Ooooooooooklahoma! Alright, I realize that the song from the 1955 classic, Oklahoma, has nothing to do with our recent visit to Oklahoma City, but it caught your attention, didn’t it?
I’ll admit, prior to this past weekend, the extent of my tourism in Oklahoma had been brief. A few college visits many moons ago and of course, the occasional visit to the casinos since Oklahoma is blessed enough to offer the bright lights and loud bings, unlike Texas. All that changed when my husband and I hit the road and headed North from Dallas for the holiday weekend.
Of course, the logical tourist in me knew that Oklahoma City would be a bustling metropolis just like any other large city in the United States but I was surprised, pleasantly so, at just how much the city had to offer. There were constantly people out and about, the city is pristine and the dining scene is something most cities would covet.
Read on to find out what all we got to explore and what I recommend in Oklahoma City!
I’ve never stayed in a hotel quite like 21c. It is a contemporary art museum and a 135 loft style room hotel, all rolled into one. The building was originally home to a Ford Motor Company assembly plant and the industrial feel still holds true to this day. With exposed brick and high ceilings, from the moment you walk through the door you know that this hotel is something special. We enjoyed our visit so much in fact, that I have made visiting all of their properties my unofficial mission!
Where to Eat + Drink:
I’ll admit it. The dining scene in a new city can absolutely make or break an entire trip for me. Luckily, there was no shortage of incredible dining destinations or places to enjoy a cocktail or two in Oklahoma City. Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge, located inside the 21c Hotel is lead by Chef Jason Campbell and boy, was it something special. With New American cuisine, my husband and I dined on French Onion Dip, Marinated Blue Crab Claws and Scallops, too. With an artsy interior that compliments the hotel, it is a very photo-worthy spot as well! Brunch calls for our two favorites, Cafe Kacao and Kitchen No. 324. The two couldn’t be more different but both are too fantastic to skip! Cafe Kacao serves up Guatemalan cuisine that draws a significant morning crowd so be sure to come early or utilize Yelp to put your name on the waitlist! I highly recommend the Beet Latte and the Motuleño. As for Kitchen 324, expect a stunningly chic dining room with a small patio that serves up seasonal cuisine. Their Giant Buttermilk Pancake is other-worldly and not to be missed. Another restaurant that we had the pleasure of enjoying during our trip to Oklahoma City was The Jones Assembly. Self-described as “Oklahoma City’s newest destination for food, spirits and music”, The Jones Assembly is a special place. With a sprawling bar, large outdoor patio and even an upstairs, guests can enjoy refined regional cuisine from their scratch kitchen and they have quite the impressive bar program. Their massive stage draws popular musicians from all over the nation including past acts like Dwight Yoakam, O.A.R., Third Eye Blind and even Willie Nelson! For cocktails, we enjoyed our visit to Flashback Retropub, which boasts arcade favorites from the 80s and 90s. With cheap drinks, entertainment and an incredible Hip Hop DJ on Friday nights, it is a fun experience all around.
What to Do:
There certainly isn’t a shortage of fun things to partake in regardless of what your interests are during your visit to Oklahoma City. Whether you want to spend your time outside or in, this city truly has something for everyone. During our stay, we visited Riversportwhich offers all kinds of fun activities for kids and adults alike, such as zip-lining, a six-story adventure ropes course and even white water rafting. I never thought that my first time white water rafting would be in Oklahoma City but it was! Aren’t feeling sporty? Head over to the Plaza District and enjoy the incredibly colorful mural walls that line the block. This area had some really unique restaurants and boutiques, similar to the Bishop Arts District in Dallas. Wheeler Ferris Wheel is a unique location if you are looking to take in the skyline all while enjoying a ferris wheel ride or while swinging from a hammock that lines the property. The Myriad Botanical Gardens nestled in Downtown OKC were absolutely stunning. From a full children’s play area complete with a carousel for the kids and a lush greenhouse experience, this is a fun way to enjoy an afternoon. Of course, no visit to Oklahoma City would be complete without a stop at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. Although there to commemorate the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995, the Memorial & Museum is so well done and pays a beautiful tribute to the victims and their families, all while educating guests about the events and impact of that day.
As you can see, whether you are traveling with the family, with your partner or solo, Oklahoma City offers a great selection of things to see and do, and we didn’t even hit the tip of the iceberg on all there is to enjoy in this fantastic city. The best part of all? Oklahoma City is super accessible for residents of DFW! Whether you want to hit the road and drive, fly direct from Dallas Love Field or DFW International Airport or even take the Amtrak, getting to OKC has never been easier. It may be 3.5 hours away but it feels like it is a world away!