If you're visiting Oklahoma City or if you live here but just don't get out much, there are plenty of things around the metro to see and do. Here are the top Oklahoma City attractions, the things you just "Gotta Do" if you want to experience the best the metro has to offer.
© Adam Knapp, Licensed to About.com, Inc.
Perhaps more than anything in Oklahoma City, the National Memorial defines us. In remembrance certainly but also offering strength and peace as the years separate our memories from that horrible day, the beautiful grounds and symbolic design will touch even the hardest of hearts.
Don't Miss...: While the Outdoor Memorial will certainly have an emotional effect, also make sure to check out the recently-accredited National Memorial Museum. Get a complete background of the event, including the FBI investigation.
By now, many across the country of heard about the revitalization in Bricktown, and it has become one of the top Oklahoma City attractions. Take a water taxi ride along the canal, eat at one of the great restaurants or simply enjoy the beautiful outdoor atmosphere. Bricktown has become OKC's top tourist attraction. Don't Miss...
Riding along the canal gets all the publicity, but Bricktown also has horse-drawn carriage rides. Relax and enjoy the patter of horse hooves as you cruise along the bricked streets.
There have been discussions around the state trying to decide our "signature food
." Well whether it's a signature or not, Oklahoma City is a great place to get some of the best steak around. My first recommendation would be Cattlemen's. Mickey Mantle's in Bricktown and Boulevard Steakhouse in Edmond are quite good as well. Don't Miss...
Maybe you're a bit more adventurous than I am. If so, all the locals rave about Cattlemen's lamb fries, something I couldn't bring myself to try
but may be just what you need as an appetizer for your steak.
Science Museum Oklahoma, formerly called the Omniplex, is a great educational experience for the kids, but it's quite an enjoyable Oklahoma City attraction for the adults as well. Don't tell the science teachers, but who knew it could be this much fun? Get hands-on with the exhibits, see World War II airplanes or experience the visual wonders of fractal art. And that's only the beginning. Don't Miss...
The Dome Theater has a 70-foot diameter screen and the most technologically advanced projection system around. Then there's the state of the art sound. The films become so much more than simply shows. They're an experience.
While OKC certainly isn't an amusement park capital by any stretch of the imagination, you can still find a pretty good time on the rides at Frontier City
or the slides at White Water Bay
. Western-themed shows, rollercoasters, wave pools or leisurely floats... Ahh, just try them all. Don't Miss...
I think several parks around the country do something similar, but you should get a souvenir from your trip to Frontier City. So consider having your family portrait taken in "Old West" attire at Matthew Brady's Old Time Photography.
It's been called one of the top 10 zoos in the U.S. and is one of the oldest in the southwest. With a beautiful landscape and a number of exotic animals, the Oklahoma City Zoo is a great place to take the family while in town. Check out the Cat Forest, Great EscAPE, Oklahoma Trails and the fantastic Aquatics shows. Don't Miss...
It's not quite animal-related. Well, I suppose it depends on the act. But the Zoo Amphitheater
has a number of great outside musical performances during the year, particular the summer.
Oklahoma City now has our own NBA team, the Thunder. And that makes the Chesapeake Energy Arena a top Oklahoma City attraction and a great venue for sports action.
Don't Miss... If you're not a sports fan, don't forget that the Chesapeake Energy Arena hosts a variety of other events throughout the year. Headline concerts, family shows and monster trucks are only a few of the things you can catch at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Chesapeake Energy Arena is great, but if it's a nice spring or summer day in Oklahoma City, why not get outside. You won't find too many better minor-league baseball facilities in the U.S. than the Bricktown Ballpark, known by us locals as "The Brick." The Texas Rangers' AAA affiliate, the Oklahoma RedHawks
, are typically in action from April to early September. Don't Miss...
We all love the ballpark food. But you should get there a bit early and eat first in Coach's Restaurant
inside the park. Watch the players warm up as you snack on BBQ, burgers or pizza.
While it may not be the great fun of some other items on this list, it's still an opportunity to see an important OKC site. For those that don't know the history, the capitol building was finished in 1917 but did not have a dome. It was supposed to, though a lack of funds prevented it. It was finally constructed in 2002. Don't Miss...
If you have a nice zoom on your camera, try to snap a shot of the statue on top of the Capitol dome. Called the "Guardian," the 17-foot tall bronze Native American statue was designed Master Artist Enoch Kelly Haney.
This top 10 Oklahoma City attractions list covers everything from historical sites and food to sports and amusement. That means we need some culture. Redesigned as part of the original MAPS initiatives
, the Civic Center Music Hall features year-round arts and entertainment from companies such as the OKC Philharmonic
, Oklahoma City Ballet
, Lyric Theatre
and Celebrity Attractions
. Don't Miss...
The widely publicized shows are going to be in the main theatre, but look for some great, lesser-known fare in the smaller black-box "CitySpace" theatre in the basement.