Tulsa Time 8

Ideal Destination for Holiday Shopping, Fun and Food

If you haven’t visited T-Town in several years, now’s a great time. In addition to a plethora of entertainment and dining options, Tulsa lays claim to many unique shopping centers and boutiques, so you can have fun while getting your holiday shopping done!

My last visit was this August, when I traveled to northeast Oklahoma with my sister Lori Hanna and niece and nephew-in-law Lindsey and Evan Davies (along with their baby Liam) to attend one aunt’s 50-year wedding anniversary in nearby Bixby and to visit another aunt in Tulsa–taking the opportunity to also tour several sites in Tulsa and nearby Claremore, the birthplace of Oklahoma’s favorite son, Will Rogers.

I always enjoy my visits to this cosmopolitan city, which proudly showcases its rich history, while also offering a wide range of entertainment options to please just about any age or interest.

During our last visit, we experienced an event you won’t find in any of the city’s tourism literature. Early in the wee hours of Aug. 6, we were awakened by tornado warnings. Fortunately, we escaped the worst of the storm, but the funnel touched down only blocks away from us, near 36th Street and Harvard Avenue, causing significant damage, then traveled in an easterly direction for about six minutes. Hopefully, your visit will offer excitement of a less stressful kind!

Following are a few things to consider when planning your visit:

  • • Oklahoma’s second-largest city and the 47th-most populous city in the country features buildings in a myriad of design styles, including art deco/art deco revival, Deco Moderne, Greek Revival and Zigzag.
  • • Tulsa is the Birthplace of Route 66 (aka Will Rogers Highway), thanks to Tulsa businessman Cyrus Avery (the Father of Route 66), who in 1925 began his campaign to create a road linking Chicago to Los Angeles by establishing the U.S. Highway 66 Association in that city. Tulsa Route 66 landmarks include the 76-foot-tall “Golden Driller,” which stands watch over the Tulsa Expo Square, and the restored Meadow Gold Neon Sign.
  • • Tulsa is considered by many the cultural and arts center of Oklahoma. It houses two world-renowned art museums–the Gilcrease (Gilcrease.org), housing the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West, and the Philbrook (Philbrook.org), showcasing nine collections of art from around the world spanning various artistic media and styles, along with beautiful and expansive formal gardens. It also claims full-time professional opera and ballet companies.
  • • Situated on the Arkansas River at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in northeast Oklahoma (a region of the state known as Green Country), Tulsa and its environs offer many places to seek out adventure, including the nation’s third-largest municipal park, Mohawk Park. The 2,800-acre park is home to the Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum, the Oxley Nature Center, Mohawk Golf Course and Mohawk Sports Complex. Another great choice is the Tulsa/Jenks Riverwalk. Why not start by renting electric bicycles for the day or only hour at Pedego Electric Bikes at Jenks Riverwalk Crossing? Since you’re sure to work up an appetite, you’ll be glad to know the Riverwalk is home of a variety of eateries serving up great food and drink. For more information, including a schedule of events, visit RiverWalkTulsa.com.
  • • May we also recommend?

The Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks (Okaquarium.org)

J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum 
(TheGunMuseum.com) in Claremore 

Rogers Memorial Museum and Birthplace Ranch 
(WillRogers.com) in Claremore

Before your Tulsa visit, check out the Tulsa Convention & Visitors Bureau website (VisitTulsa.com), where you can find a wealth of information to help you plan your visit, including a calendar of events and a downloadable visitors guide.

Make sure to take along your camera and comfortable walking shoes. You’ll need them!