Oklahoma City

Cowboys. Banjos. Botanical gardens. Oklahoma City is the place to find them all, and a lot more besides.

When a place is known as ‘The Big Friendly,’ it's a got a lot to live up to in the warm welcome department. Luckily, Oklahoma City deserves its nickname. Despite being in the top five largest cities in the States (in terms of area covered, that is), it doesn't scrimp on the laid-back charm. It won't take long to feel like you and this easygoing city have been buddies for years.

The key neighborhoods of the city feel compact enough to make exploring them a cinch. Start out in Downtown, where foodies can fill up on everything from hearty local fare designed to line the stomach, to delicate treats from all over the world. Cool and arty Bricktown is a former warehouse district. Close by, the American Banjo Museum makes for a novel place to spend a morning or afternoon, and the nearby Myriad Botanical Gardens will leave you open-mouthed at their beauty.

Traveling with kids? The Adventure District, to the northeast, is for you. This is where you'll find the zoo, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, and the Frontier City Theme Park. In case you're wondering: yes, Frontier Park is Wild West-themed, which means hours of gunslinging fun for your little outlaws. And for grown-ups seeking adventures of their own, the huge, scenic Lincoln Park Golf Course is a short drive away.