Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (OK) was established in 1889 and has since grown to become the state’s most populous city. With a population of more than 600,000 residents and 3 million people living within its greater metro area, OKC offers visitors several things to see and do no matter what time of year they visit. Known for having the fantastic cowboy tradition, Oklahoma City also has plenty of recreational areas, including Martin Park Nature Center, Golf courses, Oklahoma River Cruises, the City Zoo, and the most beautiful gardening areas like Well Rogers Gardening. There are many sports facilities available like boating, fishing, and hunting. So if you enjoy nature and outdoor activities, spending one day in Oklahoma City will be the right choice for you!
The best time to visit Oklahoma is from September to November when the weather is mild making it simple to tour some of the city’s outdoor attractions. The fall in Oklahoma is packed with a whirlwind of enjoyable occasions, including the Oklahoma State Fair and the Poteau Balloon Fest.
Oklahoma winters are often dry and chilly, but they come with affordable hotel prices and Christmas light displays! If you can handle the scorching Oklahoma summer heat you can enjoy a plethora of festivals, outdoor activities, and amazing 4th of July celebrations.
- The world’s first shopping cart was invented and used by a local grocery store in Oklahoma City, at Stanford Food Market in 1937.
- Oklahoma City was the first city in the world to install a parking meter, starting in 1935.
In Oklahoma City, there are countless ways to spend one day, but if you’re limited on time, this itinerary will make the most of your 24 hours in the city. Read on to discover where you should eat, shop, and play in Oklahoma City.
Check-in at a hotel nearby your hotel such as Classen Inn and start your vacation by enjoying a fantastic breakfast at Kitchen No. 324. This magnificent restaurant has elevated takes on American food.
A ten-minute walk leads you to downtown the Bricktown Canal, where you can take a Bricktown Water Taxi ride. All Water Taxi Guides narrate points of interest along the way. A round trip takes about 40 minutes making the journey enjoyable and informative.
If you’re in Brick Town, it’s simple to fit in since the usual trip departs every 15 minutes. You will see murals, small water features, and land rush monuments, and it’s a perfect tour to take amazing photos!
Explore The Myriad Botanical Gardens
Myriad Gardens is a wonderful place to visit for a quiet outdoor stroll alongside flowerbeds and horticultural displays. Other features of these beautiful gardens are a children’s playground, bubbling fountains, and jogging and walking paths. There also is an off-leash dog park. In the wintertime, you can go ice skating at Devon Ice Rink. One of the most stunning spaces is the Crystal Bridge Conservatory, an indoor tropical garden that features separate areas for wet and dry tropical flora. A $9.7-million renovation during the summer of 2022 added rotating exhibits and a second-story terrace with overhead views of the gardens.
Just a few minutes from the gardens, you’ll find the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum represents strength in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing tragedy. This is a profound experience that immerses you in the action and takes you through the tragedy’s aftermath.
It’s an emotional journey that might be difficult to watch at times, but it’s also done with respect and objectivity. They have done a fantastic job of conveying the confusion of the situation and assisting the visitor in appreciating the extraordinary bravery of those who survived. The museum is expertly set up and everyone should take advantage of the entire experience.
Also known as the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, this large museum uncovers life in the Wild West with its large collections of historical materials, pictures, and sculptures. The Rodeo Hall of Fame features rodeo champions. Spend your afternoon discovering the history of the West, cowboys, and Oklahoma at this fantastic museum. This location is enormous, and there is far more to see than you can possibly take in in a single trip. This museum is really well organized and immaculate, and a must-see in Oklahoma City. You are amazed by the magnitude alone! It is incredibly intriguing and covers every facet of living in the West. The tours are really informative and knowledgeable. The sculptures and paintings have won awards, and rightfully so!
A few minutes away from the museum you will find Oklahoma City Zoo. Open for more than a century, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden engages tourists and families with more than 500 animal species, including rhinos, gorillas, lions, and tigers. Throughout the grounds, you can also see impressive displays of plants from Oklahoma and around the world.
The crowd’s favorite displays that the zoo offers are the snakes, the elephant exhibit, the chimps, and the sea lion show. The animals are taken care of and there is a lot of shade around the zoo. You can spend a lot of time here if you choose to, but since you’re spending one day in Oklahoma, you can also go through the zoo quickly and move on.
Take a taxi or an Uber and see the Martin Park Nature Center! Bask in the scenery with the family, visit the hiking trails, or if you’re there at the right time, one of the Park events. They have a deck that overlooks the lake and a play area. Just be aware, this park does not allow dogs. The Martin Park Nature Center is a very tranquil place. Even when it is crowded, it feels peaceful. So if you’re looking for a quiet getaway, walk around and enjoy the scenery on your one day in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City park offers a playground, picnic area, and perusing library in addition to a hands-on nature center showcasing the fauna, flora, and animal life of Oklahoma. On-site amenities include a bird observation wall, a guard tower, and three hiking routes!
A few minutes south of the park you will find the most scenic spot in OKC. The south side is natural and tree-filled. East side is great for recreation and features several awesome restaurants. Hefner GC on the SW side of the lake is a good spot for a stroll and the most breathtaking view in Oklahoma City. You can have dinner in one of the nearby restaurants such as Redrock Canyon Grill where you can try the southwest cuisine while watching the sunset from their patio or Ranch Steakhouse for some amazing midwest steak!
Party Like it’s the Wild West
After a busy day, it’s time for a party! The bar to visit in Oklahoma City is the Grandads Bar. It’s a very unique it’s not going to break the budget, and you’ll get to know the culture of Oklahoma. If you’re in the mood to dance, The Oklahoma City Swing Dance Club is home to many forms of dance including West Coast Swing, Country and Western, Ballroom, and Square Dancing. They have weekly lessons and dance parties for dancers of all ages to enjoy. If you are still not ready to go to sleep, you can spend your night partying in Dollhouse OKC!
Where to Stay In Oklahoma City
820 North Classen Boulevard, Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Classen Inn offers lodging with a common lounge, free WiFi, as well as free private parking for those who drive in Oklahoma City, just one kilometer from the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and a 15-minute walk from the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Every hotel room comes equipped with a flat-screen TV, a wardrobe, a private bathroom, bed linens, and towels, and you can enjoy views of Oklahoma City from the terrace!
Embassy Suites By Hilton Oklahoma City
3233 NW Expressway, Oklahoma City, OK 73112
This hotel provides an outdoor pool with a wide patio and a restaurant, and it is only 15 minutes drive from Oklahoma City’s Bricktown Riverfront Entertainment District. At the Embassy Suites Oklahoma City Northwest, cable TV with premium channels is available in the rooms. The Embassy Suites Oklahoma City Northwest’s fitness center, which features weights and cardio machines, is accessible to guests free of charge.
Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City
1200 North Walker Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73103
This Oklahoma City hotel offers free WiFi and is located 5 minutes by car from the Paycom Center. The hotel’s on-site restaurant, Café Cuvée, is accessible for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A rooftop bar, open every day from 4 pm to 12 am, is another place where guests can unwind. The Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City offers rooms with an iPhone docking station, a flat-screen Smart TV, and other modern conveniences. A coffee maker and a refrigerator are also included in the rooms. After working out in the fitness center at the Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City, you may unwind in the outdoor pool.
Big business, international lifestyles, and traditional Texas charm all come together in this area to provide a setting that defies easy classification and is always working to define itself. A city with plenty to offer everyone lies beneath its sparkling skyline and imposing character. You can discover Dallas’s appeal after just one day there. Check out our One Day in Dallas Itinerary to learn more!
A small college town situated halfway between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, the state’s two largest cities. Grab a bite at Eskimo Joe’s Restaurant or the original Hideaway Pizza, two of the area’s local icons. Visit the Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar to learn about local history, or go on the mat at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum. Visit Boomer Lake Park or Lake McMurtry for some outdoor recreation.
Visit Tulsa, the second-largest city in Oklahoma, where metropolitan flair and Southern comfort collide. Tulsa is a community that has benefited from its oil past and is home to world-class cultural landmarks like the Philbrook Museum of Art and Gilcrease Museum. With its spectacular art deco jewels, Route 66 gems, and the Cesar Pelli-designed BOK Center, a cutting-edge arena for big-name concerts and athletic events, the city stands tall. The Tulsa music scene is the state’s top attraction, and the city’s vibrant entertainment areas are home to restaurants, shops, and gaming venues.
- The public bus system is a great way to go from Oklahoma City’s downtown to neighborhoods in the northeast, like the Adventure District. But don’t expect to be able to travel to other areas of the city. Having a car or taking taxis is essential if you’re staying in the west or south.
- Try Roxy’s Ice Cream Social – their salted caramel is delicious and it’s something you have to try while visiting Oklahoma City.
- If you go to Bricktown, the easiest place to find parking if it’s crazy busy is the Bass Pro parking lot or the Harkin’s Theater. Then just walk.
- Nic’s Grill has the best burgers, all locals agree!
- If you have extra time check out the Museum of Osteology!
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.
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