There are Countless Cool Things to Do in Tulsa!
And I’ll prove it! I’ve traveled far and wide, and Tulsa will always be one of my favorite places on the planet. I know you’re thinking, “Tulsa? What the actual heck are you talking about?” I’m talking about T-town! Good ol’ Tulsy, OklaHOMEa. It’s a real gem. I swear!
I spent four years in Tulsa. Two for university and two trying to be an adult. Every year was better than the last. I met genuine friends that I still talk to (3 years later) and visit as often as possible. Tulsa may seem like a small, podunk town, but it is a mini Portland. Hipsters have taken over and turned that town upside-down. They brought in the best gourmet coffee, unique food, and a gorgeous art deco theme that has taken over downtown.
Gathering Place: Tulsa Riverfront Park
With a budget of $465 million, all of which was graciously donated, construction began in 2014 and took four years to complete. Gathering Place borders the Illinois River, which makes it easy to access from the city’s main walking path. To give you an idea of how incredible this park is, USA Today named Tulsa’s Gathering Place Best New Attraction in the nation in 2018. The following year, it made Time Magazine’s 100 of the World’s Greatest Places 2019. You truly have to see it to understand its magnitude and wonder. Spanning across 100 acres, Gathering Place includes a boathouse, a pond for kayaks/paddleboats/canoes, a third-story bar, a café, a surprisingly long zip-line, a 3-story castle, a sensory garden specifically designed for kids with special needs, an epic water mountain, a skate-park, a bike-park, and so much more.
If you’re in Tulsa and you don’t make this your first stop, you’ve failed.
2650 S. John Williams Way E., Tulsa, OK 74114
Open Daily 9 AM – 10 PM
Rent an Electric Scooter
If you’re from a big city, you’re familiar with electric scooter rentals. If you’re not, get familiar because they’re revolutionary! There are two scooter companies in Tulsa: Bird and Lime. I used lime during my trip because it was the first scooter brand I saw, and I’m a loyal gal. So, here’s what you do: download the app (search Lime scooter), verify your information, enter your credit card information, and scan the QR code on the handlebar. Your phone will make a horribly loud noise, and that means your wheels are now unlocked and ready to ride.
It is $1.00 to start and .20 a minute after that. The scooter tops off at 15mph, and trust me, that’s fast enough! These little nuggets are helpful in downtown Tulsa because of the enormous hill separating one side from the other. You’re welcome to walk over, but why do that when you can scoot?
Blue Whale of Catoosa
If you enjoy finding odd, local goodies, this is right up your alley. The Blue Whale of Catoosa is a 20-minute drive from the center of Tulsa and sits directly on Route 66, making it impossible to miss. At 20ft tall and 80ft long, you’d have to close your eyes to miss this behemoth. Aside from being a bizarre sight, it’s origin story is just as unique. Legend has it that Hugh S. Davis constructed the whale on a nearby pond as a gift to his family. He envisioned a place for his grandchildren to swim and play, and it later became a massive hit within the community. It was then officially opened for public use and has been a popular roadside stop ever since.
Open Daily 8 AM – 6 PM
Tulsa’s Favorite Coffee Shops
I’ve had coffee from just about every shop in Tulsa, and Foolish Things is, hands-down, my favorite place. The coffee is consistently good and, honestly, I’ve never had a bad cup. I usually go for an Ethiopian pour-over (if available), but for the sake of saving a few bucks, I opted for the house drip (pre-made) during this trip, and it was just as good! They make their drip via Chemex, which I found impressive. That method takes an ungodly amount of time, and it proves that they don’t skimp on quality, even for their cheapest cup.
1001 S. Main St., Tulsa, OK 74119
Mon-Fri 7 AM – 6:30 PM
Sat-Sun 8 AM – 3:30 PM
Chimera has excellent coffee and great food. The coffee is similar to Foolish Things, but not as consistent. Typically I go for the beer (yes, beer) and a Blue Bird. It’s a hardy, grilled turkey sandwich with thick-cut bacon, pickled blueberry smash, mayo, and brie. It’s never failed me because it’s delicious! They’re known for their breakfast tacos, but sadly, I’ve never had them. I’m more of a bagel gal, but I’ve heard nothing but great things about their tacos.
Chimera has a very cool atmosphere. The wall art changes with the season, and their community table is a slab of gorgeous, satinwood. For lack of a better term, it’s hip AF. Everything about Chimera makes you want to grow a beard and buy a jeep. It’s charming and intimidating. Try it out.
212 N. Main St., Tulsa, OK 74103
Sun-Wed 7 AM – 6:30 PM
Thur – Sat 7 AM – 10 PM
Good Eats in Tulsa
The Tavern will always be my favorite place for a late dinner. After 9:00 PM, the Tavern Burger is only $6.00, regularly $15.00, and it is the best ground beef I’ve ever had. If you can stomach it, order it rare (don’t judge me) with a side of siracha mac-n-cheese. This little goddess is gently placed on a fresh challah bun and topped with stilton cheese and mushroom cognac cream. My mouth is watering as I write this. The Tavern connects to a bakery, so the bread is 100% guaranteed fresh. This is not a meal. It is an experience. Go now.
201 N. Main St., Tulsa, OK 74103
Sun–Thur 11 AM – 11 PM
Sat 11 AM – 2 AM2 AM
Kilkenny’s is a college favorite of mine! Because I’m always ballin’ on a budget, I search out happy hours like it’s my job. Kilkenny’s has a great happy hour menu after 10 PM, and if you’re looking for a good, filling, and cheap meal, check them out! I’ve always gotten the happy hour burger for $5. It includes sweet potato fries and a pickle on the side. Usually, I’m not one for sweet potato fries, but for Kil’s, I’ll make an exception. The fries are just the right level of crispy, and they pair well with the blue cheese on my burger.
Another happy hour fan favorite is fish and chips. I despise fish and chips, so I can’t speak on behalf of the meal, but everyone says they’re great. Good luck and happy eating!
1413 E. 15th St., Tulsa, OK 74120
Mon–Fri 11 AM – 2 AM
Sat-Sun 9 AM – 2 AM
I’ve loved Lone Wolf since the first time I experienced their signature kimchi fries. Lone Wolf keeps its menu very simple. Your options are banh mi, kimchi fries, or fried rice. There are different variations of each dish, but that’s it. I believe they do this to focus on the quality of their food, rather than the quantity.
All of their ingredients are locally sourced and trust me, you can tell. It is a local favorite for a reason. Their food is unique, fresh, and surprisingly light.
203 E. Archer, Tulsa, OK 74103
Mon–Thur 11 AM – 10 PM
Fri-Sat 11 AM – 11 PM
Sun 11 AM – 4 PM
Tulsa Bars & Lounges
Prairie Brew Pub
Prairie is a homegrown Oklahoma favorite. Their locally brewed beer ranges from light and delicious to dark devious. I recently had a glass of Portrait Mode, which is a double imperial stout (11.75% ABV), and, although incredible, it kicked my ass! Luckily they have an extensive food menu to devour when the drunchies kick in.
If you’re familiar with Prairie, you know they are a bit posh for a beer company. They make high-end beer for high-end bitches. To add to the exclusivity, several of the beers at this location, Prairie does not sell in stores. The prices match their reputation but believe me, it’s worth the gouge.
223 N. Main St., Tulsa, OK 74103
Mon 3 PM – 11 PM
Tue–Thur 11 AM – 11 PM
Fri–Sat 11 AM – 1 PM
Sun 11 AM – 10 PM
Are you a fancy bitch? If so, this is your bar. It oozes class and sophistication. Just. Like. You. Valkyrie uses fresh ingredients for their handcrafted cocktails, and measures liquids in beakers. Yes, like your science teacher did in high school. The bartenders often sport vests and are, perhaps, the most hip men in Tulsa. Valkyrie is dark, mysterious, and overpriced. Give it a try. You’ll love it.
13 E Matthew Brady St., Tulsa, OK 74103
Open Daily 4 PM – 2 AM
13 E Matthew Brady St., Tulsa, OK 74103
Open Daily 4 PM – 2 AM
Saturn Room is your typical tiki bar. They serve drinks in literal tikis (as predicted) and coconuts. The entire bar is covered in hula skirt grass and leis. Everything is over the top and obnoxious; the literal definition of doing the most. Basically, everything you need for a memorable night out with friends. Warning: the fancy drinks can be a bit pricey if you’re on a budget, but they have happy hour! Head to their site, Saturn Room, to check specifics and take a peek at their funky menu!
209 N. Boulder Ave, Tulsa, OK 74103
Mon – Thur 4 PM – 2 AM
Fri – Sun 2 PM – 2 AM
Dust Bowl is perfect for a nightcap. The drinks are reasonably priced, and they have a six-lane bowling alley. If lanes aren’t open at the time, signup for a spot and grab a drink at the bar, they also have a patio if crowds make you sweat. Dust Bowl has a retro, mixed decade theme, which offers a comfortable vibe for all ages. I recently did some day drinking there with a girlfriend, and it was just as lovely without the hormonal frat boys and thirsty post-grads. 10/10 would recommend.
211 S. Elgin Ave, Tulsa, OK 74120
Mon–Fri 4 PM – 2 AM
Sat Noon – 2 AM