Top 10 Best Destinations in Oklahoma, U.S. for Art Lovers

Oklahoma is a midwestern U.S. state whose diverse landscape includes the Great Plains, hills lakes and forests. Oklahoma City, the capital, is home to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, recognizing the state’s pioneer history, and the Bricktown entertainment district, popular for dining and nightlife. The poignant Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum commemorates the bombing here in 1995.

Top 10 Best Destinations in Oklahoma, U.S. for Art Lovers

The cosmopolitan city of Tulsa features cultural institutions such as the Gilcrease Museum, with its large collection of Frederic Remington bronze sculptures, and the Philbrook Museum, housed in the former mansion of an oil magnate. Tulsa's Woody Guthrie Center honors the life of the iconic folk singer. A long, drivable stretch of historic Route 66 runs through the state, and along the way are classic diners and other Americana. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge provides a scenic location for camping, hiking and rock climbing. At the foothills of the Ozarks, Lake Tenkiller offers fishing, boating and a scuba-diving park.

When to visit Oklahoma

Most visitors arrive in summer (May–October) when the weather is hot and mostly dry, though tornadoes are possible March–August. Local events include the Red Earth Native American cultural festival (June) and the Oklahoma State Fair (September), both in Oklahoma City.

10 Best Destinations in Oklahoma, U.S. for Art Lovers at Glance:

  • Tulsa
  • Oklahoma City
  • Norman
  • Shawnee
  • Edmond
  • Stillwater
  • Moore
  • Bartlesville
  • Enid
  • Pauls Valley

1. Tulsa (City in Oklahoma)

Tulsa is a city on the Arkansas River, in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. It’s known for its art deco architecture, mostly in the central Deco District. Landmarks like the Philcade and Philtower buildings reflect a 20th-century construction boom fueled by the prosperous local oil industry. The Philbrook Museum of Art is housed in an Italianate villa that was once the home of a local oil magnate.

The Gilcrease Museum shows art and artifacts from the American West, including Native American pieces. The central Brady Arts District is home to prominent cultural institutions like the Brady Theater and Cain’s Ballroom. The BOK Center hosts major concerts and sporting events. Tulsa Opera, Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and Tulsa Ballet all perform at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. South of downtown, Tulsa River Parks includes a network of riverside trails. To the northeast, huge Mohawk Park has a lake and trails, a golf course and the Tulsa Zoo. Nearby is the interactive Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium.

When to visit Tulsa

The city’s many businesses and arts institutions draw a steady influx of visitors year-round. Peak season is May–Aug, when the weather can be hot. The long-running Tulsa International Mayfest (May), held downtown, is a popular annual event showcasing art, music, food and family-friendly entertainment. The 4-day Tulsa Oktoberfest (October) at the River West Festival Park celebrates German beer, cuisine and music.

Things to do:

A- Philbrook Museum of Art

Philbrook Museum of Art

Philbrook Museum of Art is an art museum with expansive formal gardens located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The museum is located in a former 1920s villa, "Villa Philbrook," the home of Oklahoma oil pioneer Waite Phillips and his wife Genevieve.

Address: 2727 S Rockford Rd, Tulsa, OK 74114, United States.

B- Gilcrease Museum

Gilcrease Museum

Gilcrease Museum is a museum located northwest of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma. The museum houses the world's largest, most comprehensive collection of art of the American West, as well as a growing collection of art and artifacts from Central and South America.

Address: 1400 N Gilcrease Museum Rd, Tulsa, OK 74127, United States.

2. Oklahoma City (City in Oklahoma)

Oklahoma City is the capital of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. It's known for its cowboy culture and capitol complex, surrounded by working oil wells. The reflecting pool and empty glass and bronze chairs of the Oklahoma City National Memorial recall the victims of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The Survivor Tree, an American elm nearly destroyed in the attack, is also part of the memorial.

In the city center, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum displays Native American and pioneer art, plus cowboy memorabilia. Just south, Bricktown is a revitalized warehouse district offering shops, galleries, restaurants and breweries. It features Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, home of the Oklahoma City Dodgers, and the American Banjo Museum, exploring the instrument's history. The nearby Oklahoma City Museum of Art contains works by glass artist Dale Chihuly, while the art deco Civic Center Music Hall hosts shows and concerts. Across the Oklahoma River, Stockyards City puts on one of the world’s largest cattle markets.

Things to do

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

The Oklahoma City National Memorial is a memorial in the United States that honors the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were affected by the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995.

Address: 620 N Harvey Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, United States.

3. Norman (City in Oklahoma)

Norman is a city in the U.S. state of Oklahoma located 20 miles south of downtown Oklahoma City. As the county seat of Cleveland County and a part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, its population was 110,925 at the 2010 census. Norman's estimated population of 122,843 in 2017 makes it the third-largest city in Oklahoma. Norman was settled during the Land Run of 1889, which opened the former Unassigned Lands of Indian Territory to American pioneer settlement.

The city was named in honor of Abner Norman, the area's initial land surveyor, and was formally incorporated on May 13, 1891. Economically the city has prominent higher education and related research industries, as it is home to the University of Oklahoma, the largest university in the state, with nearly 32,000 students enrolled. The university is well known for its sporting events by teams under the banner of the nickname "Sooners," with over 85,000 people routinely attending football games. The university is home to several museums, including the Fred Jones Jr.

Things to do:

A- Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum located on the campus of the University of Oklahoma. The museum was founded in 1899 by an act of the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature, and opened its doors on its current location in 1999.

Located in: The University of Oklahoma
Address: 2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman, OK 73072, United States.

B- Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art

Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is an art museum on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman, Oklahoma.

Located in: The University of Oklahoma
Address: 555 Elm Ave, Norman, OK 73019, United States.

4. Shawnee (City in Oklahoma)

Shawnee is a city in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 29,857 in 2010, a 4.9 percent increase from 28,692 at the 2000 census. The city is part of the Oklahoma City-Shawnee Combined Statistical Area; it is also the county seat of Pottawatomie County and the principal city of the Shawnee Micropolitan Statistical Area. With access to Interstate 40, Shawnee is about 45 minutes east of the attractions in downtown Oklahoma City. To the east and northeast, Shawnee is 112 miles from the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System which provides shipping barge access to the Gulf of Mexico.

Things to do

A- Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art

Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art

The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art is a non-profit art museum in Shawnee, Oklahoma, USA. It is located on what was the campus of St. Gregory's University, said campus now being leased to Oklahoma Baptist University.

Address: 1900 W MacArthur St, Shawnee, OK 74804, United States.

5. Edmond (City in Oklahoma)

Edmond is a city in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, United States, and a part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area in the central part of the state. As of the 2010 census, the population was 81,405, making it the sixth largest city in the state of Oklahoma. The city borders the northern boundary of Oklahoma City.

Three major highways connect Edmond to downtown Oklahoma City: U.S. Route 77, which runs through the center of Edmond, and Interstate 35, which runs along the eastern side. Public transportation is provided by Citylink Edmond bus service. Additionally historic U. S. Route 66 enters Edmond from the east as it passes just north of Arcadia Lake to join 2nd Street. As U. S. Route 66 continues west on 2nd Street it joins U. S. Route 77 in downtown Edmond where it turns south as Broadway.

Things to do:

Arcadia Round Barn

Arcadia Round Barn

The Arcadia Round Barn is a landmark and tourist attraction on historic U.S. Route 66 in Arcadia, Oklahoma, United States. It was built by local farmer William Harrison Odor in 1898 using native bur oak boards soaked while green and forced into the curves needed for the walls and roof rafters.

Address: 107 OK-66, Arcadia, OK 73007, United States.

6. Stillwater (City in Oklahoma)

Stillwater is a city in northeast Oklahoma at the intersection of US-177 and State Highway 51. It is the county seat of Payne County, Oklahoma, United States. As of 2012, the city population was estimated to be 46,560, making it the tenth largest city in Oklahoma. Stillwater is the principal city of the Stillwater Micropolitan Statistical Area which had a population of 78,399 according to the 2012 census estimate. Stillwater was part of the first Oklahoma Land Run held on April 22, 1889 when the Unassigned Lands were opened for settlement and became the core of the new Oklahoma Territory.

The city charter was adopted on August 24, 1889. Stillwater is home to the main campus of Oklahoma State University as well as Northern Oklahoma College - Stillwater, Meridian Technology Center, and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. Stillwater has a diverse economy with a foundation in aerospace, agribusiness, biotechnology, optoelectronics, printing and publishing, and software and standard manufacturing. The city operates under a council-manager government system. The city's largest employer is Oklahoma State University.

Things to do:

A- National Wrestling Hall Of Fame & Museum

National Wrestling Hall Of Fame & Museum

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum and hall of fame for amateur wrestling, headquartered in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2010, it began operating the Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa.

Located in: Oklahoma State University

Address: 405 W Hall of Fame Ave, Stillwater, OK 74075, United States.

B- Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar

Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar

This museum offers exhibits exploring the history of the region from the 1880s to the present.

Address: 702 S Duncan St, Stillwater, OK 74074, United States.

7. Moore (City in Oklahoma)

Moore is a city in Cleveland County, Oklahoma, United States, and is part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. The population was 55,081 at the 2010 census, making Moore the 7th largest city in the state of Oklahoma. Located between Oklahoma City and Norman, the city has been the site of several devastating tornadoes, with those occurring in 1999 and 2013 receiving international attention.

Things to do:

Museum of Osteology

Museum of Osteology

The Museum of Osteology, located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, North America, is a private museum devoted to the study of bones and skeletons. This museum displays over 350 skeletons from animal species from animals all over the world.

Address: 10301 S Sunnylane Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73160, United States.

8. Bartlesville (City in Oklahoma)

Bartlesville is a city mostly in Washington County in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The population was 35,750 at the 2010 census, with a 2018 estimate of 36,423 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Bartlesville is 47 miles north of Tulsa and 18 miles south of the Kansas border. It is the county seat of Washington County. The Caney River runs through Bartlesville. Bartlesville is the primary city of the Bartlesville Micropolitan area, which consists of Washington County and had a population of 51,843 in 2018. A small portion of the city is in Osage County.

The city is also part of the Tulsa Combined Statistical Area, with a population of 1,151,172 in 2015. Bartlesville is notable as the longtime home of Phillips Petroleum Company. Frank Phillips founded Phillips Petroleum in Bartlesville in 1905 when the area was still an Indian Territory. The company merged with Conoco as ConocoPhillips and later split into the two independent companies, Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips. Both companies have retained some operations in Bartlesville, but they have moved their corporate headquarters to Houston.

Things to do:

A- Price Tower Arts Center

Price Tower Arts Center

Frank Lloyd Wright's 19-story landmark, with tours, an art & design museum, a hotel & a restaurant.

Address: 510 Dewey Ave, Bartlesville, OK 74003, United States.

B- Phillips Petroleum Company Musuem

Phillips Petroleum Company Musuem

Museum devoted to the history, heritage & innovations of the Phillips Petroleum Company.

Address: 410 S Keeler Ave, Bartlesville, OK 74003, United States.

9. Enid (City in Oklahoma)

Enid is a city in Garfield County, Oklahoma, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 49,379, making it the ninth-largest city in Oklahoma. It is the county seat of Garfield County. Enid was founded during the opening of the Cherokee Outlet in the Land Run of 1893, and is named after Enid, a character in Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King. In 1991, the Oklahoma state legislature designated Enid the "purple martin capital of Oklahoma." Enid holds the nickname of "Queen Wheat City" and "Wheat Capital" of Oklahoma and the United States for its immense grain storage capacity, and has the third-largest grain storage capacity in the world.

Things to do:

Railroad Museum of Oklahoma

Railroad Museum of Oklahoma

The Railroad Museum of Oklahoma is a railroad museum located in the former Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe freight depot in Enid, Oklahoma. The museum began in 1977 and is a non-profit operated by the Enid chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.

Address: 702 N Washington St, Enid, OK 73701, United States.

10. Pauls Valley (City in Oklahoma)

Pauls Valley is a city in and the county seat of Garvin County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 6,187 at the 2010 census, a decline of 1.1 percent from 6,256 at the 2000 census. It was settled by and named for Smith Paul, a North Carolina native who married a Chickasaw woman and became a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation before the Civil War. The town economy is largely based on agriculture and oil production.

Things to do:

The Toy & Action Figure Museum

The Toy & Action Figure Museum

Address: 111 S Chickasaw St, Pauls Valley, OK 73075, United States.


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