LITTLE ROCK, Ark – The Diamond Hogs are going to Omaha for the College World Series, and for fans it is time to start making travel plans.
Planning on driving to the games? From Little Rock the fastest way is to take the I-40 west and then I-49 north to Kansas City. From there you’ll jump over to I-29 all the way to Omaha. From the Capitol in Little Rock to Charles Schwab Field in Omaha will take you just under nine hours of windshield time.
Google Maps tells the story of the slightly more scenic route on Highway 65 north out of Conway up to Kansas City to catch I-29 that would take maybe 15 minutes longer — although this would allow for a pit stop in Marshall, Arkansas, for chocolate rolls. Up to you.
Thinking about flying instead? If nothing else, as gas prices keep climbing the expense will be somewhat more predictable. The challenge will be finding a cheap fare in the short time ahead of games starting Friday.
Southwest Airlines has some flights between $300 and $396 for Thursday (Friday flights at those prices get there by the first pitch of Game 1 and are sold out), and trips range from $281 to $365 for the Tuesday after the CWS wraps.
Looking for other carriers? Be prepared to pay more because of the rush. Google Flights shows round trip tickets from United, American or Delta starting at $989 and going as high as $2,035.
WHERE TO STAY
It is no surprise that there are lots of hotels near the stadium in Omaha, the challenge is finding one with rooms available. Hotels.com shows four hotels with rooms still available in the metro area, with nightly prices ranging from $93 to $285.
Considering an Airbnb? A few of the listings found Monday include a small bungalow for $375 per night, a condo for a nightly rate of $450 or even a 12-bed home for $699.
WHAT ELSE TO DO
While there will be lots of baseball to watch, Omaha has many other fun things to offer visitors. With a population more than double of Little Rock’s, restaurants of all manner are scattered throughout the city.
The Reuben sandwich was invented in Omaha, and the city has a thriving farm-to-fork movement. Plus, don’t forget to grab the Nebraska classic called a runza – a yeast dough roll STUFFED with ground beef, onions and cabbage.
For those looking to get in a morning run, the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is a 3,000 foot suspension pedestrian bridge joining Omaha with Council Bluffs, Iowa, and is less than 5 minutes from the stadium.
For those looking for a walk on the wild side instead, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is famous, not in the least for its indoor desert and rainforest. It is about 10 minutes from the stadium.