Tuesday, August 31, 2010

100 Things To Do In Oklahoma

Saying goodbye to Oklahoma is really hard!  As my last day here approaches I can't help but reflect on what a great experience I have had here.

The other day I went to lunch with some friends and mentioned that my time here was running out and there were still so many Oklahoma things I wanted to do.  Next thing you know, my awesome friend Jenelle gave me the coolest gift...a set of beautiful cards "100 Things To Do In Oklahoma".

I love them and want to show some of them to you because these are Oklahoma things you should do!

I was pleased at how many of the things I had actually been able to do in the last almost six years.

Here are a few highlights.

Oklahoma has some truly amazing, world-class museums and I am hard-pressed to pick a favorite.  The Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, Fred Jones Museum, Philbrook Museum of Art, Gilcrease Museum, National Cowboy & Heritage Museum, Jazz Hall of Fame, Science Museum Oklahoma, Jasmine Moran Children's Museum...all house amazing art, culture, artifacts, and history.

I have a soft spot for the Gene Autry Museum in Gene Autry, Oklahoma.  Dad and I spent a great day there enjoying The Riders in the Sky.  It's a special memory I will always treasure.

Oklahoma has so many natural offerings.  Two of my favorites are the Quartz Mountain Lake and Resort near Altus and the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge not too far from Lawton.  Really impressive buffalo and longhorn cattle herds, a vineyard, the infamous Meers restaurant and beautiful scenery.

Gotta give a shout out to the zoos - I like both the Oklahoma City and the Tulsa Zoos.

I really like Tulsa.  It has such a different feel from Oklahoma City.  A bit more cosmopolitan, I guess.  Some of my favorite Tulsa sites to see are the Blue Dome District with great entertainment options (love, love, love live-music venue Cain's Ballroom) and the amazing art deco architecture seen throughout the city.  But because Oklahoma City will always be nearest and dearest to my heart I've included in this pic two fun things you should do when here...have dinner at the legendary Cattleman's Steakhouse in the Stockyards and then make your way to Bricktown for some downtown fun.

I'm not a gambler and that is too bad because Oklahoma is thick with casinos.  But they just aren't my thing.  With that said, I have had a few outings to Riverwind Casino and had a blast.  Okay, I mainly had a blast because I was with my Nigerian friend Gbadabo Shola (aka "Sam") Adoeye and he was the hit of the casino.  Talk about one of my favorite Oklahoma attractions....meeting Sam was an amazing experience.  I've written about him here before (but fair warning...that post was from the early days of the Dotopotamus when I used to write rambling novel length posts that went on FOREVER and this one involves not only Sam but a dating experience gone horribly wrong!)

You know my love of small towns.  Oklahoma's got a lot of 'em!  A couple of my favorite small town stops were Guthrie (lots of Oklahoma early statehood history and good antique stores) and Pauls Valley where I did stop at the Toy and Action Figure Museum one time on my way back from Texas.  That place was so funny and so weird that it was a little bit trippy!

And roadside attractions?  You gotta love them.  I really enjoyed seeing the many retro sights along Route 66 including the Blue Whale in Catoosa and Pops in Arcadia.  Dad and I spent some time picking out Frosty Rootbeer and Grape Nehis!

And if you can, you really need to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum honoring those who were killed in the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building.  It is a moving experience.

Of course there are so many things I regret not doing when I had the time.  Almost all of the things I wish I had done are visiting different parks and lakes.  I'd like to see Beaver Bend State Park, Talimena National Scenic Byway, Robbers Cave State Park, Tallgrass Prairie, Grand Lake of the Cherokees and Turner Falls.  Please go visit these places and send me some pictures!

I have to say that I agreed that these 100 Things To Do In Oklahoma were great suggestions.  Okay, actually  I thought 99 of them were great suggestions.  I hate to say it, but I'd have to be pretty desperate for a day trip before driving the American Wind Power Trail would sound like a good idea!

Thanks again for the cards, Jenelle.  They provide great memories of the good times I've had in Oklahoma and a to do list for when we come back to visit!



  • At 9/01/2010 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Oh Lori, you too are so special. You will truly be missed, Oklahoma's lost, will be Washington's gain.

  • At 9/01/2010 , Anonymous Holly said...

    You've probably done more in Oklahoma in your short time than I've done in the past 35 years.


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