Sometimes, an exciting trip out of town is all you need to re-energize your senses. When life gets busy, and you could use a break, planning a well-deserved trip to delightful Tulsa, Oklahoma, promises to be a good choice.
Situated in the middle of the state, Tulsa is the second-largest city in terms of population, sitting just behind Oklahoma City. While some know this inviting locale for its reputation as the Oil Capital of the World, others are drawn to its incredible collection of architecture.
In addition to its many art deco designs, Tulsa is home to a thrilling music scene, rich history to discover, and a variety of green spaces and parks for travelers to savor. Whether you’re one for nature, music, history, architecture, or something more—Tulsa is a city that has something for you. The following are a few things to consider adding to your itinerary the next time you’re in town.
15. River Spirit Casino Resort
(image via River Spirit Casino Resort)
River Spirit Casino Resort has a restaurant, casual eateries, table and electronic gambling, and weekend entertainment. River Spirit Casino Resort is much more than just a hotel and casino. It’s a tropical-themed tourist resort that delivers a taste of paradise to Tulsa. Their resort includes a luxurious 483-room hotel that rises 27 stories into the sky, a 30,000 square foot convention and meeting center, a 2,500 seat Paradise Cove Theater for live entertainment and sporting events, a tropical-themed resort pool and bar area, a variety of bars and restaurants, as well as a 50,000 square foot Margaritaville Casino and Margaritaville.
14. The Golden Driller (& Tulsa State Fair)
The Golden Driller is a 75-foot-tall, 43,500-pound oil worker monument in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The construction is made of a steel frame that is coated in concrete and plaster. Since 1966, it has stood in front of the Tulsa Expo Center as the sixth-tallest statue in the United States.
13. Woody Guthrie Center
(image via Woody Guthrie Center)
The Woody Guthrie Center is a public museum and archive in Tulsa, Oklahoma, dedicated to the life and legacy of Woody Guthrie, an American folk musician and singer-songwriter. The archives of folk singer, composer, and fellow social crusader Phil Ochs are also housed at the Center.
12. The Cave House
(image via Tulsa Cave House)
The Cave House is one of those Tulsa landmarks that everyone should see. Great tales, decor, and history. It was built during prohibition as a location to quench your thirst. It’s located a few streets west of downtown with a unique history that dates back to the 1920s, when it was first erected as the Cave Garden Restaurant. According to local legend, the unusual construction formerly had tunnels leading into a hidden area that turned into a speakeasy at night.
11. Gathering Place
(image via Gathering Place)
Gathering Place is a 66.5-acre park in Tulsa, Oklahoma, near the Arkansas River. It is a natural area with widely diversified programs created by the George Kaiser Family Foundation to provide inclusive and engaging experiences for all Tulsans to come together to explore, learn, and play. This is an inclusive space that strives to engage, educate and excite while creating distinct memories for all who gather.
10. Tulsa Zoo
(image via Tulsa Zoo)
The concepts of conservation and education collide for families that spend some time at the Tulsa Zoo while they’re visiting. Located at 6421 E 36th Street North, the Tulsa Zoo is home to more than 1,500 creatures and sprawls over a breathtaking 85 acres.
Whether you’re feeding the giraffes or strolling through the zoo’s rain forest recreations, you’re sure to be inspired. Guests are often thrilled to find out that their visit supports a zoo that’s involved in more than 200 conservation projects across the planet, too!
9. Tulsa Air and Space Museum
(image via Tulsa Air and Space Museum)
Oklahoma has played a significant role in the field of aviation through the decades. If you’re looking to learn more about the history and innovation of aviation, the Tulsa Air and Space Museum is the place to be.
Situated at 3624 N 74th E Avenue, this museum showcases the state’s aviation history while also educating visitors on modern advances in the field. When you drop by, you can get up close to historic aircraft models or visit the planetarium and watch a show about ventures to space. A guided tour is a great way to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
8. Oklahoma Aquarium
(image via Oklahoma Aquarium)
If you find yourself in the vicinity of 300 Aquarium Drive while you’re in town, make sure to pop into the Oklahoma Aquarium. Next, be prepared for an underwater adventure you won’t soon forget!
This aquarium covers an impressive 72,000 square feet of space and hosts the largest exhibit of bull sharks in the nation. This is a great place to visit if you’re in town with kids because it perfectly pairs an engaging experience with education, too.
During a visit, guests can encounter everything from reef sharks and piranhas to eels, loggerhead sea turtles, and more. Whether you’re admiring tropical fish, feeding otters, or learning about marine habitats, you’ll be glad you came.
7. Boston Ave. Methodist Church
(image via Boston Ave UMC)
Sitting at 1301 S Boston Avenue, Boston Avenue Methodist Church is a fascinating place to visit if you are passionate about the city’s rich art deco history. A designated National Historic Landmark, this church has long defined the Tulsa skyline and provides visitors a chance to get a close look at how inspiring the art deco style can be.
The church is home to pristine arched entryways, a beautiful circular dome, and stained-glass windows that might have you lingering longer than you planned. When you’re here, you can admire the 25-foot tower as well as the collection of terra-cotta sculptures. Both guided and self-guided tours of the church are available.
6. Route 66 Historical Village
(image via Route 66 Village)
Route 66 Historical Village is an open-air experience found at 3770 Southwest Boulevard. Visitors who head this way will enjoy a chance to step into the past.
Route 66 Historical Village celebrates Tulsa’s oil boom era by opening up grounds that host authentic steam trains, oil derricks, and even gas stations from a bygone era. It’s an homage to the city’s golden years that led to the prosperity Tulsa enjoys today.
5. Prayer Tower
(image via Oral Roberts University)
Situated at 7777 S Lewis Avenue, Prayer Tower is a terrific testament to Tulsa’s architecture. This structure has a definite space age-inspired vibe designed by Frank Wallace in 1967.
Prayer Tower is found within the parameters of Oral Roberts University and symbolizes the power of prayer. It’s possible to enter the tower by booking a tour to get a closer look at both the observation deck and the many prayer rooms within.
4. Safari Joe’s H2O
(image via Safari Joe's H2O)
Tulsa’s summer weather leans toward the toasty. If you’re traveling this way in the middle of the hot months, feel free to cool off with the entire family in tow at Safari Joe’s H20.
Easily found at 4707 E 21st Street, this popular family splash zone includes a variety of waterslides and rides to enjoy, as well as some small animal exhibits. Whether you’re relaxing on Rex’s River or speeding down Mermaid Mountain, you’re in for a refreshing treat.
3. Tulsa Performing Arts Center
(image via Tulsa Performing Arts Center)
Tulsa is home to a variety of creative minds inspired to share their insight with the public. That’s what makes the Tulsa Performing Arts Center such an exciting place to visit while you’re in town!
Found at 110 E 2nd Street, the Tulsa Performing Arts Center opened in 1977. To this day, it continues to thrill audiences with its array of shows, performances, and concerts.
The performance center houses a studio, art gallery, four theaters, and a reception hall. With over 500 events on the calendar annually, there’s a good chance you’ll find at least one performance you can’t wait to purchase tickets for.
2. The Gilcrease Museum
(image via Gilcrease Museum)
Pursuing knowledge and history through art is a great way to understand American culture at its core. That’s exactly what visitors can enjoy when they put The Gilcrease Museum at the top of their must-visit list.
Located at 1400 N Gilcrease Museum Road, this destination is brimming over with artwork and artifacts. The collection showcases the history of Central and South America with a close lens on the American West.
Those who make their way here will find that the concept of American identity is a central theme, explored through artistic expression specific to various groups, including Europeans, Mexicans, African Americans, Native Americans, and beyond.
Before you go, make sure to check out the museum’s 23 acres of themed gardens and stroll through sections designed to reflect everything from the Victorian era to the pre-Columbian period.
1. The Jazz Hall of Fame
If jazz is the musical genre that speaks to you, visiting the Jazz Hall of Fame in Tulsa is a must. Located at 5 S Boston Avenue, this exciting stop is integrated into the restored historic Tulsa Union Depot, dating back to 1931.
The Hall of Fame launched in 1988. Today, visitors can enjoy browsing exhibits and displays featuring fantastic jazz memorabilia and personal profiles of great musicians. Induction ceremonies happen annually and year-round. The Jazz Hall of Fame hosts classes, seminars, and programs open to the general public.
As you can see, Tulsa has a lot to offer everyone. If you are looking for more things to do in the surrounding area, check out other weekend trips from nearby Tulsa.
These areas are perfect for a quick day trip or a long weekend getaway. Explore our favorite things to do or peruse some pre-built itineraries.
Fifteen Things to do in Tulsa, Oklahoma:
River Spirit Casino Resort
The Golden Driller
Woody Guthrie Center
The Cave House
Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
Boston Ave. Methodist Church
Route 66 Historical Village
Safari Joe’s H2O
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
The Gilcrease Museum
The Jazz Hall of Fame