When people think of vacation destinations, they may not be thinking of Tulsa, Oklahoma. But I’m here to tell you, they should be.
Tulsa has a new park called the Gathering Place (opened Sept 2018) and I’m fairly certain it’s one of the premier parks in the United States, if not the world. It’s been recognized as a top new attraction by USA Today. I’m not going to blather on about how great the Gathering Place is – words don’t do it justice. Please – just plan a visit and see for yourself.
Before our time at the park, we enjoyed coffee and a cinnamon roll at Shades of Brown, one of many adorable and inviting coffee shops in the greater Tulsa area. This one features local art and music and serves their yummy treats and beverages in hand-made clay pottery.
Dinner was at Mother Road Market, ‘Tulsa’s First Food Hall,’ a unique and freestanding food court sort of place with multiple offerings of every cuisine imaginable. It’s a fun atmosphere and there’s a small mini-golf course in the outdoor eating area. You don’t see that every day!
After some shopping and a bit of sightseeing, we ended up at Shuffles Board Game Cafe which was an absolute ton of fun. Pay a small fee and have access to the largest selection of board games you’ve probably ever seen. Sip a beverage and enjoy some (actually very good) food and relax. Stay and play as long as you like. We had a blast.
Worthy of mention, even though we didn’t visit on this trip, the Mayo Hotel is a great place to stay downtown. They have a very cool rooftop bar with lovely views of the city. Oh and the showers are stupendous.
Tulsa was the site of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots and a visit to the Greenwood Cultural Center is a must when you find yourself in the area. The story is not widely known, but it was one of the biggest and most tragic mass casualty attacks on black Americans in US history. This book, The Burning, is an excellent read and well worth the time. It reads like a novel, but sadly every story told actually happened.
Not very far from Tulsa is the home of Oklahoma’s very own Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. In the little town of Pawhuska, you will find her mercantile, hotel and restaurant. If you’re lucky, you can score a tour of the Lodge at Drummond Ranch.
Tulsa is a gem in the beautiful state of Oklahoma. I hope you will have the opportunity to discover it for yourself!