Today’s collaborative wanderlust post is about a city not too far from my hometown.
Those unfamiliar with the Midwest or with the US in general may know little about Oklahoma City, and what little they do know is colored by the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. Like many states associated with the Old West, Oklahoma has a cosmopolitan modernity that may surprise tourists as they peruse her streets and see how heavily man buns outnumber cowboy hats. Oklahoma is one of only two states in the country to have part of the state’s name incorporated into its capital’s name (other than Indianapolis IN) and when you visit her many famous landmarks there’s a sense of pride in the city and how it honors its past (look close enough and you’ll see ample evidence that this is still a cow town) yet embraces the future with an open heart…
The city offers a range of excellent accommodations to suit all budgets, from the Quality Inn Oklahoma City Airport to the flash Ambassador Hotel to the characterful Colcord. Step out of the front door, however, and you’ll find a city full of personality…
Honor the city’s defining tragedy
Many readers may remember the tragedy of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. This attack on the American heartland was the biggest and most brazen act of domestic terrorism in history and the worst terrorist attack on American soil before 9/11. This tragedy which killed 168 people and injured many more has marked a turning point for the city, the state and the country as a whole. The city bonded together in rejecting militant right wing extremism and embracing togetherness. The Oklahoma City National Memorial stands as a solemn reminder of the dangers of letting hate and division fester in the American heartland. If you’ll be visiting the city, be sure to pay your respects here.
Eat beef… Or don’t
Carnivores will no doubt find heaven in Oklahoma. For all its modernism, the city respects its heritage as a cow town. In Stockyards City you’ll find the site of the world’s biggest live cattle market. The area is home to the famed Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, where you’ll find a sea of heads hidden by cowboy hats under a sign reminding you to eat beef because the West was not, after all, won on salad.
If the eating of meat is anathema to you, however, there are plenty of vegan and vegetarian eateries to suit all tastes. Check out the Green Goodies bakery and The Loaded Bowl for healthy and delicious eats.
Celebrate music in the Deep Deuce district
This celebrated district is known as one of the best jaxx hubs in the MidWest, but there’s more to the area than great jazz. Flaming Lips fans should stop by psychedelic art gallery the Womb where frontman Wayne Coyne can often be found at work. When it comes to food and drink in the area the WSKY lounge offers more diverse whiskeys than you can shake a stick at, and you can even find a gourmet corn dog eaterie called Anchor Down which is located inside a shipping container. Maximum hipster!
This post was a collaborative effort – please check out my disclosure policy page for more details.