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.
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.
This home was built for one of the Oklahoma City's most beloved benefactors, William Overholser. Now nearly a century old, this residence that's reminiscent of a French chateau gives visitors a glimpse into Oklahoma's early development. Overholser was a successful businessman and the first president of the city's chamber of commerce. The interior of the home retains its original antique furnishings and some of the other highlights include imported rugs and decorative stained glass windows. Tours are given every hour starting at 10.
Stockyards City is a historical part of town that showcases all things Western. When settlers arrived, they used the area as a cattleyard and over the decades it became dotted with packing plants throughout. Today, the cattle market still functions as one of the largest in the world. The packing warehouses are gone, most are replaced with western wear shops and great restaurants, try the popular Cattlemen's Steakhouse, the steaks are outstanding. One of the highlights for guests is the ability to saunter out over a walkway to see the bovines mooing below in the National Stockyards Exchange. If you would like to see a place that played an integral role in the city's history, come down and check out this interesting neighborhood, you might even find that perfect cowboy hat!
When President Teddy Roosevelt signed Oklahoma into statehood in the fall of 1907, its original capitol was in Guthrie. Three years later the capitol moved to Oklahoma City and strangely enough it is the only one with working oil rigs on the grounds. This building is the centerpiece of the entire Capitol Campus and both representative chambers are located in the east and west wings, respectively. The capitol historical society offers tours on the hour from 9am-3pm and reservations are highly recommended. Admission is free, and when your done with the campus and capitol, the trendy neighborhoods of Lincoln Terrace and Capitol View have many restaurants and bars that provide perfect places to rest your feet.
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.
The Harn Homestead and 1889ers Museum is where city benefactor William Fremont Harn developed this quintessential frontier homestead. The estate contains a one-room schoolhouse, a grandiose Victorian mansion and a petting-zoo/farm on the grounds. The land was claimed during the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889 and today the complex offers hands-on education about the work ethic during the late 19th Century as well as providing field trips and day camps. The 9.4 acre facility is also available for corporate events, weddings, birthday parties, etc.
This Dutch Colonial mansion of 12 rooms and 14,000 square feet has been the home of the governor since 1928. There is an Oklahoma room with a carpet featuring the state seal. The Phillips Pavilion was added on the grounds for larger parties, because the inside dining area was only able to seat 60 for dinner. The new pavilion also features a gift shop where you can pick up souvenirs and Made-in-Oklahoma items. Guided tours are offered on Wednesdays. Admission is free.