Oklahoma City Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Oklahoma City

As the state capital of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City is the largest city in this state. Much of the city's settlement occurred during the Great Land Rush of 1889. Native Americans representing several tribes were among some of the region's earliest settlers. Tribal emblems and imagery make up much of the symbolism common in this city.

Many of the city's most iconic buildings date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Cowboy culture and the oil industry both play significant roles in the city's background.

Some of the historical sites worth seeing include the Oklahoma Governor's Mansion, the Oklahoma State Capitol Building, and the Harn Homestead and 1889ers Museum. The Bricktown area is one of the top dining and shopping destinations in the city, with plenty of restaurants and boutique shops.

Oklahoma City is a location that honors its residents who have gone before with attractions like the Oklahoma Veterans Memorial and Oklahoma City National Memorial. This city also has attractions that blend new and old such as the Myriad Botanical Gardens and the American Banjo Museum.

A walk along the Bricktown Canal is the perfect way to take full advantage of the mixture of history and modern life that makes this city what it is. With all the things to see, there is something there suitable for the entire family.

Take this self-guided tour to walk to and see some of Oklahoma City's finest attractions.
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Oklahoma City Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Oklahoma City Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » Oklahoma City (See other walking tours in Oklahoma City)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 Km or 2.8 Miles
Author: Sandra
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Oklahoma History Center
  • Oklahoma Governor's Mansion
  • Oklahoma State Capitol Building
  • Veterans Memorial
  • Harn Homestead and 1889ers Museum
  • Oklahoma City National Memorial
1
Oklahoma History Center

1) Oklahoma History Center (must see)

The Oklahoma History Center, dedicated to telling the full story of the state's history, uses Smithsonian-quality exhibit collections. The collection of over 2,000 artifacts spans 50 subjects about the state's history. The Center has a learning center spanning 215,000 sq. ft., as well as a research center. Visitors in the learning center have five galleries to choose from when checking out the exhibits. Some of the exhibits include the Prohibition era, Oklahomans and space exploration, and images depicting everyday life.

This Center occupies 18 acres, allowing a lot of space for exciting outdoor exhibits as well as the indoor museum collections. One of the outdoor displays focuses on oilfield machinery, including full-size and portable oil derricks. Additional outdoor exhibits include significant historical locations, as well as the plant life, animal life, and landforms of the region. The Center hosts regular educational programs that are suitable for all ages and interests.

The Center is open 10:00-17:00, Monday – Saturday.
2
Oklahoma Governor's Mansion

2) Oklahoma Governor's Mansion

The Oklahoma Governor's Mansion boasts stunning historical architecture that is just one part of what makes this location such a great destination. This house has a pool constructed in the shape of the state. There are 19 rooms, with many showcasing antiques and artwork that offer fascinating glimpses into the past.

This home dates back to 1928, and recent remodeling has restored the green, gold, and burgundy color schemes of the 1920s. The library has a vast collection of books with authors from Oklahoma or written about Oklahoma history. The dining room features an original walnut buffet and pedestals, with distinctly-designed chairs. The chairs have needlepoint seat covers with state or tribal emblems.

A grand ballroom is on the third floor, with replica moldings, as well as chandeliers and windows replicating the 1928 originals. The ballroom has a Persian Dorokshe rug that accents the hardwood maple floor perfectly. Regular tours allow visitors to appreciate everything that this residence offers fully.
3
Oklahoma State Capitol Building

3) Oklahoma State Capitol Building

The Oklahoma State Capitol boasts the distinction of being the only capital that has working oil wells surrounding it. This site is on over 100 acres in the northeastern part of Oklahoma City. The building's construction occurred in 1917 and features Greco-Roman architecture. There are 650 rooms inside the building.

Floor space inside the Capitol takes up 11 acres, providing a perfect visual location for art. Some of the visuals that visitors can enjoy seeing include a tribal flags plaza, stained glass that has seen a restoration, and murals.

Another treat that awaits visitors is a collection of art exhibits from the Capitol Art Collection and State Art Collection. Some of the artwork includes Native American history, the state's unique landscapes, and the diverse population.

Tours are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. During the week, guided tours are available six times a day.
4
Veterans Memorial

4) Veterans Memorial

The Oklahoma Veterans Memorial sits on the Oklahoma State Capitol grounds. One of the most noteworthy sights at the memorial is "The Big Guy," a statue measuring eight feet tall. This statue is of a Native American man wearing the gear of a soldier who fought in Vietnam.

A wall behind The Big Guy has four walls representing both World Wars, as well as Korea and Vietnam. The back of each panel lists the names of the military members from Oklahoma that died in each war. There is also a memorial to the USS Oklahoma that honors the service members who died at Pearl Harbor.

Flags for each branch of the service fly at the memorial, with the American flag having the place of honor in the center. There is an "Eternal Flame" across from the Big Guy serving as an eternal reminder of fallen military members. Visitors will feel a sense of awe at the impact of the memorial.
5
Harn Homestead and 1889ers Museum

5) Harn Homestead and 1889ers Museum

The Harn Homestead is an outdoor museum dedicated to telling the story of Oklahoma's life as a territory. One of the highlights is the Queen Anne Victorian-style house on property acquired during the 1889 Great Land Run. One of the most distinctive features of this house is the parlor's half-octagon shape on the first floor and a bedroom upstairs.

A barn and gardens are on the site, providing a fascinating peek into what life was like during the early 20th century. The site also has a territorial schoolhouse, providing a look at what the education of the era was like. These additional sites help give a fuller picture of homestead life for early Oklahoma City residents.

In addition to tours of the grounds, there are educational opportunities for all ages. There is a Vendor Fair in September that offers a variety of exciting items to shop. An annual Homestead Social provides funding to help the Harn Homestead continue its essential work.

The Harn Homestead is open 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday – Friday.
6
Oklahoma City National Memorial

6) Oklahoma City National Memorial (must see)

The Oklahoma City National Memorial commemorates the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995 through a collection of interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages. All the collections of exhibits help tell the stories of the victims and survivors, as well as teaching visitors about the impact of violence that took place that fateful day. This site is made up of both a memorial and a museum.

The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial is on the site where the Murrah Building stood before the explosion. This outdoor area is open 24 hours a day. One of the most memorable sights to see is the "Field of Empty Chairs", with each chair representing a person who died in the bombing.

A famous part of the outdoor memorial area is The Survivor Tree. This American Elm tree survived the bombing and has become an important symbol of survival and resiliency for members of the community.

Visitors who want to see the museum will find it in the former Journal Record Building that dates back to 1923 and withstood the explosion. Self-guided tours let visitors look at things from the perspectives of those who died in the bombing, the survivors, and those living with changed lives.

All of the stories are told using a variety of formats to connect visitors in a compelling way. There are hundreds of videos that help provide a closer look at how this event has changed lives. There are over a million items in the archives that include documents and artifacts that help put everything into perspective.

Why You Should Visit

An amazing collection of displays that provide a look into the lives of those impacted by this tragedy.
The stunning memorial area outside that visitors can access any time of the day.

Tips

Rangers from the National Park Service are on-site daily aside from Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.

Walking Tours in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Create Your Own Walk in Oklahoma City

Create Your Own Walk in Oklahoma City

Creating your own self-guided walk in Oklahoma City is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Oklahoma City Historical Buildings

Oklahoma City Historical Buildings

Home to an attractive variety of historic edifices, the capital of Oklahoma State provides interesting sightseeing opportunities for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts. Eye-catching religious sights and magnificent structures of great architectural and historic significance abound in downtown OKC. Take this self-guided walk to check out some of the top historical buildings of Oklahoma...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Downtown To Bricktown

Downtown To Bricktown

Oklahoma City's Downtown and Bricktown to its east feature some of the most prominent landmarks, dining and entertainment options that state capital has to offer. On this self-guided walk, you will start from the Oklahoma City National Memorial downtown, the city's most important attraction, and end at Bricktown Canal where a large number of restaurants and entertainment establishments...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles