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Visualize the American Old West, and you might picture something that looks like the Elkhorn neighborhood on the far western edge of Omaha. Historic downtown Elkhorn could be the set for a John Wayne film, with its unadorned brick buildings, dusty streets and remnants of bluestem prairie on the outskirts of town. In fact, the novel and film "True Grit" takes place in this part of Nebraska, pre-statehood. A few blocks outside of those frontier-esque buildings, however, it's clear that the past is gone, and today's Elkhorn is a modern suburban community complete with contemporary retail stores, gorgeous golf courses, good schools and a comfortable pace of life.

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Rent Trends

As of October 2017, the average apartment rent in Omaha, NE is $884 for a studio, $945 for one bedroom, $1,292 for two bedrooms, and $1,455 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Omaha has increased by 1.8% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
Studio
599
$884
1 BR
826
$945
2 BR
1,186
$1,292
3 BR
1,393
$1,455
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

43 Walk Score® Car-Dependent
0 Transit Score® Minimal Transit
56 Bike Score® Bikeable

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Restaurants

From 1883 to 1999, Omaha's famous Union Stockyards processed millions of animals, making the city a meat mecca and legendary for its steaks. Steakhouses still dominate the region's restaurant scene, serving up thick, sizzling locally raised cuts cooked to perfection.

Family-owned Farmer Browns Steak House opened in 1964, and still serves Nebraska steaks. This simple, low-slung barn of a place asks diners to come with empty stomachs, because the servings are huge. The choice T-bone weighs in at 24 ounces, and all steaks come with coleslaw, potatoes, bread and spaghetti or a vegetable to make a traditional meat-and-three dinner.

Shevy's Sports and Steaks celebrates sports in a vintage-style bar in historic downtown Elkhorn. A game is always on and the decor consists of layers of sports memorabilia. The Heisman club steak pays homage to this theme, but the house speciality is the slow-roasted prime rib dinner, which requires so much care that its available only Thursday through Saturday. Happily, there's rib-eye, Kansas City strip and chicken-fried steak on all days.

Boyd and Charlies BBQ puts beef, chicken, pork and turkey into the smoker, and the savory results keep this down-home joint hopping. It's hard to choose between the famous beef brisket or a mixed plate of two or three different meats. The memorable sides include corn pie, Alabama-style beans and corn fritters. Each month, the bar spotlights a different microbrew at $3.50 a pint.

Sometimes, it's nice to have something other than steak. Bella Vita Ristorante takes the adventurous path into creative Italian cuisine. Pork osso busco with Tuscan white bean ragout, lemon-scented orzo tossed with spinach and pesto, seasonal risotto and lasagna rustica served in a Bolognese sauce elegantly demonstrate the world of food beyond Nebraska. The menu does, however, include bistecca Bella Vita, a sirloin steak topped with a creamy Gorgonzola sauce. Out back, diners enjoy a drink around the fire pit when the weather permits.

History

In 1867, the Union Pacific Railroad extended its reach to the prairie west of Omaha, and the town of Elkhorn sprang up around this rail station. The name comes from the Elkhorn River, which flows through the area before it joins the Platte River. The river, in turn, takes its name from a significant Omaha Indian chief. Elkhorn served as a commerce hub for nearby farming communities, and gradually expanded before Omaha annexed it in 2006. Since then, it's been considered an outer neighborhood of Omaha, but residents fiercely maintain their community's identity.

Every June, the community celebrates Elkhorn Days, a four-day festival of town history and pride. The historical society displays information about old Elkhorn, and residents enjoy fireworks, a parade, auto show, amusement park rides and movies. The Scandinavian Midsommer Festival, also in June, honors the Solstice with a parade, dancing, Midsommer pole and friendly roving Vikings.

Transportation

The suburban lifestyle here requires a car, plain and simple. Elkhorn lies just beyond the reach of Omaha's bus system. Two park-and-ride lots, each about a 10 minute drive from Elkhorn, enable drivers to pass the stress of commuting on to a bus driver, but it still takes a car to get to that point. Free street parking is widely available in Elkhorn. Sidewalks exist in some neighborhoods, but most of the newer developments aren't especially pedestrian friendly.

It's easy to bike throughout this small community and possible to pedal into downtown Omaha, although Elkhorn lacks a designated bike trail. The old Lincoln Highway, sections of which bear historic brick paving, makes for a scenic bike route with little heavy traffic or trucks. Taxi service can be called in from downtown Omaha and Uber has a presence here as well.

Cost

A core section of small, older housing, mainly post-World War II, gives home buyers an affordable way into the community. A one-bedroom apartment costs $861 a month. Gas prices run about 5 percent lower than the national average. A pint of beer sets you back just $2 to $4 a pint, and the prices for some of the best-quality of steaks in the world can't be beat — Less than $20 can buy a tender rib-eye with all the sides at the best chophouses.

Shopping

Clustered along the brick streets of historic Olde Town Elkhorn, unique and local gift shops, sweet little cafes, spas and galleries beckon pedestrians to spend a few pleasant hours browsing. Elkhorn remains a country place to old-timers and nostalgia buffs, and Elkhorn's antique stores keep this spirit alive.

The Whistle Stop Country Store sells "rescued" furniture, antiques and creatively repurposed goods from yesteryear. Little Scandinavia brings a touch of the old country to Omaha in the form of woolly Nordic sweaters and Scandinavian cookbooks, baking tools, children's books and imported foods and gifts. Andrea's Design helps customers make their homes warm and distinctive, with seasonal decor, custom furniture and artisan accessories. Artists and lovers of ceramic home accents can lose themselves in Studioviews, a shop and studio packed with shining mosaic sculptures, tilework and garden decor. Classes, supplies and project space help make this a gathering place for artists. On Wednesdays, customers can paint a ceramic bisque piece at a steep discount.

J & J Quality Meats sells a full range of locally raised and processed meats, but most Elkhorn residents head down to the Hy-Vee or Fareway stores just south of town for a full grocery run. Nature's Grocers specializes in natural, organic goods and produce. A farmer's market brings local produce and a little community social time to downtown every summer.

Parks

Elkhorn residents enjoy free access to nature on all sides. To the west of the neighborhood, the scenic Elkhorn River flows south to the Platte River, and alongside it, TaHaZouka Park preserves 180 acres of riverbank and open space, including stately old trees, sports fields and rugged pre-World War II park buildings constructed by Works Progress Administration workers. An off-leash dog recreation area here separates small and big dogs into two fenced play spaces.

East of Elkhorn, the Bluestem Prairie Preserve gives visitors a small glimpse of the once vast prairie that covered Nebraska. To the northeast, the Standing Bear Lake Reservoir gives more big-sky views. A jaunt down the hiking trails might result in lucky sightings of native birds and wildlife.

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Legacy Commons

Apartments for Rent in South Elkhorn, Omaha, NE

Visualize the American Old West, and you might picture something that looks like the Elkhorn neighborhood on the far western edge of Omaha. Historic downtown Elkhorn could be the set for a John Wayne film, with its unadorned brick buildings, dusty streets and remnants of bluestem prairie on the outskirts of town. In fact, the novel and film "True Grit" takes place in this part of Nebraska, pre-statehood. A few blocks outside of those frontier-esque buildings, however, it's clear that the past is gone, and today's Elkhorn is a modern suburban community complete with contemporary retail stores, gorgeous golf courses, good schools and a comfortable pace of life.

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