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Oklahoma is a beautiful state famous for its mountain ranges, natural parks, and lakes, as well as its cultural and historical significance in frontier history and Native American legacy alike.
It is also known as the Sooner State and its name is derived from two Choctaw words.
These words are “humma”, which translates to “red”, and “okla”, which translates to people, meaning the state’s literal translation is “red people”.
Oklahoma is filled with numerous different kinds of attractions.
Its strange extreme weather doesn’t stop it from being an incredibly popular location for tourists, promising rich culture, lovely verdancy, ancient rock formations, historical museums, and unique mansions and homes.
It’s a true staple of the American West and a representation of all that this aesthetic stands for – and yet, it manages to contain something for just about anyone?
So, what is there to do in the Sooner State?
Here are our picks for 45 fun things to do and places to visit in Oklahoma.
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Things To Do In Oklahoma
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1. Philbrook Museum of Art
The Philbrook Museum of Art is a cultural and art center alongside being a museum, and it covers an impressive two different properties in the Tulsa area.
It’s one of the best Oklahoma attractions for art aficionados and history buffs alike.
The primary location of the Philbrook Museum of Art is a gorgeous villa dating back to the 1920s, fashioned with Italian Renaissance architecture and picturesque grounds.
The villa was once owned by a local oil magnate named Waite Phillips.
It has 72 rooms and three stories and was created by a renowned architect.
The home was made from white marble and stucco along its exterior and it glitters under the sun.
Inside, you’ll see lovely warm wooden floors, marble fountains, ornate fireplaces, and intricate ceilings.
The Phillips donated the estate to the city in 1938 and the museum opened a year later.
But even the beauty of the building barely measures up to the magnificence of the gallery within, which boasts one of the greatest collections of art in the state!
It includes a whopping nine collections from across the planet.
Its biggest highlight is its huge Native American art collection that holds traditional artifacts, woven items, pottery, paintings, and jewelry.
The 23-acre museum also contains works from Europe, Africa, Asia, and America, with all sorts of genres and eras represented.
It has a nice gift shop, too, if you want to buy some souvenirs!
There is also a children’s area, a space for events, a library, and more.
The second building can be found in the Tulsa Brady Arts District and is a simple satellite gallery.
Address: 2727 S Rockford Rd, Tulsa, OK 74114, United States
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2. Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is a tribute to those affected by the tragic April 19, 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City, from survivors to victims and including rescuers and first responders.
The memorial area houses a wall with the names of survivors, a display of 168 empty chairs inscribed with the names of the victims, and a reflecting pool for contemplation.
The museum itself offers an interactive tour divided into 10 sections or “chapters”, all telling the chronological story of the bombing’s history and subsequent impact, and how it may affect the future of the country.
You’ll be able to hear survivors and families of victims tell their own stories of the incident, see news footage archived from the event, and view many artifacts, including the getaway car used by Timothy McVeigh.
The monument sits on the site that once held Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which was destroyed during the tragedy.
The entrance of the memorial is framed by bronze gates that are engraved with times, each one noting the minute before the attack and the minute after.
The gates are illuminated after dusk, and the field of empty chairs is, too.
To pay your respects and learn a little about those who were taken, those who survived, and those who aided, visiting the national memorial and museum is one of the top things to do in Oklahoma, despite its sobering nature.
Address: 620 N Harvey Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, United States
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3. Science Museum Oklahoma
The Science Museum Oklahoma is one of the most fun things to see in the state, boasting an impressive number of different displays and exhibits with varying degrees of interactivity for people of all ages.
It covers more than 8 acres of space and was created in 1958 to cover a shocking variety of different topics, including ones not traditionally associated with science.
At the Science Museum Oklahoma, you’ll be able to view an impressive exhibit of the huge connection that the state has to the national space program in a space exhibit that houses both real spacecraft and a genuine astronaut-training device called a Mercury Capsule Simulator.
You’ll also find a hands-on workshop called the Tinkering Garage, a stunning planetarium, the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, and an awesome two-floor treehouse!
One of the museum’s most popular attractions for kids is CurioCity, an indoor “city” spanning 20,000 square feet across eight “neighborhoods”, each with its own unique features.
The city is designed to provide countless learning opportunities.
Of course, there are also live shows to catch, including a Tesla coil show, movies shown on the planetarium dome, and a light and shadows show!
Don’t forget to head outdoors to relax in the lovely gardens, which include lessons on nature and botany.
Address: 2020 Remington Pl, Oklahoma City, OK 73111, United States
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4. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is an interesting location, celebrating a unique era and time of the Old West.
It’s one of the best and most famous places to visit in Oklahoma, especially for those who love the aesthetic, history, or culture of the days and places where cowboys roamed the land!
Why is the museum here?
Well, the state played a significant role in some big events in cowboy history, especially during the 1889 Oklahoma Land Run, when thousands of homesteaders lined up surrounding Purcell, a frontier town, to lay claim to one of the thousands of 160-acre land plants across 1,887,796 acres of unoccupied land.
The land was ceded by Native American tribes to the state government after the Civil War and was the remnants of the west’s most desirable land for real estate.
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum opened in Persimmon Hill in 1955 and looks out over the many lands claimed during the Land Run, which was the first of five that would occur in the state over the next 16 years.
The entrance of the museum boasts an impressive piece of Western art and one of the world’s most iconic: “End of the Trail”, a plaster-cast reaching 18 feet into the air, created by James Earle Frazer.
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum houses multiple galleries of sculptures and paintings.
The Art of the American West Gallery is probably one of the most loved, featuring works by Gerald Balcair, Albert Bierstadt, Charles M. Russel, and William R. Leigh among its 2,000.
Then there’s the American Cowboy Gallery, which exhibits artifacts, clothing items, accessories, and more in glass cases, telling the tale of cowboy history.
There are even dioramas up to full-scale of scenes from the West!
Lastly, Prosperity Junction is a replica cattle town from the turn of the century.
Though its beginnings were humble as little more than an American cowboy hall of fame, today the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is one of the foremost collections of Western art and culture.
If you’re an artist, you can use the museum’s galleries to sketch!
Address: 1700 NE 63rd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73111, United States
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5. Oklahoma City Museum of Art
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is one of the fun places to go for art-lovers, boasting the title of one of the region’s most prestigious institutions of art.
It sits in the Donald W. Reynolds Visual Arts Center and features a dynamic mix of permanent and temporary exhibits, as well as film screenings of independent, classic, and foreign films.
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art largely showcases the work of Dale Chihuly by housing one of the world’s biggest collections of his glassworks.
The greatest is the jaw-dropping Eleanor Blake Kirkpatrick Memorial Tower that can be seen in the atrium, spanning 55 feet of awe-inspiring vibrant twists of glass.
Other things you can check out at this museum are the works of American and European artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, spanning mediums such as photographs, paintings, sculptures, prints, and more.
Expect to see the creations of the likes of Paul Reed, Renoir and Gustave Courbet, Brett Weston, Georgia O-Keeffe.
For a small museum, it sure has a lot to offer!
Address: 415 Couch Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, United States
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6. Route 66
Wondering what to do in Oklahoma if you have a car that you can use?
One of the top choices you can go for is a trip down the state run of Route 66!
Although the full length of this famous road goes from Los Angeles to Chicago, it also cuts across Oklahoma diagonally from Tulsa to Oklahoma City.
Roadside attractions and landmarks galore can be seen all along the run of Route 66.
You’ll see many places to stop and explore on your sightseeing road trip this weekend!
If you’ve always wanted to take the “Great American Road Trip” that is Route 66 but have found it quite daunting at its length, starting in this state only can give you a taste of that excitement and enjoyment.
Address: OK, United States
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7. Beavers Bend State Resort Park
Beavers Bend State Resort Park is one of the most popular parks of its kind in the state, so it’s one of the scenic places to add to your list of things to do in Oklahoma.
Whether you’re looking for exciting ways to spend your time or just want to do some relaxed sightseeing, this park will provide a tranquil but enriching break from the world’s hustle and bustle.
Beavers Bend State Resort Park is situated close to Broken Bow, consisting of the Hochatown State Park within it, too, as well as its own titular space.
Cedar Creek Golf Course and Lakeview Lodge also call this park their home.
There are also other events and attractions littered about its large expanse.
Waterways at the Beavers Bend State Resort Park provide opportunities for boating and fishing, and there are campsites for tent-pitchers and RV-drivers alike that are planning a getaway this weekend.
There is also a nature center packed with programs and entertainment for people from all age groups.
You can then explore the rest of the park by hiking, going on hayrides, riding a horse, or watching birds!
Address: 4350 S, OK-259A, Broken Bow, OK 74728, United States
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8. Myriad Botanical Gardens
The Myriad Botanical Gardens are among Oklahoma City’s most captivating and delightful points of interest.
The gardens, set over 17 acres of land, are an urban garden packed with botanical wonder, verdant landscapes, and interactive ways to spend your time across open spaces.
A sunken lake in the Myriad Botanical Gardens is flanked by gardens and artwork, with the centerpiece being the gorgeous Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory.
The conservatory houses exotic flora and fauna of all kinds across 13,000 square feet of space.
Of course, there’s more than the conservatory at the Myriad Botanical Gardens.
An off-leash dog park, a children’s garden and playground, a visitor’s center, numerous paths for jogging and walking, several splash fountains, and educational programs galore add to the appeal of the lovely and calming space.
Address: 301 W Reno Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, United States
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9. Henry Overholser Mansion
The Henry Overholser Mansion was built by Oklahoma City founder Henry Overholser in 1903.
It is thought to be the city’s first constructed mansion, so it’s one of the best tourist attractions for individuals who love history and want to immerse themselves in the city’s early years.
The Henry Overholser Mansion was constructed in the Victorian style and boasts an impressive 20 rooms across three floors.
Fittingly, it sits on Heritage Hills, and it has all its original fixtures, furniture, and decor, all preserved meticulously by the local historical society.
It is also rumored to be haunted if you’re interested in that!
Address: 405 NW 15th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73103, United States
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10. Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden
Termed as one of the best vacation spots, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is easily among the top 10 most fun spots to check out for animal lovers and nature enthusiasts alike.
It has more than 500 different species of animals, including 100 of which are native to the state, carefully arranged throughout 11 unique “zones” and sections that are easy to navigate.
Operational for over a hundred years, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden will give you the chance to get up close and personal with certain animals through behind-the-scenes events, and there are activities like feedings, shows, demonstrations, and touch tanks to check out.
There are even some enclosures that you can safely walk through, and there are rides on trains and boats to bring you around more easily!
The animals you can expect to see at the zoo are lions, tigers, gorillas, rhinos, wallabies, giraffes, lorikeets, Komodo dragons, stingrays, elephants, bears, red pandas, and more.
You’ll also get to feast your eyes on habitats mimicking the Ozark Highlands, Turner Falls, the Black Mesa, and beyond.
Don’t forget to peruse the botanical garden section, too.
Address: 2000 Remington Pl, Oklahoma City, OK 73111, United States
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11. 45th Infantry Division Museum
The 45th Infantry Division Museum is, as its name suggests, devoted to the National Guard’s 45th Infantry Division, known as the Thunderbirds.
It is one of the most interesting Oklahoma attractions for those interested in the military and its history and contains 27,000 square feet of space.
It is situated in Oklahoma City.
The 45th Infantry was one of the first units of National Guards sent out for World War II, during which they made an extensive tour of many parts of Europe.
They would go on to serve in the Korean War.
Among the most significant pieces in the 45th Infantry Division Museum’s collection are the Reaves Firearm Collection, which is host to a huge range of weapons that date from the Revolutionary War all the way to the Vietnam War, and a genuine Confederate cannon.
Beyond that, other notable features are a collection of over 200 cartoons from a World War II soldier in the 45th Division, an exhibit on the history of flags, a wide range of military history artifacts, and some items from Hitler’s apartments.
Address: 2145 NE 36th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73111, United States
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12. Museum of Osteology
The Museum of Osteology is a privately owned establishment and also one of the best unorthodox things to do in Oklahoma, especially for fans of the unusual and unique.
It was established by Jay Villemarette, an auto mechanic who had a big obsession and passion for skulls!
When his “normal” job came to a close, he decided it was time to make skulls into the family business.
This business began in 1986 with something as simple as Villemarette using his kitchen stove to boil skulls.
Today, that has developed into Skulls Unlimited International, a leading worldwide company in the industry of skull cleaning and sales.
The business opened the Museum of Osteology in 2010 in order to show off some of its collection, which totals 400 skulls, 300 full skeletons, and 7,000 square feet of space.
Some cool pieces in the Museum of Osteology’s exhibits are a 2,500-pound, 40-foot skeleton of a humpback whale, a rare Komodo dragon skeleton once owned by George Bush, a two-headed calf, a Javan rhinoceros skull, and more.
You’ll see a mix of common and unique skeletons from animals like gorillas, kinkajous, giraffes, potoroos, and saigas.
You can then go next door to visit the business of Skulls Unlimited directly!
Address: 10301 S Sunnylane Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73160, United States
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13. Oklahoma Aquarium
The Oklahoma Aquarium is a huge institution spanning 72,000 square feet, located close to Tulsa in the town of Jenks.
It boasts eight exhibits that showcase a mix of local and exotic marine and ocean wildlife, with a total of 100 different exhibits to peruse.
The Oklahoma Aquarium is famous for having the planet’s biggest bullhead shark collection, which can be found in the special Shark Adventure exhibit.
Of course, there are plenty of other fun things to see besides that.
A local aquatic exhibit showcases local marine life and an alligator snapping turtle that is 120 years old, and colorful creatures can be seen in sections like Eco Zone, Extreme Fishing, Hayes Family Ozark Stream, Polynesian Reef, and Sea Turtle Island.
Address: 300 Aquarium Dr, Jenks, OK 74037, United States
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14. E.W. Marland Mansion
The E.W. Marland Mansion was named for a strange, eccentric, ingenious, and complicated individual.
The oil magnate, politician, and billionaire set out to create a totally unique mansion home and selected land on the edge of what was once a quarry pit as its site.
Then he took all the rocks within the quarry and set out to create an extremely creative and expensive 43,561-square-foot home.
The E.W. Marland Mansion has many of the standard lavish fixings, such as crystal chandeliers and marble floors in checked patterns, but what makes it one of the places to visit in Oklahoma are the more unusual features that it boasts.
Apart from its impressive and imposing exterior, it features gorgeously manicured gardens all around the building and a swimming pool carved out from the old quarry itself.
Inside the E.W. Marland Mansion, you’re in for a treat.
The ceilings of the structure are entirely hand-painted one by one, a feat accomplished over the course of three years by Vincent Maragliotti, an Italian muralist flown in specially by Marland.
Motifs of dragons and angels are both proudly displayed and subtly hidden throughout, mosaics of 24 karat gold leaf glisten in the light, and Marland’s lifestyle is clearly shown through the beautiful and authentic atmosphere.
In addition to that, the E. W. Marland Mansion has a large number of “micro-museums” situated all around the house and the grounds.
Various different buildings on the property are dedicated to a wide range of unique and interesting topics, so you’ll get to see and experience more than just the house with a single trip!
It’s easy to see why this is one of Oklahoma’s top locations!
Address: 901 Monument Rd, Ponca City, OK 74604, United States
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15. Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge
The Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1901, is one of Oklahoma’s prettiest places, making it among the best spots across the state for sightseeing.
It is located in the state’s southwest area, close to Lawton, and sits between two ranges of granite mountain.
The 59,000-acre expense was once part of a prairie of mixed grass.
Within the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge are many unique places to see and plenty of activities to try out.
There are trails spanning 15 miles of scenery, multiple lakes full of fish to try catching, and a gorgeous Charon’s Garden Wilderness Area for camping and relaxation.
Wildlife, including the biggest land mammal in America, the bison, can be seen wandering throughout the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, too!
Address: 32 Refuge Headquarters Road, Indiahoma, OK 73552, United States
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16. Factory Obscura Mix-Tape
The Factory Obscura Mix-Tape was once Automobile Alley’s Studebaker Building.
In the year 2011, the Flaming Lips rented the brick building, and then, without receiving permits or even asking for the landlord’s permission, they completely renovated the building overnight!
The result was a garish, gaudy, and vaguely lewd eyesore of explosive vibrancy, silly artwork, and fun, risque motifs.
Lead singer Wayne Coyne announced that the building was to be converted into an art gallery, which he dubbed the Womb.
Needless to say, the sight became an icon and cemented itself as one of the key choices for what to see in Oklahoma, especially for those who love modern, wild art.
It has video sets, a gallery space, a huge disco ball over a floor of glitter, plenty of parties, and even a gift store and a creative agency.
The Womb was eventually renamed the Mix-Tape and provides an exciting and entertaining sensory art experience across 6,000 square feet.
You’ll get to punch a bunch of buttons on a huge tape player and explore all kinds of unique spaces, tunnels, nooks, and interactive spaces.
Address: 25 NW 9th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, United States
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17. Gilcrease Museum
The Gilcrease Museum is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is a must-see for those interested in American Western art, as it holds the world’s biggest collection of that subject matter!
The museum’s property takes up a shocking 460 acres of Osage Hills space and houses 23 acres of themed gardens and a building full of manuscripts, artifacts, and art from Native American culture and frontier settlement history.
The Gilcrease Museum earned its name from Thomas Gilcrease, who donated his art collection to Tulsa upon his passing.
He was an oil magnate.
The museum’s collection has continued to grow ever since, collecting works from across Latin America.
There are also three areas of the museum specifically made with interactive and creative kids’ exhibits!
Address: 1400 N Gilcrease Museum Rd, Tulsa, OK 74127, United States
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18. The Cave House of Tulsa
The Cave House of Tulsa is one of Oklahoma’s best points of interest, and it’s among the state’s most interesting places.
It is a unique home decorated by its owners, a mother-daughter pair named Lina and Kate Collier.
The furnishings and decorations are mostly made from all sorts of found and recycled items.
With a lot of different, mysterious rooms in the cave-like structure of the house, The Cave House of Tulsa is a fascinating place to explore.
With jagged bumps and “stalactites”, walls of curved stucco, and unusual textures, it’s no wonder that it attracts so many visitors!
The Cave House is rumored to be haunted and, in its old days in the 1920s, it was actually a restaurant popular during the Prohibition among outlaws.
It’s even said that secret tunnels underground lead to haunted caverns!
Address: 1623 Charles Page Blvd, Tulsa, OK 74127, United States
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19. Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve
The Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve is a whopping 3,700-acre expanse of a verdant, gorgeous landscape.
It is often called Woolaroc Ranch due to the kinds of animals you can see here, like elk, bison, and longhorn cattle, all roaming free and easy to photograph from vehicles.
But what about the museum portion of the Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve?
Well, it showcases Native American artifacts, Colt firearms, and Western art which are fun to peruse and learn about.
Beyond that, the wide grounds are packed with calming tourist attractions like rocky cliffs, woods, and lakes, with all Oklahoma’s history and charm.
Address: 1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd, Bartlesville, OK 74003, United States
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20. Museum of the Great Plains
The Museum of the Great Plains is situated in Lawton, Oklahoma, and it should be on your list of where to go if you like natural history and cultural heritage.
It is packed with all sorts of interactive exhibits that discuss what life was like for pioneers and Native Americans in the west.
Outside of the main building of the Museum of the Great Plains, you’ll spot a wide range of natural history exhibits in the form of buildings, namely a schoolhouse, train depot, and trading post.
Address: 601 NW Ferris Ave, Lawton, OK 73507, United States
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21. Robbers Cave State Park
Robbers Cave State Park is one of the most beautiful places among Southeast Oklahoma attractions.
It is so named because there is a cave in the park that was used by criminals Jesse James and Belle Starr as a hideout.
Robbers Cave State Park is located in the San Bois Mountains foothills and is packed with beautiful forest and recreational activities, with three lakes, places to hike or ride, and rock climbing spots.
It’s also got one of the best spots for ATV-lovers, children, and campers, with facilities for tent-pitchers, RV-drivers, and families with kids of all ages, as well as plenty of events every now and then!
Address: 4628 NW 1027th Ave, Wilburton, OK 74578, United States
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22. The Center of the Universe
The Center of the Universe sounds like a big deal, which can mean it’s quite strange to see that it is nothing more than a little circle of concrete, set in the center of a brick circle.
Located in Tulsa, this is one of the more unusual things to do in Oklahoma, but that doesn’t make it any less fun.
You see, the Center of the Universe is a unique phenomenon that isn’t well-known or scientifically understood.
If you were to stand in that concrete circle and produce any kind of noise, you will hear that noise reverberate and echo back to you at a much louder level than the original sound.
Essentially, it’s like an echo chamber that amplifies sound!
What’s more, when heard from outside of that circle, anyone standing outside the circle will hear the noises from within as strange and distorted.
Address: 1 S Boston Ave, Tulsa, OK 74103, United States
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23. Turner Falls Park
Turner Falls Park is one of the much-loved spots in Oklahoma, widely considered a sanctuary for locals.
The wild land provides many natural things to see, but the pride and joy of the park is Turner Falls: a waterfall spanning 77 feet into the air and the state’s tallest, boasting streams of ice-cold water, lots of campsites, and a fair few caves to explore.
Turner Falls Park is situated within the Arbuckle Mountains and provides lots of beaches, wading areas, and swimming pools of rock.
The waterfall itself forms a lovely pool called Honey Creek above before it falls to the rushing river below.
Address: I-35 &, US-77, Davis, OK 73030, United States
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24. National Weather Center
The National Weather Center is one of the coolest places to visit in Oklahoma, especially if you’re interested in meteorology!
It’s also likely the best spot in the country for such a specific interest, and its location in Oklahoma is for good reason – the state boasts some of the world’s most extreme occurrences of weather.
This includes sweltering heat, dizzying tornados, and magnificent yet intimidating displays of lighting.
The National Weather Center is made up of many different agencies from local to federal levels, as well as a fair number of development and research partners, academic institutions, scientists, engineers, technicians, meteorologists, climatologists, and students.
Fittingly, a tour of the center also includes trips to the Storm Prediction Center and the School of Meteorology of Oklahoma University.
Address: 120 David L Boren Blvd, Norman, OK 73072, United States
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25. The Toy and Action Figure Museum
The Toy and Action Figure Museum is a fun and bright spot located in the quiet and calm location of Paul’s Valley, Oklahoma.
It is one of the most awesome places to go for toy lovers and collectors alike, providing a huge collection of more than 13,000 unique action figures – including a significant number that have never been removed from their packaging!
At the Toy and Action Figure Museum, you’ll make your way through multiple different museum sections.
The Batcave room has only collectibles and figures related to the caped crusader and his many franchises.
The artwork section holds local illustrations’ cartoon works.
The central diorama features several thousand action figures from all sorts of different franchises!
If you stop by the gift shop, you’ll be able to purchase some figures of your own, too.
Address: 111 S Chickasaw St, Pauls Valley, OK 73075, United States
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26. Sam Noble Museum of Natural History
The Sam Noble Museum of Natural History is located within the University of Oklahoma’s campus grounds.
It is a showcase of natural history across multiple different topics.
Permanent exhibits include the Hall of Ancient Life, which is packed with numerous brilliant dinosaur skeletons, including the largest skull of a land animal ever found: a Pentaceratops skull.
Other permanent exhibits are the Hall of World Cultures, which has the obvious subject matter of looking into international cultures, and the Discovery Room where people of all ages can interact with a hands-on exhibit of experiences and activities, such as animal feedings.
Temporary exhibits also provide more options for what to do at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History!
Address: 2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman, OK 73072, United States
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27. Old Route 66 Filling Station
The Old Route 66 Filling Station is a quaint little stop along the best road in America.
It is little more than a skeleton now, and it is believed to date back to 1920.
The stone building was a filling station, but at its busiest, it was also the home of an Oklahoma counterfeiter – or so legend says.
A plaque in front of the Old Route 66 Filling Station tells you all about that aforementioned legend, and sources are hazy – but it’s certainly fun to speculate.
During the Great Depression, it is said that a man offered the owner some currency plates, and the owner of the establishment set to work printing bills with that man behind the station.
The small-time criminals were quickly discovered, though, and the station shut down.
For lovers of the obscure and strange, this is a must-do while you’re driving down Route 66.
Address: E Danforth Rd/Route 66, Arcadia, OK 73007, United States
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28. J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum
The J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum is a huge privately-owned establishment that both provides historical information and displays on arms and the history of Oklahoma City and the surrounding area.
It contains over 50,000 artifacts, with more than 12,000 being a part of Davis’ own firearms collection.
That collection spans as far back as the 14th century and makes the museum one of the greatest tourist spots for gun aficionados.
There is even a gallery of oddities and guns owned by outlaws!
The J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum also has a wide range of artifacts from Native American cultures, historic memorabilia from the Wild West, genuine riding saddles, antique music boxes, artifacts from World War II, steins, a recreation of the Mason Hotel earned by Davies, instruments, and a huge M41 Walker Bulldog tank from the US Army on display outdoors.
If you’re lucky, this weekend there may even be a special, fun event on, such as live reenactments of various historical events.
You should also view the Cooweescoowee District of the Nation exhibit, which covers two centuries of Cherokee history.
Address: 330 N J M Davis Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017, United States
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29. Chickasaw Cultural Center
The Chickasaw Cultural Center is one of the key tourist attractions to learn about the heritage, history, and culture of the native Chickasaw people.
It is situated fittingly close to the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur and is a high-quality, world-class institution for the celebration of this culture.
One of the loved features of the Chickasaw Cultural Center is the Chickasha Poya Exhibit Center, which is an interactive hub of exhibits that are hands-on and inviting for visitors.
This includes a spirit dance showcase, a display of mosaic tiles, and a Spirit Forest.
Outside of the Chickasaw Cultural Center, you’ll get to see the Aaholiitobli’s Honor Garden.
The garden is a dedication to Chickasaw leaders, warriors, and elders, featuring laser-cut photographs of each individual carefully arranged on the walls of the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame.
Address: 867 Cooper Memorial Rd, Sulphur, OK 73086, United States
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30. Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park
Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park is a rather interesting collection of decorations, homemade out of cement by Oklahoma artisan Ed Galloway.
He spent several decades crafting this fun location, beginning in 1938 with the goal of creating several totem poles out of strong materials like steel, concrete, and rebar.
The result was what we now know as the Totem Pole Park, packed with tapered totems and totem poles in all sorts of different vibrant colors.
The centerpiece is a huge pole that took a whopping 11 years to complete and is so large that it actually has a room inside it that you can go into!
It reaches 90 feet into the air and has 200 or so carved figures in it, ranging from beasts to faces.
Of course, there is some controversy surrounding Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park, primarily because totem poles are meant to be sacred and traditional monuments of Indigenous Native Americans.
They’re meant to celebrate and commemorate history, culture, and ancestry and are made from natural materials like red cedar.
Still, as an artistic location, you can add Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park to your list of stuff to do.
The park was almost ruined after the site was left in disrepair after Galloway’s passing in 1962, but conservationists saved it and the totem poles are in great shape now.
Address: 21300 OK-28 A, Chelsea, OK 74016, United States
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31. Natural Falls State Park
If Natural Falls State Park sounds idyllic, that’s because it is – and it may be one of Oklahoma’s most romantic things to do!
It’s also one of the few Oklahoma attractions that sits on the border to Arkansas.
The falls in question are 77 feet tall and rush down over a promontory to come to rest in a gorgeous, all-natural pool of cool water.
One of the most interesting features of the Natural Falls State Park is the pool itself, which hosts a unique micro-habitat due to the special climate that the waterfall creates.
Unique plants manage to grow here in a way that you won’t find easily elsewhere.
The valley, which is V-shaped, has a relaxing atmosphere to boot.
At the zenith of the falls, there is a wheelchair-accessible observation platform.
Natural Falls State Park provides the chance to stay overnight in one of five whimsical yurts, each outfitted with modern amenities!
And, of course, fans of Where The Red Fern Grows, the movie from 1974, will appreciate the parts of the park that were used in the film!
Address: 19225 E 578 Rd, Colcord, OK 74338, United States
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32. Armstrong Auditorium
The Armstrong Auditorium is one of the chief things to do in Oklahoma for entertainment.
It is a key performing arts location in Edmond, spanning eight stories and attracting a wide range of renowned, world-class international touring performers.
This includes the wonders of the Vienna Boys Choir and the Russian National Ballet, for example!
The Armstrong Auditorium is also the home site of the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation Performing Arts Series, which has been in play since 1998.
With a main auditorium that seats 823, the Armstrong Auditorium is extravagant and lush.
Crystal Chandeliers by Swarovski Strass decorate the ceiling, a genuine crystal candelabra used in the 2,500 anniversary celebration of the Persian Empire by the Shah of Iran decorates the halls, and a carpet of opulent royal purple covers the floor.
Address: 14400 S Bryant Rd B, Edmond, OK 73034, United States
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33. The American Pigeon Museum
Looking for more fun things to see?
The American Pigeon Museum in Oklahoma City fits that bill!
While we often laugh at pigeons and even view them as pests, they’re actually very intelligent birds – and, once upon a time, they were crucial to long-distance communication.
The American Pigeon Museum began its life as the American Homing Pigeon Institute in 1973 when it was devoted to the simple purpose of pigeon training.
The institute expanded in 1993 by purchasing 10 acres of land in the city to turn into a World of Wings pigeon center and the museum all at once.
The American Pigeon Museum now houses numerous displays, many named after relevant enthusiasts and researchers, with all sorts of pigeon-related memorabilia.
This includes ads, statues, art, “wings”, clocks, and informational displays on the importance of homing pigeons during both world wars.
There are even exhibits designed to honor heroic birds!
You’ll be impressed by the beauty and rich history of these surprisingly majestic birds.
Address: 2300 NE 63rd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73111, United States
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34. Lake Hefner Park
Lake Hefner Park’s center is the titular Lake Hefner, a man-made reservoir that was originally created in order to aid the city’s issues with water shortages.
It has since turned into one of the most delightful places to visit in Oklahoma for tourists and locals alike.
With 2,500 acres of land to its name, Lake Hefner Park is a haven for water activities like sailing and fishing, and it’s also ideal for picnics by the picturesque lake.
The lake has a whopping 18 miles of length in shoreline and 29 feet in depth.
The urban space is outfitted with sports areas like tracks, a golf course, a softball field, a soccer field, and a field for model airplane flight, and there are plenty of modern amenities to make use of, too.
There are also trails for bikes and pedestrians spanning nine miles!
Address: 3301 NW Grand Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73116, United States
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35. Will Rogers Memorial Museum
The Will Rogers Memorial Museum is one of the surefire places to see for fans of legendary entertainers like the titular Will Rogers.
Located in Claremore, it is a tribute to the famed “Cowboy Philosopher” of America, a product of several discussions on how to honor him upon his passing in 1935.
The Oklahoma Legislature, Betty Rogers (Will’s wife), and thousands of donors all worked together to make the Will Rogers Memorial Museum a reality.
It is now the world’s biggest collection of artifacts related to Will Rogers and his writings, boasting twelve galleries, a library, a theater, and even a children’s museum, all packed with documentaries, memorabilia, manuscripts, photos, speeches, and all of Rogers’ writings.
Address: 1720 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017, United States
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36. Tiger Safari
The Tiger Safari is a fun option for what to do with kids – or animal lovers of any age – in Oklahoma, one of the best places in the US!
Its full name is “Tiger Safari Zoological Park”, and it is situated in the lovely locale of Tuttle.
The safari spans 45 acres and is a zoo boasting more than 150 animals, including exotic animals like African wildcats, bears, birds, and reptiles.
Interactive visits at the Tiger Safari let you play games, take part in events, visit a petting zoo, and get close to exotic fauna of all kinds.
The safari is a non-profit organization that doubles as a way of educating the public on caring for exotic creatures, which is a significant step forward since it was created by a husband and wife couple that were simply collecting these creatures.
Address: 963 County Street 2930, Tuttle, OK 73089, United States
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37. Gloss Mountain State Park
Gloss Mountain State Park is one of the loveliest things to do in Oklahoma for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
The name of the park comes from the Gloss Mountains, often referred to as the Glass Mountains because of their shiny, Selenite surface.
As far as panoramas go, it’s a stunning backdrop for park activities like hiking, eating picnics, and photography.
Gloss Mountain State Park is relatively well-outfitted with facilities and provides numerous trails throughout, including one that runs up to Cathedral Mountain.
From the peak of that mountain, you can look around and take in the gorgeous sight of the valley and Lone Peak Mountain beyond!
Address: US-412, Fairview, OK 73737, United States
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38. 99s Museum of Women Pilots
The 99s Museum of Women Pilots is a small museum on the second floor of the Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots.
The aforementioned organization was created due to the barring of female pilots from the famous Cleveland Air Race.
During the race, 20 women pilots took part, forced to fly alongside men.
Across the 2,700-mile distance, sabotage from critics, and other complications, 14 of those pilots successfully crossed the finish line – a huge number for long-distance air races at the time.
The women who ran the race then grouped together and formed the Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots by sending out letters to all 117 of the country’s known female pilots.
The name “Ninety-Nines” was used because 99 women responded and joined the group.
The organization, which has its HQ in Oklahoma City, is one of the important points of interest for aviation enthusiasts.
The museum has displays of the many different female pilots in history, their accomplishments, and the milestones that the group faced along the way.
There are a number of personal items that were owned by Amelia Earhart, information on women in space programs, and historical celebration of figures like Bessie Coleman, the first woman pilot who was African American.
Address: 4300 Amelia Earhart Ln Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73159, United States
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39. Oklahoma Route 66 Museum
As far as tourist attractions go, Route 66 is one of America’s most renowned, and the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum celebrates that legacy.
It is a spot dedicated to exhibiting music, history, myths, and memorabilia related to the iconic road, dating all the way back to its initial conception and construction.
The Oklahoma Route 66 Museum lets you get up close and personal with the tales of the Mother Road, the music that was created in its time, sounds of the highway and of the events that took place on the road, and more.
There is also a 1950s-style diner onsite for you to try out!
Address: 2229 W Gary Blvd, Clinton, OK 73601, United States
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40. American Banjo Museum
The American Banjo Museum is home to the world’s biggest public display of instruments and is a fun and interesting delve into the history of the delightful, twangy string instrument known as the banjo.
The instrument is widely considered synonymous with the country and cowboy culture, but this museum goes deeper than that to showcase the good, bad, and ugly parts of its history.
The banjo was appropriated in the mid-1600s by American slaves.
Back then, it was made with animal skins and gourds.
Since then, it has become an integral feature in many features of American music, and the American Banjo Museum features more than 300 of them in a wall-to-wall display.
Banjos at the American Banjo Museum range from calibrated banjos used in concerts, traditional handmade folk creations, and ornate banjos from the Jazz era.
Sheet music, out-of-print records, ephemera and memorabilia, and more add color and vibrancy to the museum’s offerings!
Address: 9 E Sheridan Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, United States
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41. Roman Nose State Park
The Roman Nose State Park is one of seven original Oklahoma state parks, and it is named after a Cheyenne chief.
It is undoubtedly a gorgeous location and is among Oklahoma attractions that double as places to vacation, with a huge expanse of land containing all sorts of incredible ways to stay occupied over a prolonged trip.
At the Roman Nose State Park, you can feast your eyes on its breathtaking canyon, any of its beautiful natural springs, and its awe-inspiring cliffs of gypsum rock.
It is outfitted for guests with 11 cabins to rent, the lovely Roman Nose State Park Lodge, campground facilities that are fully outfitted, and bookable teepees.
All sorts of activities are available at the Roman Nose State Park.
Its most notable is the Roman Nose State Park Golf Course, a par 70, 18-hole course that features lovely fairways of Bermuda grass, sloping greens, views of the lake and canyon walls, and all sorts of natural obstacles.
Of course, you can also keep things natural by going fishing, biking, boating, horse riding, hiking, swimming, or simply enjoying a relaxing time in the great outdoors.
Address: 3236 OK-8A, Watonga, OK 73772, United States
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42. Woody Guthrie Center
The Woody Guthrie Center‘s unimposing brick exterior makes it easy to miss, but it’s one of the chief things to do in Oklahoma for music-lovers – especially fans of the titular Woody Guthrie, an American folk musician, singer-songwriter, and fierce social activist.
A museum dedicated to the life and times of the inspiring, iconic, and influential performer, the Woody Guthrie Center houses memorabilia, artwork, handwritten lyrics, notebooks, pictures, music samples, and short films related to his life, as well as some exhibits dedicated to artists inspired by him.
Occasionally, the center hosts a folk music event.
The Woody Guthrie Center also holds the Woody Guthrie Archives, the biggest material collection for the artist in the world.
The archives are not open to the public but you’ll get to take a look into the climate-controlled room through windows!
Address: 102 E Reconciliation Way, Tulsa, OK 74103, United States
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43. The Outsiders House Museum
The Outsiders House Museum may look familiar to fans and watchers of The Outsiders.
For years, it was the home of the Curtis brothers, and it has now been converted into a museum celebrating the film and the tale that resonated with lives across the globe.
It’s one of the state’s more unique things to see!
Francis Ford Coppola, director of the Outsiders, came to Oklahoma in 1982 and began working on the movie, which is based on a novel from 1967.
The whole film was shot in Tulsa, and the home used was owned privately for years after the movie was released.
When it was abandoned and fell into disrepair, it was purchased by Danny Boy O’Connor, a musician, and with the aid of donations and hard work, the house was fashioned into a museum and opened in 2019.
A tour of the Outsiders House Museum includes a ride to other locations where the Outsiders was filmed within the city.
The museum itself houses books, posters, wardrobe pieces, artifacts, autographed items, and more memorabilia related to the iconic film.
Address: 731 N St Louis Ave, Tulsa, OK 74106, United States
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44. Lake Tenkiller
Lake Tenkiller should be on your list of sights to see and places to visit in Oklahoma thanks to its gorgeous environment and calming experience.
It can be exciting for families, romantic for couples, and ideal for a quick getaway.
Known also as Tenkiller Ferry Lake, Lake Tenkiller is situated south of Tahlequah on the Illinois River and is a natural feature of Cookson Hills.
The lake stretches into Cherokee and Sequoyah and provides lots of water-based activity opportunities.
You can fish for crappie, rainbow trout, bass, catfish, and walleye.
You can keep your eyes peeled for doves, geese, squirrels, deer, ducks, quail, and other wildlife.
There are public-use locations for camping and relaxing, and scuba divers will love the clear waters and its multitude of sunken structures to explore.
Address: 446977 E 980 Rd, Cookson, OK 74427, United States
Want to visit Tulsa? If you do plan the trip, here are some incredible Tulsa attractions you shouldn’t miss out on!
45. Tucker Tower
Tucker Tower is a beautiful and stately structure in Lake Murray State Park and has unofficial renown for being one of the most easily identifiable structures within a state park of Oklahoma.
It was named after state senator Fred Tucker during its construction in the 1930s and was mostly built and designed by the Works Progress Administration.
Tucker Tower was actually originally meant to be one of the places to go for a retreat for state governors, but that never wound up happening.
It began its life as a geological museum instead and is, today, a nature center for Lake Murray State Park.
It has two floors, with the main level housing an exhibit-filled museum with historical and informational displays relating to the tower and the area around it.
The main level also has a patio approximately 60 feet above the surface of a lake.
On the second level, accessible via stairs, Tucker Tower rises 65 feet above its lower floor.
A walkway on that level allows you to look around and see stunning views in all directions for miles.
It’s a great spot for photos, site seeing, and more.
You’ll spot Tucker Tower from a distance as it sits on a strand of twisted, craggy rock.
Address: 18407 Scenic Highway 77, Ardmore, OK 73401, United States
Start Planning Your Trip To Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a great choice for a vacation, providing a great mix of natural attractions, historical sites, artistic delights, one-of-a-kind locations, and virtually anything else in between!
It’s as good a reason as any to make Oklahoma your next destination for a great holiday!
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