Past and present fuse in Oklahoma City, where you’ll find the legacies of Native Americans, cowboys and cattle. Things to do include visiting the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the Oklahoma Museum of Art and the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. Check out our picks for what to do, where to eat and where to stay in Oklahoma City.

By By the editors of MidwestLiving.com
Bricktown. Photo courtesy of Oklahoma City CVB.

Do

American Banjo Museum Videos and live performances introduce visitors to finger pickin' on the 400-plus finely crafted instruments on display. americanbanjomuseum.com

Boathouse District Rent kayaks or paddleboards to get onto the Oklahoma River. Thrill-seekers can soar across the river on a 700-foot-long zipline and try a six-level adventure course that ends with a slide or free fall. Climbing walls, bike rentals, a BMX course and trampoline round out the adventures. boathousedistrict.org

Bricktown Canal Water taxi drivers share history and tell jokes during tours of the mile-long canal lined with 40-plus restaurants, bars and shops. welcometobricktown.com

Bricktown Canal. Photo courtesy of Oklahoma City CVB.

Myriad Botanical Gardens Stroll the 15 acres of free outdoor gardens or pay to enter the lush Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. myriadgardens.org

Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory/Myriad Botanical Gardens. Photo courtesy of Myriad Botanical Gardens.

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum When viewing exhibits on rodeos, firearms, a pioneer town and Western art, it's easy to imagine what life was like on the Western frontier. nationalcowboymuseum.org

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Photo courtesy of Oklahoma City CVB.

Oklahoma City Museum of Art It's worth a stop just to see one of the largest collections Dale Chihuly's colorful, organically shaped glass. okcmoa.com

Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum  Exhibits tell the story of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Outdoors, 168 seats in the Field of Empty Chairs represent those who died. oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org

Oklahoma State Capitol Tours explain why the 1917 Greco-Roman building didn't get a dome until 2002. ok.gov

Skeletons: Museum of Osteology This unusual museum displays 300 skeletons and skulls, as well as information on the bone cleaning process. skeletonmuseum.com

Stockyards City The 1910 business district houses shops filled with Western wear. For an authentic experience, visit the live cattle auction. stockyardscity.org

Eat

Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes Snag a seat on the patio of the Midtown spot to sip a frozen avocado margarita and nosh on thick house-made chips while debating your main dish: a wood-fired chicken- mojo fajita, perhaps, or tacos with pork-cheek carnitas and pineapple salsa. barriosmexicanokc.com

Cattlemen's Steakhouse An OKC tradition: seared steak and a slice of coconut cream pie at the city's oldest continually operating restaurant (since 1910). cattlemensrestaurant.com

Cheever's Cafe Try contemporary twists on comfort food like the Cowgirl Benedict, a concoction of potatoes, chicken-fried steak and a fried egg topped with red-chile hollandaise sauce. ​cheeverscafe.publishpath.com

Earl's Rib Palace Dine on generous portions of delectable ribs and brisket for reasonable prices at one of six OKC area locations, including Bricktown's with a sports bar theme. ​earlsribpalace.com

Picasso Cafe Come for creative dishes like vegetarian Frito chili pie in a Spanish-style stucco building in the Paseo Arts District. picassosonpaseo.com

Stay

21c Museum Hotel High ceilings and large steel windows recall the building's days as a Ford Motor Company assembly plant. The former Model T showroom space now serves as the hotel's restaurant, and the original water tower anchors an outdoor terrace. 21cmuseumhotels.com/oklahomacity

Colcord Hotel This boutique hotel near Bricktown occupies the city's first skyscraper, built in 1910. At Flint restaurant, dishes like bourbon and cinnamon French toast start days right. ​colcordhotel.com

Skirvin Hilton ​Experience the city's renaissance firsthand when staying in one of 225 rooms at this renovated 1911 downtown landmark. skirvinhilton.com

Skirvin Hilton. Photo courtesy of Skirvin Hilton

For more information: Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau (800) 225-5652; visitokc.com

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