Oklahoma City, sophisticated state capital or laid-back cowboy town? It’s a little of both. The city captures the essence of a cowboy town in a big-city way. Oklahoma City culture is apparent in many of the attractions that we visited during our three-day stay. Here are seven that especially impressed us.
oklahoma city attractions
8 Surprising Things I Discovered at the Oklahoma State Capitol
State capitol buildings are more than places for lawmaking and other state business. Many of them are also museums, open for the public to tour and learn about a state’s legislative process and its history. While many features of capitol buildings are similar, each is unique to its own state. The first unique thing I noticed about the Oklahoma State Capitol on my recent visit was the oil derrick standing in front of it.
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum: Exploring Life in the American West
Life in the American West conjures up images of cowboys and homesteaders, cattle drives and rodeos. The Western way of life was romanticized and popularized in early 20thcentury books by Zane Grey and later in cinema movies. Today the story of the American West is told in Oklahoma City’s National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum through world-class art galleries and exhibits.
American Banjo Museum: Evolution of an American Instrument
It’s been said that you can never play a sad song on a banjo. How true that is. When I think of banjo music, I think of ragtime, the Roaring Twenties and bluegrass, upbeat toe-tapping music. The American Banjo Museum in Oklahoma City celebrates the evolution of the banjo with over 400 unique banjos on display, plus memorabilia, a hall of fame and special exhibits.
Bricktown Water Taxi: Cruising Oklahoma City’s Bricktown Canal
Walking down the stairs from Oklahoma City’s street level to board the Bricktown Water Taxi on the canal, my first thought was that it looked like San Antonio’s River Walk from the many pictures I’ve seen. The photos always look inviting: a tour boat gliding along the river, a beautifully landscaped walkway, and restaurants with plenty of al fresco dining, tables adorned with colorful umbrellas. It turns out the Bricktown Canal was modeled after the San Antonio attraction.
Oklahoma City Museum of Art: Featuring Extensive Chihuly Glass Collection
Is there any more beautiful artwork than light streaming through colored glass? Think stained glass windows. Think Tiffany lamps. And think Dale Chihuly, creator of huge colorful glass sculptures in varying shapes and textures. One of the largest collections of Chihuly glass is on permanent exhibit at Oklahoma City Museum of Art.