Tulsa Travel Guide

Culture

Though Oklahoma is placed entirely in the Southern United States by the United States Census Bureau, Tulsa is influenced by the nearby Southwest, Midwest, and Southern cultural regions, as well as a historical native American presence. These influences are expressed in the city's museums, cultural centers, performing arts venues, ethnic festivals, park systems, zoos, wildlife preserves, and large and growing collections of public sculptures, monuments, and artwork.

Arts and theatre

Located in the former estate of oil pioneer Waite Phillips, Philbrook Museum is considered one of the top 50 fine art museums in the United States, and is one of only five to offer a combination of a historic home, formal gardens, and an art collection. The collections of Thomas Gilcrease are housed at the Gilcrease Museum, which also holds the world's largest, most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West. With remnants of the Holocaust and artifacts relevant to Judaism in Oklahoma, the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art preserves the largest collection of Judaica in the Southwest United States. Other museums, such as the Tulsa Historical Society, the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, and the Tulsa Geosciences Center, document histories of the region, while the Greenwood Cultural Center preserves the culture of the city's African American heritage, housing a collection of artifacts and photography that document the history of the Black Wall Street prior to the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. Opened in April 2013, the Woody Guthrie Center in the Brady Arts District is Tulsa's newest museum. In addition to interactive state-of-the-art museum displays, the Woody Guthrie Center also houses the Woody Guthrie Archives, containing thousands of Guthrie's personal items, sheet music, manuscripts, books, photos, periodicals, and other items associated with the iconic Oklahoma native.

Since 1969, public displays of artwork in Tulsa have been funded by one percent of its annual city budget. Each year, a sculpture from a local artist is installed along the Arkansas River trail system, while other sculptures stand at local parks, such as an enlarged version of Cyrus Dallin's Appeal to the Great Spirit sculpture at Woodward Park. At the entrance to Oral Roberts University stands a large statue of praying hands, which, at high, is the largest bronze sculpture in the world. As a testament to the city's oil heritage, the Golden Driller guards the front entrance to the Tulsa County Fairgrounds.

Tulsa contains several permanent dance, theater, and concert groups, including the Tulsa Ballet, the Tulsa Opera, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, Light Opera Oklahoma, Signature Symphony at TCC, the Tulsa Youth Symphony, the Heller Theatre, American Theatre Company, which is a member of the Theatre Communications Group and Oklahoma's oldest resident professional theatre, and Theatre Tulsa, the oldest continuously operating community theatre company west of the Mississippi River. Tulsa also houses the Tulsa Spotlight Theater, which shows the longest-running play in America (The Drunkard) every Saturday night. Large performing arts complexes include the Tulsa Convention Center, the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Expo Square Pavilion, the Mabee Center, the Tulsa Performing Arts Center for Education, and the River Parks Amphitheater and Tulsa's largest venue, the BOK Center. Ten miles west of the city, an outdoor amphitheater called "Discoveryland!" holds the official title of the world performance headquarters for the musical Oklahoma!, while Cain's Ballroom, considered the birthplace of Western Swing, housed the performance headquarters of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys during the 1930s. The centerpiece of the downtown Brady Arts District, the Brady Theater, is the largest of the city's five operating performing arts venues that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The city's film community hosts annual festivals such as the Tulsa United Film Festival and Tulsa Overground Film and Music Festival.

Outdoor recreation

The city of Tulsa manages 135 parks spread over . Woodward Park, a tract located in midtown Tulsa, doubles as a botanical gardens featuring the Tulsa Municipal Rose Garden, with more than 6,000 rose plants in 250 varieties, and the Linnaeus Teaching Gardens, which demonstrate the latest and most successful techniques for growing vegetables, annuals, perennials, woody plants and groundcovers. Tulsa River Parks is a series of linear parks that run adjacent to the Arkansas River for about from downtown to the Jenks bridge. Since 2007 a significant portion of the River Parks area has been renovated with new trails, landscaping and playground equipment. The River Parks Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area on the west side of the Arkansas River in south Tulsa is a 300-acre area that contains over 45 miles of dirt trails available for hiking, trail running, mountain biking and horseback riding.

The city's zoo, the Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum, was voted "America's Favorite Zoo" in 2005 by Microsoft Game Studios in connection with a national promotion of its Zoo Tycoon 2 computer game. Doubling as a museum that documents the cultures and history of various climates in North America, the zoo encompasses a total of with approximately 1,500 animals and 436 species. The zoo is located in Mohawk Park (the third largest municipal park in the United States) which also contains the Oxley Nature Center. On the west bank of the Arkansas River in the suburb of Jenks, the Oklahoma Aquarium is the state's only freestanding aquarium, containing over 200 exhibits, including a shark tank.

The Tulsa State Fair, operating in late September and early October, attracts over one million people during its 10-day run, and the city's Oktoberfest celebration was named one of the top 10 in the world by USA Today and one of the top German food festivals in the nation by Bon Appetit magazine. A number of other cultural heritage festivals are held in the city throughout the year, including the Intertribal Indian Club Powwow of Champions in August; Scotstfest, India Fest, Greek Festival, and Festival Viva Mexico in September; ShalomFest in October; Dia de Los Muertos Art Festival in November; and the Asian-American Festival in May. The annual Mayfest arts and crafts festival held downtown was estimated to have drawn more than 365,000 people in its four-day run in 2012. On a smaller scale, the city hosts block parties during a city-wide "Block Party Day" each year, with festivals varying in size throughout city neighborhoods. Tulsa has one major amusement park attraction, Big Splash Water Park, featuring multi-story water slides and large wave pools. Until 2006, the city also hosted Bell's Amusement Park, which closed after Tulsa County officials declined to renew its lease agreement.

Sports

Tulsa supports a wide array of sports at the professional and collegiate levels. Currently, the city hosts one team in first-tier professional leagues, the Tulsa Shock of the WNBA; two NCAA Division I colleges; and four professional, minor league sports teams, playing in basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer. The city also contains one of the nation's top rated golf courses, Southern Hills Country Club, which is one of two courses that have hosted seven men's major championships: three U.S. Opens and four PGA Championships, the most recent in 2007. The course has held five amateur championships and from 2001 to 2008 the LPGA had a regular tour stop, most recently known as the SemGroup Championship at Cedar Ridge Country Club. The 19,199-seat BOK Center is the centerpiece of the Vision 2025 projects and was completed in August 2008. The BOK Center was in the top ten among indoor arenas worldwide in ticket sales for the first quarter of 2009. It is the home for the city's WNBA, arena football, and hockey teams. From 1978 to 1984, the city hosted the Tulsa Roughnecks, who played in the now-defunct North American Soccer League and won that league's championship in 1983. Also in 1984, the city hosted the Oklahoma Outlaws of the now-defunct United States Football League for a single season.

Tulsa has two universities that compete at the NCAA Division I level: the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane, and the Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles. The University of Tulsa's men's basketball program has reached the Sweet Sixteen three times, made an appearance in the Elite Eight in 2000, won the NIT championship in 1981 and 2001, and won the inaugural College Basketball Invitational in 2008. The Tulsa football team has played in 16 bowl games, including the Sugar Bowl (twice) and the Orange Bowl. Oral Roberts University's men's basketball team reached the Elite Eight in 1974 and won the Mid-Continent Conference title three straight years, from 2005 to 2007. At the secondary level, the Tulsa area is home to several high school athletic programs that are frequently ranked among the best nationally.

In 2008 Tulsa funded 39.2 million to build a new ballpark in the Greenwood District near downtown for its Class AA Texas League baseball team, the Tulsa Drillers. The ground breaking was held on December 19, 2008. ONEOK bought the naming rights for for the next 25 years. The first game at ONEOK Field was held on April 8, 2010. Country music star Tim McGraw threw out the first pitch.

The city's running and cycling communities support events such as the Tulsa Tough cycling race, the Route 66 Marathon, and the Tulsa Run, which features over 8000 participants annually. Gambling is supported by a community of Indian gaming venues that have been allowed to expand gambling options. In 2005, compacts between the state and various tribes allowed facilities to offer table card games and slot machines. Another popular gambling draw, Horse racing events are housed by the Fair Meadows Race Track and Will Rogers Downs in nearby Claremore.

Current Metro Area Teams
Metro Area Collegiate Teams

source: Wikipedia

Things To Do in Tulsa See All Things To Do in Tulsa

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    201 N Elgin Ave

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