Top 15 Oklahoma Attractions You Must Not Miss

Last Updated on January 20, 2024 by Nikki Jain

Oklahoma, the Sooner State and the Land of the Red Man is a beautiful state known for its stunning artificial lakes, delicious food, and wealth of American West history and culture. It is also known for its rich Native American heritage, and there are 25 native languages still spoken in the state today.

As such, many Oklahoma attractions focus on the state's history, the native peoples who live there, and the culture and music of the region. You'll be spoiled for choice with so many things to do in Oklahoma. To help you form the perfect vacation to-do list, here are the top tourist attractions in Oklahoma.

Things To Do in Oklahoma

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1: Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
Dreamstime/Kenny Tong

The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is one of Oklahoma's most sobering but loved attractions.

It is dedicated to remembering the impact and events of the bombing of the Alfred P.

Murrah Federal Building on the 19th of April 1995, which took the lives of 168 individuals, including 19 children.

The museum comes with a self-guided, interactive 10-chapter tour.

It is arranged in chronological order, which teaches a detailed history of the domestic terrorist event, from the site's history to the bombing itself and its meaning and impact on the future.

In addition, you can watch survivors, surviving family members, and news outlets tell the story and view various artifacts from the event.

Outside of the museum, there's the national memorial. This memorial contains multiple features, with the Field of Empty Chairs being the most heart-wrenching.

It features 168 chairs, including 19 small ones, representing the lives lost in the event.

Address: 620 N Harvey Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions In Oklahoma City

2: Drive Route 66

 Drive Route 66

Route 66 is undoubtedly one of the most famous drives in the US.

Though its full length goes from Los Angeles to Chicago, its longest run in terms of miles goes through Oklahoma diagonally, going from Oklahoma City to Tulsa.

The route is filled with historic, engaging, and loved attractions along the way, giving you many reasons to stop even within the state's borders.

The famous and iconic Route 66 is brought to life when you pay a visit to the fabulous Oklahoma Route 66 Museum.

It's specially dedicated to the myths, history, and culture surrounding the iconic road. Here you will find a collection of vehicles and memorabilia that celebrate this world famous road.

Of course, there's also the Route 66 Sidewalk Highway, tucked in an Ottawa County corner where Oklahoma borders Missouri and Kansas.

And, of course, one must not forget about the Old Route 66 Filling Station, a ramshackle old building that is one of what was once a large group of similar filling stations lining the highway.

Address: Route 66, Oklahoma

3: Myriad Botanical Gardens

Myriad Botanical Gardens
Dreamstime/Chon Kit Leong

The Myriad Botanical Gardens are an oasis in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City.

It's one of the most beautiful Oklahoma tourist attractions and is free to enter, experience, and enjoy.

There are 17 acres of land for you to use, within which are several walking paths, a little sunken lake, public art installations, an off-leash dog park, a big lawn, a playground, and a visitor center.

The Myriad Botanical Gardens' oasis is divided into several individual spaces. For example, there's the ornamental garden, the children's garden, and the desert plant garden.

In the middle of the gardens, you'll find the gorgeous Crystal Bridge Conservatory, which has tropical plants divided into two climates: a "wet zone" and a "dry zone".

The conservatory spans 13,000 square feet and houses 750 plant species, and you can climb a bridge to look out over the tropical paradise from above.

Address: 301 W Reno Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102

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4: Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve

Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve
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The Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve spans 3,700 acres.

It's often called Woolaroc Ranch due to the wide variety of native and exotic herding animals that call the preserve their home.

Animal lovers, nature enthusiasts, and history buffs alike will find this one of the best places to go in Oklahoma.

The Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve exhibit artifacts and art focused on the West and Native American items.

It also houses a collection of Colt weaponry.

Outside, you can explore a gorgeously verdant span of land, with woods, cliffs, and lakes galore.

Keep your eyes peeled to spot animals like elk, longhorn cattle, and buffalo.

Address: 1925 Woolaroc Ranch Rd, Bartlesville, OK 74003

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5: Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
Flickr/Thomas Shahan

The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is a part of the University of Oklahoma.

It's among the top destinations in Oklahoma for history buffs and those interested in the state's story.

Numerous permanent exhibits provide insight into the past and present of the state's natural history.

Some exhibits are the Hall of Ancient Life and the Hall of World Cultures. Within these, you can view North America's oldest found painted object, the Cooper Skull.

There's also the Discovery Room, an excellent spot for children to learn via interactive displays and up-close animal encounters.

One of the most iconic pieces of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is the Pentaceratops skull, which is the largest land animal skull that has been found in the world.

It measures 10.5 feet in height, and its five horns set it apart from the similar three-horned Triceratops.

Other giant dinosaur skeletons are displayed, too, such as the largest Saurophaganax Maximus and Apatosaurus skeletons in the world.

Address: 2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman, OK 73072

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6: Gilcrease Museum

Gilcrease Museum
Facebook/Gilcrease Museum

Gilcrease Museum is located in Tulsa. It is one of the best things to do in Oklahoma for art enthusiasts because it's home to the most extensive collection of American Western art on the planet.

It has many artifacts and works from Latin America in an ever-growing collection.

Gilcrease Museum is named after Thomas Gilcrease, an oil industry tycoon who collected art throughout his life and eventually donated his collection - and the property it was housed in - to the city.

The featured artists include Frank Tenney Johnson, Singer Sargent, Charles Marion Russell, Thomas Moran, Frederic Remington, and Winslow Homer.

Outside Gilcrease Museum is 23 acres of different themed gardens, designed to represent different gardening styles in the American West, used across four specified periods.

These include the Rock Garden, Pioneer Garden, and Pre-Colombian Garden.

The museum also boasts three children's areas, with hands-on displays for creative and entertaining education.

Address: 1400 North Gilcrease Museum Road, Tulsa, OK 74127

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Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions in Tulsa

7: Philbrook Museum of Art

Philbrook Museum of Art
Dreamstime/Chon Kit Leong

The Philbrook Museum of Art is nothing short of gorgeous.

It sits inside a stunning Italian villa-style mansion in Tulsa, and the surrounding grounds are magnificent.

The mansion, which has 72 rooms and three floors, was once the home of an oil tycoon.

Delightfully ornate ceilings, beautiful wooden floors, marble fireplaces, and fountains fill its interior, and 17 art installations are in the exterior gardens.

It's no wonder this is one of the most popular Oklahoma attractions.

Of course, the Philbrook Museum of Art's beauty isn't the site's main draw.

It's the collection of art within that is so impressive, too.

Plenty of Baroque, Asian, and Renaissance works are on display, though its most popular draw is its Native American art collection, featuring pottery, paintings, woven items, and jewelry.

Address: 2727 S Rockford Rd, Tulsa, OK 74114

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8: JM Davis Arms and Historical Museum

JM Davis Arms and Historical Museum
Wikimedia/CGP Grey

The J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum is one of the privately-owned Oklahoma attractions.

The massive complex is home to over 50,000 items, including a whopping 12,000 firearms, some dating back to the 1300s.

The museum also provides a good amount of information about Oklahoma City's history and some of the surrounding area.

The museum's exhibits include authentic riding saddles, Wild West items like spurs, Native American artifacts, World War II memorabilia, antique music boxes, and a gallery of outlaw-owned guns.

Among the establishment's many oddities is a huge M41 Walker Bulldog tank used by the United States Army.

The museum also has a recreation of the Mason Hotel's lobby, and live reenactments of historical events are a part of the regular calendar.

Address: 330 N J M Davis Blvd, Claremore, OK 74017

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9: National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
Dreamstime/Chon Kit Leong

In 1955, the beginnings of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum were started.

Back then, this was just an American Cowboy Hall of Fame of sorts.

Today, it's one of the key places to visit in Oklahoma, holding an extensive and prominent archive of Western artifacts, artworks, and cultural information.

The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum galleries are filled with sculptures, paintings, and interactive exhibits.

You'll learn about the Old West, Native American culture, rodeos, and firearms alike.

There's also a western town replica that often holds all manner of educational events.

More than 2,000 items are displayed at the museum, and the Art of the American West gallery is a must-see.

Address: 1700 NE 63rd St, Oklahoma City, OK 73111

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10: Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden

Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden
Dreamstime/Chon Kit Leong

If you're looking for some family-friendly Oklahoma attractions, check out the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden.

The site is a tremendous hit with kids with tons of educational demonstrations and events, like elephant shows, giraffe feedings, train rides, boat rides, and touch tanks.

The large establishment of the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is home to the unique Oklahoma Trails habitat.

This naturalistic environment houses approximately 800 individual animals across a hundred local species, each living peacefully in one of 11 life zones designed to mimic natural habitats.

In addition, spaces like the Ozark Highlands, Black Mesa, and Big Rivers boast a 25-foot Turner Falls replica.

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden also have several non-native animal species, such as those from Africa and Asia.

In addition, a 7-acre expanse is dedicated explicitly to endangered Asian animals.

Address: 2101 NE 50th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73111

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Also Read: Top Tourist Attractions In Oklahoma City

11: Science Museum Oklahoma

Science Museum Oklahoma
Dreamstime/Chon Kit Leong

Science Museum Oklahoma is one of the most interesting Oklahoma attractions, especially for those visiting with children.

The establishment is filled to the brim with various fascinating exhibits suitable for all ages.

Spanning nearly 8 acres, its displays are interactive and teach about things like physics, biology, outer space, and every imaginable scientific topic.

Science Museum Oklahoma has an amusing feature called CurioCity, a 20,000-square-foot indoor city packed with activities and learning opportunities.

There are also plenty of chances throughout the museum for kids to create, design, build, and invent while learning about technology, art, and science.

There are also outdoor areas dedicated to botany, relaxation, and nature.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Oklahoma City

Address: 2020 Remington Pl, Oklahoma City, OK 73111

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Also Read: Best Science Museums in the USA

12: Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Oklahoma City Museum of Art
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If you're seeking things to do in Oklahoma that will really immerse you in local culture, check out the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

It is a part of the Donald W. Reynolds Visual Arts Center and has several temporary and permanent exhibits while offering a mix of film screenings.

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art has a variety of prints, paintings, sculptures, and photos, including an impressive collection of European and American works from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Works by Renoir, Courbet, and O'Keeffe are just a few of the notable names.

The museum is also home to one of the world's most extensive collections of glass works by Dale Chihuly, including a 55-foot Memorial Tower.

Address: 415 Couch Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73102

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13: Cave House of Tulsa

Cave House of Tulsa

The highly unique home known as the Cave House of Tulsa is one of the most one-of-a-kind spots in Oklahoma.

It was initially built as a cave restaurant speakeasy during the 1920s Prohibition era, welcoming outlaws and unsavory characters.

Today, the Cave House of Tulsa is privately owned by a mother-daughter pair and has been decorated with various furnishings and decor made by the owners from found recycled items.

The quirky house and its mysterious rooms in haphazard mazes, stucco walls that curve and slope, and jagged bumps that stick out from the walls are fascinating to experience.

It's said that there's a tunnel network beneath the Cave House of Tulsa.

Many consider the house to be haunted, as the tunnels may hold dead bodies.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Tulsa

Address: 1623 Charles Page Blvd, Tulsa, OK 74127

14: Oklahoma Aquarium

Oklahoma Aquarium

The Oklahoma Aquarium is a must-see in Oklahoma.

More than a hundred exhibits color the expansive museum-like aquarium with vibrant fish and creatures, allowing you to get up close and personal with them.

Within its walls, you'll find numerous local and exotic marine animals.

Situated south of Tulsa in Jenks, this 72,000-square-foot establishment is renowned for having the world's biggest bullhead shark "population," which can be seen in its Shark Adventure exhibit.

The Aquatic Oklahoma exhibit is also quite well-known, as it is the home of a 120-year-old alligator snapping turtle.

In addition, there are seven other zones, including Sea Turtle Island, Extreme Fishes, Polynesian Reef, and Eco Zone.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Jenks

Address: 300 Aquarium Dr, Jenks, OK 74037

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Also Read: 25 Best Aquariums in the US

15: E.W. Marland Mansion

E.W. Marland Mansion
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The E.W. Marland Mansion was the home of the eponymous congressman, governor, oil magnate, and billionaire in the 1920s.

Unique in many ways, Marland wasn't concerned about his construction budget and expanded the mansion's edifice to a total of 43,561 square feet.

The E.W. Marland Mansion is one of the best places in Oklahoma for art lovers.

While its chandeliers of crystal and floors of marble make it opulent, the true uniqueness of the building is in its ceilings.

Those ceilings were individually hand-painted by an Italian muralist, who spent three years drawing gorgeous murals on them.

Accommodation: Where to stay in Ponca City

Address: 901 Monument Rd, Ponca City, OK 74604

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Rounding Up

The many things to do in Oklahoma cater to all tastes and interests. There are museums and art galleries, sites related to nature and animals, several unique and heavily niche attractions, and many more. This list of the top Oklahoma attractions barely scratches the surface of all the incredible things that the Sooner State has to offer.

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