Visitors to Oklahoma often expect to see the prairie of the stage musical, Oklahoma! Come to enjoy not only rodeos and acres of tall grasses, but also big-city sophistication.
Look for cultural activities in the capital, Oklahoma City, in the center of the state. Here find several museums and galleries and an annual downtown art festival. The Paseo Arts District features more than 15 eclectic galleries. Walk through the Myriad Botanical Gardens for a peaceful break in the heart of the city. Look for the lighthouse on Lake Hefner. See the famous Oklahoma National Stock Yards, with cattle sales on a regular basis.
Tour the imposing State Capitol; the building’s beautiful landscaping includes working oil wells. Oklahoma has been producing oil for more than a century. See iconic derricks pumping around the clock as you drive across the state. Windmills are building a presence as well. Understand how important wind power has been to Oklahoma at the Windmill Museum in Shattuck with more than 30 vintage windmills. Look for modern windmills in the prairies of the southwestern part of the state.
In Tulsa, the 76-foot (23-meter) Golden Driller statue further celebrates the oil heritage. For cultural pursuits, view a large collection of Native American and American West art at the Gilcrease Museum. The Philbrook Museum of Art showcases works from classic to contemporary inside and beautiful landscaping outside. View the lights of Downtown Tulsa with reflections shimmering in the Arkansas River.
Travel around the state to enjoy Oklahoma’s quirky festivals. Try fishing by hand at the Okie Noodling Tournament in Pauls Valley. Watch wildlife during Woodward’s Lesser Prairie-Chicken Festival. Participate in or chuckle at Beaver’s World Championship Cow Chip Throwing Contest. Watch the Boley Rodeo and BBQ Festival in this town established by blacks after Oklahoma became a state.
Across the state you can also try spelunking, skydiving, hiking, boating on the Illinois River, bird-watching and bat-watching. As you leave, you’ll be singing along with the musical… “You’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma…O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A!”