2023 Oklahoma City Visitors Guide
One of America’s hidden gems, Oklahoma City offers everything from intriguing museums to some of the region’s top nightlife, dining, and shopping options. The city boasts a wide array of things to see and do that belie its low-key reputation. From elegant parks to top-rated restaurants to superb cultural attractions and museums, Oklahoma City offers plenty of hidden surprises to discover.
One of the city’s premier visitor attractions is Bricktown, a historic warehouse district that’s been revitalized as a hub for shopping, dining, and nightlife. Known for its iconic canals and historic architecture, Bricktown is home to a wealth of bars, clubs, galleries, restaurants, and stores to explore as well as activities like water taxi rides and horse-drawn buggy rides. Another top attraction in Oklahoma City is the somber Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, the site of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Elsewhere in the city, visitors can discover thrilling amusement parks like Frontier City, vibrant neighborhoods like the Paseo and the Asia District, and the Myriad Gardens, a verdant urban park known for its beautiful botanical garden.
Oklahoma City also sports a wide variety of museums and cultural institutions for visitors to discover. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art holds one of the region’s most impressive collections of artwork from across the world while the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is one of the country’s leading destinations for the history and heritage of the Old West. The Oklahoma History Center offers the perfect place to learn about the state’s rich and fascinating history while the Science Museum Oklahoma, one of the state’s top science and natural history museums, is a fun and educational attraction for visitors of all ages. The Oklahoma Railway Museum is yet another top museum in the city, home to one of the country’s largest collections of railroad history and its impact on American life. The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is a great place for children and adults alike, boasting an impressive wildlife exhibition and vast expanses of beautiful flora and greenery. Other museums and landmarks in Oklahoma City include the National Softball Hall of Fame, the American Banjo Museum, and the Museum of Osteology, one of the most unique museums in the country.
Oklahoma City also offers superb music venues, top-notch restaurants and a plethora of shops, boutique stores, and art galleries to explore. Whatever you’re looking for, this vibrant and historic city has plenty to offer year-round.
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About Downtown Oklahoma City
Marvel at the Treasures of Downtown Oklahoma City. Discover a place experiencing a renaissance making it attractive for people to eat, live, and play. Whether you come for business or recreational travel, know that the downtown area features the accommodations, attractions, dining establishments and resources to meet any of your needs. Explore the downtown area, and discover rich surprises that create lasting memories and goodwill for this emerging metropolis.
Located in the heart of the state of Oklahoma, know that the downtown area of Oklahoma City abounds with charming Western values and an energetic atmosphere that is perfectly suited for your next business meeting or personal vacation. Enjoy a bevy of cultural institutions that expand your horizons like visiting the Civic Center Music House. Experience terrific live sporting events that invigorate your trip with excitement and joy such as watching the Oklahoma Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Explore the downtown area at your pace or take advantage of one of the tours offered by various organizations like the OKC Visitors Bureau. Find an increasing assortment of comfortable hotel accommodations prepared to meet the needs of business and leisure travelers to the downtown area. Trust that they offer the most comprehensive amenities including wireless Internet access, business centers, fitness gym, restaurants, concierge and swimming facilities.
Scratch that itch for shopping and energetic nightlife activities with easy access from downtown. Find refined jewelry shops, department stores and sporting goods shops, among other retail outlets. Head to the Arts District for drinks and dancing opportunities. Meet clients and locals at Deep Deuce for libations and food. Explore Automobile Alley for steaks, Mexican cuisine and delectable cupcakes.
Relish the bountiful opportunities Downtown Oklahoma City offers its guests and locals. Appreciate the city’s rise from its past as a metropolis “born” in one day with the generous attractions and events that have underscored its emergence. Whether you visit the downtown area for work reasons or pleasure, believe that the city affords an experience that creates fond memories. Come to Downtown Oklahoma City and discover an evolving locale rich in modern appeal and traditional charm.
Oklahoma City Downtown
In downtown Oklahoma City, there is something for everyone to explore. This city is chock full of unique attractions. Frontier City, the Science Museum and the Oklahoma City Zoo are a must for tourists and these are just scratching the surface of what downtown Oklahoma City has to offer. No visit to Oklahoma City is complete without finding that perfect steak. After all, the city is known for having some of the best steaks in the country. Many locals would suggest visiting Cattlemen’s, Red Prime Steak and also The Mantel for some of the best steak you’ll ever eat. It’s very easy to get around downtown Oklahoma City by car. However, you can also travel by bus if you’d prefer not to rent a car. The bus is the best option if you don’t have a car and will be staying in the downtown area. Fortunately, the vast majority of the attractions in the area are in or near downtown so everything is conveniently located. Downtown Hotel Service offers Hotels near Downtown Oklahoma City that are quality hotels at an affordable price.
Oklahoma City Weather
Oklahoma City is in an area that can see weather shifts on a daily basis. The seasons in the city are well-defined. The summers tend to be hot with large amounts of sunlight and moderate humidity. The winters are mild in comparison to some other areas. Winds from the south often blow constantly through the city. These winds can become cold in the winter when the direction changes. Extreme weather does occur although the most damaging events are rare despite the recent storm and tornado clusters. The city has clear skies nearly 70 percent of the year. The average annual temperature for the city is 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The hot weather in Oklahoma City lasts from June to September although the months immediately before and after this period can be very warm as well. The summers provide a consistent level of heat that averages above 90 degrees for two or more months every year. The usually sunny skies increase the heat in the city. The weather shifts frequently. Rain could start and end within an hour or two and is not normally a problem. Nighttime temperatures are comfortable and average around 65 to 70 degrees. The frequent strong winds in the city often cool down residents negating some of the heat during the summer.
The winters in Oklahoma City are mild to cold depending on natural fluctuations. The temperatures hover around the 50-degree mark during the daytime and fall to the 40s or just around freezing at night. Several inches of snowfall every year although the bright sun and warm daytime temperatures melt it away quickly. One exception to the normally mild winter weather occurs when strong northern winds blow into the city. This can lower temperatures quickly to uncomfortable levels for one or more days. The city has had cold spikes that have driven temperatures as low as 17 degrees below zero. These anomalies are rare.
The spring in Oklahoma City is generally accompanied by wet weather and frequent rain. The fall is normally cool, comfortable and dry. The months of May and June are very volatile. These months are when severe weather is most likely to occur including strong thunderstorms and torrential downpours. Oklahoma City has been hit by several tornadoes. The region is more likely to see a tornado that most other cities in the country. Visitors to the city should be aware that the actual chance of experiencing a tornado during any given week is incredibly small. Anyone coming to Oklahoma City should dress for mild weather in the winter and hot temperatures in the summer.
Oklahoma City Transportation
During a visit to Oklahoma City, you may be in need of transportation services to get you from place to place. Get to and from your desired destinations with ease through bus transportation, trolleys, and taxi cabs. Free fares and low fees are available for select services, allowing visitors and residents alike to make the most out of their time in Oklahoma City.
Downtown Oklahoma City Trolley
The Oklahoma Spirit Trolley operates throughout all of downtown Oklahoma City. This American Heritage-inspired Streetcar offers free fairs for all riders and is the ideal way to get around the city in style. Passengers of all ages are welcome aboard the Oklahoma Spirit Trolley, which takes you to many well-known attractions and top destinations so that you do not miss any of the sights or sounds of the city. Some major stops available from the trolley include Bricktown, Hotel Corner, Oklahoma River Cruises, and the Downtown Transit Center.
Ferry Boat Transit
Oklahoma River Cruises give visitors the chance to discover some of the city’s hidden treasures by sea. Make your way to a variety of different landing spots such as Regatta Park and the Historic Stockyards City. River Ferry Transit transportation services operate on a regularly schedules basis each day. Additional public transportation services can also be reached from the ferry boat.
The bus transit system is available to take you to destinations all over Oklahoma City and surrounding areas. With over 40 different bus routes, head from Garden Day all the way to South Oklahoma and the downtown district. Bus transit systems may be closed on select holidays such as New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Many taxi cab companies are available throughout Oklahoma City to take you to your desired destinations. Rather than relying on bus transportation, ferry boats or trolleys that could be running late, taxi cabs will work around your schedule and take you immediately to your destination without making additional stops along the way. Taxis can be found at stations around the city or by simply calling for a pick-up.
The METRO Link system provides transportation in a select section of Oklahoma City. Hop on and off at any stop with services available to all visitors and residents currently in the city. Curb to curb service is available by reservation with only limited availability. Reservations may be made 14 days in advance to secure your transportation method about METRO Link. Subscription trips are also available for purchase.
Oklahoma City Attractions
Oklahoma City is a place steeped in Western history. Cowboys and Indians are a real tradition and many of the attractions reflect that frontier attitude.
Oklahoma City Zoo
The Oklahoma City Zoo is one of the oldest in the region and boasts more than 300 species in a 100-acre area. In addition to animals, the zoo maintains botanical gardens with many different varieties of plants. The ZooZeum tells the story of the zoo, which opened in 1902. Visit the elephants, lions, and gorillas in their natural habitat or visit the Children’s Zoo where kids interact.
Myriad Botanical Gardens
Myriad Botanical Gardens are a 17-acre oasis right in the middle of downtown. View gardens inspired by those in France or visit the lake filled with large Japanese Koi. The Crystal Bridge is an acrylic-encased tropical conservatory that is 224 feet long and 70 feet in diameter featuring about 2000 varieties and a 35-foot waterfall. Nearby is the lake’s Water Stage seating 500 people for plays, concerts and weddings.
National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage
The National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage is a must-see when in Oklahoma City. Pioneers settled Oklahoma in the late-1800s bringing cowboys to land that was occupied by Native Americans. The museum opened in 1955 and has a vast collection of Western art and many different artifacts from Native American and cowboy life. Learn what the life of a cowboy was like on a ranch and see examples of Indian baskets, pottery and regalia.
Frontier City is a theme park with roller coasters and other thrilling rides with a Western flair. In the park is White Water Bay with water rides, a float down a river and many sprinklers and slides. Thrill to the 50 plus rides or sing along with musicians and actors on the stages of the park
Oklahoma City National Memorial
The Oklahoma City National Memorial stands in memory of bombing victims in the Federal Building bombing of 1995. The memorial holds a field of empty chairs for those that died and the large Gates of Time holds a memorial. A reflecting pool and survivor tree are also part of this beautiful monument. The museum is an interactive learning experience that tells the story of that fateful day.
From memorials to museums and fun activities, Oklahoma City provides visitors with a memorable place to visit. Get a good idea of what the Wild West was like in days gone by and enjoy the attractions that thrill, exit, and teach about the area and its people.
Oklahoma City Dining
When you visit Oklahoma City you will want to take advantage of the wonderful dining that it offers. You’ll have no problem finding all of the delicious foods to satisfy your hungry appetite.
Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse located a 7 South Mickey Mantle Drive is a great place for an above-average dining experience. If you’re a beef lover, this will be the place for you, you’ll find Prime Rib eye, Prime Porterhouse, Prime New York Strip and so much more cooked the way you want. You’ll also find your favorite sides like baked potato, fries, fried okra and even Mac and cheese. Mickey’s also has a full bar so that you can enjoy your favorite drink while you dine.
At 5418 Northwestern Avenue is the Deep Fork Grill where you can choose from Seafood, Steak or Brick Oven Pizza. You are sure to be able to please your pallet when you dine at the Deep Fork Grill. You can also enjoy great desserts such as the White Chocolate Bread Pudding and the S’mores Cakes just to name a couple.
The Coach House that can be found at 5437 Avondale will provide you with wonderful dining selections such as Pecan Cornbread Crusted Salmon, No Name Ranch Steak with Compound Butter, Grilled Fillet of Beef with Coriander Dust and Red Wine Sauce. Top off your meal with Coach House Warm Chocolate Cake with Hazelnut for an exceptional meal. Coach House also offers nightly specials that include lamb that has been raised locally, Heritage Pork and veggies that are from the local market.
Located at 1309 South Agnew Avenue you will find the Cattleman’s Steakhouse where you can have your favorite cut of meat cooked your way. You’ll also find that you can choose from ham steak, pepper steak and chicken fried steak. Your favorite sides will be available to compliment your steak choices such as potato skins, onion rings and lamb fries. They also offer a variety of soups and salads as well as desserts to make your visit more enjoyable and filling.
Dining in Oklahoma City will make your trip to Oklahoma City all that you expected. You’ll have a hard time choosing from so many great places that will provide a delicious meal that can be followed by a much-deserved dessert that will melt in your mouth.
Enjoy all of the benefits of dining in Oklahoma City to create a memorable trip.
Oklahoma City Events
Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon
The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon has been held every year since 2000. The main event is a 26-mile individual marathon for serious runners. The event also has a half marathon, a five-kilometer walk, a relay, and a marathon for children. The marathon is normally held near the end of April. Anyone coming to the area should register online at least two weeks in advance of the marathon. Participation is not free. Visitors taking part in the marathon will need to be in Oklahoma City the day before the event in order to confirm registration. There is a pasta dinner the night before the marathon for runners who need carbohydrates.
Oklahoma Regatta Festival
The Oklahoma Regatta Festival has been held in Regatta Park along the Oklahoma River since 2004. The festival celebrates the river. The event includes organized rowing competitions, dragon boat races, and five-kilometer foot races. Spectators are treated to live music, a variety of different fresh foods, and an outdoor market. There is an entire area dedicated to entertaining children that includes inflatables as well as crafts for creating art. The festival is free to attend although food and beverages must be purchased with cash.
Oklahoma State Fair
The Oklahoma State Fair is a massive event that has drawn enormous crowds annually for more than 100 years. The fair includes carnival rides, games, live entertainment and roller coasters. There are also animal petting zoos, horse riding competitions and food vendors. The event is designed to be enjoyed by the entire family. Tickets need to be purchased for gate entrance. Tickets also need to be purchased for individual rides and events once inside of the fair. It is most economical to purchase tickets in packages in advance. Oklahoma City sees a huge influx of tourists for the week of the fair. Visitors should book rooms far in advance.
Chuck Wagon Gathering and Children’s Cowboy Festival
The Annual Chuck Wagon Gathering and Children’s Cowboy Festival has been held every year for nearly a quarter of a century. The event is designed for children and is entertaining for adults as well. It is a celebration of Western culture including real chuckwagon dining, Western performers, storytelling and wagon rides. Children can dress as cowboys, sit on horses and take part in fun crafts. The price of admission covers all events and food tastings. Extra concessions are the only items not covered by the cost of the ticket.
Red Earth Festival
The Red Earth Festival celebrates American Indian culture. A festival is a three-day event that attracts over 1,500 American Indian dancers, sculptors and artists. Visitors attending the event can see traditional tribal dancing, artwork and storytelling. There is also a market and a large parade through downtown Oklahoma City featuring members of over 100 tribes in traditional dress. The bulk of the event is held in the convention center. Tickets are required for entrance each day although a three-day pass is available at a discount.
Family Fun near Downtown Oklahoma City
Chesapeake Energy Arena
The time has come to experience basketball as you’ve never witnessed in your entire life. The Oklahoma City Thunder attracts thousands of fans to every game they play. Kevin Durant is by far one of the best basketball players on this planet. Watching him work his magic on the court is pure art. Russell Westbrook is also one of the top point guards in the NBA. His killer instinct in his scoring abilities is a real treat to watch. Be sure to catch a Thunder game if you’re in Oklahoma City.
Museum of Osteology
If you’re interested in the skeletal system of the human body, then you’ll enjoy time well spent at the Museum of Osteology. In fact, this is the only museum of its kind in the entire country. You can see skulls from people from all different areas of the world and many different time periods, too. The delightful displays excite children and adults equally. Everyone will be eager to learn as much as possible about skeletons as you make your way through the museum.
Oklahoma City Zoo
Are you interested in seeing some animals that you may never have a chance to see again? Stop by the Oklahoma City Zoo for a thrilling experience with some of nature’s most beautiful animals. People often rave about the incredible elephant exhibits available there. You may also like the wild dog exhibits, as well as the tigers. The zoo is clean with plenty of helpful workers to assist you if you need anything.
Myriad Botanical Gardens
You’ll absolutely love what you find at Myriad Botanical Gardens. Even on an extremely hot day, there’s something calming about the atmosphere when you enter. The pleasant smells draw you in to take a closer look at the natural beauty. Some of the best tropical gardens in the world can be found here. There are also a few splendid waterfalls for your viewing pleasure. This is just a nice way to spend some time in Oklahoma City if you need help thinking of something enjoyable to do.
Rocktown Climbing Gym
Are you good at climbing rock walls? Stop by Rocktown Climbing Gym to have a try at some of the most challenging climbs in the country. Beginners do have a separate wall where they can learn how to climb. The expert walls have been praised by world-class rock climbers all around the world. Many people are pleasantly surprised by their experiences at this climbing wall. This is a great stop for adventure-minded tourists in Oklahoma City.
Shopping near Downtown Oklahoma City
When you visit Oklahoma City you will want to make sure that you do your fair share of shopping. You will find that Oklahoma City has many great places that will reward you with great finds that you can take back home with you.
If shopping Malls are your favorite you can choose from Penn Square or Quail Springs Mall or you may choose to shop at both. You’ll find all of your favorite anchor stores at these malls as well as some great specialty stores that will provide you with unique but must-have items. You can spend a day at each mall and browse the large selection of stores and dine at the great restaurants that they have in these malls.
Oklahoma City Farmer’s Market
For a day of fun in the outdoors, visit the Oklahoma City Farmer’s Market located at 311 South Klein Avenue. You’ll not only find antiques and collectibles here but you’ll also find books, baseball cards, furniture that has been updated, jewelry, candles, metal art, and no telling what else. You never know what kind of a bargain you are going to get from the Farmer’s Market.
Outlet Shops at Oklahoma City
If you love outlet shopping, you’ll find a great outlet shopping center in Oklahoma City. The Outlet Shops at Oklahoma City located at 7624 West Reno Avenue has all of your favorite name-brand stores such as Guess, Nike, GAP, Rue 21, Vans, Osh Kosh B Gosh, Disney, Polo, Carters and so much more. You’ll be able to shop and save a ton of money at the Outlet Mall. If you get hungry while shopping you can enjoy Pizza or Mexican food right there amongst your favorite stores. You can take advantage of the stroller rental and the children’s play area while you are there.
At 124 East Sheridan is the Painted Door which is a wonderful little shop that offers great gift shopping. You’ll find jewelry, gourmet foods, bath and body items, baby clothing and even home accessories. This is the perfect place to make your gift selections for things to take back home for friends and family.
To get your favorite cowboy gear, visit Sheplers at 812 South Meridian Avenue. You can count on them to have your most needed cowboy hat, western belt or your favorite pair of boots and jeans. You’ll find all of the Western apparel that you need at Sheplers.
Shopping in Oklahoma City will provide you with all that you need to create a successful visit in Oklahoma City.