Oh I’ve never been to heaven … but I’ve been to Oklahoma. These famous lyrics sang by Three Dog Night are no exaggeration in my book. As my home state for over two decades, I’ve learned first hand that Oklahoma is a wonderful place rich with vastly unique experiences, whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, want to brush up on your history and culture or simply wish to enjoy Mother Nature at her finest. And not to sound biased, but Oklahomans are some of the most genuinely nice people you can find! If you’ve never been to heaven, ahem I mean Oklahoma … or it’s been several years since you’ve returned, prepared to be amazed by the resurgence of America’s Heartland. Here is why everyone should visit the Sooner State, and why you just might leave boasting some serious Okie Pride that’ll put those neighbors a few miles South to shame …
… Oklahoma City’s Bricktown is a shining example of the revitalization of the city. Once old warehouse buildings have been restored to house lively bars and local restaurants, while water taxis cruise down the canal for scenic tours.
… Downtown Tulsa is equally charming, boasting shopping, dining, art and trendy entertainment districts. Explore the popular Blue Dome District for unique annual festivals or the Brady Arts District for well-loved live music venues like Cain’s Ballroom.
… you can still get your kicks on the iconic Route 66 highway, with 400 miles running through the state. Take a drive and stop by memorable roadside attractions along the way, like Sandhills Curiosity Shop in Erick and its unbeatable collection of memorabilia.
… Beavers Bend Resort Park in Broken Bow is just the scenic getaway city-dwellers crave. Here, luxury cabins and breathtaking views beckon for fishing along the Mountain Fork River and boating across the clear blue waters of Broken Bow Lake.
… the Oklahoma City National Memorial is a life-changing experience that welcomes visitors from around the globe to honor and remember the victims, survivors and rescuers of the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing of the Murrah Federal Building.
… the Robbers Cave State Park in Wilburton of today features more than 8,000 acres of rugged cliffs, hilly woodlands and three lakes for you to explore. But it’s also got a wild past, as the former hideout for American outlaws Jesse James and Belle Starr.
… Oklahoma City’s Boathouse District is an official U.S. Olympics training site, but even amateur athletes are welcome to enjoy adventures on the Oklahoma River. Take part in everything from whitewater rafting and stand-up paddle boarding to zip lining. (Photo Credit: Georgia Read/Read Studio, Inc.)
… the American Indian archaeological site of Spiro Mounds brings to life a prehistoric Oklahoma that dates back to A.D. 800, showcasing a sophisticated culture far beyond what most would expect from the time period.
… discover the heritage, history and unique traditions of the Chickasaws at Sulphur’s Chickasaw Cultural Center. The 184-acre campus tells the story of the Chickasaw Nation through art, exhibits, reenactments, demonstrations and cuisine.
… peaceful Lake Hefner in north Oklahoma City is a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, without ever stepping foot out of city limits. Sail, kayak, take a sunset cruise or simply enjoy the view at a lakeside restaurant.
… get inspired by the works on display at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, which features a 55-foot glass art tower created by famed artist Dale Chuhily and one of the largest collections of his art in the world.
… a cruise through the Woolaroc Ranch in Bartlesville may find you face-to-face with American Bison, elk and longhorn cattle, which roam freely on the 3,700 acre preserve built by Frank Phillips (founder of Phillips Petroleum Company.)
… you’ll find everyone is a sports fan, and for good reason. (Winning is in our nature!) Join along as you cheer on the University of Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, Oklahoma State University Cowboys in Stillwater or the Oklahoma City Thunder in Bricktown!
Now that you’re convinced that things truly are better in Oklahoma, we’ll see you on this side of the Red River soon!
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