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Must-visit Attractions in Oklahoma City

No matter where your interests lie, you’ll never run out of things to see and do in Oklahoma City. Known as “The Big Friendly,” OKC features myriad attractions – from laid-back historic museums to exciting whitewater adventures – that residents of all ages love.

Here are eight OKC destinations you’ll want to visit again and again.

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
620 N Harvey Avenue

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - August 13, 2015: The Oklahoma City National Memorial in downtown Oklahoma City remembering the victims of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995.

Dedicated in 2000, this OKC landmark was erected in honor of the victims, survivors, and those whose lives were affected by the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. A wave of support for the victims and rescuers followed the tragic incident, leading to the construction of the memorial on the site of the Murrah Building, which was destroyed in the bombing. A museum depicting the event and its aftermath was also created at the historic Journal Record Building found beside the memorial. The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial serves as a quiet place of reflection where visitors can honor those who were killed and were affected by the bombing. The Memorial Museum features interactive exhibits about the victims and those whose lives were changed by the bombing.

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street, Oklahoma City

Relive America’s Wild West in the country’s premier Western culture and history institution. Featuring classic and contemporary art, re-creations of turn-of-the-20th-century towns, exhibits, landscaped gardens, and more, the museum celebrates cowboys, rodeos, frontier military, and everything about the West in the days of the pioneers. It includes three Halls of Fame, honoring those who have made exemplary contributions toward promoting and celebrating the heritage of the American West. The Hall of Great Westerners pays tribute to real cowboys; the Hall of Great Western Performers salutes movie or TV cowboys; and the Rodeo Hall of Fame gives recognition to rodeo cowboys.

Museum of Osteology
10301 S. Sunnylane Road

The first-ever skeleton museum in the United States, this 7000-square-foot facility displays hundreds of skulls and skeletons from around the world. The exhibits showcase how various species in the vertebrate kingdom move and adapt to their environment. The skeletons on display are positioned to demonstrate how the animals move. Interactive activities for kids are also featured.

Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden
2101 NE 50th Street, Oklahoma City

Giraffe with the barren trees of winter in Oklahoma City.

Opened in 1902, the zoo is home to more than 500 animal species, including tigers, bears, gorillas, lions, and Galapagos tortoises. The special habitats created for different animal groups and species are truly worth exploring, transporting you to the natural home of these creatures. Interactive exhibits allow visitors to get up close with various animals, such as lorikeets, giraffes, wallabies, and even grizzly bears.

The zoo offers many other attractions, including botanical gardens, a replica of an 1863 train, a butterfly garden, and the ZooZeum, a historical museum that showcases not only everything about the OKC Zoo, but also relics and memorabilia from historic botanical and zoological explorations around the world.

Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch-Drive

Housed in 110,000-square-foot facility built in 2002, this museum is considered the anchor for OKC’s growing cultural district. It includes a permanent exhibit of artworks covering five centuries, with concentration on 19th to 21st century American and European art. The exhibit also includes the world’s largest collections of glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly. Its rotating exhibits include artworks from prestigious museums around the world. Also housed in the museum is a repertory cinema that screens international, classic, and independent films.

Myriad Botanical Gardens
301 W Reno

Encompassing 17 acres, the Myriad Botanical Gardens feature several layers of lushly-landscaped gardens surrounding a sunken lake. Its centerpiece is the Crystal Bridge Conservatory, a 224-foot-long living plant museum encased in a dome made of translucent acrylic panels with double layers. The conservatory supports 750 plant varieties and thousands of butterflies, and features a waterfall and a sky bridge. Several events are held in the gardens every year, including Children’s Garden Festivals, gardening classes, and the OKC Garden Festival.

Oklahoma History Center
800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive

This attraction is located on 18 acres of land and features a 215,000-square-foot learning center housing five galleries of various interactive exhibits. Home to more than 2,000 artifacts from Oklahoma’s history, the center is considered an architectural masterpiece that took a decade to complete. The museum’s collections include Native American art, historical photographs, textiles used throughout the history of Oklahoma, military memorabilia, and more. Outside the museum, visitors can experience the Red River Journey – a walking tour of the Red River Valley where you can learn about landforms, vegetation, oil explorations, and other historical events in the valley.

Overholser Mansion
405 NW 15th Street

Built in 1903 by Henry Overholser, the acknowledged “Father of Oklahoma City”, and his wife, Anna, the Overholser Mansion is considered the first historic mansion in Oklahoma City. Many of the property’s original features have been preserved over the years, including the stained-glass windows from France, the light fixtures from Italy, and carpets from England. The 20-room Victorian style mansion is said to be haunted – one of the many reasons this attraction is highly popular with tourists.

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