35 Things To Do in Tulsa

By Janet Benoir – May 20, 2024

Welcome to Tulsa, Oklahoma! Nestled in the heart of America’s Midwest, this city is rich with unique culture, beautiful architecture, and a variety of activities. From its historic roots as the “Oil Capital of the World” to its vibrant arts scene today, Tulsa offers a wealth of experiences for visitors.

Here’s your ultimate guide to the top 35 things to do in Tulsa for a memorable trip:

Philbrook Museum of Art

Begin your exploration of Tulsa at the Philbrook Museum of Art, an exquisite Italian Renaissance villa surrounded by lush gardens. This museum offers a striking collection that showcases European classics alongside Native American artistry, providing a visual feast for all who visit. Step into its halls to travel through time and cultures, admiring everything from Renaissance masterpieces to vibrant American artworks.

Philbrook Museum of Art

In addition to its impressive permanent collections, Philbrook also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions and community events that enrich your understanding of art and its impact on society. Whether you’re strolling through its perfectly manicured gardens or exploring its elegantly curated galleries, the Philbrook Museum offers a serene and thought-provoking environment that is sure to inspire.

Tulsa Zoo

Delve into the animal kingdom at the Tulsa Zoo, where you can meet creatures from all corners of the globe. This zoo is a sanctuary for wildlife and a center for animal conservation, offering immersive experiences that highlight the beauty and diversity of nature. Explore different habitats, from African plains to Asian forests, and connect with the animals through up-close encounters and educational presentations.

Tulsa Zoo

The Tulsa Zoo is not just a place to see animals but also a learning hub where conservation meets education. It provides programs that teach visitors about the importance of biodiversity and the steps we can take to preserve it. For families and wildlife enthusiasts alike, the Tulsa Zoo promises a day full of discovery and awareness, making it a must-visit destination in Tulsa.

Gathering Place

Visit Gathering Place, a winner of the USA’s best city park award, to experience a unique blend of natural beauty and community spirit. This sprawling riverside park is more than just a green space—it’s a vibrant hub of activity where you can enjoy playgrounds, sports courts, and scenic gardens. The park also offers a variety of dining options along the waterfront, perfect for a picnic or a relaxing meal.

Gathering Place

Whether you’re looking for adventure on the climbing frames and skate parks or tranquility among the lush trails and ponds, Gathering Place has something for everyone. The park’s design integrates the natural landscape with creative play areas, making every visit a new opportunity to create lasting memories with family and friends.

Gilcrease Museum

Step back in time at the Gilcrease Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of art from the American West. Here, you can explore a vast array of artifacts, documents, and artwork that tell the rich story of America’s past. The museum’s exhibits extend beyond the traditional to include Indigenous art and historical manuscripts, offering a comprehensive view of the cultural heritage of the American West.

Gilcrease Museum

As you wander through the museum’s galleries, you’ll encounter stories of pioneers, Native American leaders, and artists whose works have shaped the nation’s understanding of its frontier history. The Gilcrease Museum is not only a treasure trove of historical pieces but also a guardian of stories that define the American spirit.

Oklahoma Aquarium

Explore the mysteries of the deep blue at the Oklahoma Aquarium, a marine adventure right in the heart of Tulsa. Home to the world’s largest collection of bull sharks in captivity, this aquarium offers a mesmerizing look into the lives of these and other fascinating sea creatures. Walk through tunnel tanks, touch interactive pools, and watch live feedings that bring the ocean world to life.

Oklahoma Aquarium

Beyond its spectacular shark exhibit, the Oklahoma Aquarium features a variety of aquatic environments, from local river ecosystems to exotic coral reefs. Each exhibit is designed to educate visitors about the importance of water habitats and the creatures that inhabit them, making it an enlightening experience for all ages.

Woody Guthrie Center

Dive into the vibrant legacy of Woody Guthrie at this inspiring center, where the spirit of Oklahoma’s most renowned folk singer-songwriter is immortalized. Through a series of compelling exhibits, visitors can explore Guthrie’s life, his music, and his enduring influence on social movements. It’s not just a museum; it’s a gateway to understanding the power of voice and song in advocating for change.

Woody Guthrie Center

The Woody Guthrie Center doesn’t just preserve memories; it inspires new generations to carry forward the torch of social justice expressed through music. Each exhibit is a testament to Guthrie’s profound impact on American folk music and his unyielding commitment to the underrepresented. Here, you can see his handwritten lyrics, listen to his timeless tunes, and feel the pulse of his narrative power.

Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium

Step into the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium to embark on a thrilling journey through the archives of aerospace achievements. This museum beautifully blends historical artifacts with cutting-edge technology, allowing you to discover the milestones that put Tulsa on the map of aerospace exploration. From vintage aircraft to hands-on simulators, the exhibits promise to elevate your understanding of the skies.

Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium

In the planetarium, the adventure continues as you traverse the universe without leaving Tulsa. The state-of-the-art facility offers a spectacular glimpse into the cosmos with shows that transport viewers from the night skies of Oklahoma to the farthest reaches of space. It’s an enlightening experience that highlights the wonders of the universe and our place within it.

Cain’s Ballroom

Step into Cain’s Ballroom, a legendary venue often referred to as the “Carnegie Hall of Western Swing,” where the spirit of music icons past still vibrates through its historic dance floor. As a pivotal site in Tulsa’s music scene, Cain’s continues to host a diverse lineup of musical talent, contributing fresh sounds to its rich, eclectic history. Each performance infuses the venue with an energy that’s palpable.

Cain’s Ballroom

Cain’s Ballroom is a celebration of its continuous transformation across genres. Here, fans can experience everything from electrifying rock concerts to soulful folk sessions, making every visit a deep dive into the cultural heart of Tulsa. The venue’s intimate atmosphere ensures that whether the act is up-and-coming or world-renowned, every concert feels personal and immersive, truly capturing the essence of live music.

BOK Center

Discover the thrill of the BOK Center, Tulsa’s top destination for major concerts and sporting events. This architectural marvel not only stands out for its modern design but also enhances every show with its cutting-edge acoustics and seating arrangements. Whether it’s a live concert or a sports event, the BOK Center guarantees a memorable experience with every performance, drawing crowds from all over.

BOK Center

More than just an event venue, the BOK Center is a key player in Tulsa’s cultural and social scene. It hosts a variety of events year-round, ranging from exciting basketball games to concerts featuring big-name artists. Situated at the core of Tulsa’s entertainment district, the venue buzzes with the vibrant energy of its audiences and the live performances that echo across the city.

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Step into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and delve into the rich jazz heritage of Oklahoma. This celebrated venue honors jazz legends who have significantly shaped the genre, providing a space filled with reverence and rhythmic history. As you wander through this musical sanctuary, the legacy of its musicians surrounds you, inspiring both awe and a deep appreciation for their contributions to the world of jazz.

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame is an interactive experience that brings the vibrant sounds of jazz to life. Through exhibits featuring the stories and instruments of jazz greats, you can listen to the distinct sounds of the genre and learn about the cultural and historical contexts. Located in the historic Union Depot, the hall itself enhances your experience, adding a sense of grandeur to every visit.

Tulsa Performing Arts Center

Step into the grandeur of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center and immerse yourself in the world of performing arts. This cultural complex boasts four theaters, each offering a unique backdrop for Broadway spectacles, ballet performances, and more. Whether you’re catching a contemporary play or a classical opera, the center’s vibrant atmosphere is sure to enchant arts enthusiasts of all tastes.

Tulsa Performing Arts Center

In addition to its theatrical offerings, the Tulsa Performing Arts Center serves as a hub for local and national artists alike. With its rich programming that spans musical concerts to educational talks, the center is a beacon of creativity and culture. Enjoy an evening of refined entertainment, and perhaps, end it with a stroll through its art-filled lobbies that echo stories of performances past.

Route 66 Historical Village

Visit the Route 66 Historical Village to experience history in a picturesque setting. Standing tall are vintage oil derricks and restored train cars, transporting visitors back to the bustling industrial era of America’s beloved Mother Road. This outdoor museum not only captures the spirit of a bygone era with its authentic exhibits but also envelops you in its nostalgic charm.

Route 66 Historical Village

As you explore the village, you’ll learn about the oil boom that propelled Tulsa’s prosperity. Each artifact and display offers a glimpse into the lives of those who traveled Route 66 during its prime. With its vivid sense of adventure and enterprise, this historical site is an essential destination for history enthusiasts and families looking to connect with early 20th-century America.

Boston Avenue Methodist Church

Boston Avenue Methodist Church is not just a place of worship but a stunning architectural masterpiece. As one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the United States, it beckons both architecture aficionados and casual tourists to marvel at its intricate designs and symmetrical beauty. The church, a National Historic Landmark, stands as a testament to Tulsa’s rich cultural heritage and artistic ambition.

Boston Avenue Methodist Church

Inside, the church reveals a breathtaking interior, complete with sculptural details and vibrant stained glass that cascades light into the sacred space. Guided tours offer a deeper understanding of the architectural innovation and historical significance of this iconic Tulsa landmark. A visit here is a journey through the artistry and vision that shapes one of Tulsa’s most revered sites.

Blue Dome Entertainment District

The Blue Dome Entertainment District pulses with the vibrant energy of Tulsa’s nightlife. Named after the distinctive blue dome that tops a historic 1920s-era gas station, this area is now the heart of Tulsa’s social scene. Here, locals and visitors alike mingle in an eclectic mix of bars, eateries, and live music venues that cater to every taste and occasion.

Blue Dome Entertainment District

Whether you’re in the mood for a craft cocktail in a chic speakeasy or live tunes in a laid-back setting, the Blue Dome District delivers. The area’s lively ambiance is accentuated during frequent festivals and public events that transform its streets into bustling corridors of fun and excitement. It’s the perfect spot to experience Tulsa’s contemporary urban charm.

Utica Square

Step into Utica Square, Tulsa’s quintessential shopping paradise, where high-end brands meet eclectic local shops in a lush, open-air environment. Whether you’re updating your wardrobe or searching for unique gifts, Utica Square offers a refined shopping experience amidst picturesque gardens and quaint pathways.

Utica Square

In addition to its retail offerings, Utica Square hosts seasonal events that transform shopping into an enchanting experience. From summer concerts to holiday lights, the square becomes a hub of activity that draws both locals and tourists to its charming setting. Indulge in a leisurely day of browsing through boutiques, then unwind at one of the cozy cafés or upscale eateries that dot the landscape.

ONEOK Field

ONEOK Field is not just a ballpark—it’s the pulsating heart of Tulsa’s sports scene. Here, cheer for the Tulsa Drillers or FC Tulsa as they play under the lights in a stadium that epitomizes the spirit of downtown Tulsa’s renaissance. The roar of the crowd and the crack of the bat enhance the thrilling atmosphere of this beloved venue.

ONEOK Field

Beyond baseball and soccer, ONEOK Field serves as a community gathering spot, hosting a variety of events throughout the year. From fireworks displays to concerts and beer festivals, the field is a cornerstone of entertainment in Tulsa. Visitors can enjoy modern amenities and stunning views of the city skyline, making every visit a memorable one.

LaFortune Park

LaFortune Park offers a breath of fresh air right in the heart of Tulsa. This sprawling 270-acre park is a green oasis where locals and tourists alike come to play golf on its championship course, engage in a lively tennis match, or cool off in the large community pool.

LaFortune Park

But it’s not just about sports; LaFortune Park also boasts playgrounds, picnic areas, and walking trails that meander through its scenic landscapes. Whether you’re seeking active recreation or a peaceful retreat from the urban hustle, LaFortune Park provides a perfect slice of outdoor life in Tulsa.

Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art

Delve into the rich tapestry of Jewish history at the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art. This museum presents a profound narrative through its extensive collection of artifacts that chronicle 5,000 years of Jewish culture, from ancient to modern times. Each exhibit tells a story of survival, tradition, and identity, enriched by the universal themes of faith and resilience.

Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art

Visitors to the museum can explore exhibits ranging from historical documents to contemporary art, all celebrating the vibrancy of Jewish life. The museum not only educates but also inspires with its thoughtful display and engaging educational programs, making it a key cultural institution in Tulsa’s diverse community.

Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area

For those who yearn for adventure without leaving the city, Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area is Tulsa’s premier destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Here, rugged trails invite hikers and mountain bikers to explore the natural beauty of Oklahoma. The area’s elevation offers stunning views of the Arkansas River and the Tulsa skyline, providing a perfect backdrop for a day in nature.

Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area

Turkey Mountain is a haven for biodiversity, with its rich woodland and riverine habitats supporting a variety of wildlife. Whether you’re a seasoned trail runner seeking a challenging route or a family looking for a leisurely hike, Turkey Mountain offers a natural escape that revitalizes the spirit and invigorates the body.

Tulsa Botanic Garden

Wander through the Tulsa Botanic Garden, where each path leads to a mesmerizing display of botanical beauty. The garden’s thematic landscapes, ranging from the vibrant Color Garden to the peaceful tranquility of the Japanese Garden, offer a spectacular feast for the senses in every season. During spring, the blooming tulips paint a vivid tableau, while autumn transforms the foliage into a fiery spectacle that’s simply breathtaking.

Tulsa Botanic Garden

Continuing your exploration, you’ll discover the Children’s Discovery Garden. Interactive features like the Spring Giant, a playful water-spouting sculpture, and the enchanting Tree Fort, nestled among wooden walkways, make this garden a family favorite. The beauty and serenity of this urban oasis make it a must-visit for anyone seeking a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

River Parks

River Parks is Tulsa’s green oasis, stretching along the Arkansas River with trails that are perfect for jogging, cycling, or a leisurely walk. These paths not only provide beautiful views of Tulsa’s skyline but also the peaceful river, making them ideal for a relaxing afternoon or a scenic sunset. The well-kept trails ensure every visit is a pleasant one, whether you’re seeking tranquility or an active day out.

River Parks

For those looking for more adventure, River Parks offers kayaking on the Arkansas River’s gentle flows and hosts numerous sporting events and festivals throughout the year. The park’s lively ambiance is often boosted by concerts and public art displays, adding a cultural flavor to the natural beauty and recreational activities available, creating a unique Tulsa experience.

The Cave House

Explore The Cave House in Tulsa, a notable landmark rich with stories from the Prohibition era. This unique building draws visitors with its quirky architecture and the fascinating history of its days as a speakeasy and a refuge for outlaws. Guided tours delve into tales of clandestine gatherings and daring adventures, offering a thrilling peek into Tulsa’s vibrant history.

The Cave House

Step inside The Cave House to discover a collection of artifacts and colorful stories preserved and passionately shared by its current owners. The charm of the house extends beyond its unusual design; it comes alive through vivid narratives that recreate the spirited past of Tulsa. Visiting The Cave House provides a memorable exploration of a distinctive piece of the city’s heritage, connecting visitors with the lively escapades of yesteryears.

Tulsa Historical Society & Museum

Explore the layers of Tulsa’s past at the Tulsa Historical Society & Museum, where exhibits trace the city’s journey from a Native American settlement to its boom as an oil capital. Each gallery offers a glimpse into different facets of Tulsa’s rich history, showcasing artifacts, photos, and multimedia presentations that narrate the city’s evolution through the ages.

Tulsa Historical Society & Museum

The museum doesn’t just educate; it captivates with rotating exhibits focusing on specific periods or significant events, including the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. These displays offer deep insights into crucial and often painful parts of Tulsa’s history, making it a must-visit for anyone eager to understand the city’s roots and transformation.

Linnaeus Teaching Gardens

The Linnaeus Teaching Gardens in Tulsa’s Woodward Park are a vibrant educational hub for gardeners at all levels. With expert-led workshops and tours, these well-maintained gardens provide both a practical learning environment and a stunning display of horticulture. They’re ideal for anyone eager to improve their gardening skills or simply enjoy the serenity of beautiful plant life.

Linnaeus Teaching Gardens

Each visit to the Linnaeus Gardens offers something new, thanks to their seasonal displays and specialized areas like the sensory garden, which is designed to engage the senses. The gardens also promote sustainable gardening techniques, providing valuable tips for eco-friendly practices that visitors can use at home. This combination of education and natural beauty makes the gardens a rewarding destination for both novice and experienced gardeners.

Admiral Twin Drive-In

Step back in time and enjoy a movie under the stars at the Admiral Twin Drive-In, a cherished piece of Tulsa’s history that offers a glimpse into the golden era of American drive-in theaters. This beloved spot brings together families and friends in the comfort of their vehicles for a shared cinematic adventure, complete with the nostalgia of a bygone era.

Admiral Twin Drive-In

The drive-in features two large screens that show double features of the latest blockbusters, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Grab some popcorn at the concession stand, tune your radio to the movie’s frequency, and settle in for an evening under the Oklahoma sky. It’s more than just a movie night—it’s a vibrant part of Tulsa’s cultural tapestry that offers a unique entertainment experience.

Center of the Universe

Discover the intriguing acoustic phenomenon known as the Center of the Universe in downtown Tulsa, where a simple whisper amplifies into a private concert. Located on a pedestrian overpass, this mysterious spot attracts both locals and tourists eager to hear their voices echo back in unexpected clarity.

Center of the Universe

The curiosity doesn’t end with its sound properties; the Center of the Universe also acts as a visual art piece, surrounded by stunning murals and architectural details that contribute to Tulsa’s urban landscape. Whether you’re a science enthusiast or just looking for a quirky photo op, this landmark offers a small adventure into the surreal right in the heart of the city.

Greenwood Cultural Center

Visit the Greenwood Cultural Center to immerse yourself in the poignant and resilient history of the Greenwood District, famously known as America’s “Black Wall Street.” The center serves as a memorial to the prosperous black community that thrived here before the tragic Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, which saw much of the district destroyed.

Greenwood Cultural Center

Through exhibitions, photographs, and various cultural programs, the Greenwood Cultural Center not only educates visitors about the rich history of this area but also celebrates the incredible spirit of its people and their contributions to Tulsa’s development. It’s a place of reflection, inspiration, and education, highlighting the importance of history in shaping vibrant communities.

Tulsa Ballet

Experience the grace and athleticism of the Tulsa Ballet, a premier ballet company known for its breathtaking performances and innovative repertoire. Located in Tulsa’s vibrant arts district, the ballet attracts top talent from around the world, showcasing a blend of classical and contemporary works that captivate audiences.

Tulsa Ballet

The Tulsa Ballet’s state-of-the-art performance venue offers a visually stunning and intimate setting that allows spectators to fully appreciate the precision and artistry of each dancer. With a season full of dynamic performances that push creative boundaries, the Tulsa Ballet offers a thrilling glimpse into the world of professional dance that is sure to inspire and delight.

Discovery Lab – Tulsa Children’s Museum

Explore the wonders of the Discovery Lab, where Tulsa’s youngest minds can dive into the exciting worlds of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This hands-on museum is designed to spark creativity and curiosity through its interactive exhibits and educational programs, making learning fun and accessible for children of all ages.

Discovery Lab - Tulsa Children’s Museum

From experimenting in the Tinkering Lab to exploring the principles of physics and engineering in the Workshops, the Discovery Lab offers a stimulating environment for kids to challenge themselves and discover new interests. It’s a place where learning comes alive, and every visit leaves children inspired to explore more of the world around them.

Helmerich Park

Immerse yourself in the lush landscapes of Helmerich Park, where the green spaces beckon for a game of frisbee or a leisurely walk along the water’s edge. Families and sports enthusiasts alike will find their slice of heaven here, with ample room for picnics, sports, and soaking up the tranquil atmosphere of South Tulsa.

Helmerich Park

This park isn’t just about active pursuits; it’s a place to reconnect with nature and find a moment of peace away from the bustle of the city. Settle by the pond with a good book, watch the ducks glide by, or simply enjoy the gentle breeze rustling through the trees, making Helmerich Park a perfect escape within the city.

Tulsa Art Deco Museum

Step back in time to Tulsa’s architectural renaissance at the Tulsa Art Deco Museum. Marvel at the exquisite craftsmanship and design that characterize the city’s storied past. The museum, located in the heart of downtown, offers a window into the opulence and style of the early 20th century, making it a must-visit for history buffs and design enthusiasts alike.

Tulsa Art Deco Museum

Each tour of the museum provides a comprehensive look at the buildings and landmarks that make up Tulsa’s skyline, telling the story of a vibrant city shaped by oil barons and visionary architects. From intricate facades to lavish interiors, the museum captures the essence of an era when Tulsa was a booming oil capital.

Downtown Tulsa

Experience the vibrant pulse of Downtown Tulsa, where historic charm and contemporary flair blend seamlessly. Stroll through streets lined with impressive skyscrapers and ornate facades that tell the tales of a prosperous oil past. The area buzzes with energy, from bustling coffee shops to sophisticated galleries, making it the city’s beating heart.

Downtown Tulsa

As night falls, Downtown Tulsa transforms into a lively hub for nightlife and dining. Catch a performance at one of the local theaters, or dive into the culinary scene at a chic rooftop bar overlooking the city lights. With something always going on, downtown is where Tulsa’s spirit truly comes to life.

Brookside District

The Brookside District offers a slice of Tulsa’s stylish side, with its array of boutique shops and upscale eateries. Spend the day browsing through unique, locally-owned stores where you can find everything from high-end fashion to bespoke home decor. This neighborhood exudes a youthful and trendy vibe that attracts both locals and tourists alike.

Brookside District

After shopping, relax at one of Brookside’s many cafes and restaurants, where you can enjoy everything from gourmet meals to casual bites. The district’s vibrant, welcoming atmosphere makes it a perfect place for gathering with friends and family, sipping on craft cocktails, and reveling in the local scene.

Tulsa Farmer’s Market

Discover the rich agricultural tapestry of northeastern Oklahoma at the Tulsa Farmer’s Market. Every visit offers a cornucopia of fresh fruits, vegetables, and artisan goods, sourced directly from the surrounding farms. It’s a celebration of community and local produce, where each stall tells a story of family heritage and farming passion.

Tulsa Farmer’s Market

The market is not just a place to buy groceries—it’s an event. Engage with local farmers, learn about sustainable agriculture, and sample homemade treats and crafts. With live music and a festive atmosphere, the Tulsa Farmer’s Market is a vibrant community hub that embodies the spirit of the city and its rural roots.

Tulsa Garden Center at Woodward Park

Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Tulsa Garden Center, located within the sprawling beauty of Woodward Park. This historic mansion, surrounded by lush gardens, offers a variety of horticultural classes and events that cater to greenthumbs and nature lovers alike. The setting is not just educational but visually stunning, making it a perfect spot for leisurely walks and peaceful reflection.

Tulsa Garden Center at Woodward Park

Each visit to the Tulsa Garden Center provides an opportunity to explore the art of gardening in an idyllic environment. Whether you’re interested in botany, landscape design, or simply seeking a serene escape from the hustle of city life, the center’s well-manicured grounds and seasonal displays offer endless inspiration and enjoyment.

Tulsa is a city that combines its historical past with a dynamic and creative present. Whether you’re exploring its museums, relaxing in its parks, or enjoying its vibrant entertainment scenes, Tulsa invites you to experience its unique charm.