What to do in booming Oklahoma City

Route 66 is a road trip dream, full of great attractions and quaint towns along the way. Just under 2,500 miles, Route 66 was started in 1926 to use as many pre-existing roads as possible, while connecting Chicago to the wild and growing west. Right in the middle is the booming metropolis of Oklahoma City that you don’t want to miss. Oklahoma City has grown tremendously in recent years, with the Thunder basketball team and the leadership of Mayor David Holt. It’s become a hub of young artists and musicians, entrepreneurs, and even California transplants eager to leave the Golden State. Oklahoma’s life and offerings are said to gradually rival those of Austin, Texas, and Nashville, Tennessee. While that alone makes Oklahoma City a special place to visit, it’s a juxtaposition to the iconic and historic Route 66 that makes it a must-see while traveling this expansive highway. Travelers can experience amazing food, kind people, and – the self-proclaimed best sunsets in the world – at this charming Booming city.


Related: 20 Route 66 Stops Worth Planning Your US Road Trip

Thriving art scene

With the recent opening Oklahoma Contemporary art museum and dark factory, Oklahoma rivals many other major cities for its burgeoning arts scene. Citizens and patrons of Oklahoma City are thrilled to support local art – with events like the Steamroller Printing Festival, Paseo Arts Festivaland the greatest of all, the Arts Festival.

The bustling arts district called The Place district is also widely known for its monthly event – Live on the Plaza! and for his multiple nominations Square walls. It is said that this alley of revolving murals alone makes Oklahoma City one of the “Best cities for street art.


Beyond the visual art, visitors shouldn’t miss the many live music opportunities! Speakeasy on 51st Street hosts a truly amazing weekly jazz jam on Wednesday nights, featuring the best musical talent from Oklahoma City, Tulsa and beyond. tower theater and the brand new Beer City Music Hall are quickly recognized as one of the best sites in the region. The Tower Theatre’s best-kept secret upstairs bar, pony boyis a local favorite for small touring bands, local live music, burlesque shows and dancing the night away.

Award-winning stops for foodies

Oklahoma is known for its many foods and has already received national recognition for its gastronomy as incomparable after being appointed America’s Best New Restaurant by Bon Appetit. Beyond that accolade, Oklahoma City continues to be noted for its incredible and diverse restaurant offering. With farm-to-table options like red roostervegan delights like Picasso on the Paseoand authentic-asian cuisine honoring the fame of the city Asian quarterThere really is something for everyone!


Local favorites also include Pizza Empire, Big Truck Tacos, Pho Cuong, Spark of Scisortail Parkand more!

Related: This Museum Restaurant Serves the Most Iconic OKC Dishes

Third Wave Coffee Haven

Many cities claim to be a shining beacon of third-wave coffee. Oklahoma City, however, is known for its many talented coffee roasters and abundance of Third Wave coffeehouses. Here is a small list of the essential shops for any coffee lover passing through:

Queer-Friendly, Queer-Tastic City Stops

Although sitting in the middle of the Bible Belt, Oklahoma City cannot be missed for its passionate love and support for minority communities. Local politicians like Cyndi Munson, James Cooper and Mauree Turner work tirelessly and pave the way for minorities and queer people to flourish. Now Oklahoma City is nationally recognized for the many inspiring LGBTQ+ landlords and gay-centric spaces.


Rachel Cope, owner and curator of the well-known and beloved 84 Hospitality has been recognized by both The most exciting and Eater as a powerful entrepreneur for his successful chain of restaurants, including Empire Slice House, Goro Ramen, Punk Burger, and more. Cope literally goes the extra mile to make Oklahoma City a thriving, safe, and delightful place for residents and visitors alike.

With rainbow colors and disco balls flying high, Dear common is an eponymous feminist gift shop and DREAM! It is located a short walk from the Flaming Lips’ former studio, now known as the Interactive Art Gallery dark factory. Common Dear has curated a lovely Rainbow House at the Perfect Shop where you can find Pride flags, homemade candles, pens, jewelry, local art, prints and the largest collection of city ​​vinyl stickers.


Located in the historic gay district of 39th Street, Angles is absolutely the best place in town, the most filled with rainbows and Beyonce to dance.

If you’re looking for healthy, sustainable food and community opportunities, Oklahoma City won’t disappoint yet again! Hiss the juice is a local, hip, hip spot for juices and healthy eats, located right in the middle of the Deep Deuce neighborhood.

Flora Bodega is a BIPOC owned by a woman market offering locally grown vegetables, locally made bread and local produce. It’s open daily and is the perfect place to grab a snack or fill a basket for a picnic in one of Oklahoma City’s beautiful parks and gardens.

If travelers are stopping by and need a place to work together for a day, Workflow is a human-centered work and office space, built with respect for the environment and in compliance with health and human standards.

Oklahoma City is also becoming more bike-friendly, with stores like Celestial Cycles and Capitol Cooperativethe first cycling festival Wheeler reviewand the largest weekly group hike, Hide and seek and go cycling. Local and visiting cyclists are enthusiastically joining this growing and diverse community!

Let travelers meet stay downtownin the historic and beautifully designed Bradford House nearby, or out of town a bit in one of the many scenic, Airbnbs campaign; whether you stay in the city or continue beyond its limits, Oklahoma has something for everyone. Route 66 can take you far, but you might not want to leave once you fall in love with OKC like so many do.

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