From its days as the Old West to its modern history as a home to the busy metropolis, Oklahoma is a tourist boon bustling with things to see and do. Visitors of all ages will find an attraction that fits their own definition of fun in one of the many unique activities and historic sites open to the public.
Take a trip back in time or experience a safari’s wonders up close with giraffes and ostrich; sample a “beefalo” burger or admire the breathtaking artwork of a beautifully-restored cinema palace. Dining, historic tours, and family fun are all waiting within Oklahoma’s borders for visitors longing for a new vacation location.
Woolaroc Ranch in Bartlesville
From the moment visitors drive through the gates, they encounter evidence that Woolaroc is a special place. Exotic animals roam behind protective fences, with bison and elk feeding in the fields. The house’s decor features unique pine bark furnishings and impressive game trophies in an eclectic decor promoted by the ranch’s original owner, fuel baron Frank Phillips.
The ranch’s museum dedicates displays to the history of Oklahoma’s oil production, its colorful western history, and the legendary 101 Ranch and its cowboy lifestyle. Behind glass cases lay unusual displays, from Iroquois artifacts to shrunken heads from South America.
The Tulsa Zoo in Tulsa
Visit the Tulsa Zoo to experience one of the state’s biggest family attractions. Beautifully landscaped with spacious grounds for the animal population, visitors follow the walking paths to observe giraffes and zebra running across the grassy plains or an ostrich grooming along the fence.
Glimpse exotic birds and active monkeys in the tropical rain forest zone; see elephants and big cats up-close from the safety of observation points in the Asia section. The zoo features an aquarium section for its island and ocean animal residents, giving its patrons a glimpse of these unique animals at play. The zoo hosts gift shops and food vendors so families can transform the experience into an all-day visit.
Har-Ber Village in Grove
Step back in time on the grounds of Har-ber Village, a historic site featuring antiques and regional history in a self-guided tour. The village hosts a series of buildings housing antiques, vintage collectibles, and foreign curiosities. Glassware, jewelry, toys, and furniture are only a handful of the collections on display behind glass cases and museum ropes.
Some of the historic features include a gallows representing the history of early capital punishment, along with a courthouse and schoolhouse representing the original conditions of the 1800s. Collections and antiques are arranged thematically to correspond with the history of the building whenever possible.
Miami’s Coleman Theater
The pride of the community of Miami, this original movie palace known as the Coleman Theater is lovingly restored to its original glory. Once home to “moving pictures” during the heydey of cinema palaces, the theater is one of the remaining few left standing following the rise of the drive-in theater and modern theater designs.
Featuring pristine gilding, crystal chandeliers, and theater velvet, the restored theater now plays host to community events, including plays, silent film retrospects, and other entertainment opportunities for visitors interested in attending a performance at the restored theater.
The state of Oklahoma is home to plenty of vacation possibilities for families, history buffs, and curious tourists seeking someplace new. Celebrate America’s rich history of the West or its thriving cultural centers by spending a summer exploring some of Oklahoma’s unique attractions.