What changed Oklahoma City from a sleepy, stodgy town into an exciting place to visit? Beginning in 1993, Oklahoma Citians voted to tax themselves to fund projects to revitalize the city. The success was so striking that voters extended the program twice. The result is a city so cool it has been listed in National Geographic Traveler’s list of 20 of the world’s “go now” destinations. Downtown now hums with activity – great restaurants, entertainment venues and the roar of “Thunder Up!” heralding the NBA home team. This itinerary will give you a glimpse of this great city – and leave you wanting more.
Start the day at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. Tour the museum first. It’s not an easy visit as it deals with one of the most tragic moments in the city’s history. But it also focuses on the caring community and what has become known as the Oklahoma City Standard.
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is just a few blocks southwest of the Memorial. The striking Chihuly Tower in the entrance will prepare you for the great collection of Chihuly glass, just part of a worthy permanent collection. Also in the museum you’ll find a well-stocked gift shop, a cinema and the Museum Café, a delightful place for lunch.
South on Hudson to Sheridan, you’ll come to the Myriad Botanical Gardens and Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. Wander through the variety of gardens and enjoy water features, art and landscaping; then tour the centerpiece of this city-block green space, the Crystal Bridge.
If you’re driving – the best way to get around Oklahoma City – you will probably have parked your car somewhere near the Memorial or Art Museum. Save yourself a walk by catching the free Downtown Discovery bus back to your auto.
Head west to Historic Stockyards City, an area that serves both real and urban cowboys. Check out the western wear emporia before moseying down the street for dinner at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. If you’re here on Saturday night, enjoy great live entertainment at the Rodeo Opry.
End your evening with a trip back to the National Memorial. The scene at night is serene and moving with the dark reflecting pool and the Field of Empty Chairs. A night at the historic Skirvin Hotel will give you a taste of old Oklahoma City.
First stop is the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Plan a couple of hours here; there’s so much to see – everything from art to rodeo rules.
Bricktown is a great place for lunch, shopping and strolling. Take a ride on a Water Taxi on the Bricktown Canal and get an up-close-and-personal look at the Land Run Monument.
As you walk around Bricktown, take note of the many restaurants and clubs and plan your evening accordingly. Whether it’s movies, bowling, a baseball or basketball game or a late drink at a brewpub or bar, you’ll find plenty to do here.