Rodeos, Cowboy Poetry & Trading Posts
Oklahoma City is the capital and largest city of the Sooner State. Although OKC is a bustling metropolis, this area is a hub for Old West attractions – the most popular of which being the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is a collection of fine western art, rodeo memorabilia, and artifacts of the American West. Leading the way in Old West preservation, the museum hosts annual events like the Western Heritage Awards and the Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition & Sale.
The museum is also home to three halls of fame: the Hall of Great Westerners, the Hall of Great Western Performers, and the Rodeo Hall of Fame. This is a haven for cowboy poets, rodeo aficionados, and collectors of Western art – so take your time.
Frontier City – open from March to October and set in the Adventure District – is a western-themed park offering thrilling coasters and water rides. Test your bravery on the Nightmare Mine ride, or hop on the free-falling Geronimo Sky Coaster. Don’t forget a family portrait at Matthew Brady’s Old Time Photography, or take home a gift from the Trappers Trading Post.
Other western OKC attractions include Will Rogers Gardens, the Centennial Rodeo Opry, and nightlife and bullriding at Cowboys OKC.
Elk City is a western town that does Oklahoma proud. Set in along Historic Route 66 west of OKC, this was once an epicenter for cattle trails, railways, and trading posts. Elk City is now home to historic treats like the Old Town Museum Complex, the nearby Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, and the annually anticipated PRCA Rodeo of Champions at the Beutler Brothers Rodeo Arena.
The Old Town Museum Complex is a must-see. Travel back to the pioneer days by stepping into Rock Bluff schoolhouse, or dust off your cowboy hat for a visit to the Beutler Rodeo Hall. Another Old West attraction is the National Route 66 Museum – a Mother Road tribute offering exhibits and audio-guided tours.
Presented by the Western Oklahoma Historical Society, the neighboring Farm & Ranch Museum showcases early machinery and tools used by the pioneering ranchlands. Hit the blacksmith shop, and soak in all there is to know about Oklahoma's agricultural heritage.
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OKC is no stranger to a good rodeo. Get your boots and check out a country throw down and experience the excitement. There are many sanctioned International Professional Rodeo Associations and Professional Bull Riders Association events throughout the year to catch a cowboy in action. IPRA hosts their annual championship in OKC at State Fair Park every January, or you can catch a weekly rodeo at Centennial Rodeo Opry or Carniceria El Rodeo, just to name a few.
OKC locals take their sports pretty seriously here. On game days, expect to find fans of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder flooding the sports bars and arena to catch the winning team take the court. The United Soccer League’s OKC Energy FC hits the grass for Taft Stadium’s sold out crowds. Let’s not forget the college teams, as the University of Oklahoma’s Sooners football team fills the stadium and Oklahoma City University’s Stars shine bright.
When visiting Oklahoma City, expect to be there during a festival or fair, as locals like to celebrate all year long. From seasonal gatherings like Festival of the Arts, to pro rodeos, OKC has something fun for everyone. Headlining is the Oklahoma State Fair, located at State Fair Park each September. The 11-day celebration yields games, rides, exhibits, and piping-hot fair food, live music, rodeo events, and Disney on Ice.
One of OKC’s most visited sites is the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Honoring victims, survivors, and all those affected by the tragic Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, the outdoor memorial was built where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building as once lived. Today it serves as a remembrance and place for visitors to reflect.
Venture out and explore Oklahoma City’s rich soil as you tour some award-winning vineyards and wineries in town. Featuring over 50 wines, kick back to taste the varietals at Waters Edge Winery, made in OKC with the world’s best-imported grapes. Located Historic Miller Jackson Building in Bricktown, stop in at Put A Cork In It Winery, and book a tasting. Conclusion Wines crafts quality wines sourced from Napa California grapes.