For a midsized city with over 680,000 residents, Oklahoma City has plenty to do, see, and eat. Top experiences include stops at the new Scissortail Park, a 70-acre green space with food trucks, a farmers market, and recreational activities; Oklahoma City Thunder basketball stadium; Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum; and Bricktown, where you can find a water taxi that will transport you down a canal past restaurants, nightlife, and family-friendly attractions.
Stockyards City, home to Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, Langston’s Western Wear, Oklahoma Opry, McClintock Saloon, Oklahoma Native American Fine Art, Jewelry & Pottery (see horse hair pottery), and Oklahoma National Stockyards, led by the city’s first-ever female president, Kelli Payne, is worth a visit as well.
And, if museums and galleries are your thing, you’re in for a real treat with a visit to The Modern Frontier. Choose from world class institutions like Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma Contemporary, Exhibit C Gallery, Porcelain Art Museum, Red Earth Art Center, Science Museum Oklahoma, American Banjo Museum, and Oklahoma History Center.
Exploring the Horse Show Capital of the World is simple—the Will Rogers World Airport offers nonstop service to 28 airports in 24 cities across the country, from Seattle to Orlando and everywhere in between. Whether you’re interested in art and culture, dining, history, or the outdoors, here are the top things to do in 48 hours.
Morning, Day One: The Gilded Acorn
Start your adventure off right with breakfast at an Instagram-worthy hot spot that just opened: The Gilded Acorn. Executive chef and co-owner, Andrew Black, is also the co-founder and executive chef of Black Walnut and Grey Sweater and he’s brought his expertise and style to this new concept at The Gilded Acorn. From smoked benedict, to sockeye lox, champagne poached chicken, toast and caviar, and roasted beet and spinach salad, the elevated menu here offers something newfangled.
Afternoon, Day One: The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Unlike any other museum you’ve ever seen before, The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is an Oklahoma City treasure. You’ll need a few hours to wander through each of the galleries. You’ll see a myriad of curated items that celebrate and honor our country’s unique western history, art, and culture. See the American Cowboy, American Rodeo, Art of the American West, Museum of the Frontier West, Native American, Prosperity Junction, Sculpture, and Western Performers galleries.
The museum also has three Halls of Fame—Hall of Great Westerners, Hall of Great Western Performers, and Rodeo Hall of Fame—which memorializes notable people in the American West.
Exhibitions to the museum, which can be seen in 2023, include outLAWman (through May 7), Traditional Cowboy Arts Exhibition & Sale (through January 2), Sombreros Texanas and Bosses of the Plaines (through January 8), Art of the Northwest Coast (through May 1), and Looking Through the Windows to the West (through February 19).
Evening, Day One: The National and Stock & Bond
Check into one of the most stunning hotels in the state—The National, Autograph Collection. Situated in what was once the First National Bank Building, built in 1931, The National at the First National Center offers tasteful well-appointed guest rooms inside of a newly opened and restored historic building full of antiques and golden delights. Borrow opera glasses from the front desk and get a closer look at the elegant murals and painted ceilings.
Before dinner, enjoy a craft European cocktail or a glass of wine in The Great Hall, largely considered “Oklahoma’s Livingroom”. Full of brilliant Art Deco panache, you’ll love the ambiance as you connect with friends or family, flanked by magnificent marble bank columns and surrounded by four large murals painted by Edgar Spier Cameron in 1931 depicting the Louisiana Transfer, Sunset Trail, and the Oklahoma Land Run.
Stock & Bond, a modern sauce and ingredient-driven steakhouse, has become an Oklahoma City staple, which is really saying something given the number of steakhouses in the city. Pair your meal with one of the 300 American Whiskeys, brought to you straight or in a craft cocktail. Folks rave about the judiciously curated menu, with Black Angus USDA Prime beef, just as much as they gush about the amiable service. Stock & Bond is the best way to end your evening, celebrating your first day in Oklahoma City.
Morning, Day Two: Tellers
Located inside The National near the original intricate teller booths, Tellers is an experience you won’t soon forget. For breakfast, you can’t go wrong with house made granola, avocado toast, crispy potatoes, and a hot cappuccino. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, Tellers is the go-to spot for a reliable meal in a beautiful setting.
Afternoon, Day Two: The First Americans Museum and Thirty Nine
The First Americans Museum is likely to be a highlight of your time in Oklahoma City. The building itself is an architectural marvel, beautiful and full of nods to First American Nations’ culture and history. At this museum, you’ll wander around a horseshoe-shaped floorplan and learn about the collective histories of Oklahoma’s 39 First American Nations. The signature exhibition, Okla Homma, located in the Tribal Nations Gallery, tells the stories of these tribes through art, interactive displays, and film in the 270-degree Origins Theater. Visitors are invited to sit and listen to stories inside one of the Moving Fire audio pods. See also items from Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in the WINIKO: Life of an Object exhibit.
After seeing the galleries, you’ll likely be hungry and in need of a break. Thirty Nine, located inside the museum, features indigenous-inspired fare utilizing traditional ingredients found in the 39 recognized tribes of Oklahoma. Current menu options, expertly created by regional executive chef, Brad Harris and Emmy award-winning chef, Loretta Barrett Oden (Potawatomi Nation), include hominy stew, bison burgers, and colorful salads.
Evening, Day Two: Library of Distilled Spirits
Located in the basement of the iconic bank vault, inside the First National Center, the Library of Distilled Spirits is every bit of magic that you’d hope it would be. Find a cozy seat and open the menu full of multi-hued sketches of adult beverages, presented in fun cocktail glasses. It’s a choose your own adventure experience with two inimitable spaces, The Vault and The Archive, which sets the scene for a fun night out.