For a mid-sized city of over 680,000 people, Oklahoma City has plenty to do, see and eat. Top experiences include stops at the new Scissortail Park, a 70-acre green space featuring food trucks, a farmer’s market and recreational activities; Oklahoma City Thunder Basketball Stadium; Oklahoma City National Monument and Museum; and Bricktown, where you’ll find a water taxi that will take you down a canal to restaurants, nightlife, and family-friendly attractions.
Stockyards City, home of Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, Langston’s Western Wear, Oklahoma Opry, McClintock Saloon, Oklahoma Native American Fine Art, Jewelry & Pottery (see Horsehair Pottery), and Oklahoma National Stockyards, run by Kelli, Payne City’s first female president, is also here worth a visit.
And if museums and galleries are your thing, you’ll be in for a real treat with a visit to The Modern Frontier. Choose from world-class institutions like the 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 world’s horse show capital is easy – Will Rogers World Airport offers non-stop 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, food, history or nature, here are the best things to do in 48 hours.
Tomorrow, Day One: The Gilded Acorn
Start your adventure straight with breakfast at an Instagram-worthy hotspot that just opened: The Gilded Acorn. Chef and co-owner Andrew Black is also co-founder and executive chef of Black Walnut and Gray Sweater and has brought his expertise and style to this new concept at The Gilded Acorn. From smoked benedict to sockeye salmon, champagne poached chicken, toast and caviar to roast beet and spinach salad, the fine dining menu here offers something new.
Afternoon, day one: The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Unlike any other museum you’ve ever seen, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is an Oklahoma City treasure. It will take you a couple of hours to wander through each of the galleries. You will see a variety of curated objects 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 – commemorating notable people in the American West.
Exhibits at the museum to 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 (until May 1st) and Looking West through the Windows (until February 19th).
Evening, Day One: The National and Stock & Bond
Check into one of the finest hotels in the state – The National, Autograph Collection. Housed in the former First National Bank building, constructed in 1931, The National at the First National Center offers tasteful, well-appointed guest rooms in a newly opened and restored historic building filled with antiques and golden delights. Borrow opera glasses from reception and take a closer look at the elegant murals and painted ceilings.
Before dinner, enjoy a homemade European cocktail or glass of wine in The Great Hall, widely considered “Oklahoma’s living room.” Full of brilliant Art Deco flair, you’ll love the ambiance when gathering with friends or family, flanked by magnificent marble pew columns and surrounded by four large murals painted by Edgar Spier Cameron in 1931 and the Louisiana transfer, the Sunset Trail and the Louisiana Transfer represent Oklahoma Country Run.
Stock & Bond, a contemporary steakhouse with sauces and trimmings, has become an Oklahoma City staple, which is really saying something considering the number of steakhouses in the city. Pair your meal with one of 300 American whiskeys served neat or in a craft cocktail. People rave about the thoughtfully designed Black Angus USDA Prime Beef menu and the gracious service. Stock & Bond is the best way to end your night and celebrate your first day in Oklahoma City.
Tomorrow, day two: plates
Located at The National near the original intricate ticket booths, Tellers is an experience you won’t soon forget. For breakfast you can’t go wrong with homemade granola, avocado toast, crunchy potatoes and a hot cappuccino. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, Tellers is the ideal spot for a reliable meal in beautiful surroundings.
Afternoon, Day Two: The First Americans Museum and Thirty Nine
The First Americans Museum will likely be a highlight of your time in Oklahoma City. The building itself is an architectural marvel, beautiful and full of references to First American Nations culture and history. Stroll through a horseshoe-shaped layout at this museum and learn about the collective history of Oklahoma’s 39 First American Nations. The signature exhibit Okla Homma at the Tribal Nations Gallery tells the stories of these tribes through art, interactive displays and films in the 270-degree Origins Theater. Visitors are invited to sit in one of the Moving Fire Audio pods and listen to stories. See also Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian items in the WINIKO: Life of an Object exhibit.
After seeing the galleries you will probably be hungry and need a break. Located inside the museum, Thirty Nine offers indigenous dishes using traditional ingredients found in Oklahoma’s 39 recognized tribes. Current menu options, expertly created by regional chef Brad Harris and Emmy-winning chef Loretta Barrett Oden (Potawatomi Nation), include hominy stew, bison burgers and colorful salads.
Evening, Day Two: Distilled Spirits Library
Located in the basement of the iconic bank vault at the First National Center, the Library of Distilled Spirits is as magical as you want it to be. Find a cozy seat and open the menu full of colorful sketches of grown-up drinks presented in fun cocktail glasses. Choose your own adventure experience with two inimitable rooms, The Vault and The Archive, setting the stage for a fun-filled evening.