OKLAHOMA CITY • TULSA • MUSKOGEE • ELK CITY
Why You Need to Visit Oklahoma
Why book a bus ticket to Oklahoma? A world of adventure, history, and beautiful scenery awaits you. It’s as simple as that. Whether you’re curious about its rich past, want to make sure the locals know which college football team you support, or just love country music, then this is a state definitely worth the visit.
A Brief History of Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a bit of a baby as American states go. It was the 46th to be admitted to the Union in 1907. But its place in oil history began several years before that, in 1897, when an oil column erupted along the Caney River in Bartlesville. Before long, other oilfields were discovered, all drawing national attention and encouraging travelers to head to Oklahoma in their search for riches. But there’s so much more to this state’s history than the obvious. The first parking meter in the world was built in Oklahoma City in 1935. The shopping cart was invented by an Oklahoman, as was the electric guitar. And some of the world’s most noteworthy celebrities and influencers were born here, including Will Rogers and Ron Howard.
A Spotlight on Oklahoma Culture
If the idea of visiting friendly communities interests you, then you’ll find no better reason to book a bus ticket to Oklahoma. Residents of the Sooner State are nothing if not warm and inviting, and they’ll welcome you with open arms. College football is everything here, and whether they’re fans of the Oklahoma Sooners or the Oklahoma State Cowboys, you can bet you’ll never meet anyone more loyal to a team. And while everyone isn’t an actual cowboy, you’re sure to see plenty of people wearing cowboy boots everywhere you go. The state is synonymous with fried food — is it any wonder that fried pie, fried okra, and fried catfish are found on so many menus across the state? Oklahoma has also produced some of the country’s most renowned country singers, including Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, and Carrie Underwood. Is it any wonder there are so many festivals held everywhere from Elk City to Oklahoma City?
Where to Go and Stay in Oklahoma
There’s always something fun happening in the state’s capital of Oklahoma City. It’s largely representative of all that is best about the state itself: there’s an actual oil well beneath the capitol building, and cowboy life is alive and well here. In fact, you can learn all about it at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Other important stops to visit include the sobering Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Another art museum worth visiting is the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, approximately 20 miles outside of town in nearby Norman. If you’re traveling with the kids, head for the rides and slides at White Water Bay, explore the wooded trails at Martin Park Nature Center or stroll around the 17-acre Myriad Botanical Gardens. When it’s time to wind down, check out Bricktown. The brilliant district is packed with funky shops and dining establishments.
Once considered the oil capital of the world, Tulsa sits along on the Arkansas River. It’s home to many incredible attractions, including the Tulsa Zoo, the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium, and the Philbrook Museum of Art, which is set within an elegant mansion. Delve into regional artwork at the Gilcrease Museum, where you can explore a rich collection of western and Native American works. Kids will love every minute of their time inside the interactive Tulsa Children’s Museum Discovery Lab. It’s also worth checking out one of the city’s most unusual sites: the Blue Whale of Catoosa, a 1972 whale that sits on the side of Route 66.
Providing an authentic glimpse at Native American history and culture, Muskogee is well worth a visit if you’re fascinated by the region’s past. The city is home to many notable attractions, including the Five Civilized Tribes Museum. The exhibits here honor the Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Cherokee, and Seminole tribes. You can also learn about the legendary USS Batfish, a World War II submarine that sank three enemy submarines during the war, at Muskogee War Memorial Park.
If you’re fascinated by the Old West, pay a visit to Elk City before you head anywhere else. There’s a sense that you’ve stepped back in time when you arrive here. Learn about the city’s fascinating past at the Old Town Museum Complex, or honor one of the nation’s most celebrated roads at the National Route 66 Museum. You can even tour a livery stable and an old chapel to get a glimpse of what life was like during the city’s formative years.
Relaxed and family-friendly, McAlester is a great place to visit if you just want to see how the locals live. Despite its lived-in, low-key reputation, there are some noteworthy attractions here, including the Oklahoma State Penitentiary Museum — if you’re interested in true crime, that is — and the historic OKLA Theatre, which opened its doors in 1931.
Love nature? Then you’ll really love Ardmore. The charming city is home to Lake Murray State Park, which is both the oldest and most spacious in the state. When you aren’t enjoying the 5,700-acre waters, you can play a round of golf with some locals. If you’re with your family, tour the fossil collection at the nearby Tucker Tower Nature Center. And if you wander down the classic Main Street, you’ll come across everything from art galleries to chic boutiques.