Oklahoma City

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Oklahoma City is the capital and principal city of the state of Oklahoma, located in the Frontier Country region of the state. Oklahoma City is the primary city of the Oklahoma City-Shawnee-Stillwater Combined Statistical Area containing most of central Oklahoma.

Oklahoma City is the largest city in the state, as well as its political, cultural, and economic engine. The city is the nation's third largest city in land area (608 sq miles), just behind Jacksonville FL (759 sq miles) and way behind Anchorage AK (1698 sq miles). The city is the 29th largest city in population in the nation, and the largest city in the 5 "plains states" (Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota). After decades of suburban sprawl and an ill-fated downtown "urban renewal", a 'sudden' burst of investment in the 1990s has given the city additional big city attractions as well as a pleasant quality of life that often is the envy if not surprise of visitors from other cities, making Oklahoma City more of a tourist destination in and of itself. Oklahoma's state capitol building is the only capitol in the world with an oil well under it. Although its legal description is Capitol Site #1, it is referred to as Petunia #1 because it was originally drilled in the middle of a flower bed.

Many of the attractions are located near downtown or on the north side of town. Highlights in downtown are Bricktown, the city's fast growing entertainment district and tourist showpiece, the new Oklahoma City Museum of Art, home to the largest collection of Chihuly glass in the world as well as an arthouse/revival theater and a restaurant, and The Myriad Gardens, an impressive urban park with a 7 story botanical garden. North of the museum is the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. The memorial is both one of the most visible attractions in the city as well as its saddest, which has posed some problems for the city's tourism department. The outdoor symbolic memorial is free and open 24 hours a day, while the very well done Memorial Museum (located in the former Journal Record Building next door) can be visited for a small fee.

Oklahoma City is in the Frontier Country region of Central Oklahoma, in the Southern Plains of North America. Contrary to popular belief, the geography is not flat and treeless (like in the true high plains) but rather gently rolling hills covered in places by dense low trees, shrubs, and grasses. The city is roughly bisected by the North Canadian River (recently partially renamed the Oklahoma River in a flight of civic exuberance). The North Canadian is not very impressive as rivers go; it was once substantial enough to flood every year, wreaking destruction on surrounding homes, until the 1940s when the Civilian Conservation Corps dammed the river and turned it into essentially a wide ditch for the next 50 years. In the 1990's, as part of the citywide revitalization project known as MAPS, the city built a series of low water dams, returning water to the portion of the river flows near downtown. The city also has three large lakes, Lake Hefner and Lake Overholser, in the northwestern quarter of the city, and the largest - Lake Stanley Draper, in the sparsely populated far southeast of the city.

The city is reasonably bicycle-friendly in the Midtown areas of Oklahoma City because of the numerous low-traffic residential streets. A bike share services, operates with pickup/drop-off locations around the downtown area. In other areas of the city, bicycle travel is more difficult because of high-traffic on the streets.

Getting around Oklahoma City is easy by car. You will likely want to either rent a car or plan on staying around downtown because public transportation is rather limited.

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Short Info

Population
955,998

Area code
405

Elevation
1,201 ft

Oklahoma City

Take a look at Oklahoma City beautiful and colorful landscapes.

5 popular places in Oklahoma City visited by travelers

If you are looking for most famous places in Oklahoma City, look no further. Many travelers check out these.

Points of interest

  • Elephant Habitat
  • National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
  • Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
  • Oklahoma History Center

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