You Can’t Say No: 20 Things To Do In Oklahoma!

You Can’t Say No: 20 Things To Do In Oklahoma!
| 9 min read

The city of Oklahoma, in South Central USA, is best-known for its cowboy culture and the capitol complex that is surrounded by working oil wells. But not many people know much about the city beyond that. In actual fact, this eighth-largest American city is more cosmopolitan than people think. There are modern museums, galleries of international art, lavish gardens, and so much more to experience and enjoy. Here are 20 exciting things that anyone can enjoy while visiting Oklahoma:

1. Pass through Route 66

There’s really no beating Route 66 when it comes to road trips. The full stretch of Route 66 extends from Chicago to Los Angeles, but did you know the longest run actually cuts diagonally through the state of Oklahoma? The iconic road begins in the northeastern corner of the state and runs through Tulsa and Oklahoma City, before crossing the border into Texas.

If you’re in Oklahoma, don’t miss the chance to experience the simple pleasure of a road trip. Check out the roadside attractions along the route, such as the Blue Whale of Catoosa, Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park and Foyil, and the National Route 66 and Transportation Museum, just to name a few.

Route 66

Website: Roadtrip USA - Route 66

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2. Enjoy some tranquility at Lake Hefner

If you are a nature buff and are always craving the great outdoors, just head to Lake Hefner, located in central Oklahoma. Dozens of water bird species stop along the lake’s shoreline during their annual migrations, making this a perfect spot for bird watching.

Lake Hefner is a brilliant location for sailing, picnicking, and fishing. In fact, the Oklahoma City Boat Club conducts races and regattas here. If these things aren’t up your alley, it is still worth a trip to just appreciate the tranquility. Also, the sunsets views are unbeatable.

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3. Visit Myriad Botanical Gardens

If you expect this to be just another botanical garden, think again. Located in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City, Myriad Botanical Gardens is a 17-acre (6.9-hectare) plant museum that houses not only bright blooms but also a children’s garden and splash fountains. There are also paths for walking and jogging, perfect for those seeking some solitude with nature without going far out from the city.

After being renovated in 2011, there has been an addition of a new LED lighting system that illuminates the entire structure at night with an array of colors. Myriad Botanical Gardens also hosts a great number of events and concerts throughout the year, so check out the website for all the happenings!

Myriad Botanical Gardens

Address: 301 W Reno Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Opening Hours: Daily 9 am - 5 pm. Sundays 11 am - 5 pm

Contact: +1 405-445-7080

Website: Myriad Botanical Gardens

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4. Have your share of thrills at Riversport Adventures

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Craving an adrenaline rush? Look no further, as you’ll get more than just a fix at Riversport Adventures, the most exciting attraction on the Oklahoma River.

The highlight here is none other than the SandRidge Sky Trail, a towering 80-foot (24-meter) structure that houses a thrilling adventure course It is the tallest one of its kind in the world! It has six levels of challenges, and they only get harder the higher you climb. This one is definitely not for the weak-hearted.

Buckle up! You can choose to speed down the 72-foot (22-meter) Sky Slide (America’s tallest dry slide), or free fall from the Rumble Drop. If that’s still not enough, go straight for the SandRidge Sky Zip, a 700-foot (213-meter) zip line across the Oklahoma River and back.

Riversport Adventures

Address: 800 Riversport Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73129

Duration: around 4 hours required

Contact: +1 405-552-4040

Website: Riversport Adventures

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5. Thunder up at Chesapeake Energy Arena

Oklahoma City May 2016 14 (Chesapeake Energy Arena)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michael Barera used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Chesapeake Energy Arena has been home to the Oklahoma City Thunder Basketball since the formation of the NBA team in 2008. And even if you are not a basketball enthusiast, it’s just a must to experience a live NBA game in the arena and bask in the thundered-up atmosphere when there is a fast-paced game with passionate supporters all around. You can’t help but spring up to your feet every time the game heats up in the last few seconds!

On the days where there are no games, the arena hosts a variety of major world-class events and concerts. Pst, Blink 182, and Pentatonix are scheduled to perform this year (2016), so book your tickets now!

Chesapeake Energy Arena

Address: 100 W Reno Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Website: Chesapeake Energy Arena

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6. Hit it off at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark

Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ensign beedrill used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you’re not into basketball, why not head to Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark for some baseball action instead? It’s home to the favorite minor league team, Oklahoma City Dodgers, a Triple-A affiliate of the prestigious Los Angeles Dodgers. The ballpark also hosts a number of other events throughout the year, including concerts and college and high school games. But if you’re visiting the city in the winter, keep your eyes peeled for when the ball park opens for snow tubing. Fun for the whole family!

Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark

Address: 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Click here for more info

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7. Catch a horse show at the State Fair Park

Horse shows
Source: iStock

Located in the heart of the city, State Fair Park houses a world-class equestrian facility, and even hosts some top national and world championship horse shows in Oklahoma City. Come see the best riders and real-life cowboys and cowgirls, from not only across the country but also the world, as they rope and ride the galloping horses!

State Fair Park

Address: 3001 General Pershing Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73107

Website: State Fair Park

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8. Climb UP OKC

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Did ya know that the wear and tear on your #climbingshoes might tell you something about your footwork? Pro climber...

Posted by Summit Climbing, Yoga & Fitness on Monday, January 20, 2020

If you’re looking for a fun challenge, look no further than Climb UP OKC. This climbing gym is situated just a little bit south of downtown and Bricktown, in the thick of all the excitement of Oklahoma City.

What’s unique about this climbing gym is that it is actually a set of grain silos, making the routes here (up to 140 feet / 42.7 meters) longer than at most other gyms. Plus, the city views from here are unbeatable. And fret not if you are not confident enough for the long challenge, as they have training courses available for all ages and skill levels!

Climb UP OKC

Address: 200 SE 4th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73129

Opening Hours: Weekdays: 2 pm - 10 pm, Saturdays: 10 am - 8 pm, Sundays: 11 am - 7 pm

Contact: +1 405-673-7448

Website: Climb UP OKC

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9. Take a stroll at Bricktown

Bricktown is Oklahoma City’s most up-and-coming entertainment and dining district. The brick structures used to be warehouses, constructed from 1898 and 1903. The district is also decorated with a number of public sculptures and murals, including a monument to the historical Oklahoma Land Run.

Tip: the best way to experience Bricktown is have a meal at one of the many restaurants, then take a water taxi ride along Bricktown Canal as you learn about the city’s history and renaissance.


Access: Accessible from I-40, I-35 and I-235

Website: Bricktown

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10. Gallery hop at Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Oklahoma City May 2016 31 (Oklahoma City Museum of Art)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michael Barera used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Oklahoma City Museum of Art is one not to be missed if you are an art enthusiast. It’s conveniently located in the downtown Arts District, and houses an impressive permanent collection of European and American art. Also, the most comprehensive collection of the world-famous, colorful Chihuly glass in the world can be found here!

If you are in the area on a Thursday night from May- October, drop by for “Cocktails on the Skyline”, where you can grab a cocktail on the museum rooftop from 5 pm - 10 pm.

Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Address: 415 Couch Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Opening Hours: Tue - Sat: 10 am - 5 pm, Sun: 12 noon - 5 pm. Closed on Mondays.

Contact: +1 405-236-3100

Website: Oklahoma City Museum of Art

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11. Enter the Womb

Source: Photo by user Womb Gallery used under CC BY 2.0

Plastered with vibrant-colored murals of robots and geometric shapes, it is no wonder that the Womb is a stand-out in downtown Oklahoma City.

Inside, The Womb is an arts complex, where it’s a home to psychedelic contemporary art shows, avant garde music performances and a creative agency. It also features an interactive room where there are 3D glasses and visitors can add to the art by writing or drawing their own designs on the walls. If you’d like an artsy experience like no other, this is the place to be.

The Womb

Address: 25 NW 9th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Opening Hours: 10 am - 6 pm. Closed on Sundays

Contact: +1 405-600-6366

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12. Explore the Paseo Arts District

The Paseo Arts District has historic roots, being built in 1929 as the first shopping district north of downtown. It’s also the oldest arts district community in Oklahoma City.

If you have a free weekend, take a nice stroll along this two-block street lined with stucco buildings and clay-tiled roofs. You’ll feel like you are in a little Spanish village! There are 20 galleries and more than 60 artists in this little district, some of them giving live demonstrations. Plus, the streets are dotted with cool restaurants, clothing boutiques, and graphic arts studios. There is simply so much to see and do.

Paseo Arts District

Address: 3022 Paseo, Oklahoma City, OK 73103

Contact: +1 405-525-2688

Website: Paseo Arts District

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13. Catch a show at the Lyric Theater of Oklahoma

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma is the leading professional theatre company in the state, and was even listed as one of the 10 best places to see a show off Broadway. This is a testament to the quality of the productions and programs they put on. So why not treat yourself to either classic or contemporary musicals and plays?

Fun fact: Kristin Chenoweth, one of Wicked’s leading ladies and is now a household name, hailed from Oklahoma City, and even performed at the Lyric Theatre numerous times while she was in college!

Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma

Address: 1727 NW 16th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73106

Duration: around 3 hours required

Contact: +1 405-524-9310

Website: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma

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14. Take a tour inside Oklahoma State Capitol

Oklahoma State Capitol (2522081363)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Serge Melki used under CC BY 2.0

The Oklahoma State Capitol is the house of government of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. It houses the Oklahoma Legislature and executive branch offices. It was built in 1917, but the Greco-Roman structure was topped with a dome only in 2002. Inside, you’ll find murals and paintings of Oklahoma’s history amongst the 650 rooms and 11 acres (4.4 hectares) of floor space.

If you are a history or art buff, don’t miss a tour of this place. Self-guided tours are available on weekdays (8 am - 5 pm) and on weekends (9 am - 4 pm). Or opt for weekday tours conducted by trained volunteers, at 9 am, 10 am, and 11 am, and then in the afternoon at 1 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm.

Oklahoma State Capitol

Address: 2300 N Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Duration: around 2 hours required

Contact: +1 405-521-3356

Website: Oklahoma State Capitol

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15. Reflect at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

Oklahoma City National Memorial 4922
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dual Freq used under CC BY 2.5

On April 19, 1995, the domestic terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building shook the world. It left 168 people dead and many more injured.

Now, the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum serves to venerate those who were killed, those who survived, and others affected by this tragedy. It is also dedicated to educate visitors about the impact of violence, as well as inspire hope and healing through lessons learnt by the survivors.

If anyone’s wondering, the numbers on the Gates of Time ‘9:02’ marks the formal entrances to the Outdoor Memorial '9:01’ found on the eastern gate, represents the last moments of peace, while its opposite on the western gate, 9:03, represents the first moments of recovery.

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

Address: 620 N Harvey Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Contact: +1 405-235-3313

Website: Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

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16. Unearth history at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Gorup de Besanez used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Take yourself back to the past at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. They have amazing art and exhibitions that tell the story of the American West.

There are several galleries, including the Art of the American West that displays more than 2,000 paintings and sculptures, and the American Cowboy Gallery, showcasing thousands of objects (think saddles, weapons, and cowboy gear) that interpret the history of cowboys.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Address: 1700 NE 63rd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73111

Opening Hours: Daily 10 am - 5 pm

Contact: +1 405-478-2250

Website: National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

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17. Aviate through the 99s Museum of Women Pilots

This is the only museum dedicated to women pilots and preserving the history of women in aviation. You can see personal artifacts from Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and the first president of the Ninety-Nines. They also have a fantastic display on the 1929 Women’s Air Derby where they raced from Santa Monica to Cleveland. For the younger ones, there’s a little interactive area and a flight simulator.

99s Museum of Women Pilots

Address: 4300 Amelia Earhart Ln, Oklahoma City, OK 73159

Opening Hours: 9 am - 6 pm. Closed on public holidays

Contact: +1 405-685-9990

Website: 99s Museum of Women Pilots

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18. Dig deep at the Museum of Osteology

Museum of osteology
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sklmsta used under CC0

A whole museum full of skeletons? What’s not to like? The Museum of Osteology along with Skulls Unlimited boasts an extensive collection, including a 40-foot-long (12.2-meter-long) humpback whale skeleton weighing almost 2,500 pounds (1,134 kilograms)!

Anyone visiting here will surely leave in awe after witnessing the walls of hundreds of skulls and skeletons from around the world. One of the more notable ones is a Komodo dragon, which was a gift from Indonesia to George W. Bush.

Museum of Osteology

Address: 10301 S Sunnylane Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73160

Opening Hours: Weekdays: 8 am - 5 pm, Sat: 11 am - 5 pm, Sun: 1 pm - 5 pm

Contact: +1 405-814-0006

Website: Museum of Osteology

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19. Trace your family roots with Oklahoma Genealogy

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

If your family have a connection to Oklahoma, why not take a journey of self-discovery and trace your family tree? Oklahoma is home to 39 federally-recognised native tribes, such as Cherokee and Pawnee. And since the great Okie migration during the Dust Bowl days until now, Oklahoma holds the keys to unlocking many family histories waiting to be discovered. All you need is a blank family tree, some curiosity, and a willingness to find out about your own roots!

Oklahoma Genealogy

Click here for more info

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20. Bask in nature's glory at Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user MARELBU used under CC BY 3.0

If you have more time to spare, drive out of the city and into the nature at Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. In southwest Oklahoma, it’s situated near Cache and Lawton, and spans over 59,000 majestic acres (23,876 hectares). If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some free range buffalo, Texas longhorn cattle, prairie dogs, elk, and deer.

Plus, hikers and photographers will be astounded by the amount of incredibly scenic views offered within the refuge. More into recreational activities? There are plenty of opportunities for mountain biking, rock climbing, rappelling, hiking, camping, picnicking, and fishing!

Wichita Wildlife Refuge

Website: Wichita Wildlife Refuge

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More than an OK City

Downtown Oklahoma City skyline at twilight
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Greater Oklahoma ... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Oklahoma’s capital city is evidently steeped in Southern charm, but if you dig deep enough, you’ll see that it’s also home to one of the fastest-growing entertainment districts in the southwest, as well as home to many top-rated museums and urban living. So why not tick another one off your vacation bucket list with all the exciting things Oklahoma City has to offer? Get planning!

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20 Things To Do In Oklahoma
Source: Trip101

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Bina is a Liberal Arts graduate. She loves meeting new people and listening to what they have to say as she believes everyone has a story to tell. She spends way too much time watching TV shows and...Read more

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