Oklahoma Tourist Attractions
Today, the demographics of the state reflect the diversity of its people. While the majority of its Native American population reside in the former Indian Territory, some Plains tribes still inhabit the western part of the state. While the majority of African Americans are descendants of people enslaved by the Five Civilized Tribes, some also migrated from the South after the end of the Civil War, during the land run of 1889, and today, live in the state’s urban centers. In fact, some towns are dominated by African American populations.
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In the state’s capital, Tulsa, visitors will find an eclectic mix of ethnic food. Ethnic festivals are held throughout the year and include Celtic, Irish, German, Italian, Vietnamese, Jewish, and African-American communities.
The Tulsa State Fair attracts over a million visitors each year, and the city’s Mayfest festival has entertained more than 375,000 people over four days in 2007. USA Today’s 2006 Oktoberfest ranked as one of the top ten Oktoberfests worldwide.
The southern-central region of the state is home to the Red River Valley and the Arbuckle Mountains, two areas that form the border with Texas. The Red River Valley features fertile soil, and there are small towns located here as well. The Red Beds Plains is the largest land area in Oklahoma, consisting largely of red shale and sandstone. Gypsum Hills are low hills covered with sparkling gypsum.
Great Salt Plains State Park #1
Great Salt Plains State Park can be found in the northern part of Oklahoma. It is located on the shores and shallows of the salty, scenic Lake of the Same Name. It is home of beautiful and desolate landscapes, which seem to go on for ever. Its name derives from the pretty plains made of sparkling salt, all that remains of an once large prehistoric ocean.
The stunning salt landscape is breathtaking, but the park also offers many great outdoor activities. The lake offers amazing swimming, boating, fishing, and bird watching.
Great Salt Plains State Park is unique in that you can actually dig your own selenite stones. From April through October thousands of people visit the state parks to find the hourglass-shaped crystals.
Natural Falls State Park #2
Natural Falls State Park is located in the northeast corner of Arkansas, close to the Arkansas border. It can be found amid stunning scenery from the Ozark Highlands. The park has beautiful forest, fauna and flora but is best known because of the waterfall that lies at its heart.
Dripping Springs falls, which reach heights of 75 feet (23m), tumble down a rugged cliff face to join a serene pool below. Hidden in a narrow valley, the falls can only be seen from one of the two observation platforms. Here, you can take amazing photos of this spectacular waterfall.
Although the waterfall is the highlight of the state park, it is also a wonderful place for a picnic and barbecue. Some visitors are even able to stay overnight in one or more of the five cosy Yurts. A basketball and volleyball court is available, as are scenic hiking trails through the woods.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area #3
Chickasaw National Recreation Area can be found in southern Oklahoma near the city of Sulphur. This area offers an array of excellent outdoor activities. It is nestled at the foothills Arbuckle Mountains. This area boasts many outdoor activities including streams and springs as well forests and lakes.
A quarter of the park is comprised of beautiful waterways. This makes it ideal for swimming, fishing, and boating. The Lake of the Arbuckles offers the most water, with beautiful picnic areas and campgrounds.
Although water dominates the recreation area, it is also a feature that defines it. However, the woods are beautiful to wander through and have a diverse array of fauna and plants to be discovered. Visitors can learn about Chickasaw National Recreation Area through exhibits or live classes at the Travertine Natur Center.
Philbrook Museum of Art #4
The Philbrook Museum of Art’s primary location is located in a charming villa from the 1920s. This beautiful villa has Italian Renaissance architecture, and gorgeous grounds.
Waite Phillips, a local oil magnate owned the villa once. It has 72 rooms, three stories, and was built by a famous architect. The exterior was made of white marble and stucco. It sparkles under the sunlight.
The interior features include beautiful wooden floors, marble fountains, fireplaces, ornate fireplaces, as well as intricate ceilings. The Phillips Estate was donated to the City in 1938. The Museum opened one year later. Even though the building looks beautiful, it is nothing compared to the magnificent gallery that houses the largest collection of art in the state.
It features nine collections from around the world. Its main attraction is its vast Native American art collection. It contains traditional artifacts such as woven items and pottery, as well paintings and jewelry. The museum spans 23 acres and contains art from America, Europe, Africa, Asia, as well as works from America.
45th Infantry Division Memorial #5
The 45th Infantry Division Memorial is named after the National Guard’s 45th Infantry Division. It is also home to the Thunderbirds. It boasts 27,000 square feet and is one the most fascinating Oklahoma attractions.
It is located in Oklahoma City. The 45th Infantry was the first unit of National Guards to go out in World War II. It made a long tour through Europe. They would then serve in the Korean War.
Reaves Firearms is home to some of the most valuable pieces in the 45th Infantry Division museum’s collection. This includes a vast array of weapons that dates back to the Revolutionary War up to the Vietnam War. Also, a Confederate cannon. Additional highlights include over 200 cartoons taken by a World War II soldier of the 45th Division. There is also an exhibit about the history of flags.