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The Myriad Botanical Garden is a green oasis that offers space and serenity within the concrete urban sprawl of Oklahoma City's downtown. The gardens are spread across 17 acres (6.9 hectares), and the horticulturists often offer educational classes and workshops as well as just a place to relax. Upon entering, the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory contains more than 2000 species of plants and in addition to permanent species, the gardens display rotating exhibits such as orchids and more exotic plants throughout the year. The Grand Event Lawn in the outer gardens and the Water Stage on the lake are frequently used for events like concerts, theater and movie screenings year-round.
The Bricktown Canal is one of Oklahoma City's most popular tourist destinations. Loosely modeled after San Antonio's River Walk, this man-made canal runs through the historic, yet revitalized Bricktown district and it evokes an experience reminiscent of that popular stroll in the Alamo city. There are restaurants and attractions on both sides of the canal, some include the Bricktown Brewery, the quirky American Banjo Museum, the Myriad Botanical Gardens and within the neighborhood you'll find Chesapeake Energy Arena, home to the NBA's Thunder. While you are here, don't forget to take a trip on a water taxi, no trip is complete without it!
In 1889, over two million acres in present-day Oklahoma was opened to settlement by President Benjamin Harrison. However, land couldn't be claimed until after noon on April 22 of that year. Over 50,000 settlers lined up on that day, and when a canon was fired at noon it was off to the races to claim some land. This monument, designed by local artist Paul Moore, is at 1.5 scale, giving the pieces a larger-than-life appearance.
You cannot miss the dramatic presence of Chesapeake Boathouse, in the shape of a slender rowing shell, along the banks of the Oklahoma River. It lends a beautifully surreal image of the Chesapeake building floating above the river, especially during the night. Apart from offering marine facilities like kayaking, rowing and dragon boating, Chesapeake Boathouse also rents deck, lobby and its event-room for meetings, parties and receptions.
This museum is housed in the ornate Mid-Continent Life Insurance building and its primary goal is to inform visitors about the many contributions that Oklahomans have provided to their state and country. Some of the highlights are the 'Bust Gallery', which displays the sculptured likenesses of famous Oklahomans like Maria Tallchief, Ralph Ellison and Mickey Mantle. There is also an interactive exhibit about the Chickasaw Nation and the Chesapeake Oklahoma Theater is located inside. Additionally, the museum provides a backdrop for other events such as field trips, workshops, weddings, etc.
What started out as one of the first shopping districts in 1929 gradually evolved to become a haven for jazz musicians, students and small businesses by the end of the 1950s. The end of this era brought with it the counter-culture which determined the atmosphere of the Paseo in the 1960's, but it was only until the next decade that it became one of the country's finest art districts. It fell into some decay through the 80's, however today it has been revitalized and the shops host food, art and music festivals year-round. Don't forget the district's 'First Friday Art Walk', where everyone comes out to buy and sell local wares.
This zoo in OKC is consistently rated as one of the best zoos in the United States, home to nearly 3,000 animals, it definitely is one of the largest. Some featured exhibits include the Cat Forest and Lion Overlook, in which you can see lions, tigers, jaguars and leopards. The 'Great Escape' showcases gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and other primate life. One of the zoo's most popular attractions is 'Aquaticus', an aquarium extravaganza that features a dolphin and sea lion spectacle. The zoo is also very active in the community, it provides nature classes, labs, tours and 'Zoomobiles' for all ages. At the end of the day, guests usually catch the show under the stars at the Zoo Amphitheater.
Located north of downtown Oklahoma City, this stretch of Western Avenue features a dizzying array of restaurants, shops and entertainment options. There are also multiple antique shops and art galleries in which you will probably find that unique item to add to your home or garden. Be sure to take advantage of their 'Wednesdays on Western' promotion, during which many merchants offer special deals and discounts to customers.
At this western-themed amusement park, there are rides and attractions galore for the whole family. From thrill-rides to water slides, shows, games and concerts, this park does not leave any fun stone unturned. Let the wee ones play in Paul Bunyan's Tiny Timber Town, while the adults go wild on one of the four roller coasters or take the whole family down 'Renegade Rapids' in unison.