Whether planning a city vacation, a road trip, or a romantic getaway for two, you’ll find that Oklahoma is home to an amazing variety of attractions and activities. There are just as many things to do indoors as outdoors. From modern museums and extensive gardens to iconic road trip stops, you’ll find Oklahoma bucket list experiences across the entire state. Now that you’re ready to back your bags for Oklahoma, here are a few of our favorite Oklahoma bucket list experiences.
Oklahoma Bucket List
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art presents a dynamic range of exhibitions, including one of the world’s largest public collections of Dale Chihuly glass, a major collection of photography by Brett Weston, and the definitive museum collection of works by the Washington Color painter Paul Reed.
It’s the perfect addition to both your Oklahoma City bucket list and your Oklahoma bucket list.
The best part of the museum for families traveling with children is the Discovery Packs available free of charge. These activity packs give visitors with children a chance to discover a new world at OKCMOA with fun, hands-on gallery learning. Inside each pack, you’ll find items such as a storybook, an OKCMOA sketchbook with guided drawing prompts (take this home when you leave), Match & Discover Cards featuring works of art found in the galleries, sketching materials, and more! Packs are available for ages 2-5 and ages 6+ and are available on each Museum floor.
Blue Zoo Aquarium
Touch and feed stingrays, birds, and reptiles, experience sharks, an octopus, clownfish, seahorses, jellyfish and angelfish, and meet mermaids at the Blue Zoo Aquarium.
It’s a super hands-on environment that inspires and educates its guests. Don’t forget to purchase feeding tokens. They bring the interactive experience to the next level.
One of our favorite parts of visiting the Blue Zoo Aquarium was interacting with the bearded dragon. Isn’t Nana’s expression priceless as she interacts with this bearded dragon?
Gloss Mountain State Park
Glass Mountains State Park is located in Major County, Oklahoma, near the city of Fairview. It’s a recreational-educational park that is accessible 365 days a year for hiking and picnicking, from sunrise to sunset.
Kate Moore of Parked In Paradise described it as “one of our favorite experiences. Hiking up the mesa was relatively easy and the trail was dog-friendly so we got to go as a family. The view from the top was spectacular because the surrounding area is so flat that you can see for miles.”
There are no campsites or other overnight accommodations in the park, but with easy, beautiful hikes and panoramic views, it deserves a spot on your Oklahoma bucket list.
Dig for Crystals at the Great Salt Plains
Have you ever had the opportunity to dig for crystals? If not, you simply must visit the Great Salt Plains in Oklahoma. This amazing spot is a wide open piece of land where guests can put their shovels to work. Just beneath the surface, you’ll find hundreds of salt crystals, which you are allowed to collect and take home with you.
Caitlin of Twin Family Travels said, “Selenite is a crystallized form of gypsum. Oklahoma is the only known place in the world where you can find these with a unique hourglass pattern incorporated into the crystal. It is completely free. You just need to bring your own shovel and a container to put the crystals in.”
Crystal digging is permitted from April 1 through October 15, sunrise to sunset.
Myriad Botanical Gardens & Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory
The Myriad Botanical Gardens Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory building is a 224-foot living plant museum covered by 3,028 translucent acrylic panels. Once inside, you’ll be welcomed by towering palm trees, tropical plants and flowers, waterfalls, and exotic animals. It’s a beautiful oasis that is a must for your Oklahoma City bucket list.
It’s a beautiful feeling to be surrounded by nature in the middle of the city. Oklahoma City does an excellent job incorporating nature into the heart of the city.
Also at The Myriad Botanical Gardens is a free six-acre Children’s Garden where kids can run, jump, and climb their way through the park activities like slides, swings, and seesaws.
Explore the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
The Wichita Mountains are far from the tallest mountains in the country. Nevertheless, they are absolutely stunning, and the bison that call this refuge home are equally amazing.
Be sure to drive to the top of Mount Scott for some amazing views, and check out the visitor center to learn more about the bison and the refuge.
Science Museum Oklahoma
Science Museum Oklahoma is the state’s only hands-on science museum and one of the largest science museums in the nation. It houses more than eight acres of experiences and teaches kids about everything from space exploration to crime scene investigation.
Be sure to look at the museum map and plan for an entire day there because you will have a difficult time getting your children, and yourself, to leave.
The Oklahoma City Zoo has more than 2,000 animals and amazing exhibits. Enjoy world-class habitats including Great EscApe, Cat Forest/Lion Overlook, Oklahoma Trails, and Sanctuary Asia where you will find the amazing animals of the Asian continent.
Make sure you save time for The Children’s Zoo while you’re there. It’s a 2.5 acre area within the Oklahoma City Zoo dedicated to the enrichment and education of children. Children can explore, touch, and immerse themselves in a natural outdoor environment that will stimulate their imagination, encourage exploration, and give them a greater appreciation for nature.
Here, you can even feed the lorikeets. These colorful parrots are active, noisy, and fun to feed nectar.
The Zoo’s behind-the-scenes experiences are wilder than ever. Wild Encounters enable you to get up close and personal with grizzly bears, rhinos, sea lions, and elephants.
We’d recommend adding the Elephants Wild Encounter to your Oklahoma bucket list. You will go behind the scenes for an up-close encounter with some of the Zoos largest and most beloved residents – the Asian Elephants!
Additionally, the Sea Lions Wild Encounter makes you the trainer and, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a gentle kiss from one of these beautiful creatures.
If you’d like an encounter with some of the zoos oldest and most beloved residents, the Galapagos tortoises provide a unique up-close encounter where you can feed them cactus and rub their necks, a special treat for both of you.
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
With more than 28,000 Western and American Indian art works and artifacts and the world’s most extensive collection of American rodeo photographs, barbed wire, saddlery, and early rodeo trophies, The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is a fine addition to your Oklahoma bucket list.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all inside the museum, you go outside and you enter another world of Western heritage. Go inside the replica tepees, marvel at the giant sculptures, or step back in time for an evening stroll in a replica turn-of-the-twentieth-century cattle town.
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum hosts several temporary and traveling exhibitions throughout the year. The Museum’s exhibitions strive to preserve and interpret the evolving history and cultures of the American West.
Talimena National Scenic Byway
Oklahoma is a beautiful state. Why not take the time to see some of the most beautiful parts of the state by taking a drive? The Talimena National Scenic Byway is an excellent option that provides plenty of lovely scenery.
The Talimena National Scenic Byway, a breathtaking 54-mile route in southeast Oklahoma, is known for its spectacular views. Talimena Drive was built specifically to highlight the area’s beautiful foliage and spans one of the highest mountain ranges between the Appalachians and the Rockies. Nestled in the heart of Oklahoma’s Choctaw Country, view one stunning panorama after another as you travel along crests of forested peaks between Talihina, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Oklahoma Route 66 Museum
Route 66 extends from Illinois to California, and this long stretch of highway is celebrated at the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum. The museum showcases vehicles and memorabilia from the era when Route 66 was a well-traveled road.
Turner Falls Park
Home of Oklahoma’s Largest Waterfall, Turner Falls Park is the oldest park in Oklahoma. With natural caves, hiking trails, a stone castle, and a 77 foot waterfall creating natural swimming pools within 1,500 acres of fun, there is bucket list worthy fun for everyone to enjoy.
Additionally, there are restrooms located at the base of the waterfall and natural swimming pool area and there is a canteen at parking area 1 for snacks, drinks, and water toys.
Arbuckle Wilderness, located in Davis, is fun for the whole family. Guests enjoy more than 200 acres in the Arbuckle Mountains with hundreds of exotic animals from five continents.
Don’t forget to pick up feed at the entrance to feed ostriches, zebras, camels, cattle, deer, and more.
Open year round and set in the beautiful and historic Arbuckle Mountains, Arbuckle Wilderness is an exciting expeirence for all ages.
POPS Soda Ranch
POPS Soda Ranch is located on Route 66 in Arcadia. You’ll know you arrived when you see the giant neon 66-foot tall soda bottle standing outside.
With over 700 different types of pop on the shelves, you are sure to find a new favorite.
Lisa from Planning Away said, You can get glass pop bottles from all over the world. Plus, the flavors are unique. Also, it’s free to visit and take a picture of the iconic landmark pop bottle.”
Don’t be afraid to try some of the more bizarre-sounding flavors as you pop by this unique Oklahoma bucket list destination.