The capital of the state of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City is a vibrant, bustling city with tons of things to do from incredible art galleries and museums to beautiful botanical gardens, wildlife sanctuaries, fun-filled water parks, and interesting cultural sites.
The welcoming, family-friendly city, also known as “The Big Friendly” has something for everyone from history buffs and nature lovers to art enthusiasts and adventure-seekers. Here are some of the best things to do on a visit to Oklahoma City.
1. Honor the Fallen Heroes at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum pays tribute to those who lost their lives and loved ones in the tragic Oklahoma City bombing on April 19 in 1995. The memorial rests on the former site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building which was destroyed in the bombing in downtown Oklahoma City.
The Museum features cutting-edge exhibits and interactive displays that tell the story of the tragic and heartbreaking moments of the fateful day. Twin bronze gates frame the somber memorial and there is a tranquil reflecting pool, a survivor wall, and 168 empty chairs with names inscribed on them to represent each of the victims of the attack.
Address: 620 N. Harvey Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm / Sunday: 12 – 5 pm
Suggested Tour: Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum
2. Visit the Oklahoma State Capitol
The Oklahoma State Capitol is the house of the U.S. state of Oklahoma and a magnificent Greco-Roman gem made from white limestone and Oklahoma pink granite. Located on Lincoln Boulevard in the heart of the city, the Oklahoma State Capitol spans 452,508 square feet and houses an impressive collection of murals and paintings of Oklahoma’s history depicting scenes from World War I, World War II, Korea, and even the Vietnam wars.
Address: 2300 N Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 5 pm
Suggested Tour: Oklahoma State Capitol Tour
3. Delve into the History of Oklahoma at the Oklahoma History Center
The Oklahoma History Center celebrates the rich history and heritage of the state of Oklahoma. Set on an 18-acre plot in front of the city’s acting Governor’s mansion on Nazih Zuhdi Drive, the 215,000-square-foot learning center delves into the state’s unique history of aviation, culture, geology, transport, and commerce.
Fascinating exhibits include Born Dry: Prohibition in Oklahoma, Launch to Landing: Oklahomans and Space, and In the Vernacular: Everyday Images of Oklahoma Life.
Address: 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm
Suggested Tour: Oklahoma History Center Tour
4. Explore the Bricktown Entertainment District
The Bricktown Entertainment District is a lively industrial-chic district in the city that features repurposed warehouse spaces that house an eclectic mix of shops, buzzing wine bars, cafés, and restaurants, piano lounges, and gourmet food stores.
The district is home to the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and the 16-screen Harkins movie theater, and visitors can take water taxis and dinner cruises on the navigable Bricktown Canal that runs through the area.
Address: 429 E. California, Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Suggested Tour: Walking Tour of the City
5. Cheer on The Oklahoma City Dodgers at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
The Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark is home to the Oklahoma City Dodgers Major League Baseball team and it’s well worth watching a game here if you are a baseball fan. The stadium was built to replace the All Sports Stadium in downtown Oklahoma City’s Bricktown Entertainment District and is surrounded by some of the best restaurants and bars for a post-game dinner.
Address: 2 S Mickey Mantle Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 10 am – 5 pm
Suggested Tour: Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark Tour
6. Enjoy Local Craft Beer at Bricktown Brewery
Bricktown Brewery is a famous local brewpub chain that serves a variety of craft beers, along with great food in a comfortable, brick-walled space. Founded in 1992, the microbrewery restaurant is based in an old Bricktown candy factory and is one of Oklahoma’s top spots for a burger and a cold brew.
Address: 1 N Oklahoma Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday / Sunday: 11 am – 9 pm / Friday and Saturday: 11 am – 10 pm
7. Soak up Some Science at the Science Museum in Oklahoma City
The Science Museum Oklahoma is a fascinating museum and planetarium in Oklahoma City where you can explore the deeper realms of space through outstanding exhibits like “Destination Space” and the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame.
The museum is also home to the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame and boasts a large collection of medals, gymnastics apparatus, sculptures, as well as a 20,000-square-foot kid-friendly area known as CurioCity, which offers learning opportunities for children through play.
Address: 2020 Remington Place, Oklahoma City, OK 73111
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 10 am – 5 pm / Saturday 10 am – 6 pm / Sunday 11 am – 6 pm
8. Go Bird Watching at Lake Hefner
Lake Hefner is one of the top bird-watching spots in central Oklahoma. Dozens of waterbird species make a stop at the lake on their annual migrations through America’s central flyway, making the 17-mile shoreline a haven for birders.
The lake is also a great place for sailing, leisure boating, and fishing, and there are facilities for picnicking around the lake edge. The park surrounding the lake has playgrounds, sports fields, tennis courts, golf, and a network of walking and jogging paths.
Address: 3301 NW Grand Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73116
Opening Hours: 24 hours
9. Pay Tribute to the National Guard at the 45th Infantry Division Museum
The 45th Infantry Division Museum is dedicated to honoring the 45th Infantry Division of the National Guard. The 27,000square-foot museum in Oklahoma City features an outstanding collection of military artifacts relating to the division known as the Thunderbirds. Significant attractions in the museum include the Reaves Firearm Collection, which boasts a range of weapons dating from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War, and a Confederate cannon.
Address: 2145 NE 36th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73111
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 9 am – 4:15 pm / Saturday: 10 am – 4:15 pm / Sunday: 1 – 4:15 pm
10. Visit the Centennial Land Run Monument
The Centennial Land Run Monument is a beautiful art installation and historical landmark created by local artist Paul Moore and is one of the world’s largest bronze sculptures in the world. Designed to commemorate the opening of the Unassigned Land in Oklahoma Territory with the Land Run of 1889, the magnificent monument features 45 heroic figures of land run participants. The monument is located in the Bricktown River Walk Park and is quite simply breathtaking.
Address: 200 Centennial Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Opening Hours: 24 hours
Suggested Tour: Walking Tour of the City
11. Rollerskate in Scissortail Park
Scissortail Park is a lovely 70-acre public park that offers a wealth of outdoor recreational activities. The huge space is filled with picturesque ornamental gardens and grassy lawns, art installations, and picnic areas. Visitors can enjoy the wide range of facilities in the park that include a 3.7-acre lake for boating, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking; a children’s playground with a water feature; a dog park; and a seasonal roller rink.
Address: 300 SW 7th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73109
Opening Hours: 6 am – 11 pm, daily
12. Wander Around the Oklahoma City Zoo
Located in the northeastern Adventure District of Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Zoo home to more than 1,900 animals inhabiting a range of natural habitats and state-of-the-art exhibits. Top-notch exhibits include the Asian-themed Sanctuary Asia; the superb Great EscApe, which features three spacious outdoor yards, a waterfall, and swimming pools, and Oklahoma Trails where you’ll find animals native to Oklahoma, a walk-in bird exhibit, and a barn housing owls, skunks, and bats.
Other attractions in and around the zoo range from a giraffe feeding platform and Sea Lion shows to Safari Voyage boats, and swan paddle boats. It’s a fantastic place to spend the day with the family.
Address: 2000 Remington Place, Oklahoma City, OK 73111
Opening Hours: Thursday – Monday: 9 am – 5 pm
13. Take in Some Art at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is a great place if you love art. The museum features both permanent exhibits and temporary exhibit spaces showcasing impressive collections in a variety of art styles. Top collections include a spectacular display of Chihuly glass and a 55-foot Memorial Tower dedicated to Eleanor Blake Kirkpatrick.
You can catch theater shows films every week, and a full-service on-site restaurant that serves lunch, dinner, and a popular weekend brunch. Explore the museum on self-guided and docent-guided tours every day.
Address: 415 Couch Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Opening Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm / Sunday 12 – 5 pm
Suggested Tour: Guided Museum Tours
14. Go Wild at Frontier City
Frontier City is a western-themed amusement park with a wealth of thrilling rides, slides, roller coasters, and other family-friendly entertainment. Established in 1958, the park spans 40 acres and has rides for all ages, delicious food options, and plenty of live entertainment.
Thrill-seekers can get their adrenalin kick on giant looping roller coasters like the Diamond Back and the Silver Bullet, while families can enjoy water rides, a gondola-style Ferris wheel, the Mystery River Log Flume, and the Wild Kitty miniature roller coaster. There is a petting zoo for young children and several Western-themed restaurants.
Address: 11501 N I- 35 Service Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73131
Opening Hours: Hours vary. Open select dates April – October.
15. Explore the History of the West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Located in Oklahoma City, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is one of the country’s leading institutions of Western history, art, and culture. Founded in 1955, the museum is dedicated to the two major cornerstones of Oklahoma tradition – the beauty of the Old West and the history of the American rodeo.
Explore the museum’s diverse collection of Western art and artifacts, which includes historical cowboy gear and some beautiful Native American objects.
Address: 1700 NE 63rd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73111
Opening Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm / Sunday 12 – 5 pm
16. Take the Kids to the Orr Family Farm
The Orr Family Farm is a family-owned farm that has a variety of things to do from pony rides and zip lining to tractor rides and a beautifully-restored and fully operating 1974 vintage carousel.
Other fun activities at the farm include paddle-boating, foosball, giant jumping pillows, cornball, a gemstone mine, miniature train rides, cannon blasters, and a chicken show. The farm also offers camping and glamping year-round in tee-pees.
Address: 14400 S Western Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73170
Opening Hours: Hours vary
17. Visit the Oklahoma State Fair
The Oklahoma State Fair is an exposition in Oklahoma City that takes place at the OKC Fairgrounds in mid-September each year. The fair showcases the best of Oklahoma’s agriculture, manufacturing, and commerce with a range of theme park rides and rollercoasters, Ferris wheels, educational exhibits, horse shows, family entertainment, and delicious food and drinks.
Address: 3001 General Pershing Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73107
Opening Hours: 24 hours
18. Stroll Through the Myriad Botanical Gardens
The Myriad Botanical Gardens is a 17-acre green urban oasis in the heart of Oklahoma City. Beautifully manicured and maintained gardens surround a sunken lake and the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory is the centerpiece filled with lush tropical trees and plants, cascading waterfalls, and exotic animals.
The park has a variety of outdoor activities such as walking and jogging paths, an off-leash dog park, and a children’s garden complete with a playground, and it’s a great place to spend the day with family.
Address: 301 W Reno Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 9 am – 5 pm / Sunday 11 am – 5 pm
Suggested Tours: Guided Garden Tours
19. Zipline Across the Oklahoma River with Riversport Adventures
If you’re looking for some outdoor fun in the city, try one of the exhilarating activities at Riversport Adventures. With two locations in the city – downtown in the Boathouse District and at Lake Overholser, Riversport Adventures offers a myriad of fun-filled activities like rafting, tubing, and surfing on the Surf KC surfing experience and zipping across the Oklahoma River on the 80-foot SandRidge Sky Trail.
The Youth Zone offers kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, paddle-boating, an extreme water slide, climbing walls, cycling, and more.
Address: 800 Riversport Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73129
Opening Hours: Hours vary – see website
20. Wander Around the Henry Overholser Mansion
Built in 1903, the Henry Overholser Mansion is believed to be the first mansion constructed in Oklahoma City and is a beautiful example of Victorian architecture and design. The 20-room Victorian home was once the residence of prominent Oklahoman Henry Overholser and his family until it was developed into a historic site and tourist attraction.
You can explore both the mansion and carriage house on docent-led tours and admire the exquisitely preserved interior décor and furnishings.
Address: 405 NW 15th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 2 pm
21. Marvel at the Factory Obscura Mix-Tape
Mix-Tape is a trendy art attraction by Oklahoma City art collective Factory Obscura where local artists create temporary, interactive installations with avant-garde themes. Based in a building formerly known as The Womb, a psychedelic arts center, this fascinating artistic experience showcases local artists’ works through hand-crafted exhibits and collaborations.
Visitors can enjoy an interactive window display called “Boombox” by pushing the buttons on a giant cassette tape player and waiting for unexpected outcomes. The interior space is full of nooks and crannies to explore, interactive spaces designed around emotions, and strange tunnels to crawl through.
Address: 25 NW 9th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Opening Hours: Wed/Thurs: 11 am – 7 pm / Fri/Sat: 11 am – 8 pm / Sun: 11 am – 5 pm
22. Honor Oklahoma’s State Firefighters
The Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum is a museum in the city that is owned and operated by firefighters. The museum has a fascinating collection of firefighting artifacts and gear, uniforms, and vehicles, and even has an entire fire station within its walls. Exhibits include the Fort Supply Firehouse, the Patch Collection, and The Last Alarm mural.
Pay a visit to the Oklahoma Fallen and Living Firefighters Memorial just next to the museum, which was designed to honor fallen Oklahoma firefighters.
Address: 2716 NE 50th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73111
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9 am – 4:30 pm / Sunday: 1 – 4:30 pm
23. Make a Splash at Hurricane Harbor Oklahoma City
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Oklahoma City is a thrilling water theme park that promises loads of fun for the whole family. Built in 1981 and originally known as White Water, the water park features 25 acres of cool swimming pools, splash pads, super slides and rides, and plenty of space for relaxing.
Thrill rides include the Acapulco Cliff Dive, Cannonball Falls, and the Big Kahuna, while less-adrenaline-rushing rides range from the Castaway Creek, Monsoon Bay Wave Pool, and Shipwreck Island.
3908 W Reno Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73107
Opening Hours: See website for seasonal hours
24. Enjoy a Concert at the Civic Center Music Hall
The Civic Center Music Hall is a performing arts center in the heart of Oklahoma City that is home to eight professional arts organizations that present an array of concerts and shows throughout the year. Built in 1937 as a Municipal Auditorium, the Civic Center Music Hall delivers world-class entertainment in the form of ballet, Broadway shows, chorus, music concerts, and orchestra.
Address: 201 N Walker Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73102
25. Explore Oklahoma City’s Underground Tunnels
Head down into the hidden underbelly of Oklahoma City and explore its network of colorful tunnels filled with art and history exhibits. Spanning over 20 city blocks, the series of tunnels stretches for about a mile underground and is home to an array of shops, stores, and a post office. The tunnels are color-coded in a variety of neon colors and are lined with vibrant art and history exhibits.
There is no single entrance to the Underground, but many hidden entrances around downtown including the Sheraton Hotel’s basement and the Banc First Building basement. If you are lost, ask a local to guide you to the nearest secret entrance.
Opening Hours: 6 am – 8 pm, daily
26. Pay Tribute to Female Flyers at the 99s Museum of Women Pilots
The 99s Museum of Women Pilots is a museum based in the Will Rogers World Airport that celebrates the unique history of women in aviation. Named for the 99 women pilots who signed the original membership charter in 1929, the museum is the only one of its kind in the world and boasts an impressive collection of video and oral histories, memorabilia, personal items, historical papers, and other notable artifacts from pioneering women aviators around the globe.
Address: 4300 Amelia Earhart Ln Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73159, United States
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 4 pm
27. Explore the Museum of Osteology in Oklahoma City
The Museum of Osteology is filled with skeletons and bones from a diverse collection of animals from all corners of the world. The privately-owned museum has more than 350 skeletons, and over 5,000 items from 2,500 species, including a 40-foot-long humpback whale skeleton, a rare Javan rhinoceros, and a two-faced calf.
Address: 10301 S. Sunnylane Road, Oklahoma City, OK 73160
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 9 am – 5 pm / Saturday: 11 am – 5 pm / Sunday: 1 – 5 pm
29. Check Out the American Banjo Museum
The American Banjo Museum is a quirky museum on East Sheridan Avenue that is dedicated to the banjo and houses the largest collection of historically analog instruments in the world. Considered an integral part of American music for hundreds of years, the banjo was invented using gourds and animal skins and was one of America’s native instruments from African slave culture in the mid-1600s.
The museum has a fascinating wall-to-wall banjo collection that is interspersed with historic sheet music, out-of-print records from forgotten banjo greats, and other related ephemera. It has some beautiful ornate Jazz-era banjos, and you can even try out some banjo playing yourself in the small café at the front of the museum.
Address: 9 East Sheridan Avenue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73104
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 11 am – 6 pm / Sunday: 1 – 5 pm
30. Ride the Oklahoma Ferris Wheel
The historic known as the Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel was the most recognizable feature of the iconic Santa Monica Pier. The famous amusement ride now stands on a riverfront plaza in the city’s up-and-coming Wheeler district after being purchased by an Oklahoma real estate developer on eBay in 2008.
Take a ride on the famous wheel and travel 100 feet up in the air to soak up some spectacular city views. The Ferris wheel is in the Wheeler Riverfront Plaza, which is packed with restaurants, bars, and other entertainment.
Address: 1701 S Western Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73109
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 4 pm – 11 pm
Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Oklahoma City
Downtown Oklahoma City
This is the best place to stay if you want to be close to all the city’s main attractions such as the
Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the Botanical Gardens, Bicentennial Park, the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, and the colorful Bricktown district. It is also the best place to stay for great restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, and has easy access to public transport.
Around Oklahoma State Capitol
This area is another great place to stay when visiting the city as it has plenty of luxury hotels, parks, and green urban spaces, and is quieter than the hustle and bustle of the Downtown area. This area is especially recommended for families, as there are plenty of parks and gardens to explore.
North Oklahoma City
The north of Oklahoma City is a good place to stay if you want to be close to tourist attractions like the Oklahoma Zoo and the Oklahoma Science Museum. It is well-connected by public transport and has a wide range of good restaurants, shopping centers, and bars.
Best Hotels in Oklahoma City
This century-old hotel exudes class and elegance with a timeless appeal. Situated next to the Myriad Botanical Gardens, the four-star hotel has exquisite interiors of marble and ornate guest rooms and suites with high ceilings, deluxe amenities, and all the mod-cons for an unrivaled stay. The Colcord’s highly acclaimed restaurant serves a seasonal menu of locally-inspired cuisine, and there is a wealth of award-winning restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.
Address: 15 N Robinson Avenue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Phone: +1 405-601-4300
21C Museum Hotel
The 21C Museum Hotel is a luxury hotel that encompasses an art gallery and a world-class kitchen. The hotel, which is lined with artistic works, features well-appointed guest rooms with modern amenities and more than 14,000 square feet of exhibition space. The hotel’s restaurant Mary Eddy’s Kitchen is operated by an award-winning chef and serves up imaginative cuisine in an elegant and colorful atmosphere. Other deluxe facilities include luxury spa services and creative events throughout the year.
Address: 900 W Main Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Phone: +1 405-982-6900
The Skirvin Hilton Oklahoma City
The Skirvin Hilton Oklahoma City is one of the most luxurious hotels in the city and the best place to stay if you want first-class service. Built in the early 1900s, it is the oldest hotel in the city and features over 200 guest rooms with high ceilings, ornate furnishings, and deluxe amenities.
The Skirvin is also home to the award-winning Park Avenue Grill which serves gourmet cuisine in a beautiful naturally lit setting against a backdrop of live music. The hotel’s Red Piano Lounge hosts live performances every Tuesday through Saturday.
Address: 1 Park Avenue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Phone: +1 405-272-3040
Best Restaurants in Oklahoma City
Housed on the 49th and 50th floors of the Devon Tower, this elegant restaurant is top of the list when it comes to dining against a backdrop of spectacular views. Helmed by Executive Chef Patrick Williams, the restaurant serves a standard lunchtime menu and a Daily Table buffet selection featuring world-class American cuisine made with the finest ingredients.
Address: 49th Floor, 333 West Sheridan Avenue, Central Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73102, Phone: +1 405 702 7262
The Hutch on Avondale
Once known as the Coach House, the Hutch on Avondale serves an inspired menu of traditional dishes. The restaurant has a lovely lawn with an outdoor dining stage and a tree-covered patio for alfresco-style dining.
Address: 6437 Avondale Drive, Nichols Hills, OK 73116, Phone: +1 405 842-1000
Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge
Mary Eddy’s encompasses an entire corner of the 21c Hotel and features some exquisite artworks. The dining room boasts a lovely fusion of post industrial and modern décor with a posh ambiance and the menu leans towards fine dining with French-inspired American cuisine and global wines.
Best Bars in Oklahoma City
Nestled on the seventh floor of the Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City in Midtown, O Bar is a trendy and spacious penthouse bar with a rooftop seating area and an indoor cigar space. The cocktails here are made to perfection.
Address: Ambassador Hotel, 1200 N Walker Ave 7th Floor, Oklahoma City, OK 73103, Phone: +1 405-898-8170
Hilo Club has been around since the mid-1950s and is one of the city’s best and original dive bars. This institution attracts an eclectic crowd who come for the cheap tap beers, live music, and drag shows.
Address: 1221 NW 50th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73118, United States, Phone: +1 405-843-1722
Bricktown Brewery is the go-to spot to catch the big football or basketball game and enjoy a beer from the extensive selection on tap and by the bottle.
Address: 7301 SE 29th St, Midwest City, OK 73110, Phone: +1 405-610-2777
Best Coffee in Oklahoma City
Stella Nova epitomizes Oklahoma City’s coffee shop culture. It’s a combination of Starbucks and a local establishment and is a great place for coffee. Located on Western Avenue, it has a modern and cozy ambiance and a plethora of coffee options to choose from, as well as light snacks.
Address: 4716 N Western Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73118, Phone: (405) 605-2563
Elemental Coffee is a fantastic spot to grab a coffee, a light snack, or even lunch after sightseeing. It’s a popular spot for locals to “hang out” and catch up on work and they serve a selection of coffees brewed from the finest beans found across the globe. Don’t miss Elemental Coffee’s piece de resistance menu item – the salted chocolate chip cookie – to die for.
Address: 815 N Hudson Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, Phone: (405) 633-1703
Leaf + Bean
Leaf + Bean is the perfect place to enjoy a quick espresso. Located in the heart of the Deep Deuce district of Oklahoma City, the bright, open-space café has a great vibe and worth visiting if you are in the neighborhood and are looking for a quick cup of coffee.
Address: 321 N Oklahoma Ave Suite 107, Oklahoma City, OK 73104