Visitor's Guide 2021

OKLAHOMA CITY 2 0 2 1 O F F I C I A L V I S I T O R S G U I D E

T H E M O D E R N

www.VisitOKC.com #SeeOKC

~ Bricktown ~ 124 E Sheridan Ave . 405.235.4410 shop online . painteddoor.com Painted Door ®

© PDG2020

Welcome to the Modern Frontier!

BRENDA HERNANDEZ Tango PR’s friendly, passionate and reliable Vice President and Co-founder

DAVID HOLT Husband, Father, OKC Thunder fan – and also worth noting –Mayor of OKC

Consider this your official invitation to experience the energy, excitement and welcoming spirit of Oklahoma City – a city open to all. What better way to learn about our great city than first-hand from locals? We’ve gathered a handful of OKC movers and shakers to share their perspectives on what makes OKC the place they’ve chosen to live, work and play in year-round.

Check out the Modern Frontier playlist on Spotify where our locals shared their favorite tunes to crank up as you explore OKC.

KELLI PAYNE Oklahoma National Stockyards President and one of OKC’s most outgoing and creative forces

JABEE Musician, Business-owner, Emmy winner and passionate community advocate

JAMES PEPPER HENRY (JPH) Director/CEO of the First Americans Museumwho is always coming and going

L ANCE MCDANIEL Independent filmmaker that brings positivity, enthusiasm and a collaborative spirit to everything he touches

2

3

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

How do you describeOKC to someone who hasn’t been here before? JABEE: TheGreatest most unique place on earth! L ANCE: When you visit Oklahoma City, expect the unexpected.We have invested billions of tax dollars to create parks, sidewalks, street cars, boathouses, senior wellness centers and all the amenities of a modern city looking toward the future. MAYOR HOLT: First, Oklahoma City is an incredibly diverse city where 60 percent of our residents under the age of 18 are non-white.That diversity is driven by large AfricanAmerican, Latino, Vietnamese andNative American communities. I would also add that we offer a unique combination you can’t find anywhere else. As America’s 25th-most populous city, we have all the amenities of a big city but with friendly people and none of the hassles you’d find in similar- sized cities.

Where’s your favorite place to hang out that only locals may know? L ANCE: I love to hang out in the Paseo District –Oklahoma City’s original arts district – with its awesome restaurants, bars and art galleries. KELLI : The patio atMcClintock’s Saloon is a wonderful hidden gem in the Stockyards City district. BRENDA: I love supporting our local districts, especially CalleDos Cinco inHistoric Capitol Hill and the Plaza District.The food from the family- owned businesses found in these districts is my favorite! JABEE: My favorite place to hang is Trappy Hour at Ice EventCenter andGrill. JPH: I like to hang out at Lake Overholser and watch the sunset, and get my joe at RedCup – one of the best local coffee houses. MAYOR HOLT: Capitol Hill

KELLI : You certainly won’t find friendlier folks than right here inOklahoma! With themany unique businesses and districts in our city, there is something for everyone.We truly celebrate our rich heritagemelded with our diversity and look forward to a prosperous future here inOklahoma City! BRENDA: I am fromCalifornia andmost of my friends and family thought I lived out in the country, with horses and cows inmy backyard. I love to share about all the exciting events happening in our city, the coffee shops and restaurants I love to visit, and about all the incredible new developments that are happening. Many can’t believe there is somuch to do and that somuch is happening in what they thought was a small town. JPH: Visitors don’t realize what great museums we have including theNational Cowboy&WesternHeritageMuseum, ScienceMuseumOklahoma, Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma City National Memorial &Museum, OKC Museumof Art, the soon-to-be First AmericansMuseum, andmy personal favorite – the American BanjoMuseum.

Oklahoma City embodies theModern Frontier – what does that mean to you? BRENDA: We are a growing, culturally diverse communitywith a strong heritage. People are coming fromall parts of the country and callingOKChome because of the endless possibilities found here, because they feel welcomed and able to contribute to the growth of our city. KELLI : Since the Stockyards was founded shortly after statehood, I believe it was truly the ‘Frontier’ when established. To think that we are celebrating 110 years of business, but to see themodern technology and growth of Oklahoma City is really exciting! We can support our rich history while celebrating the diversity of our wonderful city!

JPH: TheModern Frontier is about advancing ideas, technology and inclusivity, andOklahoma City is the premier place on the southern plains where these things are happening. MAYOR HOLT: Just like when Indigenous people called this place home and then later when the city was founded by an influx of settlers, you can still be whatever you want to be inOklahoma City.There is no barrier to entry if you want to contribute to this city’s future. L ANCE: Oklahoma City is a land of opportunity. If you have a great idea and are willing to work hard, you will find yourself surrounded by people who want you to succeed and are willing to invest in your success.

What OKC spot do you like to show off when you host out-of-town guests? JPH: Martin ParkNature Center &Trail and theMyriad Botanical Gardens – we have great parks inOKC JABEE: The East Side and restaurants L ANCE: Scissortail Park andThe Jones Assembly KELLI : The Stockyards, of course! MAYOR HOLT: Downtown by Streetcar BRENDA: DowntownOKC and Bricktown are two of the places I love to show off.We like catching anOKC Dodgers baseball game,Thunder basketball game or just enjoy some time at the beautiful MyriadGardens and our new Scissortail Park.

As evident in these diverse local perspectives, there’s not just one way to experience quintessential OKC. This Visitor Guide serves as an introduction to the many attractions, neighborhood

districts, cultural flavors and other varied experiences you’ll find across the city.

Oklahoma City embraces its roots and continues to define its own future. Here, you’ll be welcomed with authenticity and overflowing kindness as you discover the heritage, vision and resiliency that lives on in the Oklahoma City of today.

4

5

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

In This Issue

About OKC 2

Welcome to the Modern Frontier

8

#SeeOKC

To-Do 11

123 Park Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73102 (405) 297-8912 | (800) 225-5652 VisitOKC.com

Must See in OKC

22 25 26 30

Route 66

State Capitol Outdoor Guide

Quirky, Hidden Gems

32 Sports OKC Districts 36

Produced by the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau. Every effort has been made to maintain the accuracy of information presented in this guide. No responsibility is assumed for errors, changes or omissions. Please call in advance to verify information. We wish to thank and acknowledge the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and the museums, attractions, events and industry partners who provided photographs for use in the Visitors Guide.

A Guide to OKC’s Districts

40 Locally Loved Drinks & Dining 4 3

Food Around the World Black-owned Restaurants

47 47 48 50

Vice President , Destination Marketing, Lindsay Vidrine Vice President , Tourism, Sandy Price Vice President , Convention Sales & Services, Mike Burns Project Designer & Photographer , Josh Vaughn Contributors, Meg Cathey, Sydney Callis and Greg Horton Illustrator , Matt Goad

Patio Dining

As Seen on TV

Craft Brew: Local Coffee & Beer

Explore Like A Local 52 What’s New & Coming Soon 54 Arts 61 Shopping Resources 66 Unique Lodging 70 Hotels 76

Getting Here & Getting Around

ON THE COVER Justin Stone of J Stone Photography captures OKC’s skyline.

79

Maps

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

6

7

@iamsierrared

@hikewithjennifer

@traveling joely

Whether you’re posing in front of one of the city’s vibrant murals or capturing the beauty of the cityscape, you’ll find there is an abundance of picturesque spots in the Modern Frontier. Take us on the adventure with you by using #SeeOKC in your social media posts and show us what Oklahoma City looks like through your eyes. #SeeOKC

@joshvaughn

@boo_kay

Courtney Ramos-Fincher

@taliat101

@goanniewhere

@dani_prevail

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

8

9

Must See in OKC Whether you’re planning a

day trip, weekend getaway or full-on vacation, we’ve got you covered with these kid-approved adventures and experiences that are unique to OKC. Many of these attractions host special events and activities throughout the year, so before you come, check VisitOKC.com for event details, hours of operation, coupons and more.

STAY A PART OF OKC

Omni Oklahoma City Hotel Opening early 2021

SEVEN UNIQUE DINING EXPERIENCES | FULL-SERVICE MOKARA SPA | ROOFTOP POOL 405-438-6500 | OMNIHOTELS.COM/OKLAHOMACITY

V I S I T O K C . C O M 1 1

B R I CKOPOL I S The variety of options at Brickopolis Entertainment – a downtown event center and play park – virtually guarantees that every member of the family will have something to do. A sprawling campus right on the Bricktown Canal includes miniature golf, a kids’ climbing wall, laser tag, aeroball junior and an arcade. A pizza buffet is also onsite.

B R I CK TOWN WAT E R TAX I As a popular Bricktown attraction for more than 20 years, the water taxi takes visitors down the Bricktown Canal at a leisurely pace, while the guide narrates the history of the canal and the surrounding businesses. You can rent a private cruise, or even join a dinner cruise.

4 5 T H I NFANT RY D I V I S I ON MUS E UM Dedicated to the soldiers of the USArmy’s 45th Infantry Division, the museumhas a massive collection of weapons, military utility vehicles, aircraft and armored cavalry pieces, with exhibits indoors and out.The 45th was a unit of theOklahomaNational Guard that served inWWII and the KoreanWar. Much of the focus is on the unit’s role in securing Hitler’s bunker at the end of WWII.

C ENT ENN I A L L AND RUN MONUMENT

Created byNative artist andmultiple awardwinner Paul Moore, themonument is 45 figures depicting participants in the 1889 opening of theUnassignedLands. Built to larger-than-life scale, the sculptures sprawl andmeander along the southern edge of Bricktown, narrating a variety of stories with posture, expressions and circumstances. Rather than create static poses,Moore imbued his sculptures with energy and emotion.

AME R I CAN BAN J O MUS E UM As much an art exhibit as a tribute to the classic bluegrass, folk and Americana instrument, the museum has a large collection of banjos, including representative examples throughout history. Famous musicians are profiled, and rotating exhibitions feature well- known musicians, singer-songwriters and even the art of banjo decoration.

FAC TORY OB S CURA Part art gallery, part immersive experience, Factory Obscura in theWomb building – previously occupied by Flaming Lips front manWayne Coyne – will be many things when the creative team is done with all the stages. The first permanent experience is Mix-Tape, a multisensory homage to and modern application of the old school mixtapes, those old cassettes that were thematic collections of favorite songs. The creators describe it as a mixture of visuals, sounds, textures and interactivity.

B LU E ZOO AQUAR I UM Boasting such aquatic life as sharks, eels, jellyfish, seahorses and an octopus, Blue Zoo OKC has more than 200 species of marine life. With an emphasis on education, Blue Zoo combines fun, interactive experiences with an opportunity to learn about animals from all over the world. Located in Quail Springs Mall, guests can touch and feed stingrays, birds, reptiles and more.

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

1 2

1 3

L AK E S H E FNE R , OV E RHOL S E R AND S TANL E Y DRAP E R

F I R E F I GH T E R S MUS E UM The museum shares space with the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association, and while they are the historical focus, the museum also has exhibits on the London Fire Brigade, firefighter patches and restored firetrucks. It is also home to a large collection of firefighting gear that dates back to the mid-18th century.

Oklahoma City is home to three public lakes, all of which provide opportunities for fishing, boating, kayaking, and in the case of Hefner, kitesurfing and sailing. Make sure you have anOklahoma license for fishing before you toss out a line, though. Hefner has a boat house with kayak rentals, and all three have ramps where you can get your own watercraft into the lake.

F I R S T AME R I CANS MUS E UM Opening in Fall 2021 along the Oklahoma River, the First Americans Museum shares cultural diversity, history, art and contributions of the First Americans. Visitors can experience the collective histories of Oklahoma’s 39 distinctive First American Nations through immersive family-friendly activities, a full-service restaurant featuring unique Native inspired cuisine, a museum store highlighting authentic handmade items by premiere First American artists, and an outdoor cultural park where the plains, prairies and wetlands converge.

MUS E UM OF OS T EOLOGY

Amuseumdedicated to bones.Why not?The museumhas hundreds of skeletons, as well as a large collection of skulls.The primary purpose is for education, of course, which is why they also have hands-on exhibits mixed in.

F RONT I E R C I T Y AND HUR R I CANE HAR BOR Themetro’s two Six Flags’ amusement parks are locatedon nearly opposite ends of the city.TheHurricaneHarbor water park is a great way to beat the summer heat, with pools, a lazy river, water slides, spray cannons and inner tubes – even a family-sized tube. FrontierCity includes roller coasters, bumper cars, a kids’ train, mine car ride and a ton of other options for thrill-seekers of all ages.

MY R I AD GARD ENS One of the local favorites on this list, you’ll find the downtown crowd dancing in the gardens, walking dogs, sharing a picnic, listening to free concerts and enjoying the beauty of this 17-acre urban botanical garden.The Crystal Bridge Conservatory will close for renovation in spring and re-open the following year with a new array of electrifying plants, but the outdoor grounds of the gardens still allow for year-round exploring.The plants are seasonal, and inmany cases indigenous, so there is always something green or vibrant happening with the flora. A sunken pond attracts waterfowl of all sorts, but you’ll especially see ducks and geese, and the water is stocked with koi.

HARN HOME S T E AD This historic farm and homestead operates now as a venue and education center to introduce guests to the realities of pioneer life lived by the men, women and children who settled Oklahoma after the Land Run. The house and property belonged toWilliam Fremont Harn, a land commissioner appointed by President Benjamin Harrison. Tours are available, and hands-on activities include barn and garden work, as well as household chores.

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

1 4

1 5

OK L AHOMA C I T Y ZOO The innovative approach to zoo design continues to improve the lives of the animals and the experience of the guests.The zoo has spent millions of dollars building new habitats for many of the animals, creating a livable environment that is as similar to their native habitat as possible.The newest installment of this process is Sanctuary Asia, which started with themassive elephant habitat, and now includes red pandas, rhinos, raccoon dogs, komodo dragons and other animals.

NAT I ONA L COWBOY & WE S T E RN H E R I TAGE MUS E UM

More than an homage to the cowboy spirit of theWest, this wildly popular destination houses some of the world’s most beautifulWestern andWestern- inspired art. A full-scaleWestern town is located inside themuseum, and one entire hall is dedicated to wagons, including the chuck wagon, or as themuseumputs it, the original food truck. Anew outdoor educational experience called Liichokoshkomo’ (Chickasaw for “Let’s Play!”) brings to life diverse stories of theWest with interactive fun. Real cowboys, movie cowboys and television cowboys all share space in this premier institution.

OK L AHOMA CONT EMPORARY The beautiful newOklahoma Contemporary Arts Center on the north edge of Automobile Alley certainly displays plenty of art, but the mission of Oklahoma Contemporary has always been multifaceted. Visitors can find free, groundbreaking exhibitions from international, national and local artists, plus large-scale, public sculptures and installations in Campbell Art Park. Programs include musical and theatrical performances, artist talks and demonstrations, workshops and more. Enjoy hands-on experiences in the Learning Gallery, Studio School or youth camp. Round out a visit by eating in the café or shopping in their uniquely curated store.

OK L AHOMA C I T Y MUS E UM OF AR T The striking Dale Chihuly piece hanging in the foyer is an indication that there are awe-inspiring discoveries inside the MOA. The ground floor is typically reserved for traveling or special exhibits while the second floor houses a selection of the museum’s permanent collection, including a piece from former President Barack Obama’s portraitist KehindeWiley. The third floor contains the museum’s large-formmodern art pieces, as well as a beautiful collection of other Chihuly glass pieces.

OK L AHOMA C I T Y NAT I ONA L MEMOR I A L & MUS E UM

OK L AHOMA HA L L OF FAME Located in the historic and classically styledMid-Continent Life Insurance building, the Gaylord-Pickens Museum tells the story of Oklahoma by telling the stories of great Oklahomans. The museum contains portraits of Hall of Fame inductees, as well as collections of documents that tell their stories. A “makerspace” encourages hands-on activities, and the entire structure is designed to be an immersive, educational experience.

This space is sacred ground for Oklahoma City residents, especially those who were here for the horrific events of 1995. Built as a tribute to “those who were killed, those who survived, and those who were changed forever,” the National Memorial has become a profound statement of the resolve, hope and community spirit that grew after the Murrah Bombing. Designed to be seen by day and by night – they truly are different experiences – the grounds also house the Memorial Museum, a project to educate the public about the bombing, its impact and the resiliency of hope.

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

1 6

1 7

OK L AHOMA S TAT E CAP I TOL Native American artist and former state politician Enoch KellyHaney crafted the 17-foot tall, 6,000-pount bronze sculpture “TheGuardian” atop the State Capitol. Haney’s statue is one of many reasons people come to see the capitol: Classical architectural style, the stunning rotunda, rotating art exhibits and even the bronzes on the Capitol grounds. It’s not just a building for the state’s politics; it’s a work of art in its own right.

OK L AHOMA H I S TORY C ENT E R This 18-acre complex is awell-designed, multisensory experience that tells the story of Oklahoma via five galleries in a 215,000-square- foot spacewith audio, visual and computer- assisted activities to share a diverse collectionof Oklahoma perspectives.More than 2,000 artifacts are contained in the center, includingNative American andmilitary artifacts, photographs, textiles andmachinery.

OK L AHOMA NAT I ONA L S TOCKYARDS The world’s largest stocker and feeder cattle market is located in the Stockyards City district of Oklahoma City. Operating since 1910, the stockyards have been a vital part of local culture and national trade. Cattle auctions take place every Monday and Tuesday and are open to the public.

OR R FAM I LY FARM This family-friendly agri-tainment destination includes a variety of rides, seasonal activities and educational experiences. Take a ride on the four- lane zip line, saddle up for a pony ride or pan for real gemstones in the Neal Simpson mine. Guests can also enjoy petting and feeding barn animals, and fall activities such as hayrides, a pumpkin patch and giant corn maze.

OK L AHOMA RA I LWAY MUS E UM The collection at the ORM is impressive: four operating locomotives, freight cars, passenger cars, a steam engine and even a fully reconstructed train depot. The collection is designed to educate the public about the role of trains in the development of Oklahoma and the U.S., and those operable locomotives pull passengers on the first and third Saturday of every month.

P L AZA WA L L S What do you do with alleyways? Make art in them, of course. The Plaza District allows a rotating group of muralists to turn some of their would-be unsightly alley walls into beautiful works of art. Artists are given a ton of creative freedom, which means an eclectic mix of themes, colors, subjects and styles.

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

1 8

1 9

R I V E R S POR T Located in the Boathouse District along the Oklahoma River, Riversport offerings include a zip line across the river, a surfing simulator, stand-up paddleboards, kakaying, sky trail, play areas for kids and Riversport Rapids, featuring Class II-IV whitewater rafting. Age restrictions apply. Day passes are available for families and individuals.

S C I ENC E MUS E UM OK L AHOMA

Nearly every local has a story about spending time as a kid at Science MuseumOklahoma.Themuseum makes science interactive and fun.The 350,000-square-foot space includes a theater for demonstrations, art gallery, andmost importantly, hands-on activities that teach kids (and adults) about weather, electromagnetism, optics and just about any sciencey thing you can imagine

S C I SSOR TA I L PARK OKC’s newest park, the first phase of this 70-acre urban oasis is open and continues to grow with a second phase opening in 2022, extending from the core of downtown Oklahoma City to the shore of the Oklahoma River. Every detail is designed for connection – with nature, neighbors and ourselves. Features include ornamental gardens and woodlands, a lake and boathouse, children’s playground, grand promenade, water features, outdoor roller rink, an enclosed dog park, interactive fountain, dining options and much more.

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

2 0

2 1

Route 66 Oklahoma boasts more than 400 drivable miles of Route 66 – more than any other state – and Oklahoma City serves as a center point along this stretch of famous highway.

Gold Dome Building 1112 N.W. 23RD ST.

Lake Overholser Bridge NORTH OVERHOLSER DRIVE, HALF A MILE WEST OF COUNCIL ROAD Built in 1924, this bridge boasted a unique design for the time, using the latest steel truss technology and combining a variety of trusses in unusual ways. The Overholser Bridge lost its official association with Route 66 in 1958, when a new highway section and wider bridge was built to the north, but its size, symmetry and long-time service as part of old Route 66, solidified it as a Mother Road landmark.

Cheever’s Café 2409 N. HUDSON AVE

In OKC, travelers find a mix of historic and modern experiences along the route. Here are just a handful to mark on your map: Milk Bottle Building 2426 N. CLASSEN BLVD. Squeezed into a tiny piece of land on a busy city thoroughfare, this tiny brick building was built in 1930. Around 1948, its crowning glory was added – a giant metal milk bottle perched on top. Over the years, the bottle has been painted to advertise various dairy businesses, meanwhile the building has served as a grocery store, fruit stand and sandwich shop. Tower Theatre 425 N.W. 23RD ST. The historic TowerTheatre opened in 1937 and is one of Oklahoma City’s last original movie houses with an intact auditorium and iconic neonmarquee. In 2017, TowerTheatre was reimagined as a livemusic, movie and event venue in the heart of the Uptown 23rdDistrict.

This geodesic dome was built in 1958 and originally served as a bank. It was the fifth geodesic dome constructed in the world, using 625 individual panels to create the landmark building. Route 66 travelers and mid-century modern enthusiasts love the unique architecture. Ann’s Chicken Fry House 4106 N.W. 39TH ST. This diner may have 50’s-themed décor and nostalgic memorabilia, but it continues serving up the tastiest American grub such as chicken-fried steak, fried okra, peach cobbler and a bevy of other comfort foods. Just look for the pink Cadillac sitting outside.

This stylish Art Deco building served as the Cheever family’s flower shop during Route 66’s heyday, but is now one of OKC’s most beloved restaurants. Cheever’s Café specializes in American cuisine with Southwest influences with a variety of sublime prime steaks, seafood and salads. For more Route 66 inspiration, maps and itinerary ideas, go toVisitOKC.com.

Classen Inn 820 N. CLASSEN BLVD. Built in 1963 and renovated in 2020, Classen Inn is the perfect mix of funkiness, swagger and fun. This updated superette is a bright spot for sojourners looking for a unique lodging experience that fits the Mother Road vibe.

@lilfamadventure

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

2 2

2 3

Oklahoma State Capitol Building

A tour of the Oklahoma State Capitol is a must for any history or art buff. Built in 1917, the Greco-Roman structure was topped with a dome in 2002 and houses murals and paintings of Oklahoma’s history. It’s also the only state capitol in the U.S. surrounded by working oil wells. One of the active wells is named Petunia #1 because it was drilled in the middle of a flower bed on the capitol complex.

Oklahoma’s Capitol is unique among state capitol buildings for the amount of artwork adorning its hallways and rotunda, and beautifying its grounds. Two significant collections of artwork at the Capitol are managed by the Oklahoma Arts Council – the Capitol Art Collection and the State Art Collection. Comprising the Capitol Art Collection are more than 100 permanent sculptures, murals and paintings located throughout the Capitol’s hallways and rotunda, and on the Capitol grounds. In addition to enriching a historic civic space, the

collection provides visitors and students a unique and engaging way to learn about Oklahoma’s history through the events, people and land depicted in the works. The Oklahoma Veterans Memorial is located outside on the north side of the capitol complex. Four walls depict scenes of WorldWar I, WorldWar II, Korea and Vietnamwars, along with a bronze statue of “The Big Guy” who stands eight and a half feet tall on a three-and-a-half-foot pedestal. His bronze face has the features of a Native American, and he wears the gear of a Vietnam soldier.

A L S O NE A R B Y OKLAHOMA HISTORY CENTER 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive HARN HOMESTEAD 1721 N. Lincoln Blvd OKLAHOMA BLACK MUSEUM & PERFORMING ARTS CENTER 4701 N. Lincoln Blvd

The Capitol Building is currently undergoing renovations, so call theWelcome Center at (405) 521-3356 ahead of a visit for the latest updates. The enhanced ADA- accessible east entrance is now open and the rotundas are slated to open in early 2021, with the full project scheduled for completion in 2022.

OpenMonday thru Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday &Sunday: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tours conductedMonday thru Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Call to schedule. Admission is free. TheWelcome Center also has a brochure for self-guided tours.

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

2 4

2 5

Get Outside

From manicured gardens to wildflowers or urban trails to watersports, OKC has plenty of ways to play outside. With an average of 235 days of sunshine annually, you can enjoy a variety of outdoor recreation options year-round. We’ve gathered a few ways you can get back to nature while never leaving the city. While it may seem counterintuitive that Oklahoma City is a destination for water-based sports, the U.S. Olympic Committee’s USRowing National High Performance Center being located in OKC’s Boathouse District is just one example of the surprising watersports you’ll find here. Situated along the Oklahoma River, the Boathouse District is home to Riversport Adventures , which includes stand-up paddleboards (SUPs), kayaks, canoes, surfing (yes, you read that right), zip lines and the Riversport Rapids . Featuring Class II-IV rafting, kayaking and canoeing, the Riversport Rapids is open to various skill levels, but children must be at least eight-years of age, and 16 to go BigWater Rafting. Surfers of all skill levels (42” and taller) can also catch a wave at Surf OKC . Day passes are available for individuals and families for all of Riversport’s activities. Additionally, bike and running trails along the river are open and free to the public. The Boathouse District trails and river lead directly to the LakeOverholser Boathouse , with even more outdoor activities, like a climbing wall, and easy access to StinchcombWildlife Refuge , as well as SUP and kayak rentals on site. Lake Hefner has its own boathouse as well, but the water is a little too choppy for SUPs. Kayaking is available, though, as are trails for biking, running, in-line skating or a casual walk to take in a sunset. The lake features sailing and kitesurfing, as well one of the state’s largest public golf courses.

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

2 6

2 7

Scissortail Park is OKC’s newest urban park. The 36-acre Upper Park offers a variety of engaging experiences, including ornamental gardens and woodlands, a 3.7-acre lake with pedal boats, canoes and kayaks, a children’s playground and interactive sprayground, seasonal roller rink, dog park, picnic grove, restaurant, performance stage and great lawn. The Park’s second phase will extend from the core of downtown to the shore of the Oklahoma River, making it a 70-acre urban oasis by 2022.

Speaking of golf, OKCboasts five public golf courses with varying degrees of difficulty.They are distributed through all quadrants of the city, so finding one near where you’re staying is easy. Earlywine has two courses, with the north course being more difficult, and James E. Stewart is a short threemiles fromdowntown.

TheMyriadGardens , our 17-acre public park in downtown, is home to beautiful plants from all over the world, plus seasonal water features, Mo’s Carousel, mixedmedia art and outdoor fun for all ages. Year-round programming includes local and regional musical acts, yoga, Zumba and a wide variety of workshops and tours.

If skateboarding or BMX is more your thing, the metro features three skate parks, including Mat Hoffman Action Sports Park , with an 11-foot half pipe, a 10-foot over-vert pocket, a street course and bowl course. Bring your own safety gear; it’s required. For the serious biker or runner, Oklahoma City has a network of ten interconnected trails that lead to nearly every part of the city, a total of 80 miles of non-motorized trails. An interactive map is available at okc.gov to help you plan your outing.

Wheeler Park , on the southern bank of the Oklahoma River, is known for its iconic Ferris wheel, but is also a great place to hang out, have a picnic, kick back in a hammock or grab some food from one of the frequent food trucks that show up.

Sometimes just being close to nature is enough. StinchcombWildlife Refuge on the far west side of the metro is adjacent to Lake Overholser and features a thousand acres of hiking, fishing, bird watching and exploring. Whitetail deer, beaver, egrets, cormorants and hundreds of species of migratory birds and waterfowl move through Stinchcomb regularly.

Will Rogers Park&Gardens is a year-round favorite for gardeners and horticulturalists alike. Located in one of the city’s oldest parks, the 30-acre garden houses a formal rose garden, conservatory, color garden with seasonal blossoms, arboretum and exhibition center.

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

2 8

2 9

Q U I R K Y H I D D E N G E M S Some people just don’t like the conventional way of seeing a city: famous landmarks, popular restaurants, historic buildings, shopping districts and high-energy night spots. If you’re inclined to kilter off the traditional path, try these quirky diversions for an unexpected side to OKC.

The American Pigeon Museum In addition to a collection of live birds, themuseumhas amassed enough pigeon-related artifacts to curate several permanent exhibits. Learn about the role pigeons played inwartime—themuseum was originally dedicated to the noble homing pigeon, after all. Other exhibits include the passenger pigeon timeline and a history of pigeon racing. 45th Infantry Division Museum Thismilitary organization is famous for many reasons, butmostly it’s because they actuallywere the firstAmerican unit in Hitler’s bunker.Themuseumcontains a large collection of WWII artifacts, includingHitler’smirror.The outside grounds are dedicated to a huge collection ofmilitary vehicles, artillery and aircraft. World Organization of China Painters While anorganizational headquarters in purpose, the facility also contains a stunning collection of painted porcelain fromaround theworld in the Porcelain ArtMuseum.

American Banjo Museum This Bricktownmuseumcontains hundreds of banjos from the instrument’s storied history, and rotating exhibits featuring famous musicians.Themost surprising thing about this museum is how incredibly beautiful these instruments can be. OKC Rattlesnake Museum Located in StockyardsCity, it’s a short walk fromthe famousCattlemen’s Steakhouse.Themuseumfeatures all of Oklahoma’s venomous snakes, a selection of rattlesnakes fromacross theU.S., venomous lizards and evenmore exotic snakes fromoutside theU.S. The Boom This LGBTQ+ inclusive dinner theatre and nightclub hosts a variety ofmusical and comedy productions, monthly drag bingo, aweekly trivia night and a hilarious SundayGospel Brunch. National Museum of Horseshoeing Tools Take a walk through history by learning about the tools, life and products in the world of farriers. What began as

Wheeler Ferris Wheel TheWheeler District is home to the historic SantaMonica Pier FerrisWheel. After being purchased on eBay in 2008, over $1million was invested to refresh and refurbish theWheel. Overlooking the downtown skyline, theWheeler FerrisWheel stands 100 feet above the South bank of theOklahoma River and is open seasonally with a variety of ticket and pass options. Plaza Walls Looking for an Instagram-worthy photo op? PlazaWalls is a curated, rotating mural project in the Plaza District. Murals change annually during the Plaza District Festival.

Museum of Osteology Going heremeans you can check the “education” box on your itinerary.The collection containsmore than 300 skeletons and 400 skulls. Don’t worry, there’s a hands-on section, too.

a private collection, is now a museum featuring exhibits and memorabilia about the industry and craftsmanship of horse shoeing. Live Cattle Auction TheOklahomaNational Stockyards hosts live cattle auctions nearly everyweek, and they are open to the public. It’s kindof like going to a horse show; sometimes you do things just for the experience—and the Instagramphoto.

99s Museum of Women Pilots

One of the best stories you’ve never heard, chronicled inAtlasObscura andother publications, is the history of this women’s pilot group that includedAmelia Earhart. One floor is dedicated towomen pilots whowere groundbreakers inother ways, like the firstAfricanAmerican female pilot, BessieColeman.

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

3 0

3 1

PADD L E S POR TS The Boathouse District along the Oklahoma River is a hot spot for urban recreation. It is also an official U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site and home of the OKCNational High Performance Center for both rowing and canoe/kayak. Be a spectator at several events throughout the year, such as the Stars and Stripes River Festival in June and the Oklahoma Regatta Festival in October.

OKC DODGE R S BAS E BA L L TheOklahoma City Dodgers’ – the Triple-A affiliate of the L.A. Dodgers – celebrate opening day inApril.With approximately 70 home games each season, there are plenty of chances to catch the team in action at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.The team hosts a season full of specialty nights, promotions, and group or single ticket packages.The team store is openMonday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fan Zone

We take our sports pretty seriously here in OKC. And while the Oklahoma City Thunder have certainly captured our hearts, our passion for sports doesn’t end with basketball season. Not by a long shot. From softball bats and soccer to paddlesports, sports fans can experience world-class athleticism in a variety of venues. OKC T HUND E R BAS K E T BA L L OklahomaCity’s passionate commitment to the Thunder is well publicized. Since their inaugural 2008- 09 season, the teamhasmade the playoffs regularly and even competed for anNBAChampionship.The Thunder play atChesapeake EnergyArena, located in the heart of downtown, andThunder gear is readily available at theThunder shop inside the arena pre-game, but the store is alsoopenMonday through Saturday.

USA SOF T BA L L & NCAA WOMEN ’S COL L EGE WOR L D S E R I E S OKC is proud to be the home of USA Softball, the National Governing Body of softball in the U.S. In addition to hosting tournaments at various levels throughout the year, every May, the NCAAWomen’s College World Series plays in OKC. The annual event, hosted at the recently expanded Hall of Fame Stadium, brings thousands of visitors, fans and athletes to the city for seven days of fast-paced championship softball. This is a topnotch, family friendly sporting event with national media, a festival atmosphere and incredible athletic competition.

ENE RGY F C Futbol is on the rise in Oklahoma City. The world’s most popular sport continues to generate a large enthusiastic following in OKC, and the object of fan affections is Energy FC. The Energy is part of the USL, the second tier of American soccer, and has been a development network for MLS players since 2013. The Energy play at Taft Stadium, but the team store at 1001 N. Broadway Ave. (in Automobile Alley) is the best place to find officially licensed merchandise anytime.

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

3 2

3 3

FromAmerica’s birth to modern Bluegrass... experience America’s instrument...the Banjo... at the American Banjo Museum

9 East Sheridan Avenue Bricktown - OKC 405-604-2793 Tues-Sat 11am-6pm | Sun Noon-5pm AmericanBanjoMuseum.com

THIS IS THE COWBOY America’s premier institution of Western history, art and culture

Open Daily • (405) 478-2250 nationalcowboymuseum.org 1700 NE 63rd St. • Oklahoma City, OK 73111

@ncwhm

@nationalcowboymuseum

#HashtagTheCowboy

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

3 4

3 5

In terms of geographic size, Oklahoma City spans 625 square miles, making it the 8th largest city per square mile in the U.S. But you don’t have to worry about getting lost in the expanse, our 14 districts offer a glimpse at life like a local, with eclectic architecture, tons of diverse dining and unique experiences influenced by each district’s personality and history. OKC’s Districts

ADV ENT UR E D I S T R I C T Located in northeast OKC at the crossroads of I-35 and I-44, the Adventure District is home tomany can’t-miss museums and attractions. You’ll find plenty of ways to entertain the whole family, plus indoor and outdoor experiences that pack year-round fun. You won’t believe howmany different types of memorable activities you’ll find all within a two-mile radius.

AR TS D I S T R I C T Equal parts historic and revitalized, the Arts District – including FilmRow – is home to many of OKC’s major venues for visual and performing arts, as well as a mix of artistic businesses, locally-owned restaurants, street art and galleries, plus swoon-worthy Art Deco architecture details throughout the district.

AS I AN D I S T R I C T Local foodies know that OKC’s Asian District is where you’ll find incredible food and cultural experiences. An influx of Vietnamese immigrants in the 1970s created a hub now known for its Asian fusion cuisine. Here you’ll find some of the best Asian restaurants, including authentic Vietnamese food that rivals any found this side of the Pacific. This district also hosts popular food tours and festivals.

AU TOMOB I L E A L L E Y Located north of downtown along Broadway Avenue, Automobile Alley was originally home to the city’s car dealerships, a fact that is immortalized in the neon signs that still hang from its original buildings. The past and present combine to make this district effortlessly cool with great shopping, dining, modern art museums and nightlife options.

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

3 6

3 7

PAS EO AR TS D I S T R I C T Known for its eclectic art galleries (many attached to working artists’ studios) and shops, as well as distinctive Spanish Revival architecture, the PaseoArts District has a bohemian vibe that will instantly charm you. Situated around a curvy, tree- lined street, visitors love exploring themore than 20 galleries, plus shops, bars and equally creative thriving food scene all by foot.

BOAT HOUS E D I S T R I C T Whether youwant to train like anOlympian or just have some fun, theBoathouse District along theOklahomaRiver is specifically designed for outdoor recreation. It’s the official U.S. Olympic andParalympicTraining Site for rowing and canoe/kayak, but also has an ever-growing list of other activities and hosts numerous regattas and waterfront events throughout the year.

B R I CK TOWN Just a short walk or streetcar ride fromdowntown hotels, event venues and attractions, this former warehouse district is filled with restaurants, nightlife and family friendly entertainment options. From taking a water taxi ride along the BricktownCanal to catching anOklahoma City Dodger’s baseball game, Bricktown is a well-established entertainment district with a variety of hotel options easily within walking distance of all kinds of fun.

P L AZA D I S T R I C T If you’re the sort that likes to check out the hip and happening, you’ll find it in the Plaza District; an enclave of locally-owned shops, neighborhood bars, fun- and-funky restaurants, plus the quirkiest mix of patrons and proprietors that unabashedly display their love for individuality and for this city. This district is also anchored by the nationally-renowned Lyric on the PlazaTheatre.

C I T Y C ENT E R Marked by the skyscrapers that formOklahoma City’s skyline, City Center includes the hustle and bustle of downtownmixed with several must-see urban destinations such as theOklahoma CityNational Memorial &Museum. Discover everything fromurban parks to public art, splurge-worthy dining and even unexpected places like the Underground, a network of tunnels that connects a large part of this district while housing restaurants, businesses and art installations.

S TOCKYARDS C I T Y Home to a number of shops specializing in all thingsWestern, you can outfit an entire ranch (cattle included) or just find a new pair of boots and enjoy a great steak in Stockyards City. It is home to theOklahomaNational Stockyards, the world’s largest feeder and stocker cattlemarket, where live cattle auctions take place every Monday and Tuesday and are open to the public.

D E E P D E UC E Located just north of Bricktown, this district was the heart of OKC’s African- American neighborhood in the 1920s and 30s, and during that time the district was known for its incredible jazz music. Music legends Jimmy Rushing and Charlie Christian both called Deep Deuce home, as did Ralph Ellison, the author of Invisible Man. Today you’ll find hip cocktail lounges, whiskey bars and dining options ranging from upscale to creative takes on comfort food.

UP TOWN 23 RD Home to one of the newest neighborhood revitalizations in OKC, the Uptown 23rd District blends modern amenities with historic charm. Uptown is located along historic Route 66 with many iconic landmarks such as the TowerTheatre, Gold Dome and Oklahoma City University’s gothic towers. Locals love this district’s ever-growing list of restaurants, eclectic boutiques, diverse live music scene, street art and more.

M I DTOWN Midtown’s mix of local restaurants, neighborhood pubs, unique shops and historic homes make it a great place to experience the best of OKC’s urban renaissance. This walkable district is buzzing at all times of day. Nightlife options range from retro-chic cocktail lounges to upbeat beer halls, including one with a bowling alley and another with live music and food trucks parked outside. Indie boutiques sell trendy clothing and designer home decor.

WE S T E RN AV ENU E From upscale to accessible, contemporary to antique, theWestern Avenue district has a little bit of everything. You’ll find local dives where making friends comes easily, chic shops along Classen Curve and one-of-a-kind food and wares that give you a taste of OKC’s local flavor in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

3 8

3 9

39th Street District Located on 39th Street west of Pennsylvania and stretching to Youngs, this area is part of historic Route 66 and in the 1970s became known asThe Strip, of which it is still affectionately known. Today, it’s home to 45 locally owned businesses, thriving LGBTQ+ nightlife and the annual OKC Pride Festival. OKC’s premier LGBTQ+ and ally resort since 1968 – Hotel Habana – has changed its name to the District Hotel and is seeing exciting renovations. From Sunday Gospel Brunch to glitzy nightclubs, there’s something going on every day of the week. Historic Capitol Hill This business district, which was established prior to Oklahoma Statehood, offers a glimpse back in time with historic buildings and classic facades from the early 1900s. Located just south of downtown on SW25th Street betweenWalker and Broadway Avenue, the area is home to numerous restaurants, local shops and the award-winning outdoor festival, Fiestas de las Americas. Numerous revitalization projects are underway, from the restoration of YaleTheater to community events hosted by Calle Dos Cinco, it’s exciting to see this historic area get reborn. Chisholm Creek Thismixed-use development has no shortage of dining, entertainment and shopping options. LocatedonW. Memorial Road betweenPennsylvania Ave. andWesternAve., this 190- acre complex features distinctive entertainment venues such as TopGolf

research, academia, and more – it’s a hub for entrepreneurship, innovation and community growth. The area encompasses about 1.3 square miles east of downtown – roughly between NE 13-16th Streets to the north and NE 4th to the south and Robinson and Lottie Avenues to the west and east. It’s the heart of the city’s bioscience sector, where many institutions conduct groundbreaking research and foster innovation. This area of OKC is one to watch as they have big plans for vibrant community spaces and events. Wheeler District This burgeoning area of OKC is located just west of the Boathouse District. Its main attraction is the historic Santa Monica Pier FerrisWheel (purchased on eBay in 2008), butWheeler Riverfront Plaza also offers hammocks, games, concessions, a seating area and goodies like t-shirts and prints. Food trucks, a brewery, cycling events and a summer music series have quickly helped make this urban neighborhood a happening hotspot.

Locally Loved

Beyond OKC’s thriving districts, are a few other noteworthy neighborhoods or entertainment zones that have established themselves with locals and may offer just the experience you’re looking to explore.

and iFly, leading outdoor outfitting retailer Cabela’s, an event space and a unique collection of restaurants and retailers—all connected bymiles of pedestrian trails and expansive green spaces. Innovation District As OKC’s newest emerging area, the Innovation District brings together the greatest minds for collaboration, yielding world-changing results. Home to internationally-acclaimed organizations spanning diverse sectors – health, energy, aerospace, technology,

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

4 0

4 1

Food Around the World in OKC Oklahoma’s origin story is steeped in unique cultures and traditions. This complex history chronicles a series of national and international events that brought a range of new cultures to Oklahoma City through the decades and created a multicultural hub that fuses traditions and flavors.

Vii Asian Bistro

OPEN THURS-SAT · 119 E. CALIFORNIAAVE., OKC · 405.231.5397 · WWW.MURPHYSPIANOBAR.COM

V I S I T O K C . C O M 4 3

“Kacao was my mother’s dream,” Del Cid says. “She wanted to emphasize Guatemalan staples like black beans and plantains, but we’ve learned to create a fusion of sorts over the years. Dishes that are authentically Guatemalan – those that came from the time before the Columbian invasion – don’t’ move as well, so we’ve taken input from diners and tweaked things.” The black beans are still on the menu, and plantains accompany several dishes. Motulenos, Cochinita Pibil, Tikal and Tecpan are on the menu, but so are burritos, omelets and chilaquiles. The family has another restaurant, Antigua, just down the road. Locals, it seems, cannot get enough Guatemalan food. Nor can we get enough Vietnamese food. Vietnamese refugees landed in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, just three hours east of OKC after the fall of Saigon. Many of themmade their way to Oklahoma, and our bustling Asian District is a direct result. Ba Luong’s family owns and operates a large grocery business, Super Cao Nguyen, in the district, and many of the restaurants rely on the store for specialty items. “Whenmy parentsmoved here in 1979, therewere a couple of pho restaurants, but nothing that locals would have known how to navigate,” Luong said. “We’re getting ready for a newSzechuan place now, and a newkaraoke bar, andwe’ve had threeChinese noodle housesmove here or are in theworks.The district is growing andoptions are expanding because of the growth of the city.” The growth isn’t just happening in the Asian District. Rachel Cope, founder of 84 Hospitality, has Goro Ramen and Izakaya in the Paseo Arts District. In fact, her executive chef, Jeff Chanchaleune, was nominated for a

Historians trace the first influx of Lebanese and Syrian immigrants to the 1890s, and their presence in the state has made staples like hummus, tabouli, cabbage rolls and falafel part of the Oklahoma diet for generations. Greg Gawey, the owner of Jamil’s Steakhouse near the Oklahoma Capitol, said when the oil boomwent bust, his family got into the hospitality business. “The prosperity that came from the end of WWII led to growth in the community, and many Lebanese people went to get medical and professional degrees, but a lot of us stayed in the hospitality business,” Gawey said. Where once there were dozens of Lebanese steakhouses around the state, now there are three, and Jamil’s proudly carries on the tradition of serving steaks, ribs and burgers accompanied by tabouli, hummus and cabbage rolls. “We’ll even do baba ganoush by special request,” Gawey said. Others in the Lebanese community started small groceries or delis with diners attached. As with any immigrant community, food becomes a taste of home, and when There areno less than thirtynationalities andethnicitiesmaking traditional foods in the metro, anastounding number for a city famous for chicken-fried steak andonionburgers.

Sheesh Mahal

Gun Izakaya

the food is good and others are invited to the table, word spreads. That is abundantly clear in Oklahoma City’s Mexican and Latin American eateries. Gringo tacos abound in the metro, but so too do taco trucks, taquerias, restaurants that specialize in cuisine fromOaxaca, Jalisco and Sonora, Colombian food, Peruvian, and of course, Brazil. Ana Paixao Davis started introducing Brazilian staples like feijoada and xin-xin to her restaurant once a week in 1994. As the popularity of the food grew, she

moved to a larger location inMidtown in 2005. “At first, all anyone knew about Latin American food was TexMex,” Davis said. “That’s why I started with once a week. I introduced dishes from Brazil’s five regions, and people loved the food.” Café do Brazil is now a favorite destination for brunch, as well, and so the completion of the acculturation – the adopting of a new culture without losing the former – is complete when a so-called ethnic food becomes part of a cultural ritual like brunch. Add great music and a full bar, and you have a breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner spot that’s enhanced by a rooftop bar. Oklahoma City kitchens would likely collapse without all the expertise and professionalismof our Guatemalan cooks, but very few restaurants tried to serveGuatemalan food. Luidgi Del Cid and his family ownCafé Kacao, the first Guatemalan restaurant that made the transition to serving a predominantly non-Guatemalan clientele.The Classen Boulevard restaurant is so popular now, you’ll often see groups of people standing in the parking lot, waiting for a table.

James Beard Award in 2020 for his work in Goro. How did she know Japanese food – not just sushi – would work in Oklahoma City? “I didn’t know,” she says, “but I trusted Jeff. We do a good job of taking his various styles – Laotian, Japanese and American – and making them approachable. Things like using a chicken broth for ramen instead of the

traditional pork, because Oklahomans get chicken-noodle soup.” Latin American, Middle Eastern, East Asian, Mexican, European and even North African – our food scene is incredibly diverse, reflecting a modern- day population who came here with great hope for the opportunity to own their business, gather their friends and family, and share home around a table.

Cafe Cuvee

Lido

V I S I T O K C . C O M

V I S I T O K C . C O M

4 4

4 5

Page i Page ii-1 Page 2-3 Page 4-5 Page 6-7 Page 8-9 Page 10-11 Page 12-13 Page 14-15 Page 16-17 Page 18-19 Page 20-21 Page 22-23 Page 24-25 Page 26-27 Page 28-29 Page 30-31 Page 32-33 Page 34-35 Page 36-37 Page 38-39 Page 40-41 Page 42-43 Page 44-45 Page 46-47 Page 48-49 Page 50-51 Page 52-53 Page 54-55 Page 56-57 Page 58-59 Page 60-61 Page 62-63 Page 64-65 Page 66-67 Page 68-69 Page 70-71 Page 72-73 Page 74-75 Page 76-77 Page 78-79 Page 80-81 Page 82

www.visitokc.com

Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online