My Favorite Spots in Oklahoma
Words from an experienced Oklahoman about how Oklahoma is NOT just where the wind comes sweeping down the plain.
By Jennifer Truong, the University of Oklahoma
I know that Oklahoma is not the first place you think of when the words “fun” and “exciting” come to mind. When people hear Oklahoma, they tend to think of a few things: horses, tornados and the 1995 Murrah building bombing. No offenses to horses, but I’m here to tell you that there is plenty more that Oklahoma has to offer! So, I’m sharing with you some of my favorite places to go in Oklahoma.
1. An OKC Thunder Game
Whether you’re a true basketball fan or don’t even know what a lay-up is, Thunder games are fun. The environment is amazing. Plenty of sportscasters and players from other teams have stated that the Peake (what we affectionately call the arena) is one of the best, if not the best, professional sport environments out of all sports. There’s nobody like Thunder fans. We have a tradition of standing up until the first point is scored by our team, no matter how long it takes, which isn’t usually long, of course! How’s that for #THUNDERPRIDE?
2. Water Taxi
The water taxis run in Bricktown which is a part of downtown Oklahoma City. They’re boats that run through the canal. It’s a nice way to see some of the city after dinner or a movie. The conductors are usually pretty nice and crack jokes while they’re steering the boat to make sure you have a good time. What’s even better is that it’s free during the holiday season in the evenings! Otherwise, it’ll cost a few dollars, but it’s a nice experience.
3. Oklahoma Science Museum
This is one of my top favorites! So much so, that I have a membership. What’s cool about this museum is that everything is hands-on. There’s even a Segway obstacle course that you can try out. There’s tons of different exhibits and is a great place to bring little brothers, sisters, nephews, or nieces to!
4. The Mont
The Mont is a restaurant close to campus. I’ve heard the queso is pretty good, but I go there for the drinks. They have some awesome frozen drinks and different ice cream drinks. It’s a great place to kick back. What’s even cooler is that it there’s a patio so you can enjoy your drinks, queso and good company outside when the weather is nice!
5. Paseo Arts District
The Paseo Arts District is a whole area in Oklahoma City with plenty of eateries and galleries for you to peruse through local art. There’s a great feel to the neighborhood and lots of knowledge to be shared. On the first friday of every month, there is a gallery walk for anyone to come and talk to artists while they stand by the work. Plenty of the galleries also serve wine and cheese so come here if you’re looking for some culture! If I remember correctly, there’s also a guy who stands on the balcony of one of the buildings playing saxophone covers of popular songs!
6. H and 8th
H and 8th is a “street festival” that happens the last Friday of every month during the summer. Food truck and live music congregate on Hudson Avenue between NW 7th and 8th Streets. There’s food trucks of plenty of different cuisines and even some cupcake and ice cream trucks.
7. Blue Seven
Blue Seven is one of my favorite stores in Oklahoma. It’s got stuff for everybody. There’s clothes, shoes, accessories and novelty items. If you’re visiting Oklahoma, you have to stop here for a souvenir. This store has the most Oklahoma pride out of any store I’ve seen. The store also sells a lot of things made by Oklahomans themselves. There’s even a store connected to it called Just OK that specializes in just Oklahoma apparel and gifts.
8. All About Cha
If All About Cha was closer to my school, I would be here ALL THE TIME. It has one of my favorite atmospheres. It’s pretty much like an Asian Starbucks. They market themselves as “stylish tea and coffee cafe.” It’s just the best place to have a chat or go study for finals. They also have delicious desserts… belgian waffles topped with fresh fruit and Häagan-Dazs ice cream! What better way to treat yourself after studying for a few hours!
9. Oklahoma City Zoo
I love the zoo! From my trip in first grade to visiting with my nephews these past few years, I’ve seen plenty of improvements at the zoo. I’ve heard it’s even considered one of the top ten zoos in the nation now! The elephant exhibit is amazing and there’s even a baby elephant there right now!
I already talked about Bricktown a little bit but there’s just a lot to see here! So explore the area in general. It wouldn’t be too hard to spend a whole day there. There’s a movie theater, the canal and plenty of restaurants around. You can walk around and at night, there are horse-drawn carriages. The Cinderella-like carriages aren’t really my taste but they’re cool to see. The whole place is pretty much filled with stereotypical first-date material.
I might not have convinced you to go out of your way to visit, but you don’t have to dread it if you happen to have a visit coming up! Oklahoma is developing quickly and is pretty much getting cooler every day. I didn’t mention things further out in Oklahoma such as the panhandle, south Oklahoma or Tulsa because I don’t know them very well, but if you’re visiting more central Oklahoma, be sure to check out some of these places! They make me proud to be an Okie. 🙂