Tulsa is the second biggest city in Oklahoma, with close to 400,000 people calling it home. It is also the seat of Tulsa County. The city is located on the Arkansas River and it has the Ozark Mountains too. It has been ranked among the country's most livable large cities by several organizations including Relocate America, Partners for Livable Communities and Forbes Magazine.
Be sure to check out this wonderful city on a bus rental in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The name Tulsa comes from the world Tallasi, which means Old Town. And if you are a history buff, you would surely love the city. From its art deco architecture to its many historic sites and districts, you can appreciate the old along with the new attractions here.
Tulsa has everything you love to do, to see, and to eat. So make sure that you consider spending a vacation here. And when you do, there is no better way to tour the sights than being on a bus rental in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
You will certainly have fun at the casinos in Tulsa. There are three casinos here that are considered as must-visit attractions:
Check out Bell's is Back, which is open on weekends and offers $1 with no admission fees. You can also go to big Splash Water Park, Laser Quest Tulsa, and Bounceu of Tulsa.
Visual arts. Go to the Gilcrease Museum, which holds the world's biggest collection of American West art and a growing holding of artifacts and art from South and Central America. Check out the anthropology collection here that has 300,000 prehistoric and archaeological artifacts, from native American, pre-Columbian, Hispanic and Anglo-American cultures. They also have more than 100,000 manuscripts, books, maps and documents in their archival collection. Lastly, check out the Gilcrease gardens here that are themed according to the collections of the museum.
Then you have the Philbrook Museum of Art, which is currently housed inside a villa that was built in the 1920s. The art museum has 23 acres of gardens, as well as the works of Pablo Picasso, Tanzio da Varallo, Giovanni Bellini, Thomas Moran, William Merritt Chase, Andrew Wyeth, Fritz Scholder, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Arturo Herrera, Leonardo Drew, Maria Martinez, Charles Loloma, and Rachel Whiteread. Close to 150,000 people visit the museum every year.
You can also go to the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art, housed in the Congregation B'nai Emunah Synagogue. It has the biggest collection of Jewish artifacts in the southwest, with at least 10,000 pieces in the permanent collection.
You might also want to take the kids to the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium where you have hands-on and interactive activities and historic exhibits. There is also a collection of vintage aircraft here. The kids can explore around 19,000 sq. ft. of exhibits on the city's aviation history. They could also have fun at the planetarium where they could watch high definition full dome shows.
Meanwhile, the Woody Guthrie Center tells the public about the life and contributions of Woody Guthrie, a folk singer and songwriter.
Galleries. Like the rest of Oklahoma, Tulsa is a hotbed for artistic and creative talents. And this is the reason why it is home to several art galleries that feature some of the local artists' best works. Check out downtown Tulsa and you would find Tulsa Glassblowing Studio, Tulsa Artists Coalition Gallery, Tulsa Art Deco Museum, Myers Gallery, Native American Art Gallery, Living Arts of Tulsa, Liggett Studio, Henry Zarrow Center for Art and Education, Greenwood Cultural Center, Corvid Gallery, Colors of Etnika, and 108 Contemporary.
Performance arts. Tulsa has a wealth of theater performances and you can watch these at some of the finest performing arts venues in the city. If you want to watch the best, you would need a few nights or a few days to catch them all. The city has a variety of shows, including local shows, Broadway productions, classic shows and contemporary productions.
Check out the highly renowned Tulsa Opera, which is also one of the oldest opera companies in the country. Opera News named the company as one of the ten favorite regional opera companies in the United States. They have three operas every season and you can catch them at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, which has four main theaters, an art gallery and studio spaces. The Tulsa PAC is where you would find the Chapman Music Hall, which seats close to 2,400 people. Aside from the Tulsa Opera, you can also find the performances of 14 groups here, including Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Symphony, Tulsa Town Hall, Celebrity Attractions, Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust, Chamber Music Tulsa, Theatre Tulsa, American Theatre Company, Playhouse Tulsa, Theatre Pops, Actors & Children's Theatre Company, and Theatre North.
Speaking of Tulsa Ballet, their performances include classical ballet, contemporary dance, and other dance performances. The company produces five productions every year. Both the Tulsa Ballet and Tulsa Opera are regarded as one of the best in the country.
You can also check out Heller Theatre, the biggest community theatre in the state. The group has produced at least a hundred shows since it opened in the 1980s. It also hosts the Laughing Matter Improv, the oldest comedy group in the state. You can also enjoy the performances of LOOK Musical Theatre, which is a professional musical theater group that was founded in the 1980s.
Meanwhile, the city has smaller theater groups such as the Nightingale Theater, which still gives you world-class performances.
Other theaters here include the Brady Theatre, Cain's Ballroom, Henthorne Performance Art Center, and Tulsa Spotlight Theater.
Aside from these, you can also check out the Tulsa Signature Symphony, which is the resident orchestra of the Tulsa Community College, as well as the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra was formed in 2005. Meanwhile the Tulsa Youth Symphony aims to educate the young musicians in the city and its surrounding areas, as well as give audiences world-class performances.
For music events, you can go to the BOK Center, which is known as one of the top arenas in the country in terms of ticket sales.
Festivals. Festivals in Tulsa feel like a large party. Do check out the city's Oktoberfest, which USA Today has named as one of the top German celebrations in the entire North American continent. Drown yourself in German beer and stuff yourself silly with German food or just immerse yourself in the fun atmosphere. Or you can visit the Tulsa International Mayfest. For more than four decades, this four day festival gives you the chance to buy from the best artists and craftsmen in the area, as well as sample the best food and listen to the best bands and performers.
Another long running festival is the SCOTFEST. More than three decades old, this is where you could get your fill of Celtic music and Scottish Highland games. Sample the beers, crafts, music, food, dance, and other things close to the Scots. Then you have the grandfather of all cultural festivals in the city: the Tulsa Greek Festival held at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.
Further Check out the Center of the Universe Festival. The music festival brings together the best musical acts and theater groups to perform, while food trucks offer you some of the best and most delicious food at really affordable prices. Then you have Tokyo In Tulsa, which gives you a family friendly convention that is held over three days. The convention brings together anime fans in the area.
Art deco. Tulsa has a wealth of art deco structures. In fact, it has among the most extensive art deco buildings in the United States. You can stroll downtown and check out the many art deco buildings there such as the Philtower Building, the Philcade Building, the Atlas life Building, the Tulsa Club and the Public Service Company of Oklahoma. You can go to other parts of the city and find similarly striking art deco schools, churches, homes, and other structures. And then you should not miss the Boston Avenue Methodist Church, one of the finest examples of art deco buildings in the city. Some of these buildings were designed by noted architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Barry Byrne, and Bruce Goff.
Tulsa offers you everything from unique to exclusive, from fashionable to personalized. You would love the different experiences that you get from shopping in the city.
There is Cherry Street and Brookside District, with eclectic boutiques, antique stores, art galleries and the hippest restaurants in the city. Of course, you would also love shopping at the stores and boutiques that you see downtown.
Then you can head out to the malls. There is the Woodland Hills Mall, which is one of the state's biggest shopping malls. It is owned by Simon Property Group, which also owns a variety of notable malls all round the country. It has more than 1.3 million sq. ft. of retail space holding at least 160 specialty stores and dining options. The list of retailers here include Sephora, Apple, Coach, Aldo, Michael Kors, Godiva Chocolatiers, and Nine West. The mall is anchored by Dillard's, JCPenney, Macy's, and Sears.
You also have the Tulsa Promenade, which has 926,426 sq. ft. of space holding at least 100 stores and restaurants. It has three anchor tenants: Dillard's, JCPenney, and Macy's. You can also go to Utica Square for some high-end shopping. The mall is anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue and Miss Jackson's, a locally owned store, as well as more than five dozen stores.
Restaurants. Hungry? Then you would have no problem satisfying your craving in Tulsa. You have everything you want.
Some of the best restaurants you can eat in include:
Local favorites include:
Other restaurants you should not miss: First Watch, Palace Cafe, The Vault, Polo Grill, Laffa Medi-Eastern Restaurant & Bar, Celebrity Restaurant, and Big Anthony's BBQ.
Tulsa has close to 20 public courses and more than a handful of amazingly beautiful private courses. The city is a great place for golfers, no matter what their skill levels are. Check out the Perry Maxwell-designed Southern Hills Country Club, where more than a dozen golf championships have been held.
Other golf courses you can visit:
Sports. Support the Tulsa Drillers baseball team at the ONEOK Field, which seats more than 7,800 people. You can also watch the Tulsa Shock of the WNBA at the BOK Center. While you are at the BOK Center, check to see if there are any Tulsa Oilers game anytime soon. Further, you can catch the Tulsa Athletics American soccer team play at the Athletics Stadium, which seats close to 11,000 people.
Other sports venues in Tulsa that you can go to include:
One of the most recognizable statues in the city is the Golden Driller. The 76 foot tall statue is the fourth tallest in the United States. Then you have the Cyrus Avery Route 66 Memorial Bridge and the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza pays tribute to the Father of Route 66 who died in Tulsa in the 1900s.
Historic districts. Tulsa has several historic districts that you could visit to find out different sites of historic importance. Check out Brady Heights Historic District, the most complete neighborhood that existed before the 1920s. It has several architectural styles that you can see such as Victorian, classical revival, bungalow / craftsman, and prairie school, among others. This is more eclectic than the newer neighborhoods that were later developed in the city. Check out a pair of Dutch Colonial houses here.
Buena Vista Park Historic District has 24 contributing buildings that feature 19th century revival, 20th century revival, and American movement architecture. Most of the contributing structures were built during the 1910s to the 1930s. You could find the James Alexander Veasey House here, which is listed separately on the National Register of Historic Places.
Meanwhile, the Oil Capital Historic District has several office buildings that were built during the 1920s and the 1930s. Then you have Riverview Historic District, which has several contributing structures, including a handful of structures that are listed separately on the National Register of Historic Places, including McBirney Mansion, Riverside Studio, and Clinton-Hardy House.
Then you have Ranch Acres Historic District, which has a variety of ranch houses built after the Second World War. Further you have the North Cheyenne Avenue Historic District, which is significant because of its commercial buildings.
Other historic neighborhoods include:
Historic sites. Aside from these districts there are other individual sites that are on the National Register of Historic Places. There are houses such as Westhope, Carl K. Dresser House, Foster B. Parriott House, McGregor House, Moore Manor, Robert Lawton Jones House, Waite Phillips Mansion, Robert M. McFarlin House, and William G. Skelly House.
There are churches as well, such as Holy Family Cathedral, Rectory, and School, Boston Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church and the Mount Zion Baptist Church. Then you have the hotels: Ambassador Hotel, Casa Loma Hotel, Mayo Hotel, and Mincks-Adams Hotel. You can also visit the historic schools Dawson School, St. John Vianney Training School for Girls, and Will Rogers High School. Then there are the government and public buildings such as the City Veterinary Hospital, Tulsa Fire Alarm Building, Tulsa Monument Company, Tulsa Municipal Building, and the United States Post Office and Courthouse.
Commercial buildings such as Cosden Building, Gillette-Tyrell Building, Hooper Brothers Coffee Company Building, Mayo Building, Mayo Motor Inn, McFarlin Building, Oklahoma Natural Gas Company Building, Petroleum Building, Southwestern Bell Main Dial Building, and Tribune Building, are also on the list.
Other sites on the National Register of Historic Places that you should visit include:
Tulsa has 140 parks covering more than 8,200 acres. These parks provide residents and visitors a way to relax and play outdoors in a safe environment.
Three parks in the city where you could get a wide variety of recreational activities are:
Aside from these three you also have access to these community centers: Central Center in Centennial Park, Chamberlain, Reed, Whiteside, McClure, Hicks, and Lacy.
You also have the Oxley Nature Center in Mohawk Park and the WaterWorks Art Center in Newblock Park.
You have aquatic programs available at the water playgrounds, splash pads and swimming pools at various parks.
You can also get to choose from close to 200 sports fields, around seven dozen playgrounds, more than 100 tennis courts, several fitness facilities, two skate parks, and a handful of gymnasiums. You also have more than 60 miles of trails including the 17 fields at the Mohawk Soccer Complex. There are also more than five dozen picnic shelters that you can rent, meeting rooms and event venues.
Take advantage of the dog parks, like the Biscuit Acres in Hunter Park and the Joe Station on Charles Page Blvd.
Check out the Tulsa Zoo, which covers 85 acres of space and has more than 2,500 animals belonging to more than 430 species. The zoo welcomes around 600,000 people every year. It is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Major exhibits here include the Robert J. LaFortune Wild Life Trek, Lost Kingdom: Elephant, Chimpanzee Connection, Helmerich Sea Lion Cove, Penguin Habitat, Sculptures, African Plains, Asian Area, Children's Zoo, and the Dave Zucconi Conservation Center.
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