What to see or do in OK?

I have to go out to Western OK soon. I will have to arrive a day ahead of others coming for a meeting. So, how do I pass the time? I’ll be flying into Oklahoma City. So, any recommendations on “must see” items? Consider side trips into the neighboring states, even if it is going a few hours out of the way. Anything really neat for an Eastern-er to see on a first trip out west? I hear NW OK has mesas…where do I head to find them? (I always thought OK was all plains, so mesas would be neat to see.) Anything else come to mind?

What about SE CO? Or, extreme NE NM? I always wanted to see these states, but I wager the really good cool stuff is deeper into the state.

  • Jinx

I would suggest leaving, ASAP! :smiley:

OK, since you’re there, check out the OK City bomb site. Best use of concrete in the state, except for escape routes.

Bricktown district is pretty cool

What Gatopescado said. He obviously has been to OK.

If your meeting is in western OK you will spend several hours driving there from OKC. You will see cows and oil wells. Maybe a prairie fire if you’re lucky. A few people have branched out from cattle and into llamas. If you go into the panhandle, you might pass Slapout, Oklahoma, and you can take a picture of the sign.

Hmmm…if you drive south on I35 from OKC you will come to Pauls Valley in about 35 miles. Parts of the movie Twister were filmed there. Fascinating, right? (Note: sarcasm)

Now, Tulsa has some museums. It’s closer to OKC than Colo. or N.M.

There is nothing much in SE CO or NE NM either, and they are not particularly close to OKC. Oklahoma drivers are bad, although some are friendly and will wave at you. The weather will probably also be hot and sticky.

Norman is not far from OKC, I just can’t think of any reason to go there unless you’re a football fan and it’s game day.

You have hit the badlands. Now, I don’t mind the terrain at all, but I recognize that it’s not too thrilling to drive through, really. There are some places that have really red dirt. There is a place called the Glass Mountains, but don’t be fooled, they are not real mountains and they are called that because, in certain light, you can see the sparkle of some mineral.

There are some places that are kind of pretty, but if you go hiking you will pick up chiggers, ticks, and poison ivy. I recommend staying in your hotel room and reading a good book or watching a movie.

I’ve heard there are mesas in NW OK. Do you know what town I should head towards to see these? What about things to see in nearby TX towns, like Amarillo?


  • Jinx

I thought that The National Cowboy Museum was pretty cool. There’s also a pretty decent BBQ place just down the street, County Line BBQ. If you’re so inclined, there’s’ a disc golf course at Will Rogers Park.


I’m not sure where you’re from, but I think you have a misunderstanding of the size of things out in the middle of the US. From the OKC airport it is a 4 hour drive to Amarillo. In other words, 8 hours round trip before you take time out to stop for gas or food, much less any sight seeing. If you have just one whole day to spend, I suggest all your destinations need to be within metro OKC

Courtesy of the USAF I lived for year in Enid, a town about 50 mile NW from OKC. From there you can set out westward on US 60 & after a couple hours come upon some interesting geology, buttes & such. I last saw the area about 25 years ago so I can’t remember exactly where all I went exploring. I just spent a few minutes on maps.live.com looking around the satellite imagery & couldn’t relocate the area. But I can say it’s a full day’s work to get there & back from OKC.

There may be something to see in Amarillo but you’d be a long time getting there. I just remembered my experiences driving in the east. My husband took a nap, and while he was napping I drove through three states!

That is NOT going to happen in Oklahoma/Texas/New Mexico. It’s a long way across the state.

There were some buttes associated with the (so-called) Glass Mountains. I just googled Glass Mountains and it turns out there is a state park there but they are really called the Gloss Mountains.

From here.

Lots to see in OKC Metro. Cowboy Hall of Fame is great.
OKC Bombing memorial.

Just go to or call the Dept. of Tourism or look at the flyer’s in any good motel.

For one day, you can stay pretty busy.

I grew up in West Texas, and since my maternal grandmother lived in Arkansas – the northwestern part – I traveled the length and breadth of Oklahoma more times than I care to recount. I can honestly say that I would rather slit my wrists than live in Oklahoma.

I second everything everybody has already said. Speaking as an East-Coaster in OK, I predict you will discover that it sucks. The trees stop in eastern OKC. It’s hot right now (100+) but not really humid. If you’ve been anywhere between Houston and Boston during the summer, it’s nothing. Amarillo is probably too far to drive alone, you may fall asleep from the lack of stuff to look at on the way. In OKC, the museum of art downtown is fairly small, but it has a big Chihuly gallery if you like glass. The Cowboy Museum is nice enough if you concentrate on the actual artifacts and ignore the bad modern day western art. The mueum of natural history in Norman is also nice, if small. There is another art museum in Norman, but I can’t remember the name. You can easily see all four museums in a day. The zoo is nice, if small. I’d avoid Bricktown during the day as it’s entirely restaurants and bars, mostly chains. The stockyards (the actual yards, not the 2 blocks of cowboy hat stores near them) are probably unlike anything you’ve ever seen, but not in a pleasant way. There’s a surprisingly large Vietnamese community around Classen and 23rd or so, with a large supermarket, but you’ve seen people shopping before and I doubt your are here to stock up on groceries, so not much excitement there. There is a windfarm with huge turbines near Weatherford (90 miles west), which is impressive, but not for more than a few minutes, you will see it from I-40 depending how far west you drive for your meeting. If you drive on I-40 at night, especially in western Oklahoma, you’ll see rig lit up and drilling, maybe burning a flare if you’re lucky. Tulsa is smaller and nicer/more hip than OKC, it has several art museums and is about a hour and a half away. Dallas/Fort Worth is the Texas version of a typical large American city with some good museums and shopping, and much better food than OKC, particularly on the Ft. Worth side, but if you don’t have a specific goal, it’s probably too far for a day trip. If you are into disasters, go to the bombing memorial, or go if you are into seeing tourists get all weird about complete strangers’ tragedies. Some things you’ve probably never seen before: bowls of melted cheese set out the chips and salsa at “Mexican” restaurants; 3.2% beer at supermarkets (wine and regular beer is only sold at liquor stores, warm); churches the size of aircraft hangars; an enormous cross at the 2nd street exit on I-35 in Edmond; a reservoir (Lake Hefner) where you can power boat and windsurf, but not swim.

Man, I miss the free queso and usually free sopapias (sp?) for desert. I’ve lived in OKC; you might enjoy how cheap it is (I think it’s the cheapest big city in the country) Bricktown isn’t anything special, despite the marketing efforts. The Bass Pro shop might be interesting if you like outdoors gear, but it’s a pretty small store compared to other Bass Pros.

The Noble Natural History museum is pretty nice, and Barry Switzer’s house is right across Chautauqua Street from it. (Huge new light stone house among crappy frat houses.

One of my favorite restaurants in the world is in OKC, called Cattleman’s in the stock yard. Great steak, no pretension. You will see real cowboys in there; Presidents have dined there as well. Get the blue ribbon special if they have it.

They just redid an old classic hotel that was pretty swanky in one of the oil booms gone by. I have not been there myself, I hear it has a good bar, and it’s downtown next to the big building that says “Devon” on it.

You can get a tattoo in Oklahoma now I hear.

clarification: the natural history museum is in Norman.

And the gals down at Nighttrips are nice.

I thought the botanical garden at the Crystal Bridge was pretty nice (this is in OKC).

If you’re going outside of OKC, I found the Gun Museum in Claremore, OK to be interesting. You’ll never believe how many different kinds of guns there are. You may think you have some idea of how many, but trust me, until you visit this museum, you’ll realize it was beyond your wildest imaginings.

The Cowboy Hall of Fame and the zoo are close to each other and near them is the Kirkpatrick planetarium and ‘fun science place’. (I’m blanking on the name)

You could also go see where I lost my virginity.

This would also put you next to Remington Park, a horse racing track and casino. Next to the zoo is the Omniplex which has a lot of interactive exhibits but they’re mainly for kids if you happen to be bringing any along. They also have a decent planetarium and make you sick theater.

On preview, I see that I’m somewhat repeating Zebra’s post.