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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City

Great times on the Great Plains greet visitors to OKC

Modern-day cowboys and the slam-dunking Thunder make a lot of noise in Oklahoma’s capital city. With its past steeped in the Western frontier and its present filled with a thriving entertainment scene, this Western hub is primed for your visit.

Big Oil and Big City Draws

Roping up some fun isn’t hard at all in Oklahoma City. The NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder knows how to get its fans going at Chesapeake Energy Arena. So do competitors in other major venues for which Oklahoma City is known, including the Oklahoma City Dodgers at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and equestrians in the championship horse shows held throughout the year at State Fair Park. Want to know where to get a pair of those fancy cowboy boots? Head out to Stockyards City, a real-life, working stockyards. Not only will you find cowboy boots (and some colorful ones at that), but also the legendary Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, whose guests, according to the restaurant, have included at least one former U.S. President.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum takes visitors on a chronological, self-guided tour through the events of April 19, 1995. On that day, a terrorist detonated a bomb that destroyed Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The memorial that now stands in its place offers a glimpse into the city’s journey through loss, resilience, justice and hope. A free mobile app (available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play) provides video and audio tours for the outdoor memorial and museum.

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You’ll notice that Oklahoma City has many districts. Visit the Paseo Arts District for strolling through galleries or the Plaza District for Oklahoma’s distinctive craft beers.

“A” is for Automobile Alley, with its iconic, neon signs marking the original sites of car dealerships. These days, the area has traded in its old wheels for a new model — shopping, a winery, restaurants and several spots for happy hour. Make an “A” list jaunt to Adventure District, home to the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Gardens, where you can feed giraffes or even touch stingrays. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum conjures up the rich cultural past of the Old West. There is also Science Museum Oklahoma and the National Softball Hall of Fame.

Bricktown, a former warehouse district, is now a major entertainment, shopping and dining hub just a short walk from downtown. Stroll through unique places such as the American Banjo Museum.

Take a ride on a Bricktown Water Taxi along the Bricktown Canal to enjoy a narrated tour of this mile-long water route. Board and exit at any one of the docks along the canal through Bricktown, all the way to the Boathouse District.

A couple of blocks from Bricktown is Myriad Botanical Gardens, fifteen acres of nature right in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City. This local favorite is home to the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, a wonderland of 750 varieties of plants accented by cascading waterfalls.

Lovers of art will find plenty of inspiration in town. In the atrium of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is a 55-foot high glass sculpture by famed artist Dale Chihuly, widely considered among one of the most important glass artists in this medium.

Learn more about the city and the state of Oklahoma at the Capitol Building or at the Oklahoma History Center. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, the center is located right across from the capital building. Its learning center sprawls 215,000 square feet, housing a number of hands-on audio/video and computer activities for all ages. On the grounds is a walking tour called the Red River Journey. On display are remains of the steamboat Heroine, a paddleboat that sank in the Red River in 1838 during a trip to deliver vital supplies to soldiers. Archeologists have since recovered vital relics from the wreck, including clothing, foodstuffs and equipment used by the crew.

The center also has an outdoor oil field exhibit with oil-drilling derricks and other machinery linked to the fascinating story of Oklahoma oil exploration.

Cool Off and Refresh at on the Oklahoma River or Lake Hefner

The Oklahoma River is a glistening necklace of water draped around the southern end of Oklahoma City. It is home to the Boathouse District, where Olympic athletes train to compete in rowing, canoeing and kayaking at RIVERSPORT Rapids, a brand-new whitewater rafting and kayaking center for ages eight and older. The SandRidge Sky Trail boasts that it is the tallest adventure course of its kind in the world.

Look up and you’ll see Wheeler Ferris Wheel, a transplanted icon from the famous Santa Monica Pier in California. Its new home is on the south shore of the Oklahoma River. For either a single ride or a day pass, visitors can treat themselves to a view of downtown Oklahoma City from 100 feet in the air.

Lake Hefner is considered a relaxation station in OKC. Try your hand at kite or wind surfing or watch the sailboats harness the Oklahoma winds. There is also a ten mile, paved bicycle trail that circles the lake.

There is BBQ. And then there is BBQ in OKC, Home to Legendary Flavors

No doubt many a barbecue aficionado has left the table of an Oklahoma City barbecue restaurant wondering how they missed out for so long. Jack’s has been smoking ’em up for 45 years on historic Route 66. NFL star Billy Sims, whose alma mater is the University of Oklahoma, has a chain of restaurants claiming victory over the competition when it comes to barbecue. Whether wet or dry rub, on-site smokehouse or a mobile one, you’re sure to find barbecue and other treats to satisfy your taste buds.

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Oklahoma City



Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department