Tourist in Your Own City: OKC

I’m happy to report that Hanni Staycation 2017 was a success! After researching the OKC districts (plus making a list of fun favorites we haven’t done in a while) we mapped out several things to do and new restaurants to try as we played tourist in Oklahoma City.Tourist in Your Own City: OKC

Staycation Overview

Pros:

  • Save on lodging and airfare
  • Save on petsitting, babysitting (if applicable)
  • Still enjoy a change of pace
  • Still enjoy focused time with family

Cons:

  • Still have pet duties (we didn’t get to sleep in)
  • Which in turn limited how long we could be gone
  • Weather (the heat altered our activities)

Staycation Food

  • Torchy’s Tacos (Kurtis’ first time)
  • Gabriella’s (Samantha’s first time)
  • West
  • Mutt’s Hotdogs
  • Hall’s Pizza Kitchen

By far our favorite restaurant was West! Located next to the Hideaway, West’s tagline is “comfort food with a twist,” and they delivered on that. Tourist in Your Own City: OKC

The zucca chips are a must if you go (our stoic waiter called them ‘strangely addicting’ and he was strangely correct), and Kurtis’ choice of chicken fried beef tenderloin has been on my mind ever since last week. Best thing I’ve put in my mouth in a long time. *Bonus: They bring out complimentary cotton candy with your check!* We also randomly saw Frank and Cathy Keating there, so I guess we can also check “celebrity sighting” off our staycation list as well. Tourist in Your Own City: OKC

Staycation Activities

  • Rafting and kayaking at OKC Riversport
  • Cowboy Hall of Fame
  • OKC Bombing Museum
  • Chisholm Trail Museum
  • Territorial Museum
  • OKC Museum of Art
  • Shopping, movies, and house projects!

Our favorite activities was the rafting day, and our trips to the Cowboy Hall of Fame and the bombing museum. Some things to keep in mind when planning your activities:

  • Many museums and coffee shops are closed on Mondays. Plan accordingly!
  • Check any equipment you may need ahead of time. For example, we spent way too much time on Monday scouring stores for water shoes.
  • The weather. I’m a little bummed we couldn’t have done our staycation this week, because the weather is SO MUCH COOLER. We had the zoo, golfing, and biking on our list, but by Tuesday, we had nixed those items completely because the heat last week was offensive and inappropriate. Plus I’m married to Kurtis Hanni, who can start sweating on the walk from the car to the house. It’s a big deal. Cooler weather can give you lots more options, so I’d love to do a staycation in the fall. A staycation in Oklahoma in the spring might turn into DIY Storm Chasing….so no thanks.
Cowboy Hall of Fame

The bombing museum sets a high standard for all other museum experiences. We spent 2.5 hours there and could’ve spent even more time. If you haven’t been before, be aware that it’s somber and emotional, and graphic photos and footage are visible throughout the museum. (Something to consider if touring with little ones). 

We visited the Chisholm Trail Museum in Kingfisher and the Territorial Museum in Guthrie the day after the bombing museum.

Adjust your expectations.

While we still learned some new things, the museum in Kingfisher was more like looking through Kingfisher’s attic…or garage. You can find some treasures, but there’s not much thought or narrative to how it’s laid out. And it’s hot and smells old. You do get to see some relics that were brought along on the famous cattle drives, and get a good history of the trail as well as history on the town of Kingfisher itself.

How’s this for perspective? Old switchboard. iPhone.

We hit up the Territorial Museum where we were asked, “1 adult and 1 child?” for admission.

Um, no. Two adults please.

In retrospect, we should’ve just said yes and rolled with it. However, I was too bumfuzzled trying to figure out who, between the two of us, looked like a child.

Anyway. The Territorial Museum was more put together than the Chisholm Trail museum. We also took a quick peek in the Carnegie Library (which was beautiful and amazing and I want to live there) but only a quick peek because no AC (scratch that, don’t want to live there.)

And since we were in Guthrie, I wanted to hit up Hoboken but alas the clock read 3:05.

Darn you coffee shops and your “special” hours.

One of the last trips we made was the Museum of Art in OKC. (I know, ANOTHER museum. However it was 200 degrees outside that whole week. Museums set their AC at about 60 degrees.)Our favorite exhibit were the Dale Chihuly glass pieces. Exciting to finally see some pieces in person that I’ve only seen in pictures or in commercials!We also took a peek on the terrace and were rewarded with a beautiful view of the city we love so much. Would love to go back during cooler weather.

But as always, my favorite part was finally getting some uninterrupted, non-construction time with my favorite guy. We lingered long over lunches and dinner, talking about what was on our hearts, talking about everything from minimalism, geography, to of course house stuff. It did us good.

What about you? Have you done a staycation before? What are the musts and misses of OKC? Leave them in the comments below!