Oklahoma City, OK


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Maintaining its frontier spirit, Oklahoma City is a hotbed of cultural activity and features a vibrant downtown district with historic attractions, museums, art galleries, and a diversity of restaurants. The city is divided into several distinct districts, ranging from old warehouse districts that have been converted into trendy nightlife hotspots to tourist-friendly districts that house some of the city's most-visited museums, casinos, and other attractions. Travelers looking for a taste of frontier country and modern attractions will find plenty to do and see around Oklahoma City.

Must see in Oklahoma City
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art in Bricktown is a must-see attraction for any first-time visitor, home to the largest collection of Chihuly glass in the world and an historic art house. Head to the Asia District for the day, home to a growing Vietnamese Asian community, to enjoy authentic food at locally-owned restaurants and shop at the famous Super Cao Nguyen Supermarket. Learn about the history of Oklahoma City and see the 100-year-old American elm, known as the Survivor Tree, which survived the bombing of the Alfred F. Murrah Federal Building in 1995, at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.

Where to stay in Oklahoma City
Families that want easy access to tourist attractions, including the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and the Omniplex Science Museum, can find affordable hotels in the Adventure District which caters primarily to tourists. Younger travelers planning to spend most of their time enjoying the night clubs and trendy restaurants can stay in Bricktown, the warehouse district that boasts several live music venues and a movie theatre. Cheaper hotels and motels can be found on the outskirts of the city and closer to Will Rogers World Airport.

Best and worst time to go to Oklahoma City
March through June is the best time to visit Oklahoma City since it is shoulder season and the spring temperatures are comfortable. Even though this is also tornado season, you can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities when tornado predictions are not in the forecast. Avoid traveling between July and October when the city is crowded with tourists and you have to endure the sweltering summer heat. Even though flights may be cheaper during this time, you may be limited on activities and find it difficult to make reservations at hotels and restaurants round the city.

Where to get lost in Oklahoma City
The Paseo Arts District is the perfect place to get lost in Oklahoma City, the place to enjoy some snacks or baked goods at sidewalk cafes like The Picasso Cafe, visit craft shops, and catch some live music outdoors. Visit galleries and art studios scattered along Paseo, N. Walker, and N. Shartel Avenue. Enjoy classic American fare at the Paseo Grill that serves Maple Leaf Farm duck breast and other locally sourced foods.

The best deal in Oklahoma City
Don't miss the chance to explore the Myriad Botanical Gardens, one of six international parks selected as a finalist in the 2015 Urban Land Institute Urban Open Space Award Competition. Admission is always free and you can catch movies in the gardens during the summertime. Admission to the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and active military members, $5 for children between 4 and 12 years of age, and free for children under 4 years of age. Student and group discounts are available.

Transportation in Oklahoma City
Renting a car is the easiest way to get around the city. The city is well-connected by several interstates and main roads, including I-35, I-40, and I-44. Explore the downtown area with ease using the Oklahoma City METRO or by hopping abroad the Oklahoma Spirit Trolley.

Getting in from Oklahoma City Airport
Will Rogers World Airport offers easy access to Downtown Oklahoma City via I-44 and I-40, about a 15-minute drive away. Take advantage of free airport shuttle service available at select hotels or rent a car for easy travel to Oklahoma City destinations.

Local tip for visitors to Oklahoma City
Feast on a platter of lamb fries with house dressing at Cattlemen's Steakhouse, an iconic restaurant that has served the likes of John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Reba McEntire, George H. Bush and other celebrities throughout its history.

Sabah Karimi is a freelance travel and lifestyle writer based in Florida. You'll find her work on "USA Today", "U.S. News & World Report", and LowFares.com. Follow her on Twitter.