Are you looking for a new adventure? Have you been to Oklahoma State before and want to see some more sights? Or are you just curious about what the state has to offer tourists in terms of attractions? If so, this blog post is perfect for you.
Oklahoma is such a beautiful state, and it’s the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for something fun and exciting. This state is known for its oil, but did you know it’s also home to some of the best tourist attractions in the United States. With everything from museums and zoos to horseback riding, there’s something here for everyone!
So, if you’re traveling to Oklahoma and looking for a good time, I’ve got the perfect guide for you. In this blog post, I’ll give you the 16 top things to do in Oklahoma State. Read on!
Things to Do in Oklahoma State
1. The Oklahoma History Center
Oklahoma History Center is an excellent museum located in Oklahoma City and was opened in 2005. The center has one of the most comprehensive collections of artifacts, documents, and photographs pertaining to Oklahoma history held anywhere in the world. It also houses a collection of revolutionary war cannons, and even a Winnie Mae airplane hung in the Devon Great Hall.
The exhibits at this museum showcase the different eras in Oklahoman history, including its first indigenous tribes, the arrival of early settlers, discovery of oil Boomtowns, devastation caused by fires and floods, as well as various other events. So, this place is worth checking out if you are interested in learning about Oklahoman history!
Read More: 14 Best Waterfalls in Oklahoma
2. University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma was founded in 1890 and is home to over 30,000 students. The main campus sits on 3000 acres at the heart of Norman, one of the state’s largest cities. The University includes a variety of colleges, including the College of Engineering.
There are many exciting activities for visitors to jump right into while visiting OU’s campus. You can take a walking tour that explores architectural highlights such as historic buildings that have been preserved by the University. You can also visit beautiful nature trails around the campus led by guides who describe their features and history.
In addition, you can visit Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, where you can see the largest collection of fossils, or visit the Switzer Center with its 16 bowling lanes and arcade games, Chickasaw Tennis Courts, or John Jacobs Indoor Practice Facility. The University also holds events such as concerts, Greek life dances, movie nights, and lectures throughout the year.
3. Beavers Bend State Park
Beavers Bend State Park is another of the top tourist attractions in Oklahoma because of its huge variety of outdoor activities. The park has many forests, waterfalls, and trails that are easily accessible.
The park’s main attraction is Broken Bow Lake which was created when Broken Bow Dam was built back in 1961. The dam spans the Mountain Fork River near Beavers Bend, increasing the size of the river.
Activities here include canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, fishing from launch sites or boat ramps, swimming at designated beaches during summer months only, wildlife viewing (including bird watching), and a variety of other outdoor activities.
You can enjoy activities such as hiking which gives you an opportunity to explore its natural areas. And besides just hiking and getting a great view of Broken Bow Lake and other areas, you can actually camp out here overnight if you want an even more unique experience.
4. Oklahoma City National Memorial
The Oklahoma City National Memorial is a memorial dedicated to the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. The attack killed 168 people, including 19 children under the age of 6. It became the deadliest act of terrorism in American history until September 11 attacks in 2001 that took place at World Trade Center.
As you walk towards this site, you will notice that there are 168 chairs built into the ground representing each life taken due to this horrific tragedy. There is also a reflecting pool representing all other lives lost because of acts of violence, both domestic and international.
Today, visitors can come here to remember those who were lost, honor their lives, grieve, and heal. Even if you are not from Oklahoma or do not personally know anyone affected by this tragedy, I would still recommend visiting here to learn more about its history and honor the lives of those who were killed.
5. Route 66
Route 66 is a highway that runs from Los Angeles to Chicago and is also called the Mother Road. The route has been featured in movies such as The Grapes of Wrath and Beneath the Dark. People still travel along this historic road today using the actual path of the original Highway 66.
The section through Oklahoma takes you past many interesting sites, including many canyons formed by erosion over time and a variety of natural rock formations. In addition, the route passes through Tulsa, a city famous for its Art Deco architecture.
My favorite sites along the route were Oklahoma Route 66 Museum, and National Route 66, and Transportation Museum, which are all located in the town of Clinton and Elk City, respectively.
The museums tell the story of how Route 66 became a major highway and what it was like to travel along it back when it first opened. They also include some replica cars, similar to those driven by families traveling on Route 66.
6. Museum of Osteology
Museum of Osteology is one of the top attractions in Oklahoma that is a must-see for anyone who is interested in bones and skeletons. This includes both prehistoric and modern-day creatures, such as dinosaurs and humans.
Inside, there are over 350 skeletons on display, which include animals such as birds, human beings, and even dinosaurs. The best thing is that you can learn more about different species using interactive computer screens by clicking on bones to learn more about them. My favorite was an exhibit called “Heads,” where visitors can see what kinds of animal heads are out there in the world!
It was definitely interesting learning about how different kinds of body types evolved over time and the subtle differences between the skeletons of different animals. And I’m sure that it will capture your interest.
7. Oklahoma Aquarium
Oklahoma Aquarium is a large aquarium located in the middle of the city and was first opened to the public for viewing in 2003. This Oklahoma attraction brings you up close and personal with aquatic life from all over the world.
The aquarium has several exhibits that include fish, sharks, and turtles, among others. You can even interact with some of these animals as it offers animal encounters where you can touch certain species such as penguins and more.
In addition to being one of the best tourist attractions in Oklahoma, I feel that those who visit here will certainly enjoy learning more about aquatic life and even taking home some knowledge to share with others. This is probably one of the best aquariums that I have visited, and I would recommend anyone.
8. Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Chickasaw National Recreation Area is another top tourist attraction in Oklahoma that features a combination of camping, boating, and fishing activities. The area also has many facilities such as trails and picnic areas where you can enjoy the fine weather and fresh air.
The main attraction in this recreational area is the lovely Lake of the Arbuckles, where you can enjoy water-based activities. In addition, many people visit this area because of its picturesque picnic sites and campgrounds. The lake still offers amazing views, especially at sunset or early morning as picturesque clouds hang over the lake.
I would definitely recommend coming here on one of those days during your trip. It doesn’t require any strenuous activities like hiking up mountains or anything like that (although there is plenty of opportunity for such things). You can just pack a picnic basket and enjoy the park without really having to do much.
9. Oklahoma City Zoo
Oklahoma City Zoo is a large zoo that was established in 1988. It is home to more than 500 animal species from all over the world and has been recognized as an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
The zoo has many exhibits that you can visit to learn more about different habitats around the world. In addition, the zoo also offers animal encounters where you can come face-to-face with some of the animals, such as giraffes. And during special times, you can also enjoy entertainment, including live animal shows and even educational programs where zookeepers demonstrate the skills they use to care for animals.
The Oklahoma City Zoo is definitely one of the best tourist attractions in Oklahoma. And if you are visiting Oklahoma City or happen to live around here, I would definitely recommend making your way to this zoo.
10. Philbrook Museum of Art
An absolute must-see attraction in Oklahoma is the Philbrook Museum of Art. It is located in the historic town of Tulsa and was named after the family that started the museum. The beautiful mansion where it is located was built as a showplace for some very wealthy oil magnates back in the 1920s. Today, you can see many art collections from Asia, Africa, Europe, and even America.
But there are also a lot more than just art exhibits at Philbrook Museum of Art. The gardens feature a lush lawn with lots of flowers. The outdoor area is so beautiful that it has been used as a location for shooting several movies.
This museum is definitely worth a visit if you want to learn more about art, history, or even gardening! It’s a fun place for adults as well as kids.
11. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is an amazing nature preserve that was established in 1901 and has been providing a home to many wildlife species ever since. It also happens to be one of the top tourist attractions in Oklahoma.
The refuge contains many types of habitats, such as grasslands, wetlands, lakes, and mountains. As a result, it provides a safe habitat for animal species such as deer, bison, and coyotes to live free. It is also an ideal location for bird watching due to the many different varieties of birds living here year-round.
And if you’re interested in learning about what goes on behind the scenes at this refugee, then I recommend paying a visit to the Nature Education Center, where you can learn about conservation efforts involved in protecting these animals and their habitats.
12. Myriad Botanical Gardens
Myriad Botanical Gardens is a non-profit botanical garden located in Oklahoma City. The gardens have been recognized as one of the best tourist attractions in Oklahoma and attract visitors from all over the world who enjoy its beauty, serenity, and wildlife.
The gardens contain more than 750 plant species from around the world, including many rare plants that you would not find anywhere else. In addition to being a popular tourist attraction in Oklahoma, it serves as an educational resource for locals and for students coming to visit from schools or universities across Oklahoma. The grounds are full of interesting trails to take you through different parts of this beautiful place.
So when you are visiting Oklahoma City or just want to enjoy a day in nature by taking a walk through some beautiful gardens, definitely consider Myriad Botanical Gardens.
13. Marland Estate Mansion
The Marland Estate Mansion is a mansion located in Ponca City, Oklahoma. It was built by the founder of the Marland Oil Company, E.W. Marland. The mansion served as the home to many generations of the Marland family till 1980, when it was left abandoned for years before being restored and opened for tours today.
It is one of the top tourist attractions in Oklahoma that still retain its authenticity to reflect how members of the elite class lived back in the 1920s. There are many different rooms, including a formal dining room with original furniture, living room with large hand-carved baroque fireplace, multiple bedrooms (including children’s bedroom), library with bookcases, sitting rooms with large windows looking over the gardens and also a music room.
The mansion also has many beautiful landscape features, including gardens, a pool, and outbuildings. I particularly enjoy walking through the garden, where you can see flowers in varying colors that are professionally maintained all year round.
14. Turner Falls Park
Turner Falls Park is a must-see attraction for those who love nature and want to see amazing natural landscapes. The park was created around Turner Falls, which is the tallest waterfall in the state of Oklahoma that drops into a pool at its base. Besides having access to viewing this natural wonder, you can also enjoy other activities such as camping, mountain biking, and hiking.
And when visiting, don’t forget to bring your picnic baskets with you so that you can enjoy having a meal while sitting right next to the falls! That’s my favorite way to see it because I find it relaxing.
15. Cherokee Heritage Center
The Cherokee Heritage Center is an interpretive center that focuses on the Oklahoma history of the Cherokee tribe. The center is located in the Tahlequah city, which was once their capital from 1839 to 1907.
And there are many interesting exhibits you can check out at this museum. For example, it features a full-scale replica of a nineteenth-century village, where you can view historical buildings and take a tour through different parts of life back then. And it also has other attractions such as ceremonial grounds and homes that were built by Cherokees using traditional materials and methods.
In addition to being one of the top attractions in Oklahoma for history lovers, I would definitely recommend visiting the Cherokee heritage center if you enjoy learning about the different cultures of the world.
16. Gilcrease Museum
The Gilcrease Museum is a museum located in Tulsa dedicated to the art, history, and culture of Native American tribes throughout the United States. It was established in 1943 as a result of oil magnate Thomas Gilcrease’s interest in collecting art from Native Americans.
Inside the museum, you will find an extensive collection of Native American art, including beadwork, pottery, paintings, carvings, and sculptures. The museum also includes collections from around the world where exhibits are constantly being added.
It is one of the best historical museums in Oklahoma that I am really glad to have had visited! So, if you are ever visiting Tulsa, OK, I would definitely recommend stopping by here.
These are some of the top tourist attractions in Oklahoma that are worth visiting. And as you can see, Oklahoma is a state that has a lot to offer. It’s the perfect place for people who love adventures and want to explore some of America’s most scenic attractions. I hope you’ll be able to visit some of these places yourself and enjoy your stay here.