Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Oklahoma makes a great tourist destination (from our new Tripbod Hugh)

One thing I like to impress on people about Oklahoma City is that it is not strictly Cowboys and Indians. We do not ride horses, unless it’s for pleasure. While our western and Native American heritage is definitely visible, the state, and Oklahoma City in particular, has a rich history.

The city’s “Deep Deuce” area produced some of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20s. Following the Vietnam War, we were a major destination for Vietnamese immigrants, and today the city has one of the highest per capita Vietnamese populations in the country. These and many others parts of our history still thrive, and make the area incredibly diverse.

In the past fifteen years, Oklahoma City has undergone a vibrant revitalization. The newly renovated Bricktown area, previously old warehouses, is now the home to a popular entertainment district. New additions in this area, such as a professional basketball team, quality conference facilities, and new hotels have brought in previously lacking tourists. Beneath these highly visible improvements, local artists and musicians are finding new support for their work, with many small venues and galleries opening or improving. This has allowed for a vibrant emerging nightlife with entertainment of all kinds every day of the week. Even with these developments, Oklahoma City still remains one of the most affordable cities in the country.

The more I’ve left Oklahoma, the more I realize how welcoming and helpful the people are, and I know visitors find the same. Situated next to Norman, home of the University of Oklahoma and 30,000 students, more excitement is just a short drive away.

Oklahoma City does lack a public transport system of any note, and is limited to buses. Despite a metropolitan area population of nearly 1.2 million, the city never seems too crowded. This is because it also has an area of 622 square miles: more than Houston or New York. While I and many others find this one of the most refreshing aspects of Oklahoma City, it also means we are tied to the car. Unless someone is ready to spend a fair amount of money on taxis, a rental is absolutely necessary. Fortunately, traffic is very rarely a problem.

For more information about Hugh and to book his Trip Planning service for Oklahoma, visit:

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