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A Weekend in Oklahoma City: What to do in the Big Friendly

(credit: Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Oklahoma City is the second largest capital city by land mass in the United States only second to Anchorage. Known as OKC by locals and travelers alike, it is home to one of the world's largest livestock markets due to its location in the Great Plains region. Over the past several years, the city has grown in population and national acclaim in part to the arrival of the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008 and the growing art and food scene.  

While it may not have the ‘wow factor’ or glitz and glamor that other larger cities in the country have, it attracts all types of travelers looking for a one-of-a-kind experience. A city that has a proud and storied history, OKC offers an eclectic range of activities and some top experiences not able to be experienced anywhere else in the country. It is a city that makes you immediately feel like you are at home as locals at coffee shops, events and bars are happy to share their favorite aspects of the city with a friendly smile and a y’all have a good time now.

(credit: Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Located in the Midtown district of the city, the Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City, Autograph Collection is situated in a U-shaped art-deco inspired building originally built in 1928. Passing through the open courtyard, guests enter a chic lobby before checking in to one of their rooms or suites. Incorporating a blend of contemporary and traditional furnishings, each room offers views of the city beyond like the deluxe Ambassador Suite which encompasses 855 square-feet and offers two rooms and a living room with ample seating. Delight in a casual yet romantic French-inspired meal at Café Cuvée on the lobby level or head up to the top floor to one of the city’s premier rooftop bars boasting views of downtown. Guests can also take advantage of their complimentary shuttle service to access to nearby popular dining, shopping and entertainment venues within easy reach.

(credit: Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau)

When preparing your itinerary, make sure to check the weather although even the forecast is unpredictable with changes bound to happen nearly every hour. The city offers unique neighborhoods such as Bricktown, Boathouse District and the Paseo Arts District; a wide variety of arts and culture exhibitions along with numerous outdoor activities. 

Constructed in 2006 as the Chesapeake Boathouse, the new Boathouse District is an outdoor adventurous playground alongside the Oklahoma River. Opened in 2016, RIVERSPORT Rapids is an outdoor adventure park providing whitewater rafting and tubing, an exciting ropes SandRidge Sky Trail ropes course, kayaking and zip lining across the Oklahoma River. Bricktown epitomizes the recent transformation of Oklahoma City providing a selection of restaurants, bars and the headquarters of Sonic. Make sure to hop aboard the Bricktown Water Taxi to cruise down the small but quaint river with local guides sharing unique tidbits of the rise of the area. 

The Paseo Arts District provides the art-inspired traveler numerous galleries and restaurants that provide a little Spanish extravagance in the American heartland. And the revitalized downtown is home to the 17-acre Myriad Botanical Gardens home to a densely living plant museum in the 224-foot Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory along with the 100-foot Wheeler Ferris Wheel which was relocated from the Santa Monica Pier. Art lovers will be enticed by the vast collection at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art which takes gusts back through the history of the West with sculptures, artwork and intricate displays.

(credit: Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Re-built from the rubble of April 19, 1995, the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is an awe-inspiring memorial which stands on the location where the bomb at the Murrah Federal Building exploded. Its museum gives a detailed account of the stories of those impacted directly and indirectly by the vicious attack along with the brotherhood and togetherness the city undertook to rebuild and charge forward. The exhibit at night is truly a display that is a must for any traveler during the evening. Poignant and somber, guests enter through the 9:01 gate (which symbolizes the minute before the attack) and overlook and flowing pool and illuminated chairs, one for each of the victims’ attack. Before exiting through the 9:03 gate (the minute after the attack), the city never forgets and exemplifies how thousands of people rose to the calling to re-build from the rubble and pain. 

When planning your trip to the “Horse Show Capital of the World' be sure to VisitOkc.com to see upcoming events to experieince the best of OKC.

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