When talking about Oklahoma, it’s hard not to mention Tulsa. It’s not a surprise, though, as it is apparently the state’s second-largest city. And with such a huge area, there’s no way you won’t find the right attraction for you. But also because of its size, it can be quite hard to be sure where to next when you’re exploring the city. But don’t fret much, we got you covered. We listed a quick guide to exploring the city. This way, you’ll know where to head next and won’t waste a second exploring this huge, beautiful, and exciting city.
- 1 Downtown
- 2 Northside
- 3 Southside
- 4 Eastside
- 5 Westside
Downtown Tulsa is the most popular among the other parts of the city. This is because it offers fun places to hangout. There’s a lot of things going on in this part of the city and there’s a lot of things for everyone. It is also one of the places in the city that we can highly recommend to artists and enthusiasts.
1Tulsa Arts District
If you love art, Tulsa has plenty of spots to offer for you that we’re sure will inspire your inner artist. One of our favorite places in the city to see art is the Tulsa Arts District. For starters, it is located near downtown and it houses many art-related attractions. Plus, on the first Friday of every month (except if it’s a holiday), the place hosts an event called First Friday Art Crawl wherein you can get to see local galleries businesses, and studios display their masterpieces. During this event, you can also get to experience other forms of art such as pottery, glass blowing, and even chocolate making. Take a look at our list of suggestions that you might want to visit, especially if you’re an art enthusiast.
Ahha Tulsa is an art center that showcases creativity in many forms. It’s not just your ordinary art museum filled with collections of paintings from local artists and other popular artists from the past. Here, you can get to see interactive installations of art that combines animation, sculpture, music, and even light. Some of the masterpieces that t also features play with shapes, textures, and colors, will make our eyes feast with unique forms of art. Even kids will love the place for its exhibits.
Also located in the heart of Tulsa Arts District, Guthrie Green is also not to be missed. At first glance, it merely looks like a park. True enough, it is a park where you can enjoy beautiful landscapes. But if you’re going to explore of it more, you will discover that it also has a performance place that celebrates the performing arts. Here, you can get to watch performances for free and there are also paid ones. But on regular days, the park transforms into a spot for various events that you don’t want to miss as well.
From April to October, the town square transforms as a Sunday market. The event runs from 10 Am to 4 PM.
Between months of April and May, the site welcomes Food Truck Wednesdays. As its name suggests, you can get to enjoy food trucks offering delicious food, making your city tour all the more filling.
During Thursdays, locals and even tourists like you can also get to watch movies in the park. This is because the park features films from 8:30 PM to 10:30 PM. In 2012, the site featured Oklahoma movies. Who knows, you might even get to witness it too.
Fitness also has a place at Guthrie green. Throughout the week, you can join several fitness programs at the park, including Tai Chi which starts at 5:30 PM every Monday. Every Tuesday and Thursday, on the other hand, you can get to join Boot Camp at 5:30 PM. There is also family yoga every Wednesday at 10 Am and lululemon’s Community Yoga from 6 to 7 PM. Walking Fitness is on Friday at 4 PM and there’s Mommy and Me during Saturdays at 10 AM. Every week is surely eventful at the town square that will make you come back time and again.
Living Arts of Tulsa
Also known as Living Arts, this place is also not to be missed when you’re into arts. Here, your eyes will get to feast with sights of beautiful contemporary art that will surely inspire you as well. But this place isn’t just for entertainment. At Living Arts of Tulsa, you can also get to learn. This is because the site also offers various activities that will help you hone your skills. You can sign up for creative workshops, related educational activities, as well as research. The best part of it is that you can participate in performances too. There are also activities that will help you hone you skills in films. You can also witness demonstrations of current art and join lectures. It’s definitely not your ordinary art attraction.
2The Blue Dome District
The Blue Dome District is also a must-visit if you’re in the city. If you’re an art enthusiast, you will enjoy this place too as it is the home to many festivals in the city. But among all of those, the Blue Dome Arts Festival is the most popular where you can celebrate art with added parades and good food. But unlike the Tulsa Arts District, this place focuses more on entertainment that you will enjoy more if you’re traveling with your squad. Check out what’s popular in the district.
The Max Retropub
As its name suggests, The Max Retropub is a lively place to hangout. Plus, it focuses on the retro theme which makes it even more unique and, of course, Instagram worthy. Here, you can enjoy retro arcade games, which are perfect for those who are old souls or even those who just want to have a glimpse of what it was like in the 80s. From its floor to its ceiling, you’ll definitely feel as if you’ve time travelled back to the retro era. What makes every visitor’s visit all the more fun is that the place hosts dance parties making the night livelier. In addition to that, you and your friends can also get to participate in gaming competitions. The place also offers draft beer, as well as quirky cocktails. But bear in mind that the retro pub only allows those who are 21 years old and older. Hence, it’s really more of a place that is not for the whole family.
Dust Bowl Lanes and Lounge
Speaking of retro, if you want more of such theme, we’re sure you don’t want to miss out on Dust Bowl Lanes and Lounge too. Known for its retro theme, this bowling alley aims to pay tribute to the bowling alleys and lounges of the 1970s situated in Tulsa. Hence, if you want to have a glimpse of the past, reminisce (if you’re a Gen X), or even bowl with your friends, this place is one of the Tulsa hangout places that we highly recommend. Aside from bowling, you can also get to enjoy some good food, beer, as well as cocktails. The best part of it is that the place has its doors open even to those who have something to celebrate such as birthdays. Bachelor or bachelorette parties are can also be held here. A corporate party is also welcome. It’s an 8-lane bowling alley so even if you bring your whole squad, you the place can surely accommodate all of you.
The north side of the city is more of a place for learning and exploring for the whole family to enjoy. This is because this part of the city has more historical places to boast of, as well as museums that tell more about the city’s stories.
The city has a number of museums that you need to see. But among all of those, one of the museums that we suggest you prioritize first is the Gilcrease Museum. For starters, this site is actually an art and history museum. But this isn’t your ordinary art and history museum. This site is apparently home to an important collection of art that celebrates the American west. Here, you can get to see more than 35,000 pieces on exhibit that will give you a glimpse of history through outstanding art. The museum also has gardens to offer that are truly Instagrammable. And the best part of it is that you don’t have to spend a cent in exploring the things that the museum has to offer. This is because the museum offers free admission during the first full weekend of every month, making a visit here as one of the best free things to do in Tulsa too.
Owen Park is actually more of a residential neighborhood. But it’s not your ordinary neighborhood. Apparently, this area houses a number of historical landmarks. One of which is the oldest house in Tulsa which was built in the early 1880s.
There is, of course, more room for learning at the site. This is because of the fun museum that it houses called the Discovery Lab. It’s basically a children’s museum which you need to see, especially if you’re traveling with kids. Here, kids can learn as they play, thanks to the interactive exhibits that the museum houses.
Right across the children’s museum is a nice splash pad that will make every kid’s visit all the more fun. Apart from that, there is a pond with ducks and geese that we’re sure the kids will love too.
Owen Park has a more laid back atmosphere that is also educational. It’s one of the not to be missed spots in the city too.
Also located in the Northside is the Tulsa Zoo, which is another place for learning. Unlike most of the attractions in the Northside Tulsa, this place lets you get to know more about animals. Yet, it’s equally as educational as the other attractions in the Northside. Here, you have thousands of animal species to see. But what we love more about the Tulsa Zoo is that its exhibits’ themes are well designed. Its tiger exhibit is even adorned with temples that gives an Asian historical old city vibes.
In addition to that, the Tulsa Zoo also offers more fun experiences and activities. One of which is the camel rides.
The zoo also offers an area called The Trek. This is basically an area that has buildings with different themes including the forest, desert, and more that are also Instagram worthy. Throughout the Tulsa Zoo, you can also get to see lakes and streams that adds beauty and contributes more to the ambiance of the zoo which immerses you more to the attraction’s theme.
Tulsa Zoo also has spaces for kids to enjoy their visit more. The zoo even has plenty of play areas for the kids and a carousel.
The zoo has been around for decades. And throughout the years, it has been loved by many locals and tourists because of its attractions and staff. Aside from the fact that this place lets you learn more about the animals that it houses, their conservation efforts, and more, this place also provides more fun through the activities that it offers which also makes it not to be missed when you’re in Tulsa.
6Tulsa Air and Space Museum
Tulsa Air and Space Museum is also a fun attraction in the city that you shouldn’t miss. But unlike the Tulsa Zoo, Tulsa Air and Space Museum joins the Northside list of attractions that tells stories about the history. Here, you can get to learn more about the aviation history, particularly in Oklahoma.
You can also get to have a closer look at a number of vintage aircraft. As you tour the place, you can also get to hear stories about the aircraft, from how it was made and to even how many passengers it carried.
What we love about this museum is that it also offers hands-on activities that are fun and, of course, educational.
Apart from that, the museum also has a planetarium on site. Here, you can enjoy live star tours of tonight’s night sky and movies that will tour you outside our planet. You can also get to learn more about what’s out “there” and even get to explore Mars, black holes, and more in space. Being an educational and fun attraction, there’s no denying that this is also a must see when you’re in Tulsa with your whole family.
7Places for Leisure
Southside Tulsa offers activities that caters to those who have more budget. This is because many luxurious homes, as well as apartments, have been built here in the last few decades. And because of the increasing number of affluent demographic moving into the area, businesses have started to tailor to such residents. And for that, the place makes a nice place for shopping and other activities that might require you more that your budget. Here, you will find more fine dining restaurants too.
Unlike downtown Tulsa, there’s nothing much to see here in the eastside. Although, it is famous for McClure Park which sporty travelers should see. This is because it has spacious sports fields, basketball courts, and tennis courts. The place also has a public pool for the swimmers. Apart from that, it is also popular for its 18-hole disc golf course. And don’t worry if you’re traveling with kids as McClure Park also has a playground where you can let the kids play as you play your favorite sports. And if you want to relax more, the place has a picnic area too.
In addition to that, this site lets you learn glassblowing as its community center has been remodeled to give the Tulsa Glass Blowing School a home.
9Tulsa Glassblowing School
If you want to try and learn a different form of art, Tulsa Glassblowing School is one of the attractions you shouldn’t miss adding to your Tulsa itinerary. Here, you will learn the art of glassblowing. Even children as young as 7 years old can try it out too. For as low as $80, you can already sign up for a private lesson. And it’s okay if you just want to try your hand out at this form of art as the school offers different experiences where you can also get to learn more about glassblowing. For as low as $25, kids aged 5 and up can already learn how to make a sun catcher. It’s a fun cool and educational activity that you don’t want to miss in Tulsa too, especially if you’re traveling with kids.
While it doesn’t have much attractions to offer unlike downtown Tulsa, this side of the city is known as the hospitality district. This is because it is where you can find more hotels if you plan to stay longer in the city.
Like the Eastside, the Westside also don’t have much to offer for those who are looking for a place to hang out when compared with downtown Tulsa. While you can still enjoy dining, shopping, and other forms of entertainment, this part of the city boasts more of its wooded and hilly neighborhoods. Thus, this place is highly suggested for those who are more outdoorsy.
One of the sites in the Westside Tulsa that you should see if you like outdoor adventures is the River Parks. Here, you have miles of trails to hike offering picturesque views of nature.
Apart from that, you can also get to enjoy water-related activities in the area. Its lake welcomes those who want to take a dip and cool down a bit. You can also get to fish in its dams. Its Zink Dam is a popular spot to catch catfish and striped bass.
Rowing activities can also be enjoyed at the park’s waters. However, note that the rowing activities on the park’s Zink Lake are reduced because of the current construction in the river channel. Still, if you can get a chance to try out this activity, we say grab it. Kayaking is also one of the activities available and it’s worth giving a try too.
The best part of it is that you can also get to spot wildlife in some areas of the park, including fox, raccoon, opossum, and beaver. You can also get to occasionally spot bobcats, coyotes, and deer. Don’t forget to look up the sky as you can also get to spot species of birds such as gulls, pelicans, herons, and bald eagles, especially in winter months.
On top of that, the inner artist in you will also get inspired by the art in the park. This is because the park’s landscape is enriched with the largest collection of bronze wildlife sculptures in the city. Many of them were made by internationally-recognized artists which makes them all the more worth seeing.
With so many attractions and activities that Tulsa has to offer, there will always be something for you no matter what kind of travel experience you’re looking for. This, of course, makes the city worth visiting whether you’re travelling with your whole family or friends. So why not plan your trip today?