OKC is friendly and approachable. Unpretentious. Optimistic. Visitors can sense it is a city that’s growing, adding, and evolving.
When to Go
Oklahoma City’s temperate climate makes it a great spot all year long, but late fall and spring are ideal. Visit when RIVERSPORT Rapids is open (March through October). April brings more than 750,000 people to downtown OKC for the Festival of the Arts, a visual, performing, and culinary arts celebration. And the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, also in April, boasts more than 24,000 runners and walkers from every state and several foreign countries every year.
The Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival, in June, celebrates Oklahoma’s rich Native American culture—complete with the Red Earth Pow Wow, featuring hundreds of dancers in full tribal regalia. Oklahoma’s largest film event, deadCenter Film Festival is the best place to see new short films, documentaries, and indie films from Oklahoma and around the world. In September, the Oklahoma Regatta Festival celebrates three days full of rowing, kayaking, dragon boating, and whitewater rafting.
What to Eat
Don’t leave Oklahoma without generous portions of steak—chicken fried or otherwise. OKC’s working stockyards boast the world’s largest cattle auction, and OKC has the steak houses to prove it. Try out an onion burger: an Okie original. Originally created to make beef stretch farther for a depressed state that had the Dust Bowl looming, onions were liberally used as a filler. It spread throughout the state, and it is now a beloved staple.
Souvenir to Take Home
To help out OKC, go to Shop Good—think T-shirts and fun, hip home décor—where 5 percent of every T-shirt sale is donated to a local charity. For a truly made-in-OKC treasure, Twinkle Apothecary has perfume and body care items, handcrafted in OKC, which are also all natural, vegan, and cruelty-free. Check out Plenty Mercantile’s line of socially, ethically, and environmentally developed products.
Sustainable Travel Tip
In December 2018, OKC is launching a six-mile modern streetcar system that will link major attractions and districts downtown. Forget Uber or even driving; this modern take on an old mass transit system will make getting around OKC a breeze.
Give a nod to history with a selfie at the Oklahoma City National Memorial. For something unexpected, visit Wheeler District, where the former Santa Monica Pier Ferris wheel sits along with a giant OKC sign. Take a ride and take pics while soaring a hundred feet over the Oklahoma River then next to the giant letters. Or, jump on a water taxi and take front-row shots of the Oklahoma Land Run Monument—45 heroic figures of land run participants.