A huge statue of a man leaning on a metal structure. The man's belt reads "Tulsa". There is text on the image that reads, "Best things to do in Tulsa".

15 Best Things To Do In Tulsa

Tulsa is the second largest city in Oklahoma after Oklahoma City, and it is a place bursting with history and character. From its renowned Art Deco architecture to its vibrant arts scene, Tulsa has become a major tourist spot, with people coming from around the world to explore this unique and charming city.

An aerial view of the city of Tulsa in the evening.
(Photo courtesy of World Atlas)

I have been lucky enough to visit Tulsa on multiple occasions, and honestly, every time I come back I discover something new.

A street view of the city of Tulsa. There are cars parked on the side of the street and tall buildings.
(Photo courtesy of tulsago.com)

To help you plan your trip, here are my 15 best things to do in Tulsa, OK.

1. Check out the Blue Dome Entertainment District

Exploring the Blue Dome Entertainment District should be at the top of every Tulsa vacation itinerary. Located on Mother Road, and originally a 1920s-era Gulf Oil station, today the Blue Dome is the heart of a lively district with eclectic bars, eateries, and local boutiques.

A picture of the Blue Dome Entertainment District in Tulsa. There is a circular shaped building with a blue roof.
(Photo courtesy of themonumentous.com)

The Blue Dome District is also home to the Bok Center and the iconic Tulsa Theater, both of which have a huge range of live shows and entertainment throughout the year. There is so much to see and do in the Blue Dome that it really needs a blog all to itself, so make sure you don’t miss it on your Tulsa trip!

2. Spend a Day at the Award-Winning Gathering Place

If you thought a park was just about slides and swings, Gathering Place will make you think again. Nestled on John Williams Way along the beautiful Arkansas River, Gathering Place is the perfect place to spend an adventure-filled day!

A picture of the Gathering Place in Tulsa. People are walking on a walkway and there is a swan art piece and playground. There is a lot of greenery.
(Photo courtesy of NY Times)

With so many fun things to explore, the park is a hub for both relaxation and excitement. The QuikTrip Great Lawn has live music performances, there are a number of rides for kids (and adults, I won’t judge), and outdoor activities like disc golf are dotted around the riverfront park.

Touted as “The Park for All”, a trip to Gathering Place is, without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Tulsa for the whole family!

3. Get Cultural at a Tulsa Museum

There’s something innately gratifying about immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of history and culture of a new city, and boy does Tulsa deliver on that front.

Tulsa has a number of fantastic museums to explore, but my top 3 have to be:

1. Gilcrease Museum

A view of the outside of the Gilcrease Museum. There is a statue of an archer aiming at the sky.
(Photo courtesy of publicradiotulsa.com)

Just a tad west of downtown Tulsa, OK, the Gilcrease Museum is a must-visit for history buffs and art lovers alike. The museum and arts center boasts a huge number of exhibits including the world’s largest collection of artifacts and art from the old American West. Time to dust the cowboy boots off!

2. Philbrook Museum of Art

An exterior view of the Philbrook Museum of Art. There is a fountain surrounded by a garden and the museum in the far distance with a red roof.
(Photo courtesy of philbrook.org)

Set in stunning former gardens in the former home of oil pioneer Waite Phillips, the Philbrook Museum is not just a museum, it’s a spectacle! The building itself dates back to 1920 and is one of the oldest in Tulsa, OK, with incredible Renaissance-style architecture. The arts center and museum opened in 1939, today housing exhibits and artworks that span genres and historical eras.

3. Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium

An interior view of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. There are airplanes all around the room.
(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

If you’re scouring for the best things to do in Tulsa with kids, the Air and Space Museum should be right at the top of our list. It has a number of fun and fascinating exhibits and the Planetarium is one of the best I have ever visited. You can learn all about the wonders of the galaxy, immerse yourself in the constellations, and even take the controls of an aircraft. Just make sure you arrive early, especially during weekends or rainy days, as it can get a bit crowded.

4. Get Back to Nature

If you are looking to enjoy the Tulsa fresh air and get back to nature, the city offers a plethora of spots you need to check out!

Tulsa Zoo

A view of a red panda in a tree staring at the camera.
(Photo courtesy of US News)

Located in Mohawk Park, a mere 15-minute drive from downtown Tulsa, Tulsa Zoo is an 80-acre natural wonderland that brings the animals of Australia, South America, and Africa right to your doorstep. Tulsa Zoo has a huge number of species and there are a number of interactive experiences for kids and adults alike.

LaFortune Park

A view of Lafortune Park in Tulsa. It is mostly green with some trees and a city building in the background.
(Photo courtesy of lafortuneparkgolf.com)

Positioned conveniently off Hudson Ave, LaFortune Park spans over 270 acres, and promises something for visitors of every age. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round or two at its 18-hole championship course, while families can take advantage of the playgrounds, swimming pool, and splash pad. The park also features a scenic walking trail that encircles a serene pond – perfect for joggers or those simply looking to enjoy a leisurely stroll.

Woodward Park and Gardens

A view of a fountain of a bay holding a fish that is spitting out water in a highly forested area.
(Photo courtesy of tulsagardencenter.com)

Woodward Park and Gardens sprawls across 45 acres with beautifully manicured gardens, delightful walking paths, and even a historic mansion. No matter the season, there’s always something in bloom, and it’s the ideal spot for leisurely strolls, photography, or even just lounging with a good book. Woodward Park is also home to Tulsa Rose Garden which has 7,000 species of roses and the Tulsa Garden Center which hosts events and classes year-round.

Some other top nature spots include:

  • Oxley Nature Center: Oxley Nature Center has serene walking trails and an impressive interpretive center with fun things to do and see for the whole family. It’s also the perfect spot for some peaceful bird watching so make sure you bring your binoculars.
  • Tulsa Botanic Garden: Located just northwest of downtown, Tulsa Botanic Garden is an evolving space with themed sections, including a tropical conservatory and an aromatic garden.
  • Biscuit Acres Dog Park: Biscuit Acres Park is spread over several acres and allows dogs to roam free, and socialize. The dog park has separate areas for large and small dogs, and you can relax on one of the benches while the pooches play.

5. Explore the Greenwood Historic District

Drenched in history and resilience, the Greenwood Historic District is not just any ordinary part of town – it’s a symbol of the city’s African-American heritage. Often referred to as “Black Wall Street,” this district was once one of the wealthiest African-American communities in the U.S. but was tragically the site of the 1921, Tulsa Race Massacre.

A view of the Greenwood Historic District. There is a street sign that says E Archer St and W Greenwood Ave. There is a brick building in the back with green roofed awnings. There are bikes and cars on the left.
(Photo courtesy of visittulsa.com)

There are many excellent Tulsa tours, but the Black Wall Street Tour is one of the most important things to do in Tulsa. Through stories and landmarks, you will gain a profound appreciation for the spirit of the Greenwood community and their journey of rebuilding and reclaiming their legacy.

6. Try Your Luck at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

An outside view of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa with the famous guitar shaped sign.
(Photo courtesy of okmag.com)

For those looking for a mix of entertainment, dining, and a dash of adrenaline, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is the spot to be. Located just a short drive from the heart of Tulsa, the casino has live concerts, gourmet dining experiences, and luxurious rooms and suites. Whether you’re looking to try your luck at the slot machines or simply enjoy a world-class show, the Hard Rock is the place to be.

7. Dive Under the Sea at the Oklahoma Aquarium

An interior view of the Oklahoma Aquarium walkway, where the water and fish are above the walkway.
(Photo courtesy of greencountryok.com)

Just when you thought Tulsa was all about the prairies, the Oklahoma Aquarium comes along to surprise you! As well as thousands of species, the aquarium also has a number of fun activities, including hands-on exhibits. It’s a wonderful place to take the kids, but the crown jewel has to be the Oklahoma Aquarium’s Shark Adventure – home to the world’s greatest exhibit of bull sharks. As you walk through the tunnel, you will find yourself surrounded by these huge predators, and may just say a silent thank you for the glass.

Definitely one of the best things to do in Tulsa on a rainy day!

8. Take a Selfie with The Golden Driller Statue

Standing tall at 76 feet, the Golden Driller Statue is more than just a roadside attraction – it’s a beloved symbol of Tulsa and its rich oil history. Located in front of the Tulsa Expo Center and just off historic Route 66, this iconic statue makes for a fantastic photo opportunity.

A view of The Golden Driller Statue in Tulsa. It is a giant yellow statue of a man in a hardhat. The sun is setting and there is a building.
(Photo courtesy of visittulsa.com)

Fun fact: The Driller is the sixth-tallest state in the whole of the U.S.! The tallest? Lady Liberty, herself.

9. Learn about a Legend at the Woody Guthrie Center

Tulsa is proud to be the home of the Woody Guthrie Center, dedicated to the iconic folk musician and Oklahoma son it is named after. This center is a treasure trove of Guthrie memorabilia, from his handwritten lyrics to personal items, giving you an intimate look into the life of this musical legend.

An aerial view of a street corner. The building is the Woody Guthrie Center and has a mural on the brick wall that says "This Land is Your Land".
(Photo courtesy of greencountyok.com)

The Woody Guthrie Center also dives deep into Guthrie’s influence on Bob Dylan and other artists, showcasing the profound impact he had on the world of music. Located in the heart of the Tulsa Arts District, this center is a must-visit for anyone with an ear for history and tunes.

10. Explore the Tulsa Arts District

Ah, the Tulsa Arts District! This area is a beautiful medley of creativity, history, and, of course, the arts. Dotted with delightful art museums, quirky galleries, and a plethora of venues offering live performances, it’s the cultural epicenter of the city. One definite highlight is the Brady Theater, an iconic venue that has seen countless legendary performances (check online for upcoming shows.)

A sidewalk view of a street in the Tulsa Arts District. There are people sitting on colorful tables on the sidewalk and cars parked to the left.
(Photo courtesy of visittulsa.com)

The arts district is also home to the Guthrie Center, and the adjacent Guthrie Green Park, which hums with live music, food trucks, and the vibrant energy of locals and tourists alike.

11. Go Hiking in the Tulsa River Parks

A view of a playground in Tulsa River Parks. There are kids playing and people in the background.
(Photo courtesy of greencountryok.com)

The open Tulsa air and Oklahoma countryside beckon as you venture into the Tulsa River Parks. A sprawling network of trails, parks, and green spaces that run along the Arkansas River, it’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re in the mood for a serene walk, a rigorous hike, or some incredible bird-watching (for all my fellow twitching enthusiasts), the River Parks provide the perfect backdrop.

12. Take the Kids to the Discovery Lab

Looking for some fun stuff to do with the little ones? Then look no further than the Tulsa Children’s Museum Discovery Lab. Think of it as a playground for the mind, bursting with interactive exhibits that make learning fun. From hands-on science experiments to imaginative play areas, the museum is designed to stoke curiosity and creativity in kids and also has some fascinating exhibits for the big kids too.

13. Enjoy a Show at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center

An interior view of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. There are red seats and stairs, and two balconies.
(Photo courtesy of tulsapac.com)

When the sun sets, and you’re in the mood for some quality live entertainment, the Tulsa Performing Arts Center is waiting for you. This venue hosts a huge range of shows, from Broadway musicals to intimate concerts. The acoustics are brilliant, and there is always a fun crowd in the audience. It’s a testament to Tulsa’s thriving arts scene, ensuring that every visit leaves you with a song in your heart and a spring in your step.

14. Go Shopping in Utica Square

A view of a fountain in Utica Square in Tulsa. There is a statue of a parent holding her child surrounded by greenery and a building in the background.
(Photo courtesy of Utica Square Facebook Page)

For those moments when retail therapy is the order of the day, Utica Square is your sanctuary. The best shopping haven in Tulsa, it offers a curated mix of high-end brands, local boutiques, and delightful eateries where you can grab lunch or take a coffee break. The square is beautifully landscaped and there are occasional live music events that give it a lively atmosphere.

15. Catch a Game at Oneok Field

An aerial view of Oneok Field in Tulsa. There is a baseball field to the left and a city to the right.
(Photo courtesy of MLB)

For all the sports enthusiasts, Oneok Field on Elgin Ave is where you should head. Home to the minor league baseball team, the Tulsa Drillers, the stadium is always a lively day out, complete with cheering crowds, and, of course, classic ballgame food. Even if you’re not a baseball aficionado, the energy here is contagious, making it a great way to immerse yourself in some local fun.

Final Thoughts on the 15 Best Things to Do in Tulsa, OK

So there it is, folks! My complete rundown of the 15 best things to do in Tulsa, OK.

An aerial view of the city of Tulsa, OK.
(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Seriously, every time I visit Tulsa I fall in love with the city all over again.

From immersing yourself in the Art Deco architecture to checking out the museums and entertainment districts, you could spend a year in Tulsa and barely scratch the surface.

A front view of the The Golden Driller Statue in Tulsa, OK. It is a big yellow statue of a man wearing a hardhat. There is a building in the background.
(Photo courtesy of National Geographic)

I hope these tips have helped you plan your Tulsa trip and that you love it as much as I do.

Oklahooooooooma! Where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain!

“How boring would the world be if everywhere and everyone were the same. Safe travels and good adventures.” Scuba Jay

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