Home » 15 Best Things to Do in Tulsa, OK: Top-Rated Attractions 2022

15 Best Things to Do in Tulsa, OK: Top-Rated Attractions 2022

Best Things to Do in Tulsa

15 Best Things to Do in Tulsa, OK: Top-Rated Attractions 2022

The dynamic city of Tulsa is the second-largest in Oklahoma and, as a result, has an incredible variety of entertainment for the curious visitor. The city is home to a charming mix of metropolitan wonders imbued with an unparalleled sense of southern hospitality.

You’ll find plenty of restaurants and bars in the Blue Dome Entertainment District, a rich cultural heritage that can be seen at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, or a fascinating story at the Gilcrease Museum.

However, the surrounding state of Oklahoma is home to a seemingly endless variety of natural and cultural destinations, ranging from beautiful state parks and waterfalls to traditional southern towns and art destinations.

Let’s take a look at the best things to do in Tulsa:

1. Turner Falls Park

15 Best Things to Do in Tulsa, OK: Top-Rated Attractions 2022
15 Best Things to Do in Tulsa, OK: Top-Rated Attractions 2022

For an unforgettable nature-filled adventure, head to Davis, where you’ll find the tallest waterfall in Oklahoma: the impressive Turner Falls.

The falls are home to pools, climbs, jumps, and hidden caves, making it an unparalleled summer destination for groups or families looking for fun in the sun.

The expansive park also contains numerous trails perfect for working up a sweat before cooling off in the sparkling water. Before heading back to Tulsa, be sure to peruse the many charming independent boutiques around Davis.

2. Lake Eufaula

Also on our list is the largest lake in Oklahoma, a prime spot for fishing thanks to the rich diversity of fish found here and offering a host of other activities that make for a desirable day trip.

With more than 600 miles of coastline, there are endless activities to keep visitors busy, from golfing and boating to relaxing on one of the many beautiful beaches lapped by pine trees.

Less than two hours from Tulsa, you can spend the whole day in the sun in Eufaula and have lunch at one of the delicious seaside restaurants.

3. Oklahoma City

15 Best Things to Do in Tulsa, OK: Top-Rated Attractions 2022

Those coming from Tulsa will immediately find themselves with many things to do north of Oklahoma City upon arriving on the North Side.

Eclectic Bricktown is home to one of the best entertainment in the city, from attractions in the Warehouse district to many iconic bars, restaurants, and clubs.

Or the acclaimed Oklahoma Science Museum, packed with hands-on attractions and fun for the whole family.

Not far from downtown, you’ll also find the famous Lake Hefner Park, a favorite spot for fishing enthusiasts and boaters and home to some stunning sunsets – it’s a perfect place to relax on the lakefront.

4. Red Rock Canyon State Park

The striking scarlet canyon walls for which the park is named are the ideal setting for anyone seeking outdoor adventure in one of Oklahoma’s most unique and intriguing state parks.

Red Rock Canyon State Park is just over two hours from Tulsa and offers leisurely hikes among sheer rock faces that make you feel like you’re a world away from the busy city.

Those interested in settler history will be fascinated by the century-old wagon wheel found along the routes. You can also do guided or independent rappelling down the canyon walls for an adrenaline-pumping afternoon.

5. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

The vast expanse of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge covers a staggering 59,000 acres, offering an incredible variety of activities for nature lovers and casual visitors alike.

Home to various animals, from the famous Texas Longhorn to buffalo and elk, you can spend hours watching herds of majestic animals roam the refuge’s grasslands.

There are numerous hiking trails through the scenic landscapes and guided tours that will tell you more about the ecosystems and animals present in the park.

6. The Blue Whale

15 Best Things to Do in Tulsa, OK: Top-Rated Attractions 2022
15 Best Things to Do in Tulsa, OK: Top-Rated Attractions 2022

On Route 66 from Tulsa, you’ll find one of Oklahoma’s most beloved attractions, which has been a popular stopping point for decades.

The Blue Whale is a vast coastal structure that takes the form of a giant sperm whale. She is made of cement and pipes and has a big toothy grin. Built-in the early 1970s, it is regularly maintained by the local population.

Today, it features several picnic tables and a stall selling postcards and souvenirs, making it a wonderful place to relax by the water’s edge and enjoy a picnic in the sun.

7. Pawhuska

The city known as the gastronomic, cultural, and historical center of Osage County is a must-see for day trips from Tulsa. 

You’ll have a chance to see Bison at the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve before heading into town for a bite to eat.

There’s no choice here but the Pioneer Woman Mercantile, which acts as a store, restaurant, and bakery in one, serving up delicious, freshly prepared organic food.

Downtown, you’ll find more than 80 impeccably preserved buildings from the 1800s and learn about the history of the Osage Nation at the Osage National Museum.

8. Big Lake

One of the most frequented lakes in Oklahoma, Grand Lake is a hot spot for nature, sports, and water lovers due to the enormous 1,300 miles of shoreline and 46,000 acres of water.  

This makes it an ideal destination for anyone looking to canoe, swim, or even jet ski and parasail.

Given the size of Grand Lake, it also has several recreational areas and villages dotted around its shores, including the Honey Creek Scenic Area, perfect for picnics, or Har-Ber Village, complete with an interactive museum depicting life in the mid-1800s.

9. Beavers Bend State Park

15 Best Things to Do in Tulsa, OK: Top-Rated Attractions 2022

With a lovely winding road and amazing views that should be taken before arrival, the mountainous state park Beavers Bend is one of the most popular in the country.

Growing around the shores of sparkling Broken Bow Lake, with crystal clear waters and secret dive spots, the state park also follows the banks of the Mountain Fork River.

With a lush green setting in summer that transforms into a tapestry of red and gold in fall, the park’s forests offer limitless hiking and biking trails. In contrast, the river’s waters provide ideal conditions for canoeing to tubing.

10. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Located in nearby Bentonville, Arkansas, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a haven for art lovers and visitors. It is unique in the quality of its exhibits and settings. 

Uniting the fascinating exhibits with the beauty of the natural surroundings, Crystal Bridges offers some excellent walking in the surrounding park area, including two spring-fed pond trails lined with impressive sculptures.

You’ll also find a house restaurant in one of the many pavilions that make up the museum, so you can easily spend the whole day here.

11. Blue Hole Park

15 Best Things to Do in Tulsa, OK: Top-Rated Attractions 2022
15 Best Things to Do in Tulsa, OK: Top-Rated Attractions 2022

If you go to the southern fork of the San Gabriel River, you will find a magnificent Blue Hole park, whose center is a crystal clear lagoon surrounded by limestone walls of the cliff.

This park is frequented by sun seekers and playful visitors who come to swim, snorkel and relax on the warm stone surrounding the inviting water.

There are also plenty of picnic areas with tables around the lagoon, so you can spend the whole day enjoying the scenic destination if you bring your food and drinks with you.

12. Sequoyah State Park

On the shores of Lake Fort Gibson is the beautiful Sequoyah State Park, a refuge for all kinds of nature lovers thanks to the diversity of activities it offers.

From boating to swimming, the vast expanses of water and resulting shoreline make the park a popular spot for anyone looking to take a dip.

The surrounding park offers horseback riding and hiking, with horseback riding being a favorite due to the acclaimed Sequoyah Riding Stables.

13. Eureka Springs

15 Best Things to Do in Tulsa, OK: Top-Rated Attractions 2022

A true paradise for those who enjoy casual shopping and browsing for sundries and trinkets, Eureka Springs is a small Arkansas town known for its alluring natural springs and beautifully preserved historic Victorian buildings.

Most notable, however, is the multitude of charmingly quaint local shops and boutiques, selling everything from greeting cards and pottery to jewelry.

The partisan atmosphere is incredibly welcoming, and it’s easy to spend hours wandering around soaking up the small-town atmosphere.

14. Natural Falls State Park

Nestled in the Ozarks, Natural Falls State Park is one of the most pristine waterfall destinations in the entire state and goes by “Dripping Springs.”

Although there are walkable parts of the park that are completely untouched, there are also many services available in the surrounding area, such as grills, volleyball courts, and comfort stations.

It’s the perfect excursion for those with families who don’t want to ultimately part with certain urban conveniences.

15. Little Sahara State Park

15 Best Things to Do in Tulsa, OK: Top-Rated Attractions 2022
15 Best Things to Do in Tulsa, OK: Top-Rated Attractions 2022

Heir to its name due to the remarkable resemblance to the true Sahara desert. Here, more than 1,000 acres of dunes provide, in addition to the novelty of walking across them, the perfect terrain for various adrenaline-pumping activities such as dune buggy and quad biking.

Concessions and groceries are also available here, making it a lot less unforgiving than its African namesake and a perfect day trip for outdoor enthusiasts looking for something a little different.

Is Tulsa worth visiting?

It is not only Tulsa’s past that makes it a worthwile place for travelers to visit. Long called one of the country’s best-kept secrets, the city is known for its art deco architecture, underground arts scene, and better-than-the-coast food and drink.

Is Tulsa a fun city?

Not only is T-Town a safe and affordable place to live, but it’s also a great place for retirees to spend their golden years. Tulsa’s many restaurants, lively arts and entertainment, abundant outdoor recreation, and thriving sports culture all contribute to it being an excellent place for retirees to live.

Is Tulsa a beautiful city?

In the 1950s, Time magazine described Tulsa as “America’s Most Beautiful City” and it has been known over the years as the birthplace of Route 66 and the oil capital of the world (until Houston claimed that title).

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