College Football Game Day

Lincoln is a not so quiet college town with all the fun a college town has to offer. Not intimidating at all, you can easily get around downtown. Known throughout the world as home to the Nebraska Cornhuskers, there is no experience quite like game day.


The Cornhusker Hotel

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by c_rau on February 22, 2003

The Cornhusker is a hotel done in the classic style and rivals the best hotels in any major city. Walk up the grand half circle stair case to the second floor lounge. The lounge provides a full view of the posh lobby. They have an upscale restaurant called the Terrace Grille next to a tiny gift shop with locally made items. My family has dined many times at their fantastic holiday buffets filled with turkey, roast beef, and fresh fish. Sure beats cooking on Thanksgiving!

The buffets are held in their large conference/banquet hall with not one, but two buffets lines. It has fresh vegetable and fruit salads and a dessert table to die for. Sure, it costs a little more, but it’s a great way to spend a holiday.

The Cornhusker Hotel
333 South 13th Street
Lincoln, Nebraska, 68508
(402) 474-7474

P. O. Pear's

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by c_rau on February 22, 2003

P. O. Pear’s is a popular bar that’s located in the out-of-the-way south side of O Street. There are only three reasons to go there: Ladies' Nite on Wednesdays, Burger Madness on Sundays, and sand volleyball in the summer.

The place will assault your senses with fantastic sights, sounds, and smells. No wall is left barren. They are either painted with crazy murals or covered with weird and wild artifacts from all over the state. In the upstairs pool room, you can read the lyrics to the Nebraska fight song painted on the wall behind the shuffleboard (where do you think I learned the words?)

I guarantee this combination hamburger joint and dance club will not disappoint--food-wise or otherwise. The burger menu is endless, but I prefer to stick with the basic cheeseburger (Jack cheese, of course). Burger Madness comes complete with curly fries and Cokes. To order your burger, just walk up to the cook’s window and tell him or her which burger you want. They’ll call your name over the loudspeaker along with a wise crack. Come in the afternoon with the kids or go at night for the best music and drinks.

Pears
322 S 9th Street
Lincoln, Nebraska, 68508
(402) 476-8551

Rock and Roll Runza

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by c_rau on February 22, 2003

The Rock and Roll Runza can only be found in Nebraska. Runza began life as a restaurant in the '40s and franchised in the '70s across the state and into the Midwest. Back in the '80s the restaurant’s owners decided to open up a retro restaurant to bring the Runza back to its basics, and the result is the Rock and Roll Runza, a '50s themed diner complete with servers in costume and on roller skates.

They have every malt and shake available, and they make original Cherry Cokes at their soda fountain. The food menu is simple, the same as their regular Runza Hut Restaurants: Runzas, hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, and the best onion rings you will eat anywhere. What is a Runza, you ask? Well, it’s hamburger, onion, and cabbage mixed with mild spices and baked inside a bun. Its origins date from the German settlers who came to the area and mixed whatever they had to eat together and baked it in fresh German bread. My mother use to make Runzas from scratch when I was young, just like her mother did when she was little.

Even though you can get a Runza just about anywhere in the state, the Rock and Roll Runza is a fun experience that you should have at least once on your trip. It always amazes me that the servers don't crash into each on those roller skates. Also, the owner displays his classic cars inside the restaurant, each month showing off a different mint condition '50s or '60s car. Yummy!

Rock and Roll Runza
210 North 14th Street
Lincoln, Nebraska

Branched Oak State Reservoir

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by c_rau on February 22, 2003

Branched Oak Lake is a man-made recreation area northwest of Lincoln, near Malcolm, Nebraska. One of the larger lakes in the state, it provides all sorts of aquatic recreation from swimming and fishing to jet skis and motor boats. You haven’t lived until you’ve water skiied Branched Oak in November! Burrr!

There’s a roped off swimming area complete with beach for families, but sun bathers can sit anywhere. To get there, take Highway 34 out of Lincoln to Highway 79. Go north to Raymond Road, then west to 140 Street. Turn right to Branched Oak Road. Follow the signs. It is part of the state park system, so there are permits and fees to consider. The lake offers camping and grilling facilities as well as a small marina. Extremely popular on weekends, try to sneak up here during the week to avoid the crowds.

Branched Oak State Reservoir
Near Malcolm Nebraska
Lincoln, Nebraska
(402) 471-2186

The Haymarket

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by c_rau on February 22, 2003

The Haymarket is a small section of downtown where the train depot is located. Antique shops, ice cream parlors, and trendy restaurants fill this little corner. It’s quieter than the bar scene on O Street, except on game days when the sidewalks are filled with Husker fans shopping and dining before and after the game. Get an ice cream cone from Ted and Wally’s and climb on the caboose that’s on display at the depot. In the summer there are farmer's markets and sidewalk sales. Several stores sell strictly Nebraska goods.
Haymarket Office
335 N 8th Street
Lincoln, Nebraska, 68508
(402) 435-7496

Bar Hopping on O Street

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by c_rau on February 22, 2003

For you bar hopping fanatics looking for some action, this little college town has plenty to offer. Here are my favorites:

Woody’s Pub – 104 N. 14th St. #6. Don’t know why they have this street address because they have an entrance on O Street. This is where a lot of athletes hang out. Great place for bar Olympics, pool, darts, and foos ball.

Matt’s Bar – 100 N. 8th St. on the south end of the Haymarket District near the O Street overpass. Casual bar with lots of history. Grab a booth and get a beer after the game.

Zoo Bar – 136 N. 14th St. A nationally know blues bar where the famous and infamous play. I was fortunate enough to have had several theater classes here when I was in college. Someone in the class worked there on weekends and he convinced the owner we could perform our one-acts on their stage. After watching each others plays all afternoon, we’d hang out for the blues show at night. Not much to look at, just sit back and enjoy the music.

Barry’s – 235 N. 9th St. This is THE place to be Husker game day. Another bar on the outskirts of the Haymarket, it’s also the closest to Memorial Stadium. The place is huge and full of TV’s, so if it’s too cold to sit outside at the game, sell your tickets and stay here.

Sidetracks – 935 O St. Uniquely Nebraskan, it’s the one place that people from out of town remember long after their visit. Let Joyce and Paul entertain you with their off-color songs. There is no décor, only folding chairs to sit on and the waitresses may spill beer on you, but it’s so much fun, who cares!

Iguana’s – 1426 O Street. Your basic singles bar, however, it has the best foos ball competition in town. Bring some quarters and see how long you can keep the table.

Barrymore’s – 124 N. 13th St. between O and P Streets down the alley. It’s hard to find, but worth the journey. A small lounge that used to be the back stage of Stuart Theater, the ceiling goes up to infinity and there are still stage lights and curtain ropes on the walls. For more sophisticated tastes, this upscale bar is quite a change from meat market college bars along O Street. Sip a White Russian and gossip with your friends before you begin your night on the town, or show up after a night at the opera for a night cap.


Husker Game Day

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by c_rau on February 22, 2003

On the holy day of the Sabbath, otherwise known as Game Day, life in Lincoln stands still as people focus their attention on the Cornhuskers. You’ve never seen so much red in your life. After attending games as a student for four years, I returned as an alum last fall and discovered not much has changed.

The wooden benches for seats still hurt your bottom, they always run out of hot chocolate by fourth quarter, and the lines for the women’s restrooms are agonizing, but I still get chills when they play "Sirus" as players walk through the tunnel to the field (they stole this from the Bulls, but it’s still cool). I still enjoy singing "There Is No Place Like Nebraska" and "Hail to the Team" after touchdowns and I still know all the words. Last, but not least, there is no better treat than eating a hot Runza. Oh, yeah, the games are good too. Go Big Red!

Make it a point to walk through the tunnels in the south stadium and get a high five from one of the players after the game. Bricks with the names of Husker supporters line the path to the locker rooms and we always make a visit the brick we bought for our grandmother, a huge Husker fan. If the volleyball team has a home match on game day, just walk to the colliseum next door to the stadium. Sometimes fans with football tickets get in for free. The two-time national championship volleyball team is spectacular and if it’s a Big Twelve match, you’ll be treated to some exciting volleyball.


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