. The restaurant also offers steaks and salmon. For an authentic Mexican dish, Senor Tequila’s ranks among the best you will find in the region. Using fresh ingredients, the dishes arrive hot and taste delicious. The colorful decor adds to your dining experience, making you feel like you might be in a restaurant south of the border.

Where to stay in Fremont

Fremont has several Hotel chains choices including Rodeway Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Super 8 by Wyndham. the Fairfield Inn and Suites is an excellent choice for its location and contemporary style. Offering a free breakfast, the hotel is located near the Fremont Shopping Center, as well as several restaurants. the Baymont Inn and Suites, located at the east end of Fremont, is a pet-friendly hotel. It is also located next to Penny’s Dinner, which offers a discount for hotel guests.

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