Welcome to Tulsa: Unveiling the Beauty of Oklahoma’s Gem
Tucked into the northeastern corner of Oklahoma, Tulsa is filled with charm, surprising sophistication, and a unique sense of identity. Shaped by a blend of Western, Native American, and cosmopolitan influences, it’s a destination that thrives on a fusion of art, culture, history, and the great outdoors. This guide will navigate you through the top attractions in Tulsa, places that your kids will love, transportation options, accommodations, and handy travel tips.
Affiliate Disclaimer: Our blog posts may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we receive a modest commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us fund our team of travel writers, allowing us to continue providing you with the latest travel news, tips, and inspiration. Your support keeps this blog alive and thriving, and we appreciate it immensely. Thank you!
15 Things to do in Tulsa
- Philbrook Museum of Art: Set in a 1920s Italian Renaissance villa, the museum showcases nine collections of art from around the globe, including European, Asian, American, Native American, and African. The 25-acre gardens surrounding the villa are equally stunning.
- Gilcrease Museum: Here, you’ll discover the world’s most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West, alongside a significant collection of Native American art and material.
- The Golden Driller: A symbol of the city’s oil history, this 75-foot statue is a must-see. It’s been standing guard over Tulsa since 1966.
- DECOPOLIS Tulsa Art Deco Museum: Explore the rich art deco heritage of Tulsa in this museum, located in the Philcade Building’s stunning lobby.
- Tulsa Performing Arts Center: Enjoy a night at the ballet, opera, symphony, or Broadway show in one of the four theatres inside this venue.
- Woody Guthrie Center: Visit the center dedicated to preserving the work and life of American folk musician Woody Guthrie, a native Oklahoman.
- Blue Dome District: As the hub of Tulsa nightlife, you’ll find several unique eateries, local shops, and vibrant clubs in the district’s historic buildings.
- The Gathering Place Tulsa: This large and highly interactive park is designed for kids and adults. It has various activities, including skateboarding, volleyball, boating, and exploring the numerous playgrounds.
- River Parks: A collection of parkland areas stretching along the banks of the Arkansas River. It offers excellent trails for walking, running, biking, and even horse riding.
- Tulsa Zoo: Home to thousands of animals, this zoo is committed to animal conservation and offers many exhibits that are fun and educational.
- Cain’s Ballroom: A historic music venue where many famous artists have performed. Known as the “Carnegie Hall of Western Swing”.
- Oklahoma Aquarium: Although it’s technically just outside of Tulsa in Jenks, this is worth the short drive. It has the world’s largest collection of bull sharks in a tank that you can walk through via a tunnel.
- Oxley Nature Center: Spread over 800 acres, this nature centre offers a diverse range of habitats, including wetlands, forests, and prairies. Perfect for bird watching and hiking.
- Boston Avenue United Methodist Church: A striking example of Art Deco architecture. Even if you’re not religious, the intricate design and architecture make it a must-see.
- Greenwood Cultural Center: Learn about the rich cultural history of African Americans in Oklahoma and the history of the Greenwood District, once known as the “Black Wall Street”.
Top 10 Kid-friendly Things to Do in Tulsa
- Discovery Lab – Tulsa Children’s Museum: A hands-on museum encouraging science-based learning through interactive exhibits.
- Paradise Beach: Beat the summer heat with thrilling water rides, a wave pool, and animal attractions.
- Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium: Discover the city’s rich aeronautical history and explore the universe in the state-of-the-art planetarium.
- Tulsa Botanic Garden: A beautiful place for kids to connect with nature, featuring the Children’s Discovery Garden with interactive stations.
- Tulsa Children’s Theatre: Enjoys live performances aimed at children and families in this dedicated theatre.
- Jenks Planetarium: Located in Jenks High School, the planetarium offers public shows that are both entertaining and educational.
- Philbrook Museum of Art: Tucked away in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Philbrook Museum of Art is a wonderland for young explorers and budding artists. Once the grand home of oil tycoon Waite Phillips, this Italian Renaissance villa now invites families to embark on a journey of creativity and discovery. Kids can marvel at vibrant paintings, intriguing sculptures, and artifacts from around the world. But the adventure doesn’t stop indoors! The Philbrook’s expansive gardens are a playground for the imagination, with hidden nooks, enchanting sculptures, and even a scavenger hunt that promises delightful surprises at every turn. Special workshops and interactive programs ensure that every young visitor gets a hands-on art experience, making memories that last a lifetime. For a day of fun, learning, and artistic inspiration, the Philbrook Museum of Art is Tulsa’s go-to destination for families.
- BounceU of Tulsa: Indoor playground with giant inflatables, perfect for burning off some energy.
- Kiddlestix Toy Store: This family-owned toy store has been a Tulsa staple since 1980. It’s an exciting destination for kids, featuring educational toys, games, and arts & crafts materials that promote imaginative play and creativity. They also host fun events throughout the year.
- Incredible Pizza Company: A family-friendly indoor fun centre with arcade games, go-karts, mini-golf, and a buffet-style restaurant.
Getting Around Tulsa
Tulsa has a variety of transport options for tourists. The Tulsa Transit bus service offers extensive routes throughout the city.
For more flexible travel, you can use ride-sharing apps like Uber or Lyft.
To explore the city at your own pace, consider renting a bike from This Machine Tulsa’s bike share program.
Top 5 Hotels in Tulsa
- The Mayo Hotel: This historic hotel in downtown Tulsa combines vintage charm with modern amenities.
- Ambassador Hotel Tulsa: A luxury boutique hotel located in Tulsa’s uptown district.
- Hyatt Regency Tulsa Downtown: Offers comfortable rooms with excellent city views.
- Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa: A hotel and entertainment complex offering gambling, dining, and live shows.
- The Campbell Hotel: A historic hotel on Route 66, offering individually themed rooms.
Tulsa Weather by Season
|Average Temperature (°C)
|Average Temperature (°F)
|15 – 20
|59 – 68
|25 – 32
|77 – 90
|15 – 21
|59 – 70
|-1 – 6
|30 – 43
Travel Tips for Tulsa
- Best Time to Visit: The best times to visit Tulsa are during the spring and fall when temperatures are moderate.
- Carry a Map: While Tulsa is relatively easy to navigate, having a map or a good GPS app can be handy.
- Visit Local Eateries: Tulsa is known for its food scene, so make sure to visit local restaurants and try some Oklahoman cuisine.
- Pack for the Weather: Summers can get quite hot, so pack lightweight, breathable clothing. Winters can be chilly, so pack a warm coat.
- Take Advantage of Free Attractions: Many of Tulsa’s attractions are free, such as the Philbrook Museum of Art on certain days, or the beautiful parks around the city. Be sure to check these out to maximize your experience.
- Always Stay Hydrated: Especially in the summer months, it’s important to drink plenty of water while exploring the city.
From its lush green landscapes and intriguing history to its bustling urban life, Tulsa promises a memorable adventure for all travellers. Happy journeying!