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Your guide to Tulsa
Welcome to Tulsa
An oil town with artsy swagger, Tulsa is best known for its green spaces, fine craft beers, and dynamic museum scene, which includes the Gilcrease Museum, home to more than 350,000 artifacts from Indigenous peoples that will help you understand the history, settlement, and expansion of Oklahoma. The Woody Guthrie Center pays homage to one of the great American folk singers and songwriters, further spreading the cultural values for which he stood. Though visual arts abound in Oklahoma’s second-largest city, so too do other forms of creative expression. The Tulsa Performing Arts Center hosts the city’s ballet, opera, and symphony, as well as traveling stage productions.
In Midtown, you’ll find a high concentration of independent shops and some of the city’s best craft breweries. Tulsa also was the site of the tragic 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, when the Greenwood District — home to successful entrepreneurs in the 1920s, earning it the nickname of Black Wall Street — was burned to the ground, killing more than 300 people. The Greenwood Cultural Center now tells the story of the massacre through the lens of preserving the African American community’s heritage and shining a spotlight on its achievements.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Tulsa?
Spring and fall are pleasant times to stay in one of Tulsa’s cabins, as Oklahoma summers can be very hot and humid. October in particular is balmy and devoid of heavy crowds. Winter can dip below freezing, with ice and snow not uncommon in December, January, and February. The free, four-day Muscogee (Creek) Nation Festival over the fourth weekend in June is a great opportunity to learn more about the culture and history of the self-governed Native American tribe, the fourth-largest in the United States, who reside in this area of Oklahoma.
What are the top things to do in Tulsa?
Philbrook Museum of Art
Set in a sprawling 72-room Italian Renaissance mansion built in the Roaring ’20s, the Philbrook Museum of Art’s permanent collections include American Indian pottery and basketry alongside American and European paintings; it also specializes in bringing diverse and globally acclaimed exhibits to Tulsa. The extensive English gardens and walking paths that surround the villa round out this 27-acre estate.
The Kendall Whittier District
A shining example of the importance of incentive-driven revitalization in urban cores, the award-winning neighborhood of Kendall Whittier now houses food trucks, a food hall, public art, artist studios, breweries, and rotating markets.
Set along the Arkansas River, this $500 million outdoor wonderland was gifted to the city by the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Fusing art with green space in a riverfront setting, Gathering Place incorporates grottos, waterfalls, special installations, and sculptures that double as slides alongside tennis courts, a skate park, and water activities like kayaking and paddleboating.