A Long Weekend Itinerary in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Arts & Culture
Digital Nomad Travel
Food & Wine
Road Trip Travel
I'll be the first to admit: Tulsa is probably not the first destination that comes to mind when you're looking for a weekend getaway. But allow me to make the case for why the shiny buckle on The Bible Belt is actually a little-known mecca for food + drink, music + art, outdoor activities, history, and hospitality. So dust off your cowboy boots and meet me in Tulsa. By the time you leave, you're all but guaranteed to have love for my favorite place in Flyover Country.
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Hotel Indigo Tulsa Dwtn-Entertainment Area, an IHG Hotel
Hyatt Regency Tulsa Downtown
Ambassador Hotel Tulsa, Autograph Collection
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Day 1: Start your weekend on Route 66
Ideally, it's Thursday.
You'll probably arrive in the early afternoon, so get settled and head to Mother Road Market for lunch.
Chicken + The Wolf is a local favorite, but be careful because their chicken gets unapologetically spicy. Big Dipper Creamery is around the corner and can put out that mouth-fire if you need!
At this point, you're in the heart of Route 66. Take a drive down 11th Street (Route 66) and check out the larger-than-life statues and signs, including the Meadow Gold neon sign and the 21 foot Buck Atom space cowboy.
The Philbrook Museum of Art is oil tycoon Waite Philip's former 1920's Italian Renaissance-inspired villa, is the perfect place to spend the rest of your afternoon. Don't miss Kehinde Wiley's "Equestrian Portrait of King Philip IV" in the Italian Room and be sure to enjoy the expansive gardens outside.
Make dinner reservations at Lowood and drink reservations Hodges Bend, who are next door neighbors in Tulsa's East Village.
Get some sleep, because we're going on a road trip tomorrow!
Day 2: Spot bison and tour the city's entertainment
Hop in your rental car and head one hour north to Pawhuska, Oklahoma, home of Joseph H. Williams Tall Grass Prairie Preserve and a herd of 1000 American Bison. There's a short and easy 1 mile hike on Study Trail, or make sure you have proper shoes and plenty of water and Prairie Earth Trail, a 2 mile loop that is considered more vigorous.
Enjoy lunch in town at celebrity chef and foodie Ree Drummond's restaurant, The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, and then stroll the shops downtown on a quick post-prandial walk.
Once you've arrived back in Tulsa, freshen up and head downtown for the First Friday Art Crawl or catch a Tulsa Roughnecks soccer game, complete with fireworks afterwards.
Dinner is at Mr Kim's, an Asian-inspired steakhouse that's one of the best new restaurants in Tulsa (don't sleep on the cotton candy).
Walk two blocks and end your night at Vintage Wine Bar. If Tucker behind the bar, tell him I said hi. He'll make you the best Toronto in town.
Day 3: Fill your day with craft brews and music
Your morning coffee has to, I mean HAS to come from DoubleShot Coffee Company. You will not find better coffee in Tulsa and perhaps on planet earth.
From there, enjoy a morning walk through the Gathering Place, an incredible 66.5 acre park that is an anchor for the community and attracts millions of visitors per year.
But don't be out too long - you've got lunch plans at KillerWail, an Austin-style BBQ truck parked outside of Heirloom Rustic Ales most Saturdays. Chef Oliver Larrabee is the one man show dreadlocked king in front of the smokers. His brisket will absolutely sell out, so get there by noon.
Continue your brewery tour at American Solera and Cabin Boys, which are next door neighbors to one another and share a common urban space. Tulsa's beer game is strong and Ubers are cheap. Please drink responsibly!
Your evening ends downtown again, with a show at the legendary Cain's Ballroom (Bill Murray once said "Tulsa is the better music town"). Valkyrie is the perfect place for a nightcap, and is just around the corner from both. If it's nice out, you might opt to enjoy a tropical cocktail al fresco at Tulsa's favorite tiki bar, Saturn Room. Feeling hungry again? Phat Philly's is open till 3am.
Day 4: Finalize your trip with a slow day
Greenwood Rising is an absolute must-visit when in Tulsa. It is here that you will learn about the Tulsa Race Massacre and the impact it's had on the community, past and present. Timed-entry tickets are required.
A few blocks away is John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park, a memorial plaza with monuments dedicated to remembrance of the Race Massacre.
As much as I would love to tell you to have dinner at Wanda J's Next Generation Restaurant in Greenwood, it's closed on Sundays. Zip back over to Cherry Street and enjoy legit creole food at Nola's or head to Prossimo Ristorante and definitely get the tableside alfredo and tiramisu.
Thanks for visiting Tulsa with me!
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