Tulsa is the second-most populated metropolis in Oklahoma. And because of its population size, the city teems with diversity.
Tulsa is full of different types of cultures and points of interest.
Aside from the diverse population and culture, Tulsa is also famous for its oil industry.
One can easily say that Tulsa is one of the fascinating cities in the region these days.
Because the city is rich in culture, it is easy to look for activities to do around.
There are museums, parks, dining opportunities, and many more. You will have lots of activities to try when in Tulsa.
And the best thing about it is that you do not need to have a car with you for most of these activities.
If you plan to go to Tulsa, I can only say that the city is an excellent spot for travelers.
Here are the 12 reasons why.
List of Contents
- 1. Woody Guthrie Center
- 2. Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
- 3. Tulsa Historical Society and Museum
- 4. Oklahoma Aquarium
- 5. John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park
- 6. Greenwood Cultural Center
- 7. Tulsa Arts District
- 8. The Philbrook Museum of Art
- 9. The Cave House
- 10. Tulsa Performing Arts Center
- 11. The Prayer Tower
- 12. The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art
1. Woody Guthrie Center
As we see it today, music and society would be completely different if not for Woody Guthrie.
Woody Guthrie is a folk musician. He was originally from Oklahoma and wrote some of our time’s most famous and influential songs. One of these songs is This Land is Your Land.
Aside from his talent in music, he also significantly influenced famous personalities in the business, including Bob Dylan.
And for these reasons alone, Tulsa is proud. To honor his contributions to the music scene, Tulsa created the Woody Guthrie Center.
The museum provides its visitors with a peek at Guthrie’s life. Here, you will find many sources relating to the life and works of Woody Guthrie.
His notebooks are among the most notable items on display. Many photos, books, and art related to Woody Guthrie are displayed.
Aside from the music, Woody Guthrie was famous for fighting against fascism and lobbying for human rights. His fight decades ago echoes until today and continues to replicate in many artists and other notable personalities.
Woody Guthrie was a person who proved that changing the world is possible only if you think that you can.
Visiting the museum in Tulsa is life-changing. It can also be one of the most inspiring things you can do in the city.
2. Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
When in Tulsa, proceed to the Union Station.
Amidst all the busy streets and intersections in Union Station is a building of calm and relaxing music.
The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame is famous for giving birth to many musicians in the 20th century.
There are exhibits in the center. Most of these exhibits document and explore the lives and creations of these musicians like Wallace Willis and Charlie Christian.
Sundays are the best to visit, especially if you are into live performances. When I saw the center, it was on a Sunday. There were live performances in the Grand Concourse.
However, if you want some air time and enjoy free jam sessions, visit on Tuesdays.
3. Tulsa Historical Society and Museum
The Tulsa Historical Society and Museum have eight galleries. All of these galleries contain exhibits and displays related to local history.
The Tulsa Historical Society and Museum is a great spot to visit for history buffs like myself.
What I like about the museum is its extensive collections.
The collections, preserves, and artifacts all relate to the history of Tulsa. Here, you will see many photos that show Tulsa in the past. These photos show detailed historical images of Tulsa over the years.
The website of the museum contains details about its current exhibits.
It is an excellent way to spend an afternoon in the museum. There is so much information about Tulsa and beyond.
When I went, the exhibit about the Tulsa massacre moved me. It contains all the facts you require concerning the city’s dark time.
And I should commend the staff for being helpful in everything you need.
4. Oklahoma Aquarium
One of the things you need to know about Oklahoma is that the state does not have any view of the ocean.
However, this should not deter you from visiting Tulsa or the rest of the state. Tulsa, Oklahoma, has one of the top aquariums in the country.
The Oklahoma Aquarium opened in 2003.
The aquarium spans an area of about 72,000 square feet. It is also one of the best places to visit in Oklahoma, especially when you are out to see some incredible wildlife.
Because you spend most of your time on land, it is easy to miss marine life’s beauty. Being on the ground lets us forget how beautiful our sea creatures are most of the time.
The aquarium is home to several marine creatures that you can observe. There are many creatures like jellyfish, lionfish, and sea turtles here.
The thousands of animals here can teach us how they all live and work together to benefit the ecosystem.
What I found exciting here were the sharks. I am sure there was a part of your life in the past where you feared sharks. I admit I am still scared of them.
But the aquarium is an excellent venue for you to learn more about sharks. The place is full of helpful information that can somehow alleviate your concerns related to sharks.
The exhibits on bull sharks are popular here.
Aside from the bull sharks, you can also learn more about nurse sharks and other species while in the aquarium.
5. John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park
Here is one exciting event that happened in Tulsa decades ago.
The year was 1921.
At the time, an African American male and a white female were in the elevator together.
The woman let out a scream.
Up until today, the reason why she screamed is unknown. Nobody knows why she screamed. Nobody knows what caused the screaming.
However, what people remember are the events after that. If it was an argument, the argument led to some interesting details.
The media reported the incident, which led to three days of violence and riots in the city. The riots destroyed about 35 blocks. It also resulted in thousands of residents becoming homeless.
The John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park is the best spot to visit if you want to learn more about these happenings in great detail.
It tells you about the story of the race riots. The place is also a great spot to visit to see the devastation these riots caused.
However, if you expect to know about what happened in the elevator, there is no detail.
6. Greenwood Cultural Center
Tulsa is home to many historical museums. One of these museums you need to visit is the Greenwood Cultural Center.
The museum sits at the heart of the African American Community of Tulsa.
The center provides its guests exceptional exhibits relating to the local African-American heritage.
The center also details everything that transpired in the early years and the establishment of the African-American community in Tulsa.
By visiting the museum, you would be able to know more about the pioneers, citizens, politicians, and business people who contributed significantly to the development of the community in Tulsa.
It was one of the most educational visits I made to Tulsa.
As you already know, I am a history buff.
A visit here provides you with an enlightenment about all the events related to the community. The museum has a staff of friendly and knowledgeable people who can help you with any concern or question.
7. Tulsa Arts District
One of the awesome things I admire about Tulsa is its dedication to the arts.
Most cities usually have one or two places that honor the arts. In Tulsa, they have a whole district that does that.
The entire district dedicates itself to cultural awareness and artistry.
The Tulsa Arts District is a whole district that offers itself innovation and imagination via beautiful art pieces.
The place is historical. And because of its care from patrons and locals, the district hardly shows its age.
The community makes sure to preserve the district and the arts. Most of the efforts go to keeping specific spots like Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa’s Glassblowing Studio, and The Brady Theater. All three spots are favorites of locals and tourists alike.
Whenever you are in the Tulsa Arts District, everywhere is artistic. You can never turn a corner without seeing something that could keep your imagination alive.
Aside from the theaters and studios, there are also coffee shops here. The district is also full of places where you can shop for souvenirs to bring home.
If you are in Tulsa, it would be best to drop by the Tulsa Arts District.
It will be an absolute delight, especially if you love the arts.
8. The Philbrook Museum of Art
What makes The Philbrook Museum of Art unique are its exhibits.
The museum focuses on collections of artworks of Native American origins.
The museum used to be an oil magnate’s villa. Over the years, the conversion happened from being a villa to a contemporary museum.
For starters, the villa is a beautiful piece of property. It has lush greeneries that surround it.
The museum also has a second location in the Brady Arts District in Tulsa.
The second location focuses more on contemporary arts. However, if there is something that you should note, the second location remains as classy as the first.
There are tours available in the museum.
Both museums are also open daily. There is no admission fee.
9. The Cave House
The Cave House is one of the most notable spots in Tulsa.
The landmark still retains its quirky architecture from the 1920s. It also provides the city and its guests with exciting and amusing stories.
The place is a perfect destination for friends and families that are traveling.
What makes the house unique is the feel. It would feel like you are in a cave with all its stalactite-like bumps inside whenever you are inside.
Now, do you know where the name came from?
Some stories say that the house used to be a bootlegger’s heaven. But that is something that needs verification.
Whatever it may be, The Cave House is a must-see when in Tulsa.
10. Tulsa Performing Arts Center
I was never joking when I told you that Tulsa is an artsy city.
I already told you about the Arts District and some other museums. However, there is more to Tulsa than art districts and art exhibits.
The city is also home to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.
The center has four distinct theaters. It also houses an impressive art gallery. Aside from that, it has many art studios to explore.
Here, there are all types of esteemed arts.
Depending on the schedule of your visit, you might witness a ballet performance, a traveling Broadway production, or a beautiful symphony performing.
At no point in the past (or present) would you find the center devoid of creative energy.
And it is easy to identify why performers feel attached and drawn to the center.
The center is also as beautiful as the performances inside, looking from the outside.
The building, designed by Minoru Yamasaki, has all the beautiful characteristics you could ever want.
If you have the time and the chance to see a performance here, take advantage of it.
You will never regret it.
11. The Prayer Tower
At first glance, you would think that you are seeing a UFO.
However, this is not a UFO you are seeing.
The bizarre-looking tower is the Prayer Tower. It is part of the Oral Roberts University.
The tower is an iconic landmark of Tulsa. People from all over the world recognize the tower for its unique look and characteristics.
The position of the tower is right at the center of the campus. It is about 200 feet tall. Its position at the center of the campus is a reminder that God should be at the center of everything we do in life.
From Mondays to Saturdays, visitors can visit the tower and climb up the observation deck. Being up there could give you a fantastic view of the city and beyond.
12. The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art
When it comes to a collection of Jewish art, Tulsa has it, too.
Established in 1966 is the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art. The museum houses the region’s largest collection of Jewish art.
A large percentage of the collection is Judaica. The collection covers the Jewish people’s culture, tradition, and civilization.
Inside the museum are over 16,000 exhibits. All these comprise the archaeological collection, historical documents, and fine arts of the museum.
The museum is an excellent experience. It provides its visitors with exposure to the Jewish people’s art, culture, and faith.
There is a small amount that you pay for admission. It is worth it.
Tulsa, the state’s second-largest city, has many to offer its visitors.
Thanks to the oil industry, the city was able to build infrastructures, amenities, and many more. The art deco buildings that you will find everywhere in Tulsa are all thanks to the past oil industry.
The city has many significant highlights.
It is also rich in history.
The attractions are near each other.
And with everything else you find here, I am sure you will like it in Tulsa.
Have you been here?
Which attraction would you like to include on my list?
Let me know.