Oklahoma City Travel Information

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Oklahoma City -- or OKC, as it is known in the local verbal shorthand -- is a rapidly growing city that has cultivated big-city diversity and modern sensibilities without losing its southern frontier charm. Just over 1 million people call Oklahoma City home; well, the city and the many quiet towns which dot its borders, that is.

Visitors are often surprised upon arriving in this little metropolis: no longer is it the harsh, parched land many imagine -- associating the city with memories of the 1930s "Dust Bowl" Oklahoma. No, this is a land of lakes, forests, rolling green hills, red rock canyons, big sky and beautiful sunsets. And blended into these delightful pockets of nature are the neighborhoods of the city. Every personality and taste has a place here, whether athletic-, artistic-, or business-minded.

Downtown Bricktown
Today, after a multi-year revitalization campaign, Downtown OKC -- dubbed "Bricktown" for its old-fashioned bricked streets -- has truly regained its status as the city's premier dining and entertainment district. Stepping off the Oklahoma Spirit trolley, visitors find themselves in an urban hotbed brimming with good eats and a wealth of diversions. Refined cultural pursuits -- distinguished Ballet Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Philharmonic at the Civic Center Music Hall -- exist alongside those aimed at a sportsman's heart -- Wranglers arena football at the Myriad Convention Center and RedHawk baseball at the new Bricktown Ballpark. Those who come downtown soon find that having fun is a full-time pursuit. Board a Water Taxi and float down the Bricktown Canal, which runs throughout the district, enter a tropical wonderland in the Myriad Botanical Gardens and Crystal Bridge, or join the festivities. There seems to be a perpetual party carrying on in these streets -- any holiday or special event brings out revelers. Downtown is also home to a bittersweet part of city history -- the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Here, visitors can reflect in its quiet solitude and celebrate the lives of the 168 men, women and children who lost their lives on April 19, 1995.

Stockyard City
If Bricktown is the city's modern nucleus, then Stockyard City -- adjacent to downtown -- is the neighborhood of living Oklahoma history. Its main attraction is the National Stockyard Exchange, where cattle auctions are held every Monday and Tuesday. But, a trip here is not complete without taking a meal at Cattlemen's Steakhouse. The 90-year-old restaurant continues to be a symbol of the old cattle baron lifestyle and serves some of the most mouth-watering steaks in the city. At every turn, visitors are reminded of the way of life in frontier times -- stores like Langston's, Shepler's, and Tener's can outfit you in authentic Western duds and performers at the Oklahoma Opry will serenade you with sweet country melodies. Don't pass up an opportunity to journey into this cowboy country.

The Paseo
North of Bricktown, around the area of 30th Street and Dewey, is OKC's only artists' district, the Paseo. Designed in the style of an old Spanish villa, the area's buildings house numerous galleries and studios, along with a few popular restaurants and coffee bars. One such popular meeting place is Galileo's Bar and Grill, an eatery with a Mediterranean flavor, which also hosts a poetry night. Memorial Day brings a flurry of activity to the area, when the annual Paseo Arts Festival is held. As you travel further north on Western, just outside of the Paseo, you will find a seemingly unending path of boutiques, salons, and shops perfect for browsing. Among them is the city's own "Restaurant Row". These six fine dining establishments serve a variety of cuisines and, be assured, some tantalizing tastes await you here.

Northwest, Nichols Hills & The Village
For the finest shopping experience, head to the twin communities of Nichols Hills and the Village, which hold a multitude of upscale boutiques and luxury services. Outlets like Penn Square Mall and 50 Penn Place carry only the most ultra-chic goods. This is the place to be seen -- hands-down the most exclusive area in the city. The larger northwest district revolves largely around one major thoroughfare: the Northwest Expressway. Not really a "neighborhood" per se, the street is synonymous with the district, as it cuts through the entire northwest side of the city and holds many of its dining and shopping treasures. Aside from Bricktown, no other area of the city compares to it in the concentration of commerce and interchange. The area also holds entertainment attractions like the Oklahoma City Art Museum and State Fair Park, as well as outdoor retreats like Hefner Lake, Martin Park Nature Center, and Will Rogers Park.

Northeast
Northeast OKC holds some of the city's most prominent establishments. As home to the State Capitol and governmental district on Lincoln Avenue, it is the power center. It is the place where pols and dealmakers meet -- a heady thought -- but throughout there is also a distinct undercurrent of fun. The world-renown Cowboy Hall of Fame brings western history to life; Frontier City lets you play in a Land-Run-era theme park; ponies thunder and adrenaline surges at Remington Park; the Oklahoma City Zoo delivers an African safari and aquatic harbor to you here in the plains -- and these are just a sampling!

Southside
While not often afforded the attention given to other areas of the city, the southside is an important district in its own right. Home to Will Rogers World Airport, it serves as the travel hub of Oklahoma City, where thousands of travelers come and go. Correspondingly, the surrounding area holds a high concentration of hotels. Respected names like LaQuinta, Holiday Inn, Extended Stay America, Howard Johnson and Ramada are all here, along with many, many others. Whether you are searching for opulent luxury or practical lodging, you are sure to find it. The area seems to be strictly business, but don't be fooled -- clusters of great little eateries and shops are to be found all over.

Historic Route 66 Towns
As you travel west in the city, located along America's historic road, Route 66, are two perfect little towns, Bethany and Yukon. Both just minutes from the heart of the city, these towns specialize in laid-back living. Bethany is home to Southern Nazarene University, but is not a typical rowdy college town. Quiet, tree-lined streets only add to its small-town charm. Around every turn, visitors will find antique and country-flavored gift shops, as well as family-run restaurants. Yukon is similar to Bethany -- a tight-knit, family-oriented community -- but has one major distinction: it is the home of country music legend Garth Brooks. Here you can see the water tower emblazoned with his name in his honor. In these two towns, visitors can experience true Oklahoman hospitality.

Oklahoma City is where the cowboys of the old west still ride -- their thundering hoofbeats echoing through time to be felt as the hearty pulse of life here today. So brush off those dusty memories of an antiquated Oklahoma where covered wagons are the preferred mode of transportation, and meat and potatoes are considered haute cuisine. We're ready to show you a bustling, lively city, combining the best of the good old days with that of present prosperity.

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