If you’re still looking for the perfect summer getaway, may we suggest Oklahoma City? The city has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years, thanks to a low business start-up costs and a strong spirit of entrepreneurship. You’re bound to fall in love with the friendliness, affordability, and hidden gems woven into the fabric of the city.
Thanks to the help of the Oklahoma City experts, our Yelp Oklahoma City Elite Squad, we’ve created a magical long weekend in the big town for you!
Where to Stay
Oklahoma City has two upscale boutique hotels housed in historic buildings.
21C Museum Hotel has taken up residency in a former Ford manufacturing plant and the hotel’s modernist vibe jibes perfectly with the industrial space. Located in the West Village, the hip hotel is also home to an art museum and one of OKC’s top bar and restaurant combos, Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge.
Midtown’s perfectly appointed Ambassador Hotel – located inside the renovated Osler building – boasts a new French restaurant, Café Cuvée. Don’t miss their top-floor bar, O Bar, a favorite with locals. Book it for the Restoration-Hardware-style decor and stay for the pitch-perfect hospitality.
The Oklahoma City Streetcar launched in December 2018 to much fanfare. Now, it’s a prime mode of transport for getting around Downtown, Midtown, Bricktown and the Arts District. You can buy fares from machines at any of the twenty-two platforms, or from an app on your phone.
If you’d rather pedal your way around town, Spokies is a bike-share program with eight stations located throughout the urban core. Buy a two-day pass for unlimited sixty-minute rides during your stay in OKC, or pay $3.50 per half-hour to pay-as-you-go.
Uber and Lyft are readily available in the 405, and many local hotels offer shuttle service to nearby restaurants and attractions.
Named by Bon Appétit as America’s Best New Restaurant in 2018, Nonesuch is an incredible experience, to say the least. The twenty-seat restaurant serves ten-course meals; the menu is local and much of it is foraged. “I had extremely high hopes going in,” Elite Richard C says of his Nonesuch visit. “Every expectation was met. The atmosphere invited you to be a part of the process and you are. It was a beautiful experience from start to finish.”
“If you ever see the steak on their menu, just order it,” implores Allie W. “I don’t care which cut and I don’t care the price. It is always melt-in-your-mouth.” Ludivine has been one of the top spots in Oklahoma City for years, and has recently been upgraded to a new location in a beautifully renovated space. Now in the heart of Midtown, Ludivine has secured its place in the dining scene.
For upscale Italian dining, Yelpers love Patrono. “Having been to Patrono several times now, I can tell you that I think it’s one of the best restaurants in town for a rich, intimate meal,” Elle B explains. “This is an amazing date spot.” Locals love it before a concert at the Civic Center, which is just a short walk away.
The newest restaurant on the scene is already making a big splash. Black Walnut is the heart of a recent renovation in OKC’s historic Deep Deuce area. “Their global cocktails were delicious,” writes Aby P. “Such interesting ingredients are used in the cocktails. Everything on the menu looks amazing… a few of our favorites included the lamb ribs and the cast-iron strip.”
Live a Little
Oklahoma City is rich with experiences for the young and the young at heart. Whatever you do, don’t miss your chance to visit the city’s white-water-rafting course, Riversport OKC. With rafting, tubing, wall-climbing, ziplining and more offered, it is number one on our list of things to do in OKC.
From there, head over to the Myriad Botanical Gardens, OKC’s fifteen-acre downtown park. Then, make your way over to the Adventure District to visit the city’s five-star OKC Zoo as well as Science Museum Oklahoma –located right next door.
After those adventures, hop on a bike with Ride OKC to check out OKC’s top craft breweries while enjoying the fresh air. Finally, finish your fun day with a visit to the Wheeler Ferris Wheel for a bird’s-eye view of the twinkling city at night.
You may not think about Oklahoma City as an arts and culture hub, but there is more than meets the eye. Visit the Oklahoma City Museum of Art to see the permanent collection, including a three-story Dale Chihuly glass sculpture. The museum also routinely plays host to impressive visiting exhibitions. This summer, check out the Van Gogh, Monet and Degas exhibit, on loan from Virginia’s Mellon Collection of French Art (June 22-September 22, 2019).
Giddyup to the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, and balance that with a visit to Oklahoma Contemporary. Finally, don’t miss Oklahoma City’s answer to Meow Wolf: Factory Obscura: Mix-Tape, an immersive art experience. From Factory Obscura, you’re within walking distance to some wonderful shops, bars and restaurants – both along 9th Street and across Broadway in historic Auto Alley. You’re also not far from OKC’s original – and still thriving – arts district, Paseo.
Oklahoma City National Memorial
No visit to Oklahoma City is complete without spending some time at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. See the sacred ground where the building once stood and walk amongst the 168 empty chairs, representing the lives lost. In order to really learn about the events before, during and after the bombing, make your way into the museum.
Walk through the morning of April 19, 1995 via audio recordings, television news reports, and artifacts. It’s a moving experience you’ll never forget, and well worth your time and energy.
Enjoy a Drink
After all this adventuring and exploring, you’ll be ready for a drink… or three. Get that alt-country vibe at Power House in the Farmers Market District. Paseo is home to the newly-renovated Red Rooster, a bar Hemingway would approve of, with its classic cocktails and farm-to-table fare. The luxe Jones Assembly will treat you right, thanks to comfortable booths, delicious drinks and a cool indoor/outdoor setup. Check out their concert calendar to see if you can catch a show while you’re at it.
Finally, pay a visit to Bar Arbolada, which proves you can go home again. The owners were all Okies living in LA when they decided OKC was the place to be and dreamed up this beautiful bar. From the wine list to the cheese plate, you’ll be writing a five-star review in no time.
We look forward to reading your OKC Yelp reviews soon!