Tulsa is the sort of city that swaggers with a confidence that’s not overly prideful—sort of like a swankified silver belt buckle on a comfortable leather belt. She may be Oklahoma’s second-largest city, but she definitely doesn’t play second fiddle. Underneath a canopy of the country’s third-largest collection of art-deco architecture, Tulsa shades a history of "desperate Native Americans—and white desperadoes; down-and-out wildcatters—as well as up-and-coming millionaires," according to local historian Danney Goble. Outdoor recreation carries a lot of weight in Tulsa’s 187-square-mile geographic footprint: 135 tennis courts, 88 playgrounds, 23 public golf courses, 10 disc-golf courses, as well as 50 miles of scenic biking–running trails within the river parks system. Add 135 city parks and another 750 acres of county parks plus a rich mix of arts and culture, and you’ll see why Tulsa dubs itself an "All-American City."
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Things You Can't Miss
Oil wealth in the 1920s created a boom in art deco buildings. Take a walking tour to see Boston Avenue United Methodist Church and many others.
With works by artists from John James Audubon to Winslow Homer, plus priceless Native American artifacts, this Tulsa treasure deserves a lengthy visit.
Legacy of a wealthy oilman, the Philbrook Museum of Art includes decorative work, paintings and Native American objects, surrounded by lovely gardens.
Stephen Saks Photography/Alamy
Use this checklist to mind the details you need to consider when signing a rental car agreement. Don't forget about gas, insurance, and what rules and restrictions the rental agency demands.
Drive to Claremore and the Will Rogers Memorial Museum, with memorabilia of the hugely popular movie actor, radio star and humorist.
On foot or via car, these attractions provide free and dramatic thrills.
Historic aircraft, hands-on exhibits and a state-of-the-art planetarium provide entertainment for all ages at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.
These unique, 50-plus-year-old structures still stand — and they still intrigue.
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