Oklahoma City, the largest city in the state of Oklahoma, may prove surprising to some visitors who are only familiar with its western heritage. For instance, did you know the city is home to one of two museums in the U.S. dedicated to osteology (the study of the skeletal form)? Or that it hosts a museum all about the banjo? Or that it boasts one of the largest collections of Dale Chihuly glass in the world? Or that the shopping cart was invented here? That last one may not be as impressive, but it serves as a reminder of the city's appreciation for its (sometimes quirky) history.
For a look at the culture and Wild West ideals that shaped OKC, head to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Care to snag your own pair of cowboy boots? Take a trip to Stockyards City, home to the Oklahoma National Stock Yards, the world's largest feeder and stocker cattle market, where live cattle auctions still take place every Monday. And for a moving tribute to the victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, pay a visit to the museum and memorial, which uses interactive exhibits to spotlight how future generations can harness hope and resilience in the aftermath of tragedy.
When deciding where to dine in Oklahoma City, you should use its diverse districts as your guide. It may come as a surprise, but OKC is home to a large Vietnamese population, which was the result of an influx of immigrants in the 1970s. You'll find a variety of Vietnamese restaurants in the Asian District, including local favorite Pho Ca Dao. If you venture a few blocks north of the Asian District, you'll find Sushi Neko, popular for its Japanese robata.
If you want to experience a bit of OKC history, head to Stockyards City for a meal at Cattlemen's Steakhouse, the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Oklahoma City. The historic eatery has hosted the likes of Reba McEntire, John Wayne, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. You'll encounter even more history in the Deep Deuce neighborhood, which once served as the epicenter for the city's African American population and its blossoming music scene. Slaughter's Hall, a bar and deli, celebrates the district's past with live jazz every week. For something a little more eclectic in Deep Deuce, head to Anchor Down, a gourmet corn dog eatery housed in a repurposed shipping container.
And if you're on the hunt for a trendy atmosphere with a revered menu, you can't go wrong with a meal at Paseo Grill in the Paseo Arts District or Broadway 10 Bar & Chophouse in Automobile Alley. After the sun sets, head to Bricktown for the bustling nightlife.
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