I spent a semester in Norman, Oklahoma when I studied at the University of Oklahoma. That’s why I consider myself a kind of a local, haha!
Oklahoma holds a special place in my heart: I met so many amazing people there, lived my daydreams and had tons of amazing adventures. I took every opportunity to explore Oklahoma and this guide is the result of my weekend trips across the country.
I only have one regret about my semester abroad and that is that I didn’t bring my camera with me since I had too much and far too heavy luggage. Therefore, these photos are taken with my iPhone.
1. Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City is close to the OU campus in Norman so we visited it quite a few times. Since it’s a small American city it’s not a typical one.
Don’t miss the Oklahoma City Memorial close to the city center.
Visit Paseo Art District for cute artsy shops where you can buy great souvenirs to take home! Some shops have beautiful collections of art or women’s clothing. If you have a chance, visit it the first Friday in the month and join the Art Walk. Have lunch in Picasso Cafe and come back in the evening to enjoy a cocktail in a trendy lounge or sing karaoke in a bar.
Walk through the Bricktown to the botanical gardens and the Bricktown Canal. This is the peaceful part in the heart of the city where you can rest and relax.
Oklahoma City is a great place to try some delicious foods. It's full of adorable brunch places and offers delicious dinner options. There are also varied types of food to choose from, such as Korean, Sushi, Barbecue, Italian, or Mexican. I tried the best Korean Barbecue in the world in OKC!
2. Chickasaw Recreational Area
This is probably my favorite part of Oklahoma. Although not a very famous one (from what I’ve gathered), this trip was definitely my favorite one. There are tons of charming secret places along the path, where you can rest and enjoy the refreshing stream in the hot summer day.
You can see wild animals, too! It probably depends on your luck but a few deer came quite close to us and we also saw an armadillo. I’ve never seen one before so I was absolutely thrilled!
3. Turner Falls
Visit the biggest falls in Oklahoma! We had a lot of fun exploring Turner Falls.
If you come during summertime, you can even swim around the falls. Because we visited Turner Falls after Labor Day, some swimming areas were already closed but others were open.
You can jump off a cliff if you’re brave enough. Close by, there is also a zip line above the falls with beautiful views.
4. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
For a cool experience in the nature, especially if you’re a hike lover, visit Wichita Mountains. We planned a day to hike through Wichita Mountains as there are many ways to choose from. They range from shorter to longer distance and differ in what animals can be seen along the way.
We saw a tarantula, which was scary and exciting at once! Some paths lead through meadows filled with American bison.
It’s a great trip to nature but don’t forget to bring enough water as it tends to get very hot in Oklahoma and you can’t buy water anywhere along the way (that’s a big one, we ran out of water and I got all swollen up).
Tulsa is where Chandler (from Friends, duh) was relocated by his company and had the worst time ever because he was staying away from Monica and his best friends. Of course, I had to visit the city to see it for myself.
I made a day trip to Tulsa with my best friends in October. We had a delicious brunch in Brookside District and shopped a bit after as the area has some one-of-a-kind shops small distance from one another. You can even shop some Tulsa T-shirts, postcards and buy souvenirs.
Go to the Gathering Place on Tulsa River Banks, where you can choose among various outdoor activities and adventures. This is definitely the place for people to meet and hang out on the benches or at the outdoor patios.
We walked from Tulsa Downtown to the Blue Dome Entertainment District. Go there in the evening for some indie boutiques, local bars and trendy food places. On our way back, we decided to eat in the Cheesecake Factory – a perfect ending to our sunny day trip!
Oh, this got me reminiscing. I wonder if I missed some must-see spots in Oklahoma during my stay there. If you know any other good places to be in Oklahoma, comment down below!