With one of the nation’s fastest-growing populations, Oklahoma City’s trajectory onto the list of great American cities continues to rise. As one of only 14 cities nationally to add more than 100,000 people between 2010 and 2020, Oklahoma City jumped to the 20th largest city in the nation.
Oklahoma City is a premier destination for those looking to the future. Named as the best place for street art, the city boasts some of the region’s best artistic and cultural attractions. A gateway to global cuisines, OKC is home to a variety of critically acclaimed eateries from around the world like Guatemalan-influenced Café Kacao, Native American-influenced Thirty-Nine Restaurant and the Bon Appetit-approved tasting restaurant Nonesuch. The Plaza District’s Ma Der Lao Kitchen has also been named as a national favorite by Bon Appetit and The New York Times.
Nightlife is nothing new to the city, which converted its former warehouse district into Bricktown, an entertainment district just east of downtown. Frequented by locals and visitors, the Bricktown Canal winds its way through various restaurants and attractions allowing guests to be greeted by something new at every turn. The district is home to the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and within walking distance of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paycom Center.
A streetcar service shuttles visitors throughout Bricktown, Midtown and Downtown with stops at destinations like Scissortail Park and Myriad Botanical Gardens.
Further away from downtown, gathering places like Black-owned Kindred Spirits offer guests an opportunity to connect with locals. The full-service bar highlights the history of Black Oklahomans while providing a place to be enjoyed today. Iconic soul food standout, Florence’s Restaurant has been serving Oklahoma City for 70 years, recently becoming the first James Beard Foundation Award winner from the state.
The Asian District just uptown was created to help preserve the history, language, art and traditions of a community of refugees who came to the area from Vietnam in the 1970s. The Asian District incorporates some of the best Vietnamese cuisine in the US, alongside hidden gems like The Red Cup restaurant, Craig’s Curious Emporium and Asian grocer Super Cao Nguyen.
For those looking to experience Oklahoma’s Western heritage, Stockyards City provides everything and more. Home to the Oklahoma National Stockyards, this area is the only cattle sale of its kind still located in the US. Surrounding the stockyards are an array of western businesses, restaurants and entertainment. From Langston’s Western Wear, Stockyards Sarsaparilla and Oklahoma Opry to one of Oklahoma’s oldest attractions, Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, there is something for everyone.
The Oklahoma River flows through the city and is a magnet for exercise and recreation. The hub of activity is the Boathouse District, east of downtown. The waterside adventure park, RIVERSPORT OKC, offers visitors the opportunity to go whitewater rafting, tubing or surfing. The site also includes zip lines, climbing walls, a bike park, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and more – all within minutes of the city’s urban core.
Developments like downtown’s First National Center and the upcoming OAK project bring contemporary retail to the forefront, including standout luxury retailers like Lucchese and Restoration Hardware.
Overall, Oklahoma City offers an experience unlike any other in the region. The centrally located American city has quickly taken center stage as a blockbuster destination, ranked as one of the best places to live and work as a movie maker.