A destination with cultural activities, historical monuments, vibrant urban areas, beautiful Art Deco buildings and exciting entertainment options, there are plenty of cool things to do in Tulsa. Attractions range from restaurants and trendy bars to world-class art museums, shopping centres and more.
Several excellent theatres, performing arts centres, and sports venues are worth visiting. Here are 20 of the best things to do in Tulsa, a culturally diverse city with plenty happening.
20 Things to Do In Tulsa
1- Explore The Woody Guthrie Center
The Woody Guthrie Center is a museum in Tulsa’s Brady Arts District dedicated to the iconic American folk musician, singer and composer Woody Guthrie.
One of the fascinating parts of the museum is the Woody Guthrie Archives, which houses the world’s most extensive collection of Guthrie memorabilia.
Visitors can view Guthrie’s instruments, artwork, lyrics, notebooks, photographs, and other historical memorabilia.
The centre also hosts folk music concerts and a biographical film screening.
You can learn about Guthrie’s Oklahoma upbringing and his folk music depiction of American life.
Woody Guthrie Center is at 102 E Reconciliation Way, Tulsa, OK 74103.
2- See A Show At Tulsa Performing Arts Center
Tulsa Performing Arts Center is a large performing arts centre in Tulsa, which houses four theatres, an art gallery, a large studio and a reception hall.
The facility, which opened in 1977, usually hosts performances by 14 different local performance groups, with the Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Opera, and Tulsa Symphony being its most frequent users.
Something will always be available during your visit, so take the chance to watch a performance.
Tulsa Performing Arts Center is at 110 E 2nd St, Tulsa, OK 74103.
3- Drive Through Route 66
Driving slowly along Route 66 through Tulsa will transport you to another era.
This 26-mile (41 km) stretch of The Mother Road through Tulsa is lined with rustic Art Deco buildings that depict pure American small-town life.
Some of the ancient hotels, theatres, and service stations along its length have seen better days, but many others are in surprisingly good condition, and there are new signs and monuments.
Among the highlights are Ollie’s Station Restaurant, which inspired the animated film Cars.
The beautifully restored 1920s Campbell Hotel has 26 rooms, including the Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza, which contains a variety of sculptures and a bridge over Route 66.
4- Visit The Tulsa Zoo
The 85-acre (34 ha) Tulsa Zoo is a non-profit organisation that seeks to protect wildlife and their habitats through various initiatives.
You may visit this zoo to see some of the world’s rarest and most elusive animals, such as South American jaguars, Malayan tigers, snow leopards, Chinese alligators, siamangs, and binturongs, among others.
There is also a petting zoo where children can get close to various animals.
Make sure to check out Helmerich Sea Lion Cove, Penguin Habitat, The Rainforest, Lost Kingdom and the Chimpanzee Connection, which offers a glimpse into the private lives of the chimpanzees through a glass.
The zoo also offers regular educational programmes and unique events you can attend during your visit.
Tulsa Zoo is at 6421 E 36th St N, Tulsa, OK 74115.
5- Spend Time At The Gathering Place
The Gathering Place is 70 acres (ha) of riverfront parkland for conservation, recreation, and community use.
Visitors can choose from outdoor explorations strategically designed to promote learning, interaction, and relaxation.
This riverfront property is highly wooded and offers stunning views of downtown Tulsa.
You can go hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, relax in the gardens, or play a game of basketball or volleyball on the sports courts.
The Gathering Place has much to offer people of all ages and interests.
There are events for children throughout the year, as well as plays, concerts, exhibitions, and sporting tournaments.
The Gathering Place is at 2650 S John Williams Way, Tulsa, OK 74114.
6- Stroll Through The Tulsa Botanic Garden
The Tulsa Botanic Garden, nestled on the shores of a magnificent 7-acre (2.8 ha) lake, is one of the city’s most naturally stunning and scenic spots.
With its abundance of vibrantly coloured plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs, the park’s picturesque walks, pools, and lakeside promenade are a great joy to stroll through peacefully.
Although the garden is still in its early stages, a standout feature is the towering A.R. and the Marylouise Tandy Floral Terrace, where 120,000 spring bulbs are planted each year.
Visitors can wander through the lovely Children’s Discovery Garden and the scenic Lakeside Promenade, which meanders along the lake’s perimeter.
Tulsa Botanic Garden is at 3900 Tulsa Botanic Dr, Tulsa, OK 74127.
7- Explore The Tulsa Air And Space Museum
Visiting the Air and Space Museum near Tulsa International Airport is one of the things to do in Tulsa for any visitor.
Since its inception in 1998, the museum has worked to preserve Oklahoma’s unique aerospace history and heritage.
Highlights include a powerful F-14 Tomcat, one of the only Spartan C-2 aircraft still in existence, interactive activities like flight simulators, and a section specifically designed for teaching children about aviation.
Also part of the museum is The Tuskegee Exhibit, which tells personal stories about the combat pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen, who became heroes with their ground-breaking roles and superb flying abilities.
Tulsa Air And Space Museum is at 3624 N 74th E Ave, Tulsa, OK 74115.
8- See The Golden Driller
A short detour south of Route 66 leads to another one of Tulsa’s many must-see roadside attractions.
The Golden Driller is a 75-foot (23 m) steel frame covered in concrete and plaster that serves as a symbol and honour to the city of Tulsa.
Since its completion in 1953, the massive oil driller has been on display in front of the Tulsa Expo Center, the sixth-tallest statue in the United States.
While the Golden Driller statue is one of Tulsa’s shorter attractions, it is important to the city’s history and should not be overlooked.
When you’ve had your fill of taking pictures, you may attend an event at the expo or visit another one of the city’s attractions.
The Golden Driller is at Tulsa Expo Center, 4145 E 21st St, Tulsa, OK 74114.
9- Explore The Philbrook Museum Of Art
One of the popular things to do in Tulsa is to visit Philbrook, which combines art, history, architecture, and nature.
Located just south of downtown Tulsa at Woodward Park, the museum is housed in a beautiful Italian Renaissance villa which is almost as appealing as the collection itself.
The massive 72-room villa was built for wealthy oilman Waite Phillips and his wife, but Waite donated the house to Tulsa in 1938, and the museum opened the following year.
Its impressive collection includes artwork by famous painters like Picasso and Andrew Wyeth, among many others.
The mansion’s expansive gardens have a sculpture garden in addition to fountains and pools.
Philbrook Museum Of Art is at 2727 S Rockford Rd, Tulsa, OK 74114.
10- Visit The Cave House
The weird yet appealing Cave House, located only steps from Tulsa’s busy downtown, attracts a continuous stream of curious visitors.
According to legend, the home used to be the Cave Garden Restaurant, with guests entering at night through a hidden tunnel into a room carved into the hill.
Because it was the time of Prohibition in America, the Cave House quickly became a popular, secret speakeasy.
One of the city’s most distinctive structures, it provides excellent photo opportunities and tours of its equally offbeat interior.
In addition to taking pictures of its unique design, visitors can request a tour to uncover all its mysteries.
The Cave House is at 1623 Charles Page Blvd, Tulsa, OK 74127.
11- Stroll Through Woodward Park And Gardens
Woodward Park and Gardens is a public park and botanical garden located on South Peoria Avenue in Tulsa.
Opened in 1929, the park was once the private property of Helen Woodward and today includes an elegant mansion, conservatory, and arboretum.
The formal terraces were created in 1935 and contain over 9,000 roses representing 250 exquisite varieties.
While the terraced flower beds and outdoor art pieces are beautiful, the rock gardens, with their streams and little springs, are the highlight.
In addition to exploring the historic mansion and Victorian conservatory within, visitors may take classes, workshops and even tai chi at the garden centre.
Woodward Park And Gardens is at 2435 S Peoria Ave, Tulsa, OK 74114.
12- Visit The Tulsa Arts District
The Tulsa Arts District celebrates creativity and imagination with beautiful attractions showcasing various art styles.
Around every corner in the Tulsa Arts District, there are mind-blowing sights and sounds.
Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa Glassblowing Studio, and The Brady Theater are among the most popular attractions in the area.
The district also has studios, coffee shops, stores, and a confectionary and performance theatre.
If you’re planning a trip to Tulsa, the Arts District should be at the top of your list, as it’s a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend an afternoon or evening.
13- Explore The Blue Dome Entertainment District
A place that truly comes alive at night is the Blue Dome District, which spans nine blocks and is the essence of everything that gives this city a sense of cultural significance.
You will find a range of entertainment options because of its proximity to the downtown area and the Tulsa Arts District.
There are several trendy restaurants and cool bars for visitors to check out, including the comedy club, art galleries, and local boutiques.
These activities should pique your interest in visiting Blue Dome Entertainment District.
14- Try Your Luck At Hard Rock Hotel And Casino
Another exciting thing to do in Tulsa for adults is to try your luck at the gaming tables.
At the Hard Rock Hotel And Casino, feel the rush of a jackpot slot machine, the adrenaline of a perfect blackjack hand or the excitement of a royal flush in front of the world’s best poker players.
You can also admire the rock-n-roll memorabilia and artifacts displayed around the 110,000-square-foot casino floor.
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, as one might expect, also has something for music lovers.
On some nights, you can dance to live music.
Hard Rock Hotel And Casino is at 777 W Cherokee St, Catoosa, OK 74015.
15- Explore The Oklahoma Aquarium
The Oklahoma Aquarium is the largest in the quad-state area, spanning 72,000 square feet and housing aquatic animals across more than 100 exhibits.
Housed in the museum are various marine life species, such as jellyfish, lionfish, seahorses, eels, and sea turtles.
Special exhibits are dedicated to native species, including the alligator gar and the roseate spoonbill.
Observing the wildlife kept here is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the interactions between and among many different species.
There are also interactive exhibits at the aquarium that allow visitors to get up close to the animals, including stingrays, turtles and even baby sharks.
You can spot otters, beavers and raccoons in the Ozark Stream and learn all about sharks at The Shark Adventure, home to one of the best collections of aquarium bull sharks in the world.
The Oklahoma Aquarium is at 300 Aquarium Dr, Jenks, OK 74037.
16- Visit The Oklahoma Jazz Hall Of Fame
The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is housed in the 1931 Art Deco building of the former Tulsa Union Depot in downtown Tulsa, originally the central railway station.
Following extensive renovations, the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame reopened its doors in 2007 to showcase jazz, blues, gospel artists and other music groups.
This museum profiles numerous jazz giants, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Chet Baker Jr.
Visitors learn about how much of an influence Tulsa has had on the evolution of jazz.
This building holds a museum dedicated to Oklahoma music and organises several concerts, arts events and other activities.
Oklahoma Jazz Hall Of Fame is at 111 E 1st St, Tulsa, OK 74103.
17- Spend Some Time At The Discovery Lab
The Discovery Lab is a children’s museum in Tulsa where children of all ages and their families can have fun while learning new things.
One of the highlights for children in the Discovery Lab is the 30-foot (9 m) slide known as the Tape Tunnel, constructed using more than 16 miles (4.8km) of packing tape.
Children can attend camps and after-school programmes at the Discovery Lab focusing on science, technology, engineering, math and the arts throughout the year.
Additionally, there is a Workshop and a Science Lab where visitors may participate and get hands-on with the help of an expert instructor.
The Discovery Lab is at 3123 Riverside Dr, Tulsa, OK 74105.
18- Marvel At The Center Of The Universe
Another quirky attraction is the Center of the Universe, which marks the spot of an unusual acoustic phenomenon that no one understands.
The attraction is not particularly stunning at first glance, consisting mainly of a concrete circle encircled by more concrete circles. But once you step on it and start talking, you’ll see the appeal.
The popular site is associated with an echo effect, and when you stand in the middle of the concrete circle and make a sound, it will echo back to you loudly.
What’s more, those who stand outside the circle can only make out a distorted noise and can’t distinguish what was said.
This attraction in downtown Tulsa has become a famous phenomenon for both locals and visitors and is not to be missed on your trip to the city.
Center Of The Universe is at 1 S Boston Ave, Tulsa, OK 74103.
19- Have Fun At Safari Joe’s H20
Safari Joe’s H2O is an innovative water park that offers a pleasant and refreshing way for families to cool off during the summer.
Given that it is Tulsa’s only water park, it attracts many visitors who come to have fun at attractions like the Wave Pool, a lazy river float and exciting water slides.
In addition to the fantastic water rollercoaster experience known as Raptor Rapids, the park also has volleyball and basketball courts, a children’s adventure playground, and the Tiny Turtle Lagoon.
Visit the Reptile World to enjoy the fun of a conventional water park while also checking out animal exhibits and learning about reptiles and other animals.
You also won’t have to worry about going hungry or thirsty here as there are kiosks and concession stands at the park.
Safari Joe’s H20 is at 4707 E 21st St, Tulsa, OK 74114.
20- Go Shopping At Utica Square
Utica Square in Tulsa is an upscale retail centre with upscale boutiques, specialty shops, old-time department stores, top-notch bistros and eateries.
Some of the high-end stores found here include Anthropologie, Saks Fifth Avenue, Restoration Hardware, Talbots, and Madewell, as well as a chocolate shop and a cigar and pipe shop.
After shopping, stop by Starbucks for a cup of coffee, The Wild Fork for some Italian bread and crab cakes and Stonehorse Café for classic French cuisine.
Enjoy a relaxing pedicure or a hot stone massage at the Ihloff Salon & Day Spa.
Utica Square is at 1709 Utica Square, Tulsa, OK 74114.
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