From Route 66 to Native American heritage…you need to explore Oklahoma!

Have you ever been to Oklahoma? We used to live in fun and funky Tulsa. Today we were digging through an old hard drive and found some pictures we snapped on our little toy camera. Old photos which got us reminiscing about our time in Tulsa…so we thought we’d share with you some info on Oklahoma. It’s time to explore Oklahoma with us!

Scroll to the bottom of this page or CLICK HERE to watch our travel video “Discover the Hidden Gems of Oklahoma: Sooner or Later, You’ll Want to Explore this Amazing State!”

explore oklahoma
Kitty used a Japanese toy camera to take this pic of a friendly tattooed barista…who clearly loves Oklahoma (and punk rock music)!

All About The Sooner State

Oklahoma is known as the “Sooner State.” The origin of the nickname dates back to the 1880s, when thousands of settlers known as “Sooners” illegally entered the Unassigned Lands in central Oklahoma before the official opening of the territory to settlement. These “Sooners” claimed land before it was officially available, which gave them an advantage over other settlers who followed the rules and waited for the official opening. Eventually, the nickname became associated with all residents of Oklahoma, and the state officially adopted “The Sooner State” as its nickname in 1953.

Oklahoma is known for several things, including:

1. Native American culture

Oklahoma has a rich history of Native American tribes, and many important events in Native American history have taken place in the state.

2. Oil and gas industry

Oklahoma is one of the leading oil and gas-producing states in the country, with a long history in the industry.

3. Tornadoes

Oklahoma is known for its severe weather, including tornadoes that can be devastating.

4. College football

Oklahoma is home to some of the most successful college football teams in the country, including the Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys.

5. Music

Oklahoma has a rich musical heritage, and has produced many famous musicians, including Woody Guthrie, Leon Russell, and Garth Brooks.

6. Route 66

The historic Route 66 highway passes through Oklahoma, and the state is home to many iconic landmarks and roadside attractions along the route.

7. National parks and recreation areas

Oklahoma is home to several beautiful parks and recreation areas, including the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, and the Ouachita National Forest.

explore oklahoma
Another pic from our cheap toy camera. Sometimes it’s fun to take photos that are more of a vibe like this. Hehe.

Looking For Things To Do In Oklahoma?

Get ready to explore Oklahoma! The Sooner State offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy, from exploring the great outdoors to experiencing the state’s rich cultural heritage. Here are some things you can do in Oklahoma:

1. Visit the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City to learn about the history and culture of the American West.

2. Take a trip to Tulsa and explore the Philbrook Museum of Art, a stunning Italian Renaissance-style mansion filled with masterpieces of American and European art.

3. Head to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Lawton to see bison, elk, and other wildlife in their natural habitat. You can also hike, bike, or rock climb in the area.

4. Visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, which honors those who lost their lives in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

5. Explore the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur to learn about the culture, history, and traditions of the Chickasaw Nation.

6. Check out the Tulsa Zoo, which features over 400 species of animals from around the world.

7. Take a road trip on the iconic Route 66, which passes through Oklahoma and offers a glimpse into the history of the American road trip.

8. Visit the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks, which features over 300 species of marine life from around the world.

9. Head to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Pawhuska to see one of the largest remaining tracts of tallgrass prairie in the world.

10. Take a tour of the famous Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore, which honors the life and legacy of Oklahoma’s beloved humorist and actor.

explore oklahoma
Tulsa is such a fun town…there’s so much great music!

Enjoy The Tulsa Music Scene

Tulsa has a rich and diverse music scene that has produced many talented musicians and bands over the years. Some of the most notable musicians to come out of Tulsa include Leon Russell, J.J. Cale, and Hanson.

The city has a long history of music, dating back to the early 20th century when it was a hub for jazz and blues musicians. Tulsa was also an important stop on the Chitlin’ Circuit, a network of venues that catered to African American musicians during the era of segregation.

Today, the Tulsa music scene is still thriving, with a mix of established acts and up-and-coming artists performing in a variety of venues around the city. There are many live music venues in Tulsa, including the historic Cain’s Ballroom, which has hosted some of the biggest names in music over the years.

The city also hosts several music festivals throughout the year, including the Tulsa Roots Music Festival, the Tulsa International Mayfest, and the Center of the Universe Festival, which features a mix of local and national acts. Overall, the Tulsa music scene continues to be an important part of the city’s culture and identity.

We’d loved our time in Tulsa as well as the mini-trips we made exploring Oklahoma. In future blogs we’ll share more of our journeys in the Sooner State!

So what do you think: are you excited to explore Oklahoma? Let us know in the comments!

explore oklahoma
Neon nights in downtown Tulsa.
explore oklahoma
The Tulsa city skyline as snapped from a cheap, cheap toy camera. LOL.

Want a short video to see more of Oklahoma? Just watch this!

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About the Authors
Jack and Kitty Norton are Emmy Award winning travel experts. They have spent a lifetime on the road: as traveling musicians, documentary filmmakers and television producers. They now focus on writing for their travel blog ( and making fun videos for their YouTube channel. Jack and Kitty offer travelers fun and quirky things to do in Minnesota, the Midwest and beyond. High school sweethearts turned married soulmates, the couple lives in the small college town of Winona, Minnesota and would love to have you over for some hotdish.

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