Oklahoma City has an incredibly rich history, with visitors likely encountering it throughout all the sites in the state. Today, the state capital stretches across more than 600 miles (965 square km) and is one of the country's major perpetrators of urban sprawl.
But in recent years, the city has been working to reinvent itself and focusing on downtown revitalization with great success. Most attractions of interest to tourists are located in the inner city districts, beginning with Bricktown.
Once a clump of old warehouses, Bricktown is now a vibrant collection of trendy condos, shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs situated along a picturesque canal. Visitors can satisfy their every craving for hardy American fare like steak and barbecue ribs.
Built in the 1920s, the Paseo Arts District boasts a few upmarket cafes, cocktail lounges, and the main draws of galleries and studios. Other attractions include Stockyard City, the largest cattle market in the world. Here, visitors can buy authentic Western attire, watch live auctions, and sample delicious food.
Oklahoma City also has plenty of fun attractions for children and families too. Its parks system is one of the most extensive in the country, and its three nearby lakes are lovely spots for camping, fishing, and water sports.
The city's equestrian events and museums make for enjoyable family outings. There are many memorable activities, including watching the weekend regattas at Lake Hefner in the summer and ice-skating in the winter beneath Christmas lights at Bricktown's outdoor rink.
The Myriad Botanical Gardens are a 17-acre floral paradise right in the centre of downtown Oklahoma City. In addition to flourishing plant life, rolling hills, walkways, sculptures, and a sunken lake, the gardens feature the seven-storey, circular Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory.
The conservatory is an architectural wonder, home to exotic flora as well as lizards, parrots, butterflies, and fish. Visitors take paths that lead under the conservatory's 35-foot (11m) waterfall and enjoy picnics on the grassy lawns.
On the morning of 19 April 1995, Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people when he bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Where the building once stood stands the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, honouring the victims, survivors, and rescue workers of the Oklahoma City Bombing.
The outdoor memorial features symbolic elements including a reflecting pool and a field of empty chairs. It is designed as a haven for those seeking comfort and serenity. The museum chronicles the terrorist attack and aims to teach others about the impact and senselessness of violence.
The mission of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is to preserve and interpret the heritage of the American West. Exhibits include works by the finest contemporary Western artists, as well as by Western masters like Charles Russell.
The 200,000 square foot (60,960 square meter) complex houses multiple galleries, including cowboy, firearms, and Native American galleries, the Prosperity Junction cattle town replica, the interactive Children's Cowboy Corral, and the Western prairie-themed Persimmon Hill Restaurant.
Recognised as one of the top ten zoos in the United States, the Oklahoma City Zoological Park is both a living museum and a botanical garden. Exhibits showcase marine life from around the globe, forest habitats of big cats and bears, and gorilla, orangutan, and chimpanzee enclosures.
There are also displays that illustrate island life, showing off animals that live on islands from the Caribbean to Madagascar. Guests can enjoy a food court, a tram, a rock climbing wall, and paddleboats. The zoo dedicates itself to conservation and providing education to the community.
Visitors to the world's largest stocker/feeder cattle market can watch real Oklahoma cowboys work the livestock or attend a live cattle auction. Stockyards City's Cowtown is home to more than 70 businesses specialising in Western wear, farm and ranch needs, dining, and entertainment. Guided tour buses can be arranged.
Oklahoma City has a humid subtropical climate with frequent swings in temperature. During the winter (December to February), temperatures regularly drop to between 29°F (-2°C) and 50°F (10°C). Warmer air from the south soon mitigates the very cold conditions.
When it does snow, it is light. Autumn is perhaps the most pleasant season, with cool, dry, sunny days continuing until mid-October. Summers (June to August) are very hot, with average temperatures between 68°F (20°C) and 94°F (34°C).
Oklahoma City has a severe weather season lasting from March to August, when thunderstorms and tornadoes are most likely. Oklahoma City is considered one of the most tornado-prone cities in the country, especially during April and May.
One of the most respected visual and performing arts events of its type, the Red Earth Festival hosts more than 100 Native American tribes from across North America. During this unique celebration of Native American cultures and traditions, thousands of the finest American Indian artists, singers, and dancers showcase their skills.
For almost 40 years, the International Professional Rodeo Association has held this championship event, testing modern cowboys in bronco riding, tie-down calf roping, and other skills. It holds the Miss Rodeo USA Pageant in conjunction, with the winner crowned on the final day of the rodeo.
It's best to rent a car when visiting as Oklahoma City is a sprawling metropolis. Travellers should plan to stay downtown where hotels and attractions cluster together. They can also take advantage of the Oklahoma Spirit trolley service which runs between many major sites.
EMBARK provides bus services But due to Oklahoma City's size, it can be difficult to rely solely on the bus system and taking taxis over such long distances can be expensive. There are also ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft.
Oklahoma City divides into a number of different districts, each with its own attractions. The Adventure District is home to many popular tourist sites, including the City Zoo, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Science Museum Oklahoma, National Softball Hall of Fame and Stadium, and Remington Park Racing & Casino.
The Bricktown Warehouse District has been converted into a restaurant and nightclub hotspot, perfect for exploring Oklahoma City's thriving nightlife. The Arts District offers a number of cultural attractions, including the Museum of Art, Civic Center Music Hall, and Myriad Botanical Gardens.
The Paseo Arts District and NW 39th Street Enclave offer many interesting art galleries, sidewalk cafes, and craft shops. The area also hosts 'First Friday' open houses with live music, and a family-friendly arts festival each Memorial Day weekend.
No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination