Oklahoma Metropolis calls itself the trendy frontier, summing up in two phrases its personal explicit model of rugged stylish. In fact, like many cosmopolitan cities, Oklahoma’s capital can give you virtually any type of household trip. Outdoorsy, artsy, academic, sensational — just about no matter you need, you’ll find one thing to go well with in OKC. Spend the day using coasters at Six Flags and the night watching skilled ballerinas pirouette.
However for those who’re on the lookout for a singular only-in-OKC expertise, try this listing. I included what we have been in a position to squeeze right into a weekend getaway, though in case you have extra time, stick round to the top the place I added a couple of additional journey concepts together with a suggestion of the place to remain.
1. Eat at Cattlemen’s
In the event you go to OKC and don’t eat at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, have been you even there? Situated within the coronary heart of Stockyards Metropolis, Cattlemen’s isn’t only a restaurant — it’s an Oklahoma Metropolis establishment.
Dishing up hearty cuts of beef and luxury meals since 1910, Cattlemen’s initially served as a spot for hungry cowboys, ranchers, and haulers to get some filling grub after a cattle drive.
Whereas it’s modified palms a couple of occasions since — together with being received and misplaced in a smoky backroom cube sport — the ambiance stays largely unchanged. Images cowl the partitions commemorating well-known friends, together with film stars and presidents. And also you’ll nonetheless discover loads of genuine cowboys bellying up for a stable meal.
Scrumptious, completely cooked steaks include a buttery roll, a baked potato, and a salad topped with their well-known home made dressing. In the event you’re feeling adventurous, I like to recommend ordering the lamb fries as an appetizer. They’re a traditional. Spherical out the meal with a slice of their well-known coconut cream pie.
2. Go to the Cowboy Museum
You don’t need to be into cowboys and even like museums to understand the Nationwide Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. There are big sculptures and positive artwork work, weaponry and Western put on. You’ll study Native American tradition and Previous West traditions like rodeos and cowboy motion pictures.
Our favourite gallery was Prosperity Juncture, the place you’ll be able to stroll by means of a recreated cattle city with a financial institution, saloon, jail, church, steady, and extra. Some play recordings of conversations between characters who would possibly go to these locations, making it all of the extra life-like.
Finest for households: Situated exterior, Liichokoshkomo’ lets children study by means of play, together with grinding corn, loading a pioneer wagon, and plotting constellations to information your journey west.
3. Bike the Trails
After I checked Tripadvisor for issues to do in Oklahoma Metropolis, Experience OKC was ranked No. 1 for out of doors actions, which tells you a couple of issues. For one, you’ll be able to surmise that they’ve high quality bikes and good customer support, and so they completely do. They’ll even convey the bikes to you.
However most significantly, you recognize you’ll have enjoyable. You possibly can hire a set of wheels like we did and cycle alongside the river. The path is huge and flat, good for households. It takes about 20 minutes for a leisurely journey over to the Boathouse District after which as much as the large Centennial Land Run Monument, an set up of 45 bronze sculptures displaying horses and wagons crossing the canal.
Whereas not on a path, a visit from Experience OKC to the Paseo Arts District takes lower than quarter-hour, and it’s a straight shot on Walker Avenue, which has a devoted bike lane. The humanities district is enjoyable for procuring, searching the artwork galleries, and taking selfies with all of the Crayola-colored partitions as a backdrop.
You can too take considered one of Experience OKC’s guided bike excursions. They’re themed for various pursuits starting from breweries to ghost excursions. If you wish to see one of the best websites within the metropolis, strive the Artwork + Structure tour the place you’ll study OKC’s storied historical past, together with the heroes and villains of the notorious Oklahoma Land Run.
Don’t miss: The superb Scissortail Park is true by Experience OKC. They’ve a great deal of occasions right here, and the “sprayground” is a should for teenagers in summer time!
4. Savor Vietnamese Flavors
Whereas it might not look like it at first look, Oklahoma Metropolis is shortly turning into recognized for its worldwide delicacies — significantly Vietnamese meals. On the prime of my listing is Cafe de l’Asie, a cute Asian-inspired bistro in downtown Oklahoma Metropolis with some French fusion aptitude.
Whether or not you’re craving a decadent banh mi or need lighter fare, similar to Chef Vuong’s Salad with blueberries and strawberries, Cafe de l’Asie has you lined. I like to recommend beginning off with the rooster cheesesteak egg rolls, which can simply be one of the best eggroll I’ve ever had, after which sampling a number of the steamed buns. The fried shrimp bun with lemon aioli and the pork stomach bun have been our favorites.
And you’ll’t go fallacious with the meat bulgogi. It’s filling, not too spicy, and all-around satisfying. In the event you’ve bought a candy tooth, you’ll want to decide up one of many Thai teas as properly. They style nearly as good as they appear.
5. Immerse Your self in Touchable Artwork
Combine Tape, an immersive artwork expertise created by Manufacturing facility Obscura, could also be Oklahoma Metropolis’s most inventive attraction. Situated in downtown’s Car Alley, Combine Tape isn’t your typical look-but-don’t-touch artwork gallery. Right here, guests are inspired to the touch, look, hear, work together, create, and luxuriate in artwork on their very own phrases.
In the event you’re simply passing by, you’ll be able to play with the “Boombox” show exterior. Styled as an enormous cassette participant, it has buttons you’ll be able to push for music and different sounds. Inside, you’ll discover 6,000 sq. toes of sensory artwork impressed by music. The area is crammed stuffed with issues to discover: tiny dioramas, tunnels to crawl by means of, a slide, a moody teenager’s bed room, and a video name to someplace in New Mexico. It’s mind-boggling.
Household picture op: Head to the heart-shaped hallway, lined with stuffed animals, or the fuzzy-walled disco cave proper whenever you enter.
6. Hit the (Dessert) Bar
You may not be hitting up OKC’s nightlife scene if it is a household trip, however you’ll be able to nonetheless cling on the coolest bar on the town — Perets Dessert & Espresso Bar. The comfortable setting, subtle decor, and Instagrammable desserts will you’ll want to please teenagers — and everybody else in your celebration.
Vital is the affogato, an indulgent mixture of Oklahoma-made ice cream and toppings paired with a shot of espresso. Taste combos embody vanilla with raspberry sauce and rose-sugared pistachios and blueberry compote with oat streusel crumble. They’ve nice espresso together with numerous different desserts. Don’t overlook the from-scratch chocolate chip cookie. It’s superb.
7. Do the Zoo
OKC has greater than horses and cattle. Spanning over 130 acres, the Oklahoma Metropolis Zoo is dwelling to over 1,900 animals from as distant as Asia and Africa. One of many highlights is the Nice EscAPE, the place you stand up shut and private with orangutans and gorillas. Close by, the Sanctuary Asia part homes the zoo’s herd of Asian elephants.
The Oklahoma Trails reveals are a should too. Right here you’ll see Oklahoma’s native wildlife, together with black bears, alligators, and bison.
Particularly for teenagers: Cease by the Youngsters’s Zoo to pet goats, see monkeys and lorikeets, or play within the splash pad.
8. Cease and Odor the Backyard
Only a block from Bricktown close to Scissortail Park, Myriad Botanical Gardens is an oasis smack in the course of downtown OKC. The gardens are finest recognized for the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, housing a two-level waterfall, terraces, a mirrored image pool, and a bunch of tropical crops. It’s laborious to take a nasty picture right here.
There’s loads to take pleasure in exterior the conservatory too. Youngsters can journey Mo’s Carousel, mother and father can browse the store, and everybody can admire the out of doors gardens. In the event you occur to go to over winter, they open up an ice skating rink. Verify their calendar earlier than you go — the gardens are a hotspot for festivals and occasions distinctive to Oklahoma Metropolis.
9. Tour the Capitol
The Oklahoma State Capitol constructing is a good place for households to go to. The Capitol Rotunda, finest seen from the second flooring, is price a go to by itself. On sunny days, the stained glass shines in blue, gold, and pink. Surrounding the rotunda are hallways stuffed with colourful art work that paperwork Oklahoma’s historical past.
Earlier than leaving, you’ll want to cease by the Oklahoma State Capitol Museum contained in the capitol constructing. The museum has animated projections that’ll maintain even youthful ones entertained in addition to a set of fascinating artifacts. You’ll get an opportunity to take a look at a working draft of the Oklahoma Structure, the quill utilized by Teddy Roosevelt to signal the Sooner State into statehood, and extra. Additionally they do guided excursions.
Bonus: Each a self-guided go to and the excursions are fully free, making this attraction budget-friendly for households.
A lot Extra in OKC
In the event you’re on the lookout for extra traditional OKC sights, two others so as to add to your listing are the Oklahoma Metropolis Nationwide Memorial & Museum, which remembers the 1995 Oklahoma Metropolis bombing, and the First Individuals Museum, which celebrates the heritage of 39 indigenous tribes.
Taking a narrated water taxi journey down the canal in Bricktown is one other quintessential expertise. Bricktown is without doubt one of the coolest neighborhoods in OKC, and I extremely advocate spending a night right here simply strolling (or cruising) round earlier than or after dinner.
Guide Your Keep in OKC
Bricktown can be a fantastic place for households to remain. We cherished the Hampton Inn & Suites in Bricktown. Its location is tough to beat, with a baseball stadium, banjo museum, a great deal of eating places, and a sprawling leisure complicated known as Brickopolis — gem mining, mini golf, laser tag, arcade, and so on. — all simply steps from our entrance door. The suites are particularly handy since you’ll be able to put teenagers in a connecting room and everybody will get their very own area. And the free breakfast was scrumptious. I might simply have stayed right here for every week.
And also you would possibly wish to. As a result of it looks like there’s at all times extra to do in OKC, this cultured cattle city the place exploring and new discoveries go along with the territory.