AOK Guide to OKC

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Guide to OKC with Birds Eye View of Downtown

Between hopping around Europe and traveling to several U.S. destinations in the last year, I've written my fair share of travel guides. I figured it was due time I add my own city to the line up, since I know it best! I actually grew up outside of Dallas/Denton, but have fallen head over heels with Oklahoma City since moving here after graduating from Oklahoma State University almost six years ago. I'm so glad I get to call OKC home and #SeeOKC grow!

Oklahoma City: Population 1.3 million. The 8th largest city in the U.S. in terms of landmass. More than just a flyover state. Home of the first shopping cart and parking meter. Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain. The capital of Oklahoma. Home-sweet-homa.

Greetings from OKC mural

Travel Tips

• Rent a Car or Plan To Use Uber/Lyft. As mentioned above, OKC covers a LOT of land mass and there is not a good public transit system. If you want to explore more of the city than just the immediate area you are staying in, you'll need a car to do it! Despite the distance, it doesn't take very long to get across town.

• You can rent a Spokies Bike for a fun way to explore the downtown/midtown areas!

Photo Ops and Wall Art Murals are popping up everywhere! Here are some of my favorites:
     - Keep Oklahoma Friendly mural behind Blue Garten: 301 NW 10th Street
     - OKC Letters + Ferris Wheel in the Wheeler District: 1701 S Western Avenue
     - I Love You mural behind Empire Slice: 1734 NW 16th
     - Greetings from OKC behind Maple's BBQ: 320 NW 11th
     - Steven Adams beside Okay Yeah Co.: 705 W Sheridan Avenue
     - Skydance Bridge with the OKC skyline in the background: I-40 between Walker & Robinson

The weather can and will change in minutes, so be sure to check your favorite weather app and pack appropriately with lots of options! Tornado season (always visitor's biggest concern, at least in my experience) is typically in April-May. I'd say the best time to visit is late spring (June-ish) or during football season.

Steven Adams Mural

Favorite Eats
I love my local restaurants! I am listing one per cuisine to narrow it down a little and keep it from getting out of hand. I truly believe these spots rival restaurants in Austin, NYC, Seattle and Europe! 

• Asian: GoRo Ramen - full blog post here
• Bar Food: Oak & Ore - great beer selection + my favorite cuban sandwich ever
• BBQ: Backdoor BBQ - the tastiest sausages
• Breakfast/Brunch: Aurora - full blog post here
• Burgers: S&B Burgers - order the Elvis + Thanksgiving Fries! 
• Coffee: Okay Yeah Co. - you MUST get a homemade pop tart - full blog post here
• Dessert: Roxy's Ice Cream - their salted caramel ice cream is what dreams are made of
• Drinks: Powerhouse - my review in this blog post + other options! 
• Farm To Table: Whiskey Cake - technically a small chain restaurant, but still worth a mention
• Food Truck Park: Blue Garten - great backyard patio feel + family friendly! 
• Gastropub: Republic - the knife & fork BLT has my stamp of approval, as does the mac & cheese
• German: Fassler Hall - great patio w/downtown views + the tastiest schnitzel sandwich! 
• Italian: Stella - love their pizza, mac, and the green eggs & ham at brunch + the upscale feel
• Mexican: Barrio's - the prettiest patio and best chips and salsa on the face of the planet
• American: Packard's - great rooftop and tasty food for any meal (brunch, lunch or dinner)
• Pizza: The Hall's Pizza Kitchen - great rooftop + my favorite pizza in town
• Seafood: The Drake - LOVE their brunch - full blog post here
• Steak: The Ranch - best steak I've ever had + incredible mac and cheese. Perfect fancy date night! 
• Streetfood: Guyutes - full blog post here

Bowl of Ramen from GoRo in Oklahoma City
GoRo Ramen
Scoop of Ice Cream from Roxy's Ice Cream
A scoop of Roxy's Ice Cream
Brunch at Stella in OKC
Green Eggs & Ham at Stella Modern Italian
Favorite Sights & Activities

• OKC Thunder Game: you'll find the biggest sense of community at a Thunder game! Thunder Up!

• OKC Dodgers Game: a great way for anyone to kick back and enjoy an afternoon (or get a tan!)

Riversport OKC: white water rafting, zip lines and more - would be great for a family with young teens! Read about my experience in this blog post

OKC Museum of Art: the Chihuly exhibit is incredible - read about my experience in this blog post

OKC National Memorial & Museum: a beautiful reminder of those who were killed and those who survived the OKC Bombing on April 19, 1995

Myriad Botanical Gardens: the prettiest park in the middle of downtown. A great photo-op + tons of neat events during the seasons/holidays. Read about my experience in this blog post

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museumwhen in Oklahoma, be a cowboy!

Bricktown Water Taxi: a fun evening experience before or after dinner downtown - so romantic!

Udander: unwind and relax with a spa day + massage - they are THE BEST in town

Watching an OKC Thunder Game
Thunder Up!
Chihuly at Oklahoma City Museum of Art
OKCMOA
OKC National Memorial
Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
Photo Credit: Oklahoma City Convention & Visitor's Bureau 
Myriad Botanical Gardens
Myriad Botanial Gardens
Where to Shop

Lush Fashion Lounge: one of my go-tos! They have a great selection of local OKC Tees and Thunder/OU/OSU gear as well as on-trend clothing at affordable prices.

Mode: probably my favorite local boutique EVER. They have the cutest clothes, shoes, accessories and decor, plus the entire store is Instagram worthy. Best part, their shop dog, Simba, is the absolute cutest.

Black Scintilla: a great shop for fun, pretty gifts and fashion forward women's clothing.

Blue 7 + Just OK: the best place for Oklahoma, Thunder or OU/OSU "souvenirs," tees and whacky gifts! I always get a ton of Okie-Themed Christmas gifts here.

Classen Curve: a fun outdoor shopping center to prowl around in. There are tons of quality big name brands like Lululemon, Anthropologie, West Elm, Kendra Scott, Evereve, Athleta, Rustic Cuff and more, with upscale local boutiques (like On A Whim or Red Coyote) sprinkled in the mix.

Commonplace Books:  Not exactly a place to find a souvenir or indulge your inner-fashionista, but this bookstore is worth the photo alone! The bright sea foam floors, comfy couches and unique hard back labels are a sight to be seen. Plus, Roscoe the Great Pyr makes my heart melt a little.

Trying on a two piece outfit at Mode
The cutest two-piece set from Mode
Book Selection at Commonplace Books
Commonplace Books
Trinkets from Mode in OKC
Mode in Midtown
Where to Stay 
21c Museum Hotel OKC: recently ranked the #3 best city hotel in the U.S. by Travel and Leisure Magazine! Also where Cole and I stayed for our recent staycation. The convenient location, giant windows, comfy beds, delicious restaurant and unique art make it a wonderful home base location for anyone visiting Oklahoma City. I can't recommend it enough!

The Skirvin: where Cole and I stayed on our wedding night! Plus the location of several conferences and other events that I've attended. They have a wonderful, upscale hotel bar; the entire building is truly beautiful. The historic hotel is supposedly haunted by the ghost of a hotel maid, Effie, who had an affair with the original owner. When she got pregnant, he locked her in a room on the tenth floor; she eventually became depressed and jumped to her death. I've never seen her........but people swear she is there!

• Other hotels I haven't stayed at but that come highly recommended include The Colcord and The Ambassador


Coffee with a downtown view in hotel room at 21c Museum Hotel in OKC

Of course, I have about 7 million other recommendations I could share - it was so hard to narrow it down! If you would like more information or other suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below. I'd be happy to chat and help you plan a trip! Of course, Visit OKC has a ton of information, as well. You can view my OKC Staycation Posts here (for activities) and here (for hotel + restaurants).

I've loved sharing my city with you these last few weeks - I hope it inspired some of you to make the short trip here and experience all that OKC has to offer! If you are interested in another OKC series (or any other destinations, for that matter), let me know in the comments.

Happy travels!

This post is part of a partnership with Visit OKC. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

1 comments:

Ross Forsyth said...

Visit Norman, OK and be sure to check out the National Weather Museum and Science Center. The only museum in the nation dedicated to weather!

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