POSTED ON FEBRUARY 22, 2012:
Take a Tour
Oklahoma City has paved new roads to downtown enjoyment
You've got one day in Oklahoma City. So much to do, but so little time. How do you choose? Don't worry; we're here to help. With just one day -- or even a few hours -- to explore, head to downtown and experience the heart and soul of Oklahoma City.
Located on the north side of downtown, the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum teaches the lessons learned and the hope that rose from the April 19, 1995 domestic terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Start inside with the Memorial Museum, and then head outside to the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial to reflect on the powerful experience of the museum exhibits and artifacts. Also, be sure to swing back by at night to see the beautiful Outdoor Symbolic Memorial in a whole new light.
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art, located in the heart of the downtown Arts District, is another must-see attraction. Its permanent collection consists of European and American art as well as the most comprehensive collection of Chihuly glass in the world. Grab lunch at their gourmet Museum Café and swing by the gift shop for some fun and funky souvenirs. And if you happen to be in town on a Thursday night from May to October, be sure to check out "Cocktails on the Skyline," where you can grab a cocktail on the museum rooftop from 5-10pm.
From the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, you can walk three blocks south on Hudson Avenue to the Myriad Botanical Gardens& Tropical Conservatory. This 17-acre living plant museum makes your senses come alive with bright blooms, bubbling fountains and lush foliage. The gardens and conservatory received a $40 million makeover in 2011, including a new LED lighting system that illuminates the entire "tube" at night with a beautiful array of colors. Start inside the conservatory, but be sure to leave time to walk the entire grounds.
Even if pickin' and grinnin' isn't your thing, seeing the beauty of the instruments at the American Banjo Museum and learning their uniquely American history is worth the visit. And after you leave whistling from the American Banjo Museum, it's time to paint the town (brick) red in the Bricktown Entertainment District. Grab dinner at one of the numerous restaurants and hit the dance floor at one of the lively nightclubs. Or catch a ride on a Bricktown Water Taxi along the mile-long Bricktown Canal. The water taxis run like a bus service, taking passengers throughout the district while tour guides provide an entertaining and informative narrated tour. The canal ends in Lower Bricktown, where you can see the Oklahoma Centennial Land Run Monument. When complete in 2015, the sculpture-in-progress will feature 45 heroic (life and one-half size) figures of land run participants, frozen in motion as they race to claim new homesteads.
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