2650 S John Williams Way E, Tulsa OK
Sixty-five acres of parkland in the heart of the city. Thirty-four miles of pathways and trails for walking and biking. Three-story German-engineered play towers. Two land bridges over Tulsa’s Riverside Drive. One new riverfront park like no other.
There are more than 100 unique experiences to be enjoyed at Gathering Place. With countless activities, unique programming, special events and multiple dining options, you will be sure to have a one-of-a-kind visit unmatched by the last. From gardens and meadows to skate parks and sports courts to dozens of acres of adventure-themed playgrounds, Gathering Place offers something for children and adults of all ages.
At $465 million, Gathering Place is the largest private gift to a public park in U.S. history. The park is funded by a combination of more than 80 corporate and philanthropic organizations. When Phase II and III are completed, the footprint of Gathering Place will be 100 acres. After opening in late 2018, this one-of-a-kind park was selected as USA Today’s “Best New Attraction” in the country.
Running through Tulsa and beyond
In 1926, Route 66 was officially opened and recognized as one of the nation’s first highways. Tulsa boasts one of the longest stretches of Route 66 in a metropolitan area. Cyrus Avery, father of the historic “mother road,” called Tulsa home and larger than life statues and historic Route 66 sign commemorate his memory. There are also plenty of other historic attractions along this historic route including the Campbell Hotel, the beautifully preserved, 40-foot-tall neon Meadow Gold Sign and Plaza and the Route 66 Village, home to a restored Frisco 4500 engine and caboose and a 194-feet-tall replica of the oil derricks that brought wealth and opportunity to the area.
300 Aquarium Drive, Jenks, Okla.
The Oklahoma Aquarium is the largest indoor ocean in the four state region with thousands of aquatic creatures featured in more than 100 exhibits. The largest number of bull sharks in an aquarium setting with lemon, nurse and sand tiger sharks swimming alongside you and even overhead, as you walk through a unique, underwater tunnel. Visitors will be amazed by the incredible variety of other fish including seahorses, jellyfish and eels.
From salt water to fresh water, this aquarium in the Tulsa suburb of Jenks features a dazzling array of water creatures. Oklahoma has an amazing array of underwater wildlife swimming in our lakes and rivers, such as seven-foot alligator gars and 100 pound spoonbills, and the aquarium features special exhibits highlighting these native species.
6421 E 36th Street N, Tulsa, OK
For over 90 years, the Tulsa Zoo has inspired a passion for wildlife as a fun and affordable destination where families can connect. Founded in the 1920s a resource for wildlife education and recreation, the Tulsa Zoo is home to over 1,500 animals of more than 400 species. Many of the animals in zoo care are rare and endangered in the wild.
Visit immersive exhibits, like the Lost Kingdom or Mary K. Chapman Rhino Reserve; learn more about your favorite animals during daily keeper chats; or enjoy the scenery during a round-trip on the train. Children can enjoy extra activities like the Wildlife Carousel, playground, or petting zoo. The zoo is open to visitors 363 days a year.
The Golden Driller
Expo Square, 4145 E 21st Street
A beloved Tulsa landmark since 1966, the Golden Driller is a one-of-a-kind monument weighing in at 43,500 pounds and standing 76 feet tall, making it one of the tallest freestanding statues in the United States. The Driller was first erected by the Mid-Continental Supply Company at the 1953 International Petroleum Exposition. The company donated the statue to the Tulsa County Fairgrounds Trust Authority. In 1979, the Golden Driller was even adopted as the state monument.
A plaque at the base of the monument reads “The Golden Driller, a symbol of the International Petroleum Exposition. Dedicated to the men of the petroleum industry who by their vision and daring have created from God’s abundance a better life for mankind.”
423 N Main Street, Tulsa, OK
Built in 1924 in the heart of downtown Tulsa, historic Cain’s Ballroom has been host to thousands of musicians and performers throughout the years. It was the site of Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys’ first regular radio broadcast, and they continued to play there regularly. The establishment is known as “The Home of Bob Wills,” as well as “Carnegie Hall of Western Swing.” Today, the ballroom still is a favorite with its spring-loaded dance floor and different genres of musicians who cross the stage.
In addition to its notoriety as a music venue, Cain’s Ballroom is also rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Bob Wills himself, and it is thought the ghost may have contributed to the success of the venue. There have also been sightings of a “lady in red” who has been seen, heard and felt by both employees and patrons.
Art Deco Buildings
Buildings centralized in downtown Tulsa
Tulsans like to brag about their unique architecture style. In fact, Tulsa has one of the largest concentrations of art deco architecture in the U.S., behind only New York and Miami. But what is Art Deco, and why are we so proud of it?
Art Deco is a decorative art style of the 1920’s and ‘30s characterized by precise and boldly delineated geometric shapes and strong colors. The timing of the style was perfect for Tulsa, then known as the “Oil Capitol of the World.” Tulsa was experiencing unprecedented growth and oil barons has money to invest. Thankfully for today’s Tulsans those oil tycoons built skyscrapers that embodied the zigzag, streamlined style of Art Deco.
Our Art Deco legacy is most concentrated in downtown Tulsa, but examples of it can be found across the city in schools, churches, theaters, private homes and office buildings.
Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum
The Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum began as a dream, the dream of Richard Holmes, a Tulsa attorney and car enthusiasts. That dream is alive and well today and houses several vintage and army automobiles.
With just a short drive up Route 66 from Tulsa, the museum is a great stop to relax and rest inside, while taking a walk-through memory lane. While there, don’t forget to get your picture with the World’s Tallest Gas Pump. This pump is a throwback to the many towering Route 66 icons that once welcomed travelers along the path from Chicago to LA.
The Mother-road is alive and well today as the many iconic and scenic roadways and restaurants are seeing a renewed life through preservation activity. Start your family adventure today at the Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum. Hours Tuesday-Saturday 10-4; Sunday 12-4.
13 Sahoma Lake Road
Sapulpa, OK 74066