Welcome to Oklahoma City, OK!
Howdy and welcome to the biggest small town you ever did see! Oklahoma City is more than just the capital of the Sooner State, it’s lovingly called the Modern Frontier and it has lived up to its name. A blend of proper cowboy history with a booming art scene, dozens of museums, fantastic sports, incredible food, and so much more has made this city a destination you didn’t even know to look for. When you’re not hopping neighborhood to neighborhood or eating at James Beard winning restaurants, you’ll find yourself indulging in the nature that fills this thriving little town - from hikes to white water rafting to gorgeous gardens and more. And of course, what better way to end a day in OKC than with a beer at one of the dozens of breweries that are packed into the city limits. A weekend here is more than just Okie Dokie, it’s a hidden gem that will keep you coming back for more time and again!
Here is a playlist to help you get into the spirit of your destination!
One last thing...
Here's Whym's top ten things to know about Oklahoma City, OK
Welcome to Oklahoma City, a town where cowboys meet muralists, history meets modernity, nature meets city. OKC may not be your first thought of a place to spend a little getaway but that’s just because you haven’t been here yet! Whether you’re interested in sports, food, beer, art, nature - oh, did we mention food? - there is something for everyone. There are very few towns where you can hike to a waterfall, go white water rafting, stroll through mural lined streets, cheer on the Thunder & have a James Beard award winning meal all in one day but OKC delivers that and so much more.
Finding Your Way
Once dubbed “America’s Least Walkable City,” $18 million dollars of sidewalks and improvements later and Oklahoma City invites you to explore! In general, Oklahoma City is a large sprawling expanse if you take the entirety into consideration, but if you’re focused on city proper, it’s an easy town to get around. While you need transportation to get neighborhood to neighborhood, there are pockets that are exceptionally strollable that beckon to be explored. In addition to the investment in walkability, you will also find the Oklahoma City Streetcar a convenient way of getting from neighborhood to neighborhood. Other great ways to explore are by bike or scooter. You’ll find Lyfts and Ubers prevalent and easy to get when needed, so if you’re exploring without a car, there’s still lots of ways to get around!
William Rogers World Airport takes advantage of its central location in the country and has plenty of flights available - including 28 nonstop routes - into and out of this small airport from both coasts. You’ll find it conveniently placed very close to town, only about a 15 minute drive. If you don’t have a rental car on this adventure, rideshare apps have an easy to find designated pickup area & a ride will run you about $15-20 into town.
Oklahoma has a long and fascinating history that they hold close with pride. A heavily indigenous area home to many Native American tribes, Oklahomas interesting past begins long before we settled it. In 1889 there was the famous Land Rush. Abraham Lincoln was looking to expand peoples usage of “unused” land, so they had a literal land rush - where at the start of the formal land rush, people would literally race to a tract of land and decree it their own. This rush to find out who could grab the best land the soonest is what gave way to the states nickname “The Sooner State.” It would continue to boom through growing the largest stockyards in America which still operates today over the next few decades. Eventually it would become a major spot on the famous Route 66 that would define the town for a long time to come. However, people would proceed to leave OKC in the decades following 66’s prominence, leaving them floundering to thrive and find an identity. In recent years with massive influxes and investments, OKC has become a town built around sports, food, & continual growth. Today you will find a city that is finding itself and happy to bring everyone along for the ride while they proudly show you why you should have visited just a bit “sooner."
Why Am I Here?
Oklahoma City is undergoing a renaissance and they aren’t shy about it. Billions of dollars have been pumped into downtown in the last couple of decades, building out a young city with a long history. They have rebranded themselves, finding an identity in friendly residents, a growing art scene, affordable living, and hometown pride. For sports fans you have the Oklahoma Thunder packing the stadium during the season. For nature lovers, you have trails galore, raging rapids, and parks to wander. For anyone who loves breweries, there’s not enough time to visit them all but hey, we certainly can try! Locally brewed beer is pervasive in this town, held up proudly next to the continually growing and changing food scene that thrives here. And if art and history is your jam, well OK has 250 museums to entice you. But if you just want a different experience unlike your own, get ready for cowboy culture, steaks the size of your head, Native American learning and so much more that can only be found in this quirky little enclave.
Due to its location - the northern part of the south or the southern part of the midwest - Oklahoma has a lot of extreme temperatures. The summers are hot and muggy with highs often in the low to mid 90s. Fall drops quickly, with September still being in the 80s but getting down to the 50s by November. Winters are cold, snowy and very windy, with temperatures in the 30s. During the spring, all that snow turns to rain as it warms up with averages in the 50s-70s.
You are in Oklahoma, so there are some signatures that can’t be skipped. First and foremost, the signature food is the fried onion burger - a nearly equal distribution of onions and burger patty fried together on the scalding griddle, this is definitely Oklahoma’s signature dish. Of course, it’s also home to the Stockyards, so steaks are big here, even with a southern comfort twist like chicken fried steak. Interestingly there is a very large asian population in OKC, so you will find lots of amazing Vietnamese, Laotian, & Indian food.
Unique souvenirs abound in this little town. The state rock (who knew) is called the Rose Rock and is sold everywhere - a pretty pink tinted rock that does in fact, look like a rose. Other great things to bring back are things highlighting the Native American culture that abounds or anything that has some proper cowboy to it - think hats, boots and buckles. And if you’re checking a bag, locally brewed beers are a great take home item.
The weather is extreme here and Okies are prepared. Heavy layers in the winter and light and thin for the humid summers. Cowboy boots are a signature and western wear in general is pervasive. In general, OKC is a laid back town with jeans, t-shirts and a comfortable vibe.
If you hear someone shout “boomer,” be prepared to yell “sooner” right back. Chicken fried steak is steak fried like you’d fry chicken, just to avoid confusion. The Thunder are a point of pride in OKC, they helped to revitalize this town when it needed it so don’t mess with their team! Urban sprawl is real here - the city spreads over 640 square miles, but don’t worry, the central downtown area has plenty to do and see all on its own!