**Full Disclosure: This trip was put together and hosted by the Oklahoma City CVB and their partners. All opinions are my own.
With only ten days until Christmas, I packed my bags and caught a flight to Oklahoma City. I was meeting my blogging BFF, FindingDebra, for a few days. We were escaping the hustle & bustle of the Christmas season to spend time reconnecting with each other while exploring the city that is just a day’s drive for either of us. I’ll speak for both of us when I say we had an amazing time exploring and relaxing!
My uncle & his family live in Oklahoma so I’ve been there several times but I’ve never made the time to do anything other than visit with them. This trip had me thinking – what IS there to do in Oklahoma City?! When you think of Oklahoma, what comes to mind? Native Americans, horses and gambling or family-friendly fun and delicious restaurants?
The itinerary laid out for us included staying at a unique hotel, eating – LOTS of eating (one of my favorite things to do), and discovering some really neat hidden gems located right in downtown Oklahoma City!
Downtown OKC Districts –
Downtown Oklahoma City is divided into 8 different sections.
- Automobile Alley
- Plaza District
- Business District/City Center
- Arts District
- Film Row
- Deep Deuce
There is a Streetcar available for $1+. It makes its way around two different loops which cover at least a portion of Bricktown, Midtown and City Center.
Tip: If you are planning to ride the streetcar more than 3 times in one day, you should consider the 24-hour day pass.
Food in downtown oklahoma city –
Downtown Oklahoma City has a gigantic selection of top notch restaurants. These are just a few of the places I dined:
- Café Kacao
- This is an OKC breakfast hot spot featuring a menu full of homestyle Guatemalan favorites & Latin-themed cuisine!
- Tip: Make your reservation through YELP! before you go or you might wait a long time!
- Cheever’s Café
- Cheever’s is an elegant bistro which offers upscale Southwestern & Southern cuisine.
- The food was AMAZING. I had the Beef Short Ribs with mashed potatoes and I’ll be dreaming about that dish until I go back!
- Tip: Order dessert – get the Ice Cream Ball!
- Fun Fact: The building housed the Cheever’s and their flower shop until the mid-90s.
- Kitchen 324
- The industrial cafe/bakery is located in a historic building and prepares elevated comfort fare & artisanal sweets.
- I’m not a fan of poached eggs but had the Open Faced Toast. I can’t imagine eating that dish any other way. YUM!
- The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen
- What started as a food truck is now an eatery serving wood-fired pizza, beer & wine in an industrial-chic space with a rooftop patio.
- Tip: Quinn’s Burrata, Lasagna Pizza on The Amanda and Butterscotch Pot de Creme are must-try items, I’d say!
- Mary Eddy’s
- Situated just inside 21c Museum Hotel, enjoy a meal in this relaxed restaurant.
- The menu is full of healthy, tasty choices. I enjoyed the Brussels Sprouts and the Bolognese.
- Secret: Your bill will come with a mug full of Grape Cotton Candy, and it’s delicious!
- Waffle Champion
- Offering counter-service and featuring unique waffle sandwiches, this restaurant is casual with airy digs and outdoor seating.
- I ordered the S’mores Waffles and they were OUT OF THIS WORLD! But maybe order a side of bacon or an egg so you don’t sugar crash.
- Tip: If you intend to visit on a weekend, plan to wait. The line is often out the door.
- Bricktown Brewery (inside Remington Park)
- The Turkey Pot Pie was unlike any pot pie I’ve ever had – it was delicious but far too big for one person.
- Tip: Look for the “Brick Twisted” items on the menu to see how they’ve spun regular comfort foods to fit the restaurant style.
- Pie Junkie
- A tiny, locally-owned bakery offering whole pies & slices with traditional & inventive fillings.
- I wanted to try the Bird Dog Buttermilk so I got that one. If you don’t drink alcohol, pass on this option. The Holiday Mint was good and I’ve heard rave reviews about the Peanut Butter Chocolate.
- Jones Assembly
- The Jones Assembly was far and away the coolest building we dined in. In the 1930s, it was the Fred Jones Manufacturing Plant and is now a cool combination of modern and vintage.
- The food was a little fancier than I typically eat so I stuck with pizza but it was tasty and very filling. Debra ordered the Steak Frites and it looked good, too!
It’s hard to say that ONE of these places was a favorite. I enjoyed them all so much!
places to see & Things to do –
There are so many things to do and see in Oklahoma City. During my short visit, I saw/visited:
- Factory Obscura Mix Tape
- Is an Oklahoma City-based art collective creating immersive experiences that awaken wonder, build community and make the world better.
- While Factory Obscura is very fun, I suggest you open your mind before you walk in. It’s a funky venue that pulls you out of your comfort zone with immersive installations.
- Oklahoma City Museum of Art
- Part of the permanent collection includes a large installation of art glass by Dale Chihuly. It’s located on the 3rd floor and will take your breath away!
- Special Exhibit – Renewing the American Spirit: The Art of the Great Depression (through April 26, 2020)
- Myriad Gardens
- A 17-acre botanical garden and interactive urban park, the Gardens is home to multiple tiers of densely landscaped areas that surround a sunken lake.
- During the winter months, take advantage of Illuninations inside the gardens or ice skating just outside.
- Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
- The Memorial & Museum was created to honor the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were affected by the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995.
- There are over 70,000 artifacts cataloged and the FBI has turned over all evidence from the horrific event to the museum.
- If you are visiting with a group of 10+, you can make a reservation for an archives tour. It will probably make you cry, but it’s beyond interesting and I highly recommend it.
- Tip: Allow at least a few hours to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. The museum closes at 6 p.m. but the memorial grounds are open 24 hours a day. I could have spent much more time mourning people I’d never known, learning about the trial and observing the grounds.
- Udånder is a Scandinavian inspired spa.
- The facility includes an aromatherapy steam room, dry sauna, soaking tubs, a communal relaxation area, three treatment rooms and a locker room with showers.
- Tip: Try the Geranium + Eucalyptus & Orange foot soak!
- Remington Park (they have a year-round casino & horse races during certain seasons)
- Remington Park is always open and offers plenty of options when it comes to enjoying a winning experience. The Casino offers non-stop jackpot gaming every day of the year. Remington Park features two live racing seasons with American Quarter Horses in the spring and Thoroughbreds throughout the fall.
- Tip: All ages are welcome but you must be 18+ to enter the casino or wager on races.
- Plaza Walls
- Other cities offer fun walls that make for fantastic photo opps. OKC has this awesome, offbeat, hideaway featuring an array of colorful street art murals created by local artists!
- With over 30 murals, the walls are transformed every year by over 25 artists.
- Painted Door
- Painted Door is a locally owned boutique which has been open for 27 years and counting!
- The boutique has something for everyone – apparel, jewelry, wedding gifts, note cards, infant items, Oklahoma goodies, kitchen accessories and much more!
- Secret: Painted Door offers complimentary gift wrapping!
Where to Stay in okc –
- 21C Museum Hotel
- Is a contemporary art museum/boutique hotel with 135 spacious guest rooms reminiscent of a loft apartment in New York.
- The former home of a Ford Motor Company assembly plant, the hotel houses 25 purple penguins which can be found all over – in the lobby, elevators, restaurant, guest rooms, and often, where you least expect them!
- Offers complimentary shuttle service within a 2 mile radius of the hotel.
I had such an incredible time exploring downtown Oklahoma City! I can’t wait to take my family back (maybe this summer?!) so we can partake in summer activities like white water rafting!
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