I was there shooting video for a destination guide and I was actually pleasantly surprised with how much there is to see and do.
All kinds of ways to get your inner Cowboy going ... the western winds, the scent of leather, custom boots & chaps (I tried on a purple pair. You'll have to wait for the video to see that!), and the quintessential steakhouse, Cattlemens. Celebrating it's centennial in 2010, this restaurant has seen it's share of card games and Clint Eastwood-types. Smack dab right next to Oklahoma's Stockyard City, you're sure to get the freshest, tastiest steaks in the country while rubbing elbows with real cowboys. They don't call it Cattlemen's for nothin! If you're feelin ballsy, be sure to try their house specialty, Lamb Fries.
And the cuisine is not just all meat and potatoes, although the meat and potatoes are pretty darn good! I would also recommend having a slice of peach pizza and sipping homemade lemon cello and at Trattoria. The lemon cello was even better than I remember it in Sorrento, Italy. I swear!
The ultimate quencher and adventure for your tastebuds is Pops on Route 66. This cool little gas station in the middle of the road trip has over 500 types of soda including unusual flavors such as celery, jalapeno, and mint julep. It's difficult to choose just one fizzy drink. With all the many colors and flavors you've got to grab a six pack and fill 'er up.
Starting to notice a lot of food references here? It's a good thing I love running just as much as I love eating. One more for my sweet tooth ... Sara Sara Cupcakes. Our first night there we ordered a green tea cupcake an some coffee to enjoy on their front porch. It was the best comfort food and quiet ending to a long day of travel.
We also explored downtown OKC's hoppin art scene. We stood in awe of the largest collection of Chihuly Glass and enjoyed live music during Cocktails on the Skyline at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. You can also catch an independent film from the Sundance Institute Art House project at the restored historic Noble Theatre. Be sure to look up in awe of the Chihuly Waterford Crystal Chandelier in the theatre lobby.
One absolute "must see" is the National Memorial. This is something every American should make the trip to visit. An inspiring story of hope and survival weaved through thoughtful symbolism honoring those who were killed, those who survived, and those came to help in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building . The most memorable for me was the Survivor Tree. And gosh darnit I can't believe I didn't grab a picture of it! Probably because I was focusing on the video. Ah well. You'll just have to go see it live in person to experience it. After quiet reflection overlooking the Field of Empty Chairs, the Survivor Tree invokes a powerful feeling of strength and renewal that we all look for in our lives.
And there is so much more than I could possibly fit into one blog post. The Paseo Arts District and the unique and intimate dining experience at Paseo Grill. The beautifully renovated historic boutique Colcord Hotel. Rowing and cycling at the Chesapeake Boathouse. I loved Oklahoma City. The food, the culture, and most of all ... the people. Can't wait to visit again!