Although it has made great modernizing strides, this spirited and revitalized city still pays homage to its fascinating frontier heritage.
While it’s inextricably associated with the bombing of 1995, Oklahoma City has managed to bounce back from tragedy and is more cosmopolitan, contemporary and cultured than ever. Learn about its Native American heritage and its development during the Old West era at the city’s museums, then sample its more modern entertainment and dining options.
The story of Oklahoma City’s development is a fascinating one. The settlement came to be during the Great Land Run of April 22, 1889, when thousands of people ran across the border to lay claim to the unassigned land. By the time the day was over, some 10,000 people had settled here and the city was born.
In the present day, the event from Oklahoma City’s past that stands out most is the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The blast, which destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, claimed 168 lives. Visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum to find out more about the event, and pay tribute to the victims at the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial.
Delve into Oklahoma City’s Western heritage at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Its collection includes more than 28,000 pieces of Western and Native American art. Learn more about Native American culture at the Red Earth Art Center. The Red Earth organization also hosts a popular annual festival, Red Earth, which celebrates the traditions of Native arts and cultures.
Get a feel for modern-day life in Oklahoma City at the Bricktown District. Once a dilapidated area with out-of-use warehouses, it has been redeveloped as an entertainment district. Stroll along the canal-side walkway, stop for a drink or dinner or see the Oklahoma City Dodgers play at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
To get to Oklahoma City, drive 205 miles (330 kilometers) north from Dallas or 353 miles (568 kilometers) south from Kansas City. Fly into Will Rogers World Airport or ride the Amtrak train. Once here, use the local bus network and Spirit Trolleys to get around.