The large bronze people on horseback statues of the Centennial Land Run Monument in Oklahoma City.
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23 Cool And Fun Oklahoma City Attractions That Are A Must To See

Wondering what to do in Oklahoma City on your first visit? In this guide, I’ll share the best Oklahoma City attractions in the city known as the “Modern Frontier”!

Oklahoma City also referred to as OKC might not be the first city you think of visiting in the United States but it should be. You will find incredible restaurants, breweries, parks, and museums to name a few of the top things to do in Oklahoma City.

It has an interesting cowboy and western history blended in with all the modern touches and culture of any big US city.

Having drinks at the rooftop O Bar is one of the top Oklahoma City attractions for views of the Oklahoma City skyline.

OKC is a place where you can dress up or stay casual in your cowboy boots and fit in anywhere. And you will find a very warm welcome from the locals known as Okies.

Prior to this trip, I had never thought about visiting Oklahoma City but how wrong I was to put off visiting for so long. You will be pleasantly surprised at how cool and modern this once prairie land city is!

Where Is Oklahoma City?

Oklahoma City is in the state of Oklahoma located in the middle of the United States in a region known as the Midwest. It is also the biggest city in Oklahoma and the state capital.

If looking at a map, Oklahoma City is right in the center of the state of Oklahoma and 1.5 hours southwest of the next largest city of Tulsa.

The state of Oklahoma is landlocked on all sides with Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas surrounding it.

The Greetings from OKC is an art mural and searching for art is one of the best things to do in Oklahoma City.

The two largest cities in neighboring states are Dallas, Texas which is 3 hours south, and Wichita, Kansas 2.5 hours north of Oklahoma City.

A suburb south of Oklahoma City is the town of Norman that is known as a bustling college town for the University of Oklahoma.

Tip: You might even see Oklahoma City referred to as OKC and they are one and the same. Writing OKC is a lot easier and faster too!

What Is The Best Area To Stay In Oklahoma City?

There are three neighborhoods that I recommend staying in when visiting Oklahoma City for their prime location to a number of sights to see. The three areas are Downtown, Midtown, and Bricktown. I have selected the best choices in each neighborhood below.

Downtown

Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown

The Skirvin Hilton Oklahoma City

Omni Oklahoma City Hotel

21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City

Midtown

Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City

Bricktown

Hyatt Place Oklahoma City Bricktown

Hampton Inn & Suites Oklahoma City Bricktown

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Oklahoma City

Tip: If you have a sweet tooth and crave cookies, you can have them delivered to your hotel room! Insomnia Cookies located in Midtown will deliver to any hotel and late at night too!

What Is The Best Time Of Year To Visit Oklahoma City?

I visited Oklahoma City at the end of June and beginning of July and loved it but it was VERY hot and a little humid. That said, it didn’t prevent me from having a great time!

In fact, I liked that I could maximize my time in the outdoor spaces as long as I had water to keep me hydrated!

But overall, if you don’t want a sweat fest, the best months to visit are September, October, and November.

An incredibly huge glass blown sculpture of various shapes and colors in a boat at the Chihuly art exhibit at the OKC Museum of Art.

Next, I would recommend March, April, and May but keep in mind there are more thunderstorms at this time so bring an umbrella!

The summer months of June, July, and August can reach into the mid-90s with an occasional shower or two.

In comparison, the temperatures can drop to the low 40s in the winter and possibly snow although that is rare.

No matter what time of year you do choose, there is plenty of indoor and outdoor fun to be found for an awesome trip to Oklahoma City!

How To Get Around OKC?

You don’t necessarily need a car to get around Oklahoma City with a few exceptions. If you are staying in the downtown area then you can walk to pretty much every Oklahoma City attraction on this list.

If you don’t want to walk a ton, you can always grab an Uber or Lyft which I did a few times when my legs needed a break.

Another option is to hop onto one of Oklahoma City’s Street Cars that can take you from one spot to another with ease.

A water taxi on the Bricktown Canal in the Bricktown area of Oklahoma City.

The streetcars will take you to the major neighborhoods of Downtown, Bricktown, Automobile Alley, and Midtown. The streetcars run on a 4.7-mile loop making it simple to get around.

You can buy a day pass or pay per use. To view a map of where the streetcars go, go to the OKC Streetcar site.

If you are planning to see areas outside of Oklahoma City then plan ahead and find the best rates on a car rental!

Oklahoma City Tours

Bikes & Brews Tour – hop on a bike and cruise around OKC stopping at 5 breweries for some beer tasting!

OKC National Memorial & Museum – one of the top Oklahoma City attractions to explore exhibits, artifacts, and videos to pay tribute to the lives lost in the tragic bombing of 1995.

Indoor Skydiving – experience what it is like to skydive but indoors in a vertical wind tunnel!

Oklahoma City Scavenger Hunt – go on a fun tour of OKC finding landmarks, hidden gems, answering trivia, and more!

Looking down at the gates and reflecting pool of the OKC National Memorial.

Tips For Visiting Oklahoma City

  • Carry a reusable water bottle or a filtered water bottle to stay hydrated especially in the summer.
  • Oklahoma City is a very walkable city, so come prepared with comfy walking shoes!
  • Have a travel umbrella or rain jacket on hand for those days when light or heavy rain may make an appearance.
  • In the downtown area, it is very safe to walk around and very clean! But like any city, caution going out late if you are traveling solo.
  • Use this travel clip to attach any jacket or sweater to your bag knowing you won’t lose it!
  • Oklahoma City is a blossoming foodie town with several delicious options to choose from!
  • Taking the Oklahoma Street Car to get around the city is super easy.

Map Of Oklahoma City Attractions

Trip map created with Wanderlog, a trip planner app

Best Things To Do In Oklahoma City

1. Breakfast At Kitchen No. 324

There is no better way to start off your visit in a new city than with a phenomenal breakfast! That way you are fueled for the day and you can burn off those calories walking all over as you sightsee.

Without hesitation, this was my favorite breakfast while visiting OKC. Prior to visiting, I didn’t have any expectations of whether the food would be great or not but how impressed I am!

Drinking a Bloody Mary with bacon and salt on the rim at Kitchen No. 324 in OKC.

I had no idea Oklahoma City had so many places to eat that would wow me! Kitchen No. 324 does not only have that elegant and beautiful interior but the food is even better.

I ordered the famous pancake that the waiter warned me was rather large for just one person. In my mind, I was thinking how big can one pancake be?

When it arrived, my jaw dropped and diners at the surrounding tables gawked and maybe drooled at how fabulous my one pancake looked.

The largest and thickest pancake I have ever had with salted butter on top is the best pancake.

Not only do they serve a very giant pancake, but it is over 1 inch thick with a slightly outer crispness and heavenly perfect sweet batter goodness on the inside.

Topped with the biggest slabs of salted butter and house syrup, the pancake at Kitchen No. 324 is the best pancake I have ever had!

I know I have heavily focused on the pancake but they have an awesome menu with other top breakfast selections that are served all day. And add an excellent cup of coffee and a Prairie Mary (Bloody Mary) you are set for the day ahead…

The beautiful historic building that Kitchen No. 324 is located in.

Note: Kitchen No. 324 is in one of OKC’s most historic buildings that was home to Paul R. Braniff’s airline company back in 1923.

Address: 324 N. Robinson Ave, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102.

2. Oklahoma City National Memorial

Whether you are in Oklahoma City for a day or several days, make sure to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.

The memorial and museum are a beautiful tribute in remembering those lost to a horrific assault by domestic terrorists. The individuals that went to work at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and nearby buildings were forever changed.

Entering through one of the gates of the OKC Memorial with a quote about remembering those lost.

April 19, 1995

The morning of April 19, 1995, started out like any other spring day with people heading to work, dropping their kids off at the onsite daycare, or grabbing a cup of coffee.

Life at 9:01 am seemed normal but at 9:03 am life was forever changed. At 9:02 am the devastating bomb located in a car left by domestic terrorists took out a good chunk of the building and daycare.

Looking up at the gate that has 9:01 am cut out at the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

Standing on one end of the memorial looking at the pool and 9:03 am gate.

I won’t name these terrorists as I don’t think they deserve more attention but you can learn more about their way of thinking and what led up to the bomb in the museum.

Sadly, 168 adults and children died leaving so many questions, an incredible rescue effort and healing ahead. The memorial is outside of the building and is one of the most touching and serene memorials I have ever seen.

The memorial consists of two gates on opposite ends, marking 9:01 and 9:03 am (before and after) with a long reflecting pool between them.

The rows of chairs representing the lives lost.

Looking across the reflecting pool at the federal building which is now the museum and the Survivor Tree.

South of the pool is a series of chairs with American flags on the lawn, each one representing a life that was stolen that day.

When looking up towards the building you will notice a very pretty and healthy tree known as The Survivor Tree. The tree was practically destroyed in the bomb yet it survived and is a reminder that the people of Oklahoma City would survive and thrive after this day.

The museum beautifully provides exhibits, photos, artifacts, and live videos from that day. Don’t be surprised if you get a little emotional as I know I did…

A photo from the museum showing the damage from the bomb.

Quotes spray painted on the building on 4/19/1995 during rescue efforts.

Visiting Info

Hours: The outdoor memorial is free and open 24 hours a day. At night the chairs are lit up. The museum is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

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

3. Myriad Botanical Gardens

Myriad Botanical Gardens is a 17-acre urban park in downtown close to a lot of Oklahoma City attractions.

When you are walking through the lush and gorgeous gardens, it’s hard to believe you are in a city. But if you look up towards downtown you can see the high-rise buildings that make a beautiful contrast to the surrounding nature.

A waterfall fountain at one entrance to the Myriad Gardens.

Walking through the lush Myriad Gardens.

Each section of the park has a different attraction with the main things to see are the Great Lawn, ornamental gardens, playgrounds, splash fountains, dog park, walking trails, and Mo’s Carousel to name a few.

You can even take an outdoor yoga class out on the Great Lawn and stroll through the various gardens that are perfectly manicured and beautiful!

Walking through a wooded section of the gardens.

A yoga class on the Great Lawn.

The large Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory over the small lake.

At the center of the park is the indoor Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory (224-foot living plant museum). You can walk among various tropical plants, a cascading waterfall, and a sky bridge.

Sadly, I didn’t get to go inside the Crystal Bridge Conservatory as it is closed for renovations opening back up in the fall of 2022. But I know I’ll go back as I can’t wait to see the new update!

Lovely landscaped tier garden above the lake in Myriad Gardens.

Overall, the Myriad Botanical Gardens is a magical nature oasis to enjoy!

Note: To visit Myriad Gardens is FREE as it is outdoors but if you want to visit the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory there is a fee. But until the fall of 2022, the Crystal Bridge Conservatory is closed for renovations.

Park Hours: Open daily 6:00 am to 11:00 pm. Mo’s Carousel is only open Friday & Saturday (12 pm to 8 pm) and Sunday (12 pm to 5 pm).

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

4. Scissortail Park

As I explored OKC, I quickly became impressed with the layout of the city and the number of parks and outdoor spaces for everyone to enjoy.

For those of you who haven’t visited in a while, Scissortail Park is a pretty new addition to downtown Oklahoma City opening in 2019.

Walking on a paved trail in Scissortail Park next to the lake.

Watching people on a paddle boat on the lake in Scissortail Park in OKC.

As you step forward into Scissortail Park, you will notice how clean it is and the feeling of being surrounded by nature even though you are smack dab in a city.

There are numerous paths going in every direction which allows plenty of space for everyone to walk or run without feeling crowded. The park covers 70-acres so you can imagine it is a good size!

A walking path between 2 patches of grass and buildings beyond.

A paved walking trail along the lake.

If you happen to be at Myriad Botanical Gardens, Scissortail is a short walk south of it. Scissortail is nestled in between the Myriad Gardens and the Oklahoma River.

Besides great trails, there is a lake, playground, picnic areas, a roller rink, dog park, sprayground, and a restaurant. You can even rent a pedal boat, canoe, or kayak and head out onto the lake!

Looking across a huge lawn and the lake in Scissortail Park with city skyline in distance.

Scissortail Park is also home to the Farmers Market held every Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm (April thru October).

And during nice weather, you might even be able to attend a concert in the park!

Scissortail Park Address: 300 SW 7th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73109.

5. Skydance Pedestrian Bridge

After spending some time in Scissortail Park, make your way to the southern edge of the park. You can’t miss it as the highway will run parallel to the bottom portion of the park.

There is a path that leads up to a ramp to meet the beginning of the Skydance Pedestrian Bridge or what many refer to as the Scissortail Bridge.

Walking up ramp to the Scissortail Bridge.

The 380-foot long bridge is for pedestrians only crossing over Interstate 40 towards the Oklahoma River. You will likely see it well before you come upon it as the modern and abstract sculpture reaches 197-feet tall!

The scissor-like sculpture is to resemble the scissor-tailed flycatcher which is Oklahoma’s state bird. It is a beautiful and unique bridge that has that wow factor when crossing it.

Walking across the stunning and cool architecture of the Skydance Bridge.

Looking back at the park and the OKC skyline.

If you turn around back towards the park and downtown, you have a slightly elevated view of the skyline to enjoy!

At night the sculpture is illuminated and depending on various holidays or occasions it might be lit up in different colors.

Note: The bridge has a sensor to automatically turns on right past sunset and goes off at sunrise.

6. Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Before I had planned my road trip, the one thing I knew I wanted to see in OKC was the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

That was my whole reason for wanting to visit Oklahoma City in the first place! Why might you ask?

Bright colored balls and sculptures in two separate row boats that are glass blown by Chihuly.

A close up view of the talented details gone into the glass blown balls and sculptures.

Well, I am a huge fan of the artist Dale Chihuly who has a large exhibit of his works here. And it is one of the largest exhibits of his glasswork and drawings in the world!

Chihuly is known for his beyond breathtaking glass blowing on a scale most can’t even imagine with colors that captivate you.

Orange glass sculptures on various pedestals.

Overlapping series of glass blown sculptures in various colors above the walkway.

Colorful glass blown sculptures in an abstract shape of a bowl.

He is from the Tacoma, Washington area so you might have seen some of his pieces in that area. Or if you have been to the Bellagio in Las Vegas one of his masterpieces is hanging from the lobby ceiling.

Chihuly takes glass blowing and transforms it into incredibly large glass sculptures. Wandering through his exhibit you will be blown away by his talent and imagination to create these works of art!

Although I am gushing over the Chihuly exhibit, don’t forget to tour the rest of the museum for top collections of art.

Admiring a painting in an empty room with a bench.

One of the ancient paintings from Pompeii.

During my visit, I got to see the current exhibit, The Painters of Pompeii which has several pieces of art from ancient Roman times. Although this exhibit is temporary, check their website for upcoming exhibits that might draw your interest!

Note: If you’re hungry, there is an excellent café that serves some great food, snacks, and drinks.

Hours: Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. On Friday it is open from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, Sunday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Closed on Monday.

Address: 415 Couch Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.

7. Dine With The Best View Of OKC

Whenever I visit a new city for the first time, I enjoy finding a spot for dinner and/or drinks that have an excellent view of the city.

If you want a spectacular dinner and cocktails with an aerial view of Oklahoma City, then make a point to dine at VAST!

The tallest building in OKC, the Devon Tower with the restaurant VAST at the top.

Located on the 49th floor of the Devon Tower, VAST is American fine dining with an elegant ambiance that won’t disappoint.

I started my meal out with a delicious glass of red wine followed by a perfectly cooked steak, asparagus, and the most beautiful pouch of potatoes…

The delicious steak, potatoes and asparagus at VAST.

The views are vast in every direction and shared with an incredible meal, you can’t pick a better spot in town. In one direction I could clearly see the Oklahoma City National Memorial and many places of interest with views of Bricktown to the right.

Overall, the service was top-notch with a very knowledgeable server in reference to the menu, wine and in answering any questions you have about visiting the city.

View of Oklahoma City from the top of the Devon Tower while eating dinner at VAST.

And you can say you have visited the tallest building in Oklahoma City! While you tour OKC, you will quickly notice the Devon Tower from almost any vantage point on the ground.

Address: 333 W. Sheridan Ave 49th Floor, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.

8. Have Fun In Bricktown

Bricktown is one of the newer or revitalized neighborhoods in Oklahoma City that has a lot of places to eat, bars, a ballpark, and river walk area.

Previously the historic Bricktown was an industrial section where railroad companies operated but over the years this area became abandoned resulting in empty buildings and warehouses.

Walking along the river walk in Bricktown with a small Ferris Wheel in the background.

Standing on a bridge looking down at the river walk and canal lined with restaurants in Bricktown.

Fast forward to today and they have been transformed into a very cool place to hang out and live. And as its name implies, many of the buildings you see are made of brick!

The revitalization began in the late 1990s with much of what you see today added over the past 10 years through a program called MAPS (Metropolitan Area Projects).

With funding from MAPS, the city has been able to add more Oklahoma City attractions for both locals and visitors to enjoy. These projects have made OKC beautiful and to compete as a premier destination with many activities to offer.

Walking along the Bricktown Canal.

Outdoor water features with several brick buildings behind, one that says Candy Factory on it.

Bricktown is a popular entertainment district where you can find a nice outdoor bar or spot to grab something to eat, shops, a movie theater, a brewery, mini-golf, a bowling alley, and the Bricktown Canal.

Fun Fact: The Sonic fast-food chain is headquartered right here in Bricktown!

Note: Bricktown is a short 10 – 15 minute walk east of downtown and still considered part of the downtown area.

9. Take A Water Taxi Tour

Earlier on my road trip, I visited San Antonio, Texas and like many spent a lot of my time on the River Walk.

So, to my surprise, I was delighted to learn there was a river walk in Oklahoma City known as the Bricktown Canal!

Cruising along the Bricktown Canal on a water taxi tour.

On a water taxi tour about to go under a vine covered arched bridge and the Devon Tower in the background.

As mentioned above, the neighborhood of Bricktown has been revitalized with new restaurants, shops, and businesses in the old warehouses.

The Bricktown Canal was created in 1999 and runs through Bricktown curving in between top attractions and trees on each side. The canal stretches 1-mile in length and is manmade.

There is no better way to experience Bricktown than by taking a water taxi tour on the canal! The tours last about 40-minutes providing a history of the area and talk about points of interest along the way.

A beautiful art mural of Native American women and a small waterfall fountain on the side of the canal.

On a water taxi tour passing by the dock and a brick building behind it.

Plus, it is a nice way to explore while relaxing at the same time! Water taxis take off about every 15 – 20 minutes and bring you back to the same spot you left from.

I recommend buying your tickets ahead of time as when I visited the ticket booth was temporarily closed but I could see down below that a tour was getting ready to take off. I ended up buying my tickets via my phone and hopping on that tour.

Address: 111 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73104 (across from the ballpark).

10. Centennial Land Run Monument

If you have taken the water taxi tour on the Bricktown Canal then you will have gotten a view of the Centennial Land Run Monument by boat.

The Centennial Land Run Monument is one of the most impressive monuments I have ever seen in the United States!

The monument celebrates the opening of the Unassigned Land in Oklahoma Territory and the Land Run of 1889.

A side view of the huge bronze statues of people on horseback for the Land Run of 1889.

For those that aren’t familiar, in order to entice people to head west, people were given plots of land if they agreed to make the trek from the east. But this land had never been developed and was completely wild with no resources or cities up to this point.

In the area that is now Oklahoma City, people were given stakes with flags and at noon on April 22, 1889, about 50,000 people on horseback and wagons literally made a mad dash for the plot of land they wanted to settle.

Looking at the back view of a rider on horseback and wagon statue frozen in motion.

A female rider on horseback statue.

I can’t even fathom what that would have looked like in real life but an awesome movie that captures this day well is Far and Away (1992) with Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. It is about the journey building up to that day.

Located at the far end of Bricktown, the Centennial Land Run Monument has two parts, one on each side of the canal.

It is a larger-than-life bronze statue or a series of statues depicting that day when people charged to stake out their land. It is the largest set of bronze sculptures in the world created by the artist Paul Moore.

Horse, riders and wagon statues of the Land Run Monument.

A statue of horses being held back by the owner's reins as he sits on a wagon at the edge of the canal.

There are 45 statues that look as if they are frozen in time from that day covering 365 feet long and up to 16 feet high!

While looking up at each statue, I could almost feel the ground rumbling with the pounding of 50,000 people on horseback determined to get their free land…

Fun Fact: People that staked out and settled a piece of land before they were supposed to, were considered land thieves or “Sooners”. You might hear someone that attends the University of Oklahoma and their sports teams referred to as the Sooners!

Address: 200 Centennial Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102. Parking is available there.

11. Visit AN OKC Brewery

On one slightly rainy afternoon, I searched for any cool breweries nearby that I could escape to until the rain subsided.

To my surprise and delight, I came upon Vanessa House Beer Company. Since my name is Vanessa, I couldn’t resist visiting and sampling some beers!

A fun and vibrant art mural inside Vanessa House Beer Co with a super hero holding up a beer.

Upon entering Vanessa House, I immediately felt like I was transported back to the 80s and early 90s which was when I was a kid/teenager.

The décor has comfy chairs, a couch, tables, and video games from the 80s and 90s along with artwork, books, and figurines that brought back instant nostalgia.

My beer came on an old floppy disk coaster for those of you that remember those! And on an old school TV, the original Jurassic Park played which just added to the fun atmosphere.

A cold beer in a glass that has the Vanessa House Beer logo on a floppy disk coaster.

I assumed that a woman named Vanessa owned the brewery but found out that 5 guys own it! These 5 friends lived together in the same house on Vanessa Drive in Norman, OK.

To other friends, they always referred to their house as the “Vanessa House”, hence its name!

I fully enjoyed trying a few beers, all with playful names. And I might have left with some beer, shirt, glasses, and stickers as I can joke that I own a brewery with my name…

Although I didn’t go to any other breweries during my stay, a few that come recommended are:

Stonecloud Brewing Company

Anthem Brewing Company

Elk Valley Brewing Company

Bricktown Brewery

Tip: The all women-owned Equity Brewing Company opened up in the summer of 2021 in Norman, Oklahoma. It is just 30 minutes south of OKC, so stop by if you are in the area!

Vanessa House Address: 118 NW 8th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.

12. Search For OKC Art Murals

If you love searching out the hottest street art, then you are in luck as Oklahoma City has some great art murals! As you have likely noticed, street art is becoming more and popular in cities across the globe.

A pretty art mural of two brown buffalo against a light blue and colorful grass.

A very colorful art mural with cartoon like characters, a rainbow and an old cassette tape.

A black, turquoise and pink art mural with vines and a ear that says "hear to help".

They not only allow artists to express themselves for all to appreciate but their work draws people into neighborhoods that might not have otherwise been visited.

Street art can be a boost for tourism and a way for a community to express themselves through art.

An entire side of a building painted in fun colorful shapes.

An Asian man in traditional dress with flowers in bold colors.

Colorful art mural paintings underneath the overpass going from downtown to Bricktown.

Going on a hunt for the coolest art murals upon arriving in OKC is a fun adventure as there are murals popping up all over!

Although you can find art murals all around Oklahoma City, there are a few neighborhoods that you want to make note of during your visit.

A huge beautiful yellow flower covering an entire side of a building outlined in shades of purple.

The main areas of Oklahoma City to see the most street art are in:

  • Downtown & Arts District
  • Midtown & Automobile Alley
  • Paseo & Uptown 23rd District
  • Bricktown
  • Western Avenue
  • Plaza District

Note: Some of these murals are further out so you would need a car or could hop into an Uber/Lyft to reach.

13. State Capitol Building

The Oklahoma State Capitol is located in Oklahoma City a few minutes northeast of downtown and the only capital to be surrounded by oil wells in use still today.

The Capitol building is home to the house of government for the state of Oklahoma and the different executive branches since 1917.

As you walk up to the capitol building you are met with a grand building in Greco-Roman style architecture, that holds 650 rooms, and is 11 acres of floor space.

the front of the Oklahoma City State Capitol Building with a domed top.

And in 2002, a dome was added to the top of the capitol building which adds to its powerful presence. Its outer façade is made of white limestone and Oklahoma pink granite.

Inside the capitol building is exquisite paintings, murals, and incredible craftsmanship with the base of the dome adorned with gold letters of the donors who funded the dome project.

On the capitol grounds but north of the capitol building is the Oklahoma War Memorial that has four walls showing scenes from WWI, WWII, the Korean, and Vietnam wars.

Hours: Tours are available Monday – Friday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm and are free. But at the time of this posting tours are currently on hold. Check the capitol website for current updates.

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

14. The Underground Tunnels

One of the more unique things to do in Oklahoma City is to wander the network of Underground Tunnels.

In the OKC downtown area, there are a series of tunnels and skywalks where you can walk from point A to point B but underground! They provide a path connecting major buildings and parking garages and it is FREE to access.

A blue wall with the Underground Tunnels directory.

Walking in a blue lit part of the Underground Tunnel.

The tunnels originally called the Conncourse were built in 1974 but got an overhaul in 2006. Walking underground in very hot or very cold weather is a nice option as you can avoid the extremes above ground.

In recent years, different shades of neon lighting, art installations, historical photos, and exhibits have been added throughout each corridor. There is a pink, green, orange, yellow, blue, purple, and red tunnel.

Looking at the various photos hanging in a white lit section of the tunnel before heading into a red tunnel.

Walking in the red lit section of the Underground Tunnel.

You can even find cafes, a post office, and various businesses along some of the corridors. Depending on where you are, there are a handful of places to access the underground tunnel so I recommend you look at this map to help you navigate.

The main entry points to enter the Underground Tunnels are:

  • Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown
  • Leadership Square
  • BancFirst
  • Dowell Center Parking
  • Robert S. Kerr Office Building
  • 101 Park Ave
  • Broadway-Kerr Parking Garage

Note: I entered via the Dowell Center Parking Garage and took the stairs to the very bottom. All access points will be in the basement of a building or lowest level of a parking garage.

Hours: Open Monday – Friday from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm. Closed on Saturday and Sunday. On any major federal holidays, they are closed too.

15. Wheeler Ferris Wheel

Wheeler Park is a short 5 – 10 minute drive south of downtown Oklahoma City located both on the north and south side of the Oklahoma River.

The park has many trails, ball fields, and plenty of outdoor space to explore. On the south side of Wheeler Park are the Wheeler Ferris Wheel and the huge OKC letters.

At this side of Wheeler Park, there are swings, hammocks, picnic tables, and a place to get some food. And you might occasionally see with food trucks too!

The Wheeler Ferris Wheel with the huge white letters OKC in front of it.

But the highlight is going on a ride on the Ferris Wheel or taking photos with the OKC letters. The Wheeler Ferris Wheel was originally located at the Santa Monica Pier before moving to Oklahoma City!

Whether you are up top on the Ferris Wheel or on the ground, you have fantastic views of OKC’s skyline across the river.

Depending on the time of year you might be able to attend one of the events held at the park near the wheel. Activities range from yoga, a bike festival, concerts or attending a private event like a wedding.

Tip: If you bring your own food, they will provide picnic blankets for you to use!

Ferris Wheel Hours: Open Tuesday – Thursday from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Friday from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, Saturday from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Closed Monday.

Address: 1701 S Western Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73109.

16. Drinks At The Rooftop O Bar

Who doesn’t enjoy having a cocktail on a rooftop bar with an awesome view of a city skyline? Well in Oklahoma City that spot is at the O Bar at the top of the Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City.

The Ambassador Hotel is located in Midtown which is a great section of the city for incredible restaurants, bars, cafes, and art murals.

Sitting and having drinks at the rooftop O Bar looking out at the OKC skyline.

Eating a delicious appetizer with wine at the O Bar.

The O Bar is on the 7th-floor rooftop of the hotel with a direct view of the downtown Oklahoma City skyline. Although it isn’t the highest building, there is nothing blocking your view so it is perfect to appreciate OKC.

The O Bar is a prime setting to have a cocktail, some bites to eat, and embrace the modern frontier vibes of this growing city. And if you time it right you can capture a stunning sunset…

Tip: If you are looking for a place to stay, the boutique Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City is a top pick!

Hours: Open daily from 4:00 pm to midnight.

Address: 1200 N Walker Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73103.

17. The Cowboy Museum

If you like anything related to cowboys and the western way of life then Oklahoma City is one of the best places to learn about its history.

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is northeast of the downtown area, about a 12-minute drive.

The Cowboy Museum is the number one museum in America if you want to learn the history of cowboys and how the American West got its start.

Since 1955, the museum has been collecting Western art, artifacts, and creating exhibits for the public to learn about America’s Western history.

Fun Tip: If you are on Instagram, follow @nationalcowboymuseum as it is a fun account! The head of security is a cowboy himself and handles social media for the museum in a fun way.

Hours: Open Monday – Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and on Sunday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. There is also a Museum Grill restaurant on site for lunch (11:00 am to 2:00 pm).

Address: 1700 NE 63rd Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73111.

18. The Overholser Mansion

The Henry & Anna Overholser Mansion was built in 1903 in the Heritage Hills neighborhood just 5 minutes north of downtown Oklahoma City.

At the time when Henry Overholser, known as the “Father of Oklahoma City” purchased 3 lots of land, people couldn’t fathom why they would want to live “so far” from the city.

The Overholser Mansion

The Overholser Mansion was the first mansion to be built in OKC and why it has so much historical importance to the city.

When you stand in front of the mansion you will notice the striking architecture in a Queen Anne and Chateauesque style. And at the time it was built it was completely different from the prairie homestead or craftsman style of housing.

Henry & Anna’s daughter later inherited the house but after her passing, her husband sold the house to the Oklahoma Historical Society. A lot of work was put into the house to preserve its historic value and open it up for the public to enjoy.

The Overholser Mansion with the front walkway, a sign and a black old fashioned light pole.

You can take a tour, by reserving a spot at 10:00 am, 12:00 pm or 2:00 pm Tuesday – Friday. On Saturdays no reservations are needed, just show up between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.

Tours are self-guided and last between 45 minutes to 1 hour. There are special guided tours but refer to the Overholser Mansion website for more info.

Hours: Open Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 to 2:00 pm. Closed on Sunday and Monday.

Address: 405 NW 15th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73103.

19. Spirit Of The Buffalo Hunting

One thing that impressed me about Oklahoma City is the amount of art in the form of sculptures or statues. It seemed that on every block I covered I would spot an eye-catching piece of art.

One example is the Spirit of the Buffalo that was initially planned to be a temporary project to raise money for the city in 2004. Across various places around OKC statues of buffalo made of fiberglass are colorfully decorated by artists.

Going “buffalo hunting” in search for the different buffalo became quite popular with both locals and tourists, so they became permanent!

A buffalo statue painted in gold and blue.

A colorfully painted buffalo statue named Patches.

At one time buffalo once roamed the prairie lands of Oklahoma but today, the only ones you will see are these statues.

There are around 30 buffalo statues plus a handful of other fun and vibrant statues such as a huge cowboy boot, Rocky the guitar, and Tux the penguin.

A blue and white painted penguin statue named Tux.

A huge cowboy boot painted in red and a western scene.

Most of the pieces of art you will encounter are part of the Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma.

20. Catch An Oklahoma City Dodgers Game

One of the best things to do in Oklahoma City during baseball season is to attend an Oklahoma City Dodger game! The OKC Dodgers are a Minor League team and a Triple-A affiliate for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Oklahoma City Dodgers can be found playing at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Bricktown right near the Bricktown Canal since 2015.

Front entrance to the Chickasaw Baseball Park where the OKC Dodgers play.

An aerial view looking down at the baseball stadium from the top of Devon Tower.

At each entrance of the ballpark, you will be greeted by a statue of a legendary baseball player that in some way has a connection with Oklahoma. There is a statue of Mickey Mantle, Johnny Bench, and Warren Spahn.

The ballpark can host up to 9,000 fans per game with the season running from April through September. Throughout the year there are other events held at the ballpark you can attend such as concerts and festivals.

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

21. Enjoy A Spa Day

I bet when you think of Oklahoma City you never imagined spending the day at a Scandinavian spa! Udander is a Scandinavian steam and sauna spa in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City.

If you are looking to relax, you can sit back in an aromatherapy steam room, soak in a hot tub, or a dry sauna.

And if your body is needing a little more attention, book a massage or facial so that you leave feeling rested and rejuvenated!

Hours: Open Tuesday – Wednesday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Thursday – Saturday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Closed Monday.

Address: 131 Dean A McGee Ave #105, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.

22. Play At Lake Hefner

Located just 30 minutes northwest of the downtown area of Oklahoma City is Lake Hefner. Lake Hefner is a reservoir built in 1947 and named after the mayor at the time, Robert A. Hefner.

Lined with 18 miles of shoreline, Lake Hefner is a convenient place to escape and relax. Although you can’t swim in the lake, you can fish, go sailing, kayaking, or paddleboarding (SUP).

At the Lake Hefner Boathouse, you can find rentals and even sign up for sailing lessons. Bet you never thought you could sail in a land-locked state huh?

The lighthouse at Lake Hefner at sunset with beautiful hues of orange, pink and purple.

If you would rather get your legs moving, there is a 9.8-mile paved trail that takes you around the lake. The trail is welcome to walkers, runners, cyclists, and skating.

There is also plenty of open park space for picnics, playgrounds, volleyball courts, and baseball fields.

One of the most photographed spots at Lake Hefner might be the lighthouse. It has the look of a lighthouse you would have seen in New England in the 1700s.

The lighthouse stands 36 feet tall at the East Wharf and is a beautiful sight to see at sunset.

Note: Dogs are allowed but need to stay on a leash.

Address: Lake Hefner Pkwy, Oklahoma City, OK 73120.

23. Urban River Rafting

If you are looking for a little adventure, then hop into a raft and take off down the urban rapids in Oklahoma City!

I didn’t have time to do this activity but I can’t wait to go back and give it a try as I have done white water rafting a few times and loved it.

Just a few minutes from downtown is a white water and kayak center with RiverSports. And these rapids will get your adrenaline pumping on Class II to Class IV rapids.

Your raft guide will give you an overview and instructions on what to expect before taking the plunge. Anyone over 8 years old and weighing at least 55 pounds is welcome to join!

Is Oklahoma City safe?

Yes! I was traveling alone and did not once feel unsafe or uncomfortable navigating around the city.

That said, I didn’t go walking about late at night as in any city in the country. Not smart to be out late in a new city when traveling as a single female in general.

Overall, I was quite impressed at how clean, beautiful, and safe Oklahoma City felt and would highly recommend anyone to visit!

A fun and colorful art mural that says "Keep Oklahoma Friendly"!

Have a fun time exploring the best Oklahoma City attractions during your stay!

Got Travel Insurance?

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42 Comments

  1. Such a great article, I can see that you put a lot of time and effort. I absolutely loved the pancake haha! Good job 🙂

  2. I had no idea there were so many amazing things to do in Oklahoma City! I’d love to visit Oklahoma City National Memorial. It looks so peaceful and is such a poignant memorial. The botanical gardens look beautiful too! I hope I get an opportunity to visit. Thanks for the great guide!

    1. Oklahoma City really surprised me too to find how many interesting things there are to do and with a lot of history. In the last 5 to 20 years they have really done a great job at making the city a travel destination. 🙂

  3. I’ve yet to visit Oklahoma City, but when I do this will be my go-to resource! I want to do all 23 of these cool things to do and see.

    1. There is surprisingly a lot of great things to do in Oklahoma City and a destination I’d definitely recommend. 🙂

  4. You’ve curated so many fun and interesting things to see and do in OKC. I love all of the sculptures, especially the one of the horses rearing at the water’s edge. Pretty cool.

    1. Thanks Jolayne! The statues of the Land Run are indeed incredible to see as they are so life-like! 🙂

  5. I haven’t really thought about visiting Oklahoma, but after reading your post, I feel inspired! The Centennial Land Run Monument looks beautiful. I can only imagine how powerful visiting the Oklahoma City National Memorial was. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I’m glad I’ve inspired a desire to visit Oklahoma City! There is a lot to see with both the Land Run and the Memorial at the top of any visiting list. 🙂

  6. I never really knew a lot about Oklahoma City, but it seems like there are lots of fun things to do. I’d definitely want to visit the cowboy museum, and taking a water taxi tour would be fun. The underground tunnels seems very unique. I’ve heard some cities do this to avoid the extreme temperatures but I’ve never seen any before

    1. Visiting the Cowboy Museum and taking a water taxi tour are great picks for activities! Yes, the underground tunnels are great to escape the extreme hot and cold temps plus there is cool art. 🙂

  7. I have never visited Oklahoma City. But I now see we would find lots to keep us entertained for many days. We love to travel in the fall so it looks like Oklahoma City may be a spot to check out for interesting historical spots, great outdoor areas and to see more Chihuly glass art!

    1. Fall would be a beautiful time to visit for both indoor and outdoor activities. Yes, the Chihuly art exhibit is a wonder to see! 🙂

  8. I drove through OKC once and stopped long enough to see the memorial, but didn’t get to do anything. I Would love to go back and check some of these things out! I had no idea how many great places to eat there are!

    1. Now you have a few reasons to go back! The Memorial is so well done and definitely worth a visit and yes, so many great places to eat! 🙂

  9. Never thought about visiting Oklahoma City before. But after reading your guide I’m definitely putting the city onto my itinerary. I didn’t realise that there are so many cool things to do, like visiting the botanical garden or the art murals but especially the underground tunnels. Plus the food also looks great. Thanks for the great guide.

    1. You’re welcome! In the past decade, Oklahoma City has really stepped up its game and become an awesome place to visit. I hope you enjoy your time there when you do make it to OKC! 🙂

  10. Excellent OKC guide! I haven’t been there myself, but this makes me want to go. The memorial tugged at my heartstrings just seeing it in your article, I can only imagine how moving and eerie it is to see in person. Thanks for the detailed recommendations.

    1. You’re welcome and I’m glad seeing all the things to do in OKC is inspiring a visit! 🙂 It is hard not to tear up at the memorial as they did such a great job in how they built it.

    1. Thank you and I hope you enjoy visiting Oklahoma City when you do visit. Haha, yes the pancake was quite large and sadly I had to leave some of it as I couldn’t finish it. 🙂

  11. I had no idea there were so many amazing things to do in Oklahoma City! Silly me had no idea the city was this green and vibrant with a street art scene!
    That pancake seems to have the size of a French crepe but the thickness of an American pancake! Looks yummy.

    1. Oklahoma City is way cooler with more greenspaces than I thought too! OKC really impressed me offering up some awesome activities and food. The pancake was huge but so good and I would fly back just for that breakfast! Haha. 🙂

  12. Lots of great ideas in this post. Many of these places only popped up after I left Oklahoma. Brick town was the newest thing back then! I’d love to see the land run memorial, the statues are incredible!

    1. Thanks Lannie! I’m sure it has changed a lot since you were there as they have added a bunch over the past 5 – 10 years. Now you have a great excuse to go back and see it! 🙂

  13. Okay, I’m sold! I definitely want to visit Oklahoma City after reading this – and not just because of the extensive Chihuly exhibition, although that would have been sufficient enticement. My knowledge of OKC was previously restricted to the dreadful bombing in 1995 and I am so pleased to see how this has been marked and remembered in the city. I love the historical installations too. And that pancake! I wonder about the term Okies for the locals though: is that regarded as acceptable? I suppose I am thinking back to The Grapes of Wrath when it was a term of derision. Hopefully, things have moved on. I shall definitely be visiting OKC with this guide!

    1. Haha, I’m glad you want to visit Oklahoma City now! I was pleasantly surprised at how cool the city is and with a lot of history too. Yes, the memorial was done so well and really is the centerpiece downtown. From the locals that I met and talked to, the term Okies’s is ok to call them and they used it routinely. I never saw that movie, now you have me wanting to watch it!

    1. Haha, bikes and brew are a good combo! There are lots of fun things to do in Oklahoma City to keep you busy for a memorable weekend! 🙂

  14. I only realise now what a shame it is that during my brief stint living in Dallas, I only ever made it to Arkansas and Louisiana, never to Oklahoma.

    If someone as widely travelled as you endorses OKC the way you do, then that really means a lot to me.

    Insomnia Cookies sounds like a fabulous business idea. I know Ellie would be a frequent customer, and no doubt she’d fall for the pancake at Kitchen No. 324.

    Chihuly, VAST, and Bricktown would definitely be on my list.

    1. Well if it makes you feel any better, most of the sights listed here were put in during the last 10 years. OKC is definitely becoming a fun destination! Haha, yes the Insomnia Cookies are genius being delivered to your room! They are starting to pop up in other cities too. 🙂

  15. Wow, I didn’t realize there was so much to do in OKC. We pass through occasionally while traveling but haven’t seen this side of it. A visit to Bricktown, water taxi, Cent. Land Run Mon., Myriad Botanical, and that huge pancake would top my list. I also think Dale Chihuly glassworks would be a special experience. This article about OKC impressed me!

    1. In the past 10 to 15 years Oklahoma City has really boomed and become a great destination to visit. The Chihuly glass pieces are outstanding and a treat to see. Now you will have to stop next time you are passing through! 🙂

  16. Another excellent guide Vanessa, and to a city I’ve never visited in the US! I forgot how big American portions could be, those pancakes are huge! Bricktown looks so charming and is somewhere I’d like to see. Love the artistic statues around the city too, they add a nice touch of colour!

    1. That pancake isn’t the normal pancake portion in the U.S. either but truly the best pancake I’ve ever had. Perfect for sharing! 🙂 Bricktown is a very fun and relaxing spot all in one. I think it is being near water that has that effect. I agree, the art throughout the city adds to its charm!

  17. Yet again another comprehensive guide on must-see attractions in Oklahoma city. Myriad Botanical Gardens look beautiful and I’d like to pay my respects to all the people that tragically lost their lives in the bombing. The O Bar sounds like the perfect place for a cocktail at the end of a full day sightseeing.

    1. Thank you Wendy! There are a number of parks and gardens such as the botanical that make a wonderful place for a stroll. The memorial was done so well and respectfully pays tribute to those that lost their lives. It is both a beautiful and sad place to see but so worth it. Yes, a drink at the O Bar is the perfect way to unwind and reflect on the day! 🙂

  18. I fell in love with OKC in the brief 24 hours that I spent there! Such a fantastic city and so much to do. The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum is one of the best I’ve ever experienced – just rereading it here brings tears to my eyes.

    1. Isn’t it an awesome city? I was thoroughly impressed with the National Memorial too as it is not only beautiful but educational for those that aren’t familiar with what happened. It is definitely an underrated city and one that requires a few more visits! 🙂

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