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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Diann BayesPhilbrook Museum of Art

10 amazing things to do in Tulsa

From astonishing displays of architecture and art to green spaces, there are so many super-fun things to do in Tulsa

Written by
Justine Harrington

Oklahoma’s second-biggest city after Oklahoma City is full of surprises. During the 1920s, Tulsa was flush with oil money—skyscrapers sprinted up at the speed of light, Art Deco was all the rage, new restaurants abounded and citizens glorified the city’s cultural scene. Today, you’ll find that much of the era’s architecture has been carefully preserved and the city boasts an impressive array of different architectural styles. Amidst all that historic opulence and the inevitable Midwestern urban sprawl, visitors are also treated to a rich mix of local art and culture. From the world-class Philbrook Museum of Art to Cain’s Ballroom and a whole lot of parks and green spaces, there are so many things to do in Tulsa that the average traveler will likely want to add a few days to their trip.

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Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.

Best things to do in Tulsa

1. Bob Dylan Center

Opened in 2022, the Bob Dylan Center is an extensive museum dedicated to the life and work of the eponymous folk singer-songwriter. Over 100,000 items spanning seven decades, from Dylan's old manuscripts and unreleased recordings to performance footage and photographs, are displayed. In addition to surrounding themselves with a treasure trove of Bob Dylan’s stuff (which he sold to the Tulsa-based George Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Tulsa in 2016), guests can participate in members-only programming and attend public concerts at the Olson Kundig-designed space. 

2. American Solera Brewery

The accolades are numerous, and the fans are copious for American Solera, a 2023 James Beard Outstanding Bar Award Semifinalist and RateBeer Best New Brewery in 2016. The Tulsa darling, which now boasts an Edmond location, serves 16 beers on tap, bottled options, wine and several non-alcoholic drinks. There’s always something tasty to sample here


3. Philbrook Museum of Art

Oklahoma's most impressive museum houses one of the South’s biggest collections of contemporary, Asian, European and Native American art. It's one of Tulsa’s top draws, thanks to its incredible collection and scenic location—the Philbrook is housed in a Tuscan-style villa (the former home of prominent oil businessman Waite Phillips and his wife Genevieve), on several acres of gorgeous, meticulously manicured gardens. Ghost hunters take note: the Philbrook has been the site of several supernatural sightings.

4. Cain’s Ballroom

A visit to the city isn’t complete without catching a show where Sid Vicious famously lost his temper and punched a hole in the wall (a spot that was later framed). Since then, hundreds of famous bands and singers—including Bob Dylan, Bob Willis, Fleet Foxes, Jack White and Beck—have taken the stage. One of the top live music venues in the country, let alone the city, Cain’s Ballroom was built in 1924 and still retains its iconic reputation.


5. Guthrie Green

As famed Oklahoman Woody Guthrie once sang, “This land was made for you and me.” The appropriately named Guthrie Green is a lovely urban garden and performance space in the Tulsa Arts District. The park features shaded footpaths, a huge lawn, an outdoor stage and The Dock pavilion. This downtown green space provides the backdrop for outdoor concerts, fitness classes, family activities and other citywide events, all of which are free and open to the public.

6. Tulsa Farmers’ Market

This lively, seasonal farmers’ market provides the best in local and organic produce, in addition to baked goods, garden crafts and live music. Since 1998, the farmers’ market has been a staple for Tulsans craving seasonal, sustainable produce, herbs and dairy products. In addition, the market always has great handmade goods and gourmet foodstuffs for purchase.


7. Woody Guthrie Center

More than just a stuffy museum or historical site, the Woody Guthrie Center is a fitting, immersive experience that offers rich insight into the life of one of Oklahoma’s most notable figures. There are tons of interactive displays, videos and interesting exhibits that detail Guthrie’s lifespan and outline his progressive views on important human rights issues. Plan to spend at least a couple of hours here.

8. Circle Cinema

Originally opened in 1928, Circle Cinema is the city’s oldest-standing movie theater and its only non-profit independent movie theater. The cinema boasts consistently fantastic programming, including classic films, foreign films, art house flicks, and documentaries. Circle Cinema offers a singular, unique moviegoing experience, as well as educational programs, occasional speakers, and special events.

Hungry for the best restaurants in Tulsa?

The 10 best restaurants in Tulsa
  • Restaurants

Tulsa food was made for indulging so, whether you’re a local or a tourist, make time to eat succulent barbecue, delicious pub food, juicy burgers and the most amazing fried catfish of your life at the best restaurants in Tulsa.

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