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Small Town Travel Guide

Tulsa, Oklahoma Travel Guide

Tulsa is a city steeped in history, vibrant with culture, and brimming with enticing attractions. Nestled in the heart of America’s heartland, Tulsa has emerged as a captivating destination that effortlessly blends the charm of its past with the vibrancy of its present. From its glorious beginnings as the Oil Capital of the World to its flourishing arts scene and bustling downtown, Tulsa has something to offer every traveler.

The city’s prosperity can still be seen in its magnificent Art Deco architecture, which dots the skyline and evokes a sense of nostalgia. Tulsa’s legacy extends beyond its economic roots, with stories of resilience, cultural diversity, and the pioneering spirit of its residents. From the tragic events of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre to the revitalization of its historic districts, the city’s history is woven into the fabric of its neighborhoods.

Tulsa’s cultural landscape is equally captivating. The city boasts world-class museums, such as the Gilcrease Museum and the Philbrook Museum of Art, showcasing remarkable collections that celebrate American heritage and artistic expression. Its music scene echoes with the melodies of jazz, blues, and country, as well as a thriving indie and alternative music community. From the iconic Cain’s Ballroom to the lively performances at the BOK Center, Tulsa’s stages have hosted legendary artists and continue to nurture emerging talent.

Beyond its historical and cultural allure, Tulsa entices visitors with a plethora of attractions and activities. Explore the pristine natural beauty of parks and trails, immerse yourself in the interactive wonders of the Gathering Place, or embark on a journey along the iconic Route 66. Indulge your taste buds in a culinary scene that blends local flavors with international influences, shop at unique boutiques and art galleries, and revel in the city’s vibrant festivals and events.

Whether you’re a history buff, art enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking an authentic American experience, Tulsa welcomes you with open arms. So, pack your curiosity and embark on a virtual exploration of this dynamic city through our comprehensive travel guide. Discover the stories, uncover hidden gems, and let Tulsa’s charm captivate you as you navigate its diverse neighborhoods and immerse yourself in its cultural tapestry. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the heartland of Oklahoma.

Traveling to Tulsa

Traveling to Tulsa is a breeze, thanks to its convenient transportation options. If you’re arriving by air, Tulsa International Airport (TUL) is the gateway to the city, serving numerous domestic and international flights. Situated just a short drive from downtown Tulsa, the airport offers various ground transportation options, including car rentals, taxis, ride-sharing services, and shuttle buses.

For those traveling by road, Tulsa is well-connected to major highways. Interstate 44 runs east-west through the city, providing easy access from neighboring states and connecting with other major interstates. Interstate 244 forms a loop around downtown Tulsa, offering convenient access to various districts and attractions. Additionally, Interstate 40 and Historic Route 66 pass through Tulsa, providing a nostalgic and scenic route for road trippers.

Once in Tulsa, getting around the city is straightforward. The arterial streets and highways make navigation relatively easy, and the city is serviced by a reliable public transportation system, including buses operated by Tulsa Transit. Rental cars are readily available, giving you the flexibility to explore the city and its surrounding areas at your own pace.

Downtown Tulsa Skyline Arial View

Downtown Tulsa

The vibrant heart of the city that offers a blend of history, culture, and urban charm. As you explore this bustling district, you’ll discover that downtown Tulsa is not just one neighborhood, but a collection of unique districts, each with its own distinct character and offerings. What makes downtown Tulsa even more appealing is that all these districts are conveniently located within the Inner Dispersal Loop (IDL), making it easy to navigate and explore.

Tulsa Arts District

Formerly known as the Brady Arts District, this eclectic and vibrant neighborhood in downtown Tulsa celebrates art, culture, and creativity. The area was originally named for Tate Brady, a Tulsa founder, millionaire, and Klu Klux Klansman. The district, the iconic Brady Theater, and Brady Street were all renamed in the late 2010s. This district has undergone a revitalization in recent years, transforming into a hub for artists, musicians, and art enthusiasts.

One of the defining features of the Tulsa Arts District is its thriving arts scene. The district is home to numerous galleries, studios, and creative spaces where local and international artists showcase their work. From contemporary art exhibitions to experimental installations, the district offers a diverse range of artistic expressions that will captivate and inspire.

Beyond the galleries, the Tulsa Arts District comes alive with live music performances, theater shows, and cultural events. The historic Tulsa Theater serves as a centerpiece, hosting concerts and performances by renowned artists. You can also explore smaller venues that showcase emerging talent and local musicians, immersing yourself in the vibrant music scene that Tulsa is known for.

As you wander through the streets of the Tulsa Arts District, you’ll find an array of unique shops, boutiques, and specialty stores. From vintage clothing and one-of-a-kind antiques to handmade crafts and local artisan goods, the district offers a treasure trove of shopping opportunities for those seeking something out of the ordinary.

When it comes to dining, the Tulsa Arts District doesn’t disappoint. You’ll discover a variety of culinary delights, ranging from cozy cafes and trendy coffee shops to upscale restaurants and innovative eateries. Whether you’re craving a gourmet meal, a quick bite, or a delicious cup of coffee, the district’s dining options cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

The Tulsa Arts District also hosts regular events and festivals that showcase the district’s vibrant spirit. From art walks and gallery openings to street festivals and live performances, there’s always something happening that will keep you entertained and immersed in the creative atmosphere of the neighborhood.

Popular Attractions in the Tulsa Arts District

  • Center of the Universe: a fascinating acoustic anomaly that lures curious visitors. Standing within the center’s circle of red bricks, one can experience a mysterious acoustic phenomenon where sounds are amplified and distorted, creating a surreal and captivating experience that leaves visitors questioning the laws of physics.
  • Bob Dylan Center: a haven for fans of the legendary singer-songwriter. This immersive museum and cultural center showcases the life, music, and enduring legacy of Bob Dylan through exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays, allowing visitors to delve deep into the iconic artist’s journey and profound impact on music and popular culture.
  • Woody Guthrie Center: a tribute to the iconic folk musician and social activist, Woody Guthrie. This engaging museum and archive preserves Guthrie’s legacy through exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays that explore his life, music, and influence on American folk culture. Visitors can immerse themselves in Guthrie’s world, gaining a deeper understanding of his enduring impact and the causes he championed.
Woody Guthrie Center Mural in Tulsa copy
  • Guthrie Green: a vibrant urban park that serves as a central gathering place for the community. This beautifully landscaped green space offers a variety of amenities, including a stage for live performances, a splash pad for children to enjoy, and a pavilion for community events. With its welcoming atmosphere, Guthrie Green is the perfect spot to relax, attend concerts, participate in fitness classes, or simply soak up the lively energy of downtown Tulsa.
  • Cain’s Ballroom: an iconic music that holds a special place in the hearts of music enthusiasts. With its rich history and intimate atmosphere, Cain’s Ballroom has hosted legendary artists from various genres, including Bob Wills, the “King of Western Swing.” Its historic charm and excellent acoustics continue to draw both renowned performers and passionate fans, making it a must-visit destination for live music lovers in Tulsa.
  • OKPOP Museum: showcases the achievements and contributions of notable Oklahomans in fields such as music, film, sports, and pop culture. From exploring the influence of musicians like Woody Guthrie and Leon Russell to discovering the impact of films and TV shows rooted in Oklahoma, the OKPOP Museum offers an immersive and entertaining experience for visitors of all ages.

Greenwood District

Also known as Black Wall Street, this neighborhood holds a significant place in American history as the site of a thriving African American community in the early 20th century. Despite facing adversity, Greenwood prospered and became a center of black entrepreneurship, culture, and community strength.

Greenwood was home to a multitude of successful businesses, including banks, hotels, theaters, and shops, which were owned and operated by African Americans. The district’s economic success and vibrant social life made it a beacon of hope and inspiration for many.

Tragically, Greenwood was subjected to the devastating Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, which resulted in the destruction of the district and the loss of countless lives and businesses. However, the spirit of resilience and determination prevailed, and the community began to rebuild.

Today, the Greenwood District stands as a testament to the strength of its residents and the importance of preserving its history.  As you stroll through the streets of Greenwood, you’ll find historic markers, memorials, and preserved buildings that pay homage to its rich heritage. 

Popular Attractions in Greenwood District

  • Greenwood Rising Black Wall St. History Center: This cultural and educational facility aims to commemorate the history of Black Wall Street in Tulsa’s Greenwood District. This state-of-the-art center provides visitors with an immersive and interactive experience, exploring the rise, fall, and resilience of the historic district. 
  • The Greenwood Cultural Center: serves as a vital hub for preserving and promoting the rich history and culture of the community. Through exhibits, educational programs, and community events, the center honors the legacy of Black Wall Street, showcases the achievements of its residents, and provides a space for reflection, healing, and celebration. With its engaging displays and commitment to storytelling, the Greenwood Cultural Center plays a significant role in educating visitors about the district’s past and inspiring conversations about racial reconciliation and social justice.
  • ONEOK Field: a premier sports and entertainment venue that serves as the home stadium for the Tulsa Drillers baseball team and the FC Tulsa soccer team. With its modern design, comfortable seating, and stunning views of the downtown skyline, the stadium provides an exceptional experience for fans attending games. 
  • John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park: a poignant and powerful tribute to the ongoing journey towards racial healing and unity. The park commemorates the tragic events of the Tulsa Race Massacre while promoting reconciliation and understanding among all communities. Its serene landscape, thought-provoking sculptures, and educational displays create a space for reflection, dialogue, and progress as visitors engage with the park’s mission of healing historical wounds and fostering a more inclusive future.
  • Mt. Zion Baptist Church: Established in 1908, this historic church played a vital role in providing spiritual guidance, community support, and a gathering place for the residents of Greenwood. Today, it stands as a symbol of resilience, faith, and the enduring spirit of the community, inviting visitors to explore its rich history and experience the cultural heritage it represents.

Blue Dome District

Named after its iconic blue dome building, this district offers a unique blend of history, entertainment, and urban charm. With its lively atmosphere, eclectic shops, trendy restaurants, and vibrant nightlife, the Blue Dome District is a must-visit destination for those seeking a diverse and energetic experience in the heart of the city.

Popular Attractions in Blue Dome District

  • The Blue Dome: Originally built in 1924 as a gas station, the Blue Dome Building is instantly recognizable for its distinctive blue dome that crowns the building. Today, it serves as a symbol of the district’s revitalization and houses a variety of businesses, including restaurants, bars, boutiques, and galleries. The Blue Dome Building’s unique architectural charm, coupled with its vibrant atmosphere, makes it a focal point of the district and a popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike.
  • The Max Retropub: a beloved establishment in Tulsa’s Blue Dome District. This retro-themed pub offers a delightful blend of nostalgia, great drinks, and a vibrant atmosphere. With its vintage decor, arcade games, and a menu featuring 80s-inspired beverages, The Max Retropub is the perfect spot to unwind, reminisce, and enjoy a unique experience that takes you back in time. 
  • James E. McNellies Public House: a beloved Irish pub and restaurant known for its warm and inviting atmosphere. With its charming interior, friendly staff, and extensive selection of beers from around the world, McNellie’s offers a true taste of Irish hospitality. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a traditional Irish dish or simply relax with friends over a pint, McNellie’s is the perfect place to unwind and savor the lively spirit of this classic neighborhood pub.

Arena District

Anchored by the BOK Center, this dynamic district offers a diverse array of attractions, including live concerts, sporting events, vibrant nightlife, and an array of dining options. Whether you’re a sports enthusiast, a music lover, or simply seeking a lively atmosphere, the Arena District is the place to be for unforgettable experiences and memorable moments in the heart of Tulsa.

Popular Attractions in the Blue Dome District

  • The BOK Center: an architectural marvel and a premier entertainment venue, this state-of-the-art arena hosts a wide range of world-class events, including concerts by renowned artists, thrilling sporting events, and captivating live performances. The BOK Center hosts the Big 12 and NCAA Wrestling Tournaments and is the home of the Tulsa Oilers hockey and arena football teams.
  • Cox Convention Center: a premier event venue known for hosting conventions, conferences, and trade shows. With its modern facilities and flexible event spaces, it provides a professional environment for a variety of gatherings. Located in the heart of the city, the Cox Convention Center is a hub for bringing people together and facilitating successful events in Tulsa.

The Deco District

Tulsa’s Deco District is a captivating neighborhood that pays homage to the Art Deco architectural style of the 1920s and 1930s. Nestled in downtown Tulsa, this district is a treasure trove of stunning buildings adorned with intricate designs, geometric patterns, and vibrant colors. Explore the streets lined with Art Deco masterpieces, visit iconic landmarks, and immerse yourself in the rich history and unique charm of this architectural gem. The Deco District is a must-visit destination for art and history enthusiasts, offering a glimpse into Tulsa’s golden era of design and innovation.

Popular Attractions in the Deco District

  • Boston Avenue Methodist Church: This striking church is considered one of the finest examples of ecclesiastical Art Deco architecture in the world. Its unique design features intricate geometric patterns, stunning stained glass windows, and a towering spire.
  • Philcade Building: A prominent fixture of Tulsa’s skyline, the Philcade Building showcases Art Deco elegance with its intricate terra cotta detailing and geometric motifs. It houses various businesses and is known for its distinctive Ziggurat-inspired setbacks.
  • Mayo Hotel: This historic hotel, restored to its former Art Deco glory, is a Tulsa landmark. With its ornate lobby, lavish interiors, and grand architecture, the Mayo Hotel stands as a testament to the opulence of the era. It also features a popular rooftop bar.
  • Tulsa Club Building: Once a prestigious social club, the Tulsa Club Building is an architectural gem featuring a striking façade with geometric designs and stylized ornamentation. It has been repurposed as a boutique hotel, preserving its original charm.
  • Philtower Building: The Philtower is a prominent skyscraper adorned with beautiful Art Deco elements. Its distinctive design, including setbacks and ornamental details, makes it a standout in the downtown skyline.
  • Atlas Life Building: This historic high-rise showcases Art Deco influences in its façade and lobby. With its sleek lines, ornate details, and vertical emphasis, the Atlas Life Building is a captivating example of the style.
  • Tulsa Central Library: The Central Library building showcases a blend of Art Deco and classical architectural elements. Its stunning entrance and interior features provide a unique setting for literary exploration.

East Village District

Located on the eastern edge of downtown, this district has experienced a revitalization in recent years, becoming a hub of creativity, culture, and community. With its eclectic mix of shops, galleries, restaurants, and entertainment venues, the East Village District offers a unique and dynamic atmosphere for visitors to explore and discover. From local boutiques to art galleries and trendy eateries, this neighborhood is a must-visit destination for those seeking a blend of history, creativity, and a lively urban experience in Tulsa.

Popular Attractions in the East Village District

  • The Boxyard: This innovative shopping center is made up of repurposed shipping containers, offering a unique retail experience. The Boxyard features a variety of shops, boutiques, and eateries, showcasing local artisans, fashion, and cuisine.
  • East Village Bohemian Pizzeria: This funky pizzeria offers a diverse menu of artisanal pizzas, salads, and sandwiches. With its eclectic decor and welcoming atmosphere, it’s a popular spot for a casual and delicious meal.
  • The Fur Shop: a popular bar and music venue known for its live performances, craft cocktails, and cozy atmosphere. With a diverse lineup of local and touring acts, it’s a favorite spot for music enthusiasts seeking a vibrant and intimate setting in Tulsa.

The Cathedral District

A neighborhood rich in history and architectural beauty, this district is home to several impressive cathedrals and churches that showcase stunning craftsmanship and religious significance. The Cathedral District offers visitors a chance to explore magnificent architectural gems, attend services, and experience the spiritual and cultural heritage of Tulsa. 

Popular Attractions in the Cathedral District

  • Holy Family Cathedral: A stunning Roman Catholic cathedral known for its Gothic Revival architecture and beautiful stained glass windows. Visitors can attend mass or simply admire the intricate details and serene atmosphere of this sacred space.
  • Trinity Episcopal Church: An iconic landmark in the Cathedral District, Trinity Episcopal Church showcases impressive Gothic architecture and hosts regular worship services. The church’s intricate stonework and towering spires make it a must-see for architecture enthusiasts.
  • First Presbyterian Church: This historic church features a blend of Gothic and Tudor Revival styles, with its intricate stone carvings and stunning stained glass windows. Visitors can attend services or appreciate the architectural beauty from the outside.
  • Boston Avenue United Methodist Church: A masterpiece of Art Deco architecture, Boston Avenue United Methodist Church is a unique blend of geometric patterns, intricate stonework, and decorative details. The church offers guided tours to visitors, allowing them to learn about its rich history and marvel at its beauty.
  • First Christian Church: Designed by renowned architect Bruce Goff, First Christian Church stands out with its modern and unconventional design. The church’s unique architecture, featuring large geometric forms and unconventional angles, makes it a captivating attraction.

Brookside

One of Tulsa’s most vibrant and eclectic neighborhoods, located just south of downtown, Brookside offers a unique blend of charm, diversity, and a lively atmosphere. With its tree-lined streets, boutique shops, diverse dining options, and thriving entertainment scene, Brookside is a beloved destination for locals and visitors alike. 

Popular Attractions on Brookside

  • Shades of Brown:  a beloved coffee shop known for its quality brews and welcoming atmosphere. Perfect for coffee enthusiasts and those seeking a cozy spot to relax or catch up with friends.
  • The Brook: a beloved restaurant and bar known for its inviting atmosphere and diverse menu. With a range of delicious dishes and crafted cocktails, it’s the perfect spot for a memorable dining experience in the heart of Brookside.
  • Mondo’s Ristorante Italian: With its warm ambiance and delicious menu featuring classic pasta dishes, wood-fired pizzas, and delectable desserts, it’s a must-visit spot for Italian cuisine lovers in Brookside.
  • Ida Red: a charming boutique and soda fountain known for its nostalgic vibes and curated selection of unique gifts, clothing, candy, and home goods.

Cherry Street

Located near downtown, Cherry Street is a popular destination for locals and visitors seeking a unique mix of dining, shopping, and entertainment. With its tree-lined streets and historic buildings, this eclectic neighborhood offers a charming atmosphere that is both lively and inviting. From trendy boutiques and cozy cafes to diverse restaurants and vibrant nightlife, Cherry Street has something to offer everyone. 

Popular Attractions on Cherry Street

  • Nola’s Creole & Cocktails: brings the flavors of New Orleans to Oklahoma with its lively atmosphere and Cajun and Creole cuisine. From gumbo to po’ boys, this vibrant restaurant captures the essence of New Orleans and offers a unique dining experience in the heart of Cherry Street.
  • Pinkitzel Cupcakes & Candy: a whimsical candy and gift shop that offers a delightful selection of sweets and novelty items. With its charming decor and nostalgic atmosphere, it’s a must-visit destination for those seeking a touch of magic and a sweet treat in Cherry Street.
  • Roosevelt’s: a popular restaurant and bar known for its incredible Christmas decor. Drawing visitors from across the Midwest, the restaurant transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season, creating a magical and festive atmosphere that adds to the dining experience in Cherry Street.
  • Kilkenny’s Irish Pub: a cozy Irish pub with traditional Irish dishes, a wide selection of beers, and live music.

The Pearl District

The Pearl District is a trendy and up-and-coming neighborhood located just east of downtown Tulsa. Known for its industrial-chic vibe and creative energy, the Pearl District is home to an eclectic mix of art galleries, boutiques, breweries, and restaurants. With its unique blend of old and new, this revitalized district offers a vibrant atmosphere and is a hub for local artists and artisans. 

Popular Attractions in the Pearl District

  • Dead Armadillo Craft Brewing: a popular local brewery known for its diverse selection of craft beers. With a relaxed atmosphere and spacious taproom, it’s a great spot to enjoy a cold brew and immerse yourself in Tulsa’s vibrant craft beer culture.
  • Pearl Beach Brew Pub: a tropical-themed brewpub that offers a laid-back atmosphere and a variety of craft beers. With its beach-inspired decor and delicious pub fare, it’s the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a cold brew in the heart of the Pearl District.
  • Veterans Park: a peaceful and scenic park dedicated to honoring and remembering military veterans. With its serene atmosphere and beautiful monuments, it provides a tranquil space for reflection and remembrance in the heart of the Pearl District.
  • Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios on 66: a unique store filled with eclectic and retro items. From vintage clothing to cosmic-themed collectibles, it’s a must-visit spot for those seeking quirky and nostalgic treasures. Don’t miss the chance to take a photo with the iconic 21-foot-tall Buck Atom spaceman!
  • Decopolis Tulsa Art Deco Museum: a captivating store that celebrates the Art Deco era. With its curated selection of vintage and modern art, collectibles, and gifts, it’s a must-visit destination for art and design enthusiasts. Discover unique treasures that pay homage to Tulsa’s rich architectural history and immerse yourself in the allure of Art Deco at Decopolis.

Kendall Whittier District

The Kendall Whittier District is a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood located in the heart of Tulsa. Known for its diverse community and creative energy, this district offers a mix of art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and live music venues. With its historic charm and thriving cultural scene, Kendall Whittier is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Explore the unique shops, savor delicious cuisine, and soak in the artistic atmosphere of this dynamic district. 

Popular Attractions in Kendall Whittier

  • Whittier Square Clock Tower:  an iconic landmark that serves as a symbol of the neighborhood’s history and community spirit, and it’s a popular spot for gatherings and events. 
  • Circle Cinema: a historic movie theater that has been entertaining audiences since 1928. Known for its diverse selection of films, including independent and international releases, it offers a unique and enriching cinematic experience. 
  • Marshall Brewing Company & Taproom:  a renowned craft brewery known for its exceptional range of handcrafted beers. With a focus on traditional brewing methods and high-quality ingredients, Marshall Brewing offers a variety of styles to satisfy beer enthusiasts. 
  • Kendall Whittier Art Festival: This lively festival brings together local artists, musicians, and performers to showcase their talents and creations. Visitors can browse through a wide range of art exhibits, enjoy live music, participate in interactive activities, and indulge in delicious food from local vendors. 

Historical and Cultural Attractions

Gilcrease Museum

Founded by Thomas Gilcrease, an avid art collector and philanthropist, the museum houses over 10,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and artifacts that celebrate the diverse cultural heritage of the American West. 

Visitors can explore the impressive galleries, attend educational programs, and stroll through the beautiful gardens surrounding the museum. The Gilcrease Museum offers a fascinating journey through American history and art, making it a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Philbrook Museum of Art

Housed in a stunning Italian Renaissance-style villa, the museum showcases an extensive collection of art from various periods and cultures. Visitors can admire works by renowned artists, explore beautifully curated exhibitions, and stroll through the museum’s picturesque gardens. 

The Philbrook Museum also hosts educational programs, events, and community outreach initiatives, fostering a vibrant art and cultural scene in Tulsa. With its impressive art collection and serene surroundings, the Philbrook Museum offers a delightful experience for art lovers and visitors of all ages.

Route 66

The Mother Road holds a special place in the hearts of travelers and history enthusiasts, and Tulsa is proud to be a part of its iconic path. As you journey through Tulsa on Route 66, you’ll experience a nostalgic blend of Americana and vibrant local culture. From the classic neon signs and roadside attractions to the historic landmarks and quirky diners, Route 66 in Tulsa offers a glimpse into the past while showcasing the city’s unique charm. Whether you’re exploring the vintage motels, browsing the souvenir shops, or simply taking a drive down this legendary highway, a visit to Route 66 in Tulsa is a memorable adventure that captures the spirit of the open road.

Popular Route 66 Stops in Tulsa

  • East Gateway Arch: a striking landmark that welcomes visitors to the vibrant East Village District. With its contemporary design and symbolic significance, the arch serves as an iconic symbol of Tulsa’s urban development and community spirit. As you pass through the arch, you’ll discover a neighborhood filled with diverse attractions, making it a must-see destination in the city.
  • Route 66 Rising: a captivating symbol of the famous highway’s legacy. This impressive steel structure represents the spirit of adventure and nostalgia associated with Route 66, making it a must-see attraction for visitors in Tulsa.
  • Desert Hills Motel: a classic roadside accommodation that offers a vintage charm and a touch of nostalgia. This iconic motel captures the spirit of the Route 66 era, with its distinctive architecture and retro-inspired signage. Guests can expect comfortable rooms, friendly service, and a glimpse into the heyday of American road trips. 
  • Mother Road Market:  a lively food hall that celebrates the spirit of Route 66. With a variety of local food vendors offering delicious treats, it’s a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts and those seeking a taste of nostalgia.
  • The Meadow Gold Sign: a beloved symbol of the city’s heritage serves as a picturesque reminder of its rich dairy history. With its vintage charm and prominent presence, it has become an iconic landmark and a popular spot for capturing memorable photos.
  • Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza: pays tribute to the “Father of Route 66” and offers a serene space to learn about the highway’s historic significance. With its inviting design and interactive exhibits, it’s a must-visit spot for history and Route 66 enthusiasts.
  • West Gateway Arch: a magnificent architectural landmark that greets visitors with its grand presence. Offering panoramic views and a symbol of Tulsa’s vibrant spirit, it’s a must-see attraction for capturing the city’s essence.

The Golden Driller

The Golden Driller is an impressive landmark and beloved symbol of Tulsa. Standing at over 75 feet tall, this iconic statue depicts an oil worker and represents the city’s rich history in the petroleum industry. The Golden Driller has become an iconic image associated with Tulsa and serves as a popular tourist attraction and meeting point for events. 

Tulsa Historical Society & Museum

The Tulsa Historical Society & Museum is a treasure trove of knowledge and artifacts that chronicle the rich history of Tulsa. Located in the historic Travis Mansion at Woodward Park, the museum showcases a diverse collection of photographs, documents, and exhibits that offer a glimpse into the city’s past. 

Visitors can explore exhibits highlighting Tulsa’s oil boom, Route 66, Native American heritage, and the tragic events of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. With engaging displays and informative presentations, the Tulsa Historical Society & Museum provides a fascinating journey through time, allowing visitors to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the city’s unique heritage.

Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium

The Tulsa Air and Space Museum is a captivating destination that invites visitors to explore the wonders of aviation and space. With its impressive collection of aircraft, interactive exhibits, and educational programs, the museum offers an immersive experience for all ages. Step into the cockpit of historic planes, learn about the pioneers of flight, and marvel at the advancements in aerospace technology. 

The planetarium provides a journey through the cosmos with stunning visual displays and educational shows that bring the mysteries of the universe to life. Whether you’re a fan of aviation, astronomy, or simply curious about the wonders of space, the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium is an inspiring place to ignite your imagination and explore the limitless possibilities of flight and exploration.

Tulsa Performing Arts Center

The Tulsa PAC stands as a beacon of artistic excellence in the heart of the city. This world-class facility hosts a diverse range of performances, including Broadway shows, ballet, opera, symphony concerts, and more. With its state-of-the-art theaters and acoustics, audiences are treated to unforgettable experiences that showcase the talents of local and international artists. 

From the grandeur of the Chapman Music Hall to the intimate setting of the John H. Williams Theatre, the Tulsa Performing Arts Center offers a stage for creativity and cultural expression. Whether you’re a seasoned theater enthusiast or simply looking for a memorable night out, this iconic venue promises to transport you into the enchanting world of live performances and leave you inspired.

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is a vibrant tribute to the rich history and legacy of jazz music in the state. Located in the historic Tulsa Union Depot, the hall showcases a collection of memorabilia, exhibits, and interactive displays that celebrate the musicians, composers, and influencers who have shaped the genre. From the pioneers of jazz to contemporary artists, the hall honors their contributions through live performances, educational programs, and special events. 

Visitors can immerse themselves in the captivating world of jazz, explore the evolution of the genre, and discover the unique stories of Oklahoma’s jazz legends. Whether you’re a jazz enthusiast or simply appreciate the artistry of this iconic American music style, the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame offers an immersive and enlightening experience for all.

Outdoor and Recreational Activities

Tulsa is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a plethora of recreational opportunities that cater to all interests and skill levels. From stunning parks and trails to exciting annual events, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Tulsa’s great outdoors.

Nature lovers can explore the city’s numerous parks, such as the scenic Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area and the sprawling River Parks, which span miles along the Arkansas River. These green spaces offer a range of activities including hiking, biking, picnicking, and wildlife spotting.

Tulsa is also known for its vibrant sports scene and hosts several annual events that attract athletes and spectators from around the world. Tulsa Tough is a thrilling cycling event that showcases challenging races throughout the city’s streets, while the Route 66 Marathon takes participants on a scenic course through iconic Route 66 landmarks. For those seeking the ultimate endurance test, IronMan Tulsa offers a grueling triathlon experience, challenging athletes to swim, bike, and run across the city’s beautiful landscapes.

Beyond these notable events, Tulsa boasts a wealth of opportunities for outdoor recreation throughout the year. From golf courses and disc golf parks to fishing spots and water sports on nearby lakes, the options are endless. Whether you’re looking to challenge yourself, immerse in nature, or simply enjoy a leisurely day outdoors, Tulsa’s recreational offerings provide a vibrant and diverse playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

The Gathering Place

The Gathering Place is a true gem in Tulsa’s recreational landscape, offering an unparalleled experience for visitors of all ages. This world-class park, spanning over 100 acres along the Arkansas River, has quickly become a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike.

With its innovative design and stunning natural surroundings, the Gathering Place offers a diverse range of activities and attractions. The park features beautifully landscaped gardens, serene walking trails, and expansive green spaces perfect for picnics and relaxation. The playgrounds are a hit with kids, featuring imaginative structures, water play areas, and even a giant pirate ship.

One of the standout features of the Gathering Place is its state-of-the-art sports courts and athletic facilities. From basketball and volleyball courts to soccer fields and skate parks, sports enthusiasts have plenty of opportunities to engage in their favorite activities. The park also offers opportunities for water recreation, including kayaking and paddleboarding on the tranquil Peggy’s Pond.

Throughout the year, the Gathering Place hosts a variety of events, including concerts, festivals, and community gatherings. Visitors can enjoy live performances at the stunning outdoor amphitheater or participate in educational and cultural activities held in the park’s designated areas.

What sets the Gathering Place apart is its commitment to inclusivity and accessibility. The park offers amenities and programming that cater to visitors of all abilities, ensuring that everyone can fully enjoy their experience. From accessible pathways and adaptive playground equipment to sensory gardens and inclusive programming, the Gathering Place strives to create an inclusive environment for all.

Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area

Turkey Mountain is a nature lover’s paradise located in the heart of Tulsa. This urban wilderness area offers a unique escape from the bustling city and provides a wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities.

Spanning over 300 acres, Turkey Mountain boasts a network of scenic hiking and biking trails that wind through diverse landscapes. From dense forests to open meadows, visitors can explore the natural beauty of the area while enjoying stunning views of the Arkansas River and the surrounding cityscape. The trails are suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to experienced adventurers, and offer a range of distances and difficulty levels.

In addition to hiking and biking, Turkey Mountain is a popular spot for trail running, birdwatching, and wildlife observation. The area is home to a variety of plant and animal species, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts. It’s not uncommon to spot deer, squirrels, and a wide array of bird species during your visit.

Throughout the year, Turkey Mountain hosts various events and activities, including guided hikes, trail races, and educational programs. These opportunities allow visitors to deepen their connection with nature and learn more about the unique ecosystem of the area.

River Parks

River Parks is a vibrant and picturesque recreational area that stretches along the banks of the Arkansas River in Tulsa. This expansive park system offers a wide range of outdoor activities and attractions, making it a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike.

With over 26 miles of paved trails, River Parks provides an ideal setting for walking, jogging, cycling, and rollerblading. The trails meander through lush green spaces, offering stunning views of the river, towering trees, and colorful wildflowers. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an energetic bike ride, the trails of River Parks cater to all fitness levels and preferences.

Water enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to enjoy the river, as River Parks offers access for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines and try their luck at catching various species of fish that inhabit the river.

Picnic areas, playgrounds, and open green spaces are scattered throughout River Parks, providing perfect spots for family gatherings, picnics, and outdoor games. The park also features sports fields, tennis courts, disc golf courses, and volleyball courts, inviting visitors to engage in friendly competitions and team activities.

River Parks is not just a place for outdoor recreation; it’s also a venue for various cultural events and festivals. From music concerts to art exhibitions, the park hosts a diverse range of events throughout the year that showcase Tulsa’s rich cultural heritage and vibrant arts scene.

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the abundant wildlife that calls River Parks home. Keep an eye out for graceful deer, playful squirrels, and a variety of bird species that inhabit the park. Birdwatchers can indulge in spotting rare and migratory birds along the river’s edge.

Tulsa Botanic Garden

The Tulsa Botanic Garden is a lush oasis that showcases the natural beauty and diversity of plant life. Situated on over 170 acres of rolling hills and scenic landscapes, this botanical garden offers a serene and immersive experience for visitors.

Stroll through the meticulously designed gardens and discover a wide variety of plants, flowers, and trees from around the world. From vibrant displays of tulips in the spring to the vibrant colors of fall foliage, each season brings its own enchanting beauty to the garden.

The Tulsa Botanic Garden features themed gardens that cater to different botanical interests. Explore the tranquil Japanese Garden with its serene water features, stone lanterns, and carefully manicured landscapes. Wander through the stunning rock gardens adorned with unique rock formations and alpine plants. Marvel at the vibrant colors and scents of the extensive collection of roses in the Rose Garden. Discover the wonders of the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Floral Terraces, where cascading flowerbeds create a breathtaking display.

Beyond the gardens, the Tulsa Botanic Garden offers various amenities and attractions. Attend educational programs and workshops to deepen your knowledge of horticulture and gardening techniques. Explore the Children’s Discovery Garden, where young visitors can engage in hands-on activities and learn about the wonders of nature. Take a peaceful walk along the nature trails that wind through the surrounding woodlands and enjoy the sights and sounds of the natural environment.

Throughout the year, the Tulsa Botanic Garden hosts a variety of events, including seasonal festivals, plant sales, and outdoor concerts. These events provide opportunities for visitors to engage with the garden in a lively and vibrant atmosphere.

Whether you’re a gardening enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, the Tulsa Botanic Garden offers a captivating experience for visitors of all ages. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural world, explore the diverse plant collections, and find inspiration in the serene surroundings of this botanical paradise.

Tulsa Zoo

The Tulsa Zoo is a captivating destination that offers a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Located on 85 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, the zoo is home to a diverse array of animals from around the world.

Step into different regions of the world as you explore the various exhibits and habitats within the Tulsa Zoo. Encounter majestic creatures like elephants, giraffes, and lions in the African Plains exhibit, or observe playful primates and colorful birds in the Rainforest exhibit. Marvel at the underwater world in the Mary K. Chapman Rhino Reserve, where you can witness the grace and power of rhinoceroses and other aquatic species.

The Tulsa Zoo is dedicated to conservation and education, with a focus on providing enriching experiences that inspire a love for wildlife and the environment. Engage with zookeepers and participate in interactive animal encounters, where you can learn fascinating facts and get up-close with some of the zoo’s residents.

In addition to the animal exhibits, the Tulsa Zoo offers a range of amenities and activities. Take a ride on the Safari Train for a unique perspective of the zoo, or enjoy a leisurely stroll through beautifully landscaped gardens and scenic pathways. The zoo also hosts special events and programs throughout the year, including educational workshops, animal feedings, and seasonal celebrations.

For families, the Tulsa Zoo provides a variety of child-friendly attractions, including a playground, carousel, and splash pad where little ones can cool off on hot summer days. There are also dining options available within the zoo grounds, ensuring that visitors can refuel and recharge during their exploration.

By visiting the Tulsa Zoo, you not only have the opportunity to witness incredible animals up close, but also contribute to the zoo’s conservation efforts and support the well-being of the animals in their care. Discover the wonders of the natural world, gain a deeper understanding of wildlife, and create lasting memories at the Tulsa Zoo.

Utica Square

Utica Square is a premier shopping and dining destination with charming European-style architecture and a sophisticated ambiance that offers a unique and upscale shopping experience.

Nestled in the heart of midtown, Utica Square features a variety of high-end retail stores, boutiques, and specialty shops. From fashion and accessories to home decor and gifts, there is something for everyone’s taste and style. Browse through renowned brands and designer labels, or explore local retailers offering one-of-a-kind treasures.

Apart from its exceptional shopping options, Utica Square also boasts a vibrant dining scene. Indulge in a culinary journey with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and eateries that offer diverse cuisines and culinary delights. Whether you’re craving gourmet dishes, casual fare, or a quick coffee break, you’ll find an array of dining choices to satisfy your palate.

In addition to its shopping and dining offerings, Utica Square provides a pleasant outdoor setting with beautifully landscaped gardens, fountains, and seating areas. Take a leisurely stroll along the pedestrian-friendly walkways and enjoy the picturesque surroundings.

Throughout the year, Utica Square hosts various events and festivals, creating a lively and engaging atmosphere for visitors. From seasonal celebrations to live music performances, there’s always something happening at Utica Square to entertain and delight.

Events and Festivals

Tulsa State Fair

The Tulsa State Fair is a cherished annual event that captures the essence of community spirit and celebration. With over a century of history, this iconic fair has become a beloved tradition in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Every year, during the fall season, people from near and far flock to the Tulsa Expo Square to experience the excitement, entertainment, and unique attractions that the fair has to offer.

One of the main draws of the Tulsa State Fair is its thrilling rides and amusements. From towering Ferris wheels to heart-pounding roller coasters, there’s no shortage of adrenaline-pumping adventures for thrill-seekers of all ages. Families can create lasting memories as they take part in the classic fair games and enjoy the whimsical atmosphere created by the vibrant lights and cheerful music.

Food lovers are in for a treat at the Tulsa State Fair, with a mouthwatering array of culinary delights. The fair is renowned for its wide variety of food options, from traditional fair favorites like cotton candy and funnel cakes to more adventurous and indulgent treats. Visitors can savor everything from barbecue and corn dogs to gourmet burgers and international cuisines, ensuring there’s something to satisfy every palate.

In addition to the rides and food, the Tulsa State Fair showcases the region’s rich agricultural heritage. Livestock exhibits and competitions highlight the hard work and dedication of local farmers and ranchers, showcasing prize-winning animals and impressive displays of crops. Visitors can immerse themselves in the world of agriculture, gaining a deeper appreciation for the vital role it plays in the community.

With its thrilling rides, delectable food options, and celebration of agriculture, the Tulsa State Fair offers a diverse and exciting experience for all who attend. It brings people together, fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie as they enjoy the festivities and create cherished memories. The fair’s longstanding tradition and enduring popularity are a testament to its enduring charm and the enduring place it holds in the hearts of the Tulsa community.

Mayfest

Mayfest is a vibrant celebration of art, music, and community that takes place in downtown Tulsa each year. This four-day festival brings together artists, performers, and visitors from all walks of life to experience the richness of creativity and cultural expression.

One of the highlights of Mayfest is the extensive art market, featuring over 100 talented artists showcasing their works. From paintings and sculptures to jewelry and ceramics, the art market offers a diverse range of mediums and styles, allowing visitors to explore and appreciate the talents of local and national artists.

Music is a central element of Mayfest, with multiple stages hosting an array of live performances throughout the event. From local bands to internationally renowned acts, the festival’s music lineup offers something for every musical taste. Visitors can enjoy a variety of genres, including rock, jazz, blues, and folk, creating a vibrant and lively atmosphere that fills the streets of downtown Tulsa.

Beyond the art and music, Mayfest also features an array of food vendors serving up delicious culinary delights. From traditional fair food to international cuisines, visitors can indulge in a wide range of flavors and satisfy their taste buds. The festival also offers activities for children, including interactive art projects and games, making it a family-friendly event that caters to all ages.

Mayfest is more than just an art festival; it’s a celebration of the vibrant culture and creative spirit of Tulsa. It brings people together, fostering a sense of community and providing a platform for artists to showcase their talents. With its lively atmosphere, diverse art market, and dynamic music performances, Mayfest offers a truly immersive and memorable experience for both locals and visitors alike.

Accommodations in Tulsa

When it comes to travel accommodations in Tulsa, visitors have a range of options to choose from, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

One notable accommodation is the POSTOAK Lodge & Retreat, located just outside the city. This picturesque retreat offers a tranquil and scenic setting, surrounded by 1,000 acres of rolling hills and forests. Guests can choose from a variety of lodging options, including cozy cabins and spacious suites, all designed to provide a rustic yet comfortable experience. With amenities like hiking trails, a swimming pool, and a fitness center, POSTOAK Lodge & Retreat is a perfect choice for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful getaway.

For those looking for a touch of luxury and sophistication, the Mayo Hotel is a standout choice. This historic hotel, built in the 1920s, exudes elegance and charm. Its beautifully restored rooms and suites offer a blend of modern comforts and classic decor, providing a luxurious retreat for guests. The Mayo Hotel also features upscale amenities such as a rooftop bar, a spa, and fine dining options, ensuring a truly memorable stay in the heart of downtown Tulsa.

Another notable accommodation option is the Tulsa Club Hotel, a boutique hotel housed in a historic landmark building. The hotel seamlessly combines the building’s original Art Deco architecture with modern amenities and stylish design. Each room is thoughtfully furnished with upscale touches, creating a comfortable and chic atmosphere. With its prime location in the Tulsa Arts District, guests of the Tulsa Club Hotel have easy access to the city’s cultural attractions, restaurants, and nightlife.

Whether you prefer a secluded retreat in nature, a luxurious city hotel, or a boutique experience in a historic setting, Tulsa offers a variety of accommodations to suit different preferences and budgets. From high end resorts to affordable motels and tiny home rentals, visitors can find the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate during their stay in this vibrant city.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tulsa, OK

How far is Kansas City from Tulsa? 

Tulsa is about a four hour drive from Kansas City via Interstate 169.

How safe is Tulsa, OK? 

Like any large city, there are areas you need to be cautious in. Parts of North Tulsa and East Tulsa are more prone for violent crime, and even parts of downtown can be rough late at night. But generally, the tourist areas are among the safest in the city. Anywhere you see a crowd is likely to be a good place to hang out.

How far is Tulsa from Dallas?

Tulsa is about a 4 to 4.5 hour drive from Dallas via US Highway 75.

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