Hotels in Tulsa, USA
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Dust Off Your Cowboy Boots, Tulsa is Waiting
Pack your sunglasses, because you’ll surely need them in sunny Tulsa, with 227 days of sunshine each year, and plenty to do outside. Situated on the banks of the Arkansas River, Tulsa, OK is known for its trendy downtown full of vibrant restaurants, hotels and nightlife, stunning Art Deco architecture, and impressive museums, but it also boasts rolling green hills and bucolic wooded areas, and truly has something for everyone. Known as the unofficial “BBQ Capital of North America”, it might be wise to book a hotel near some of the many famous smokehouses – because everyone knows that one BBQ dinner just isn’t enough.
Get Active in Tulsa
Before you indulge in some of the city’s best eats, the perfect way to begin a visit to Tulsa is in the great outdoors. But be warned that you might have a hard time making up your mind. It’s tough to know where to start, with more than 80 km of biking and running trails, 88 playgrounds, 135 tennis courts, and 23 public golf courses, not to mention over 6,000 acres of public parks. In fact, why not pack a picnic and head for one of the city’s 65 picnic shelters, or dine al fresco at one of four larger county parks – Haikey Creek, Chandler, O’Brien, and LaFortune. If you happen to be traveling with your furry friend, they can have some fun in the sun, too, at either Biscuit Acres or Joe Station dog parks.
For a change of pace, you’ll probably learn something new at the award-winning Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum. Or if hanging out with some underwater friends is more your style, the Oklahoma Aquarium is within close driving distance to some of the best hotels in Tulsa. You’ll be treated to eight exhibit galleries full of sea creatures, and you might even get a glimpse of the largest bull shark in captivity.
Roll Up Your Sleeves for a Feast
When you’ve worked up an appetite, Tulsa’s restaurants practically scream “Come ‘n’ get it!” Your taste buds will thank you when you stop into one of the BBQ joints that know a thing or two about longevity. A good example is Mac’s Barbeque, which has been serving finger licking eats to locals for over 30 years. And for something fast and cheap, Rib Crib is a chain restaurant that was one of the originals. When you want to venture beyond traditional BBQ dishes, Ike’s Chili House has a 100 year-old tradition of serving up piping hot chili in countless creative ways. But perhaps the best way to eat your way through Tulsa is by attending one of the many annual festivals. Tulsa Oktoberfest has been called one of the top 10 German celebrations in North America, and you can have a side of carnival rides and county fair with your bratwurst. Other international cuisine includes a taste of Scotland at SCOTFEST, where spectators can also hear Celtic music and watch highland games. And for food, dancing and fun, the Tulsa Greek Festival is held every September. If you can’t make it to one of the many cultural events, don’t forget about the Wednesday food trucks in Guthrie Green, or browse one of the five farmer’s markets for a 100% local experience.
Art, Food for the Soul
You can’t go far in Tulsa without coming across Art Deco architecture in its finest, and there’s no shortage of Art Deco eye candy in the form of churches and historical businesses in the Brady Arts District. Everywhere you go, you’ll encounter this style of architecture from the 1920s and 1930s, which was fuelled by the oil boom in Tulsa and its wealthy elite, and is still alive and well today. It would be hard not to channel your inner Gatsby at the Mayo Hotel penthouse bar, which was opened in 1925 and still remains the definition of luxury. Babe Ruth, Elvis Presley and John F. Kennedy have all stayed the night here, but if the price of a room is a little out of reach, it’s worth a trip to the lobby to see the stately columns, stone etchings, and to soak up the Art Deco grandeur.
To learn more about Tulsa’s history with a musical twist, head on over to the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and immerse yourself in the world of several jazz greats, and maybe even catch a jam session. The Woody Guthrie Center tells about the life and times of this 1930s folk musician, and for a first-class collection of American Art, the Gilcrease Museum is the place to be. If you only have time for one museum, the Philbrook Museum of Art is a good choice. It’s housed in a former Italianate villa, and has a second downtown location focusing on contemporary art. With so much to see and do, it might be necessary to plan a return trip.