Oklahoma City, or OKC, as it is known in the local slang, is a rapidly growing city that has cultivated diversity and modern sensibilities without losing its frontier charm. Just over one million people call Oklahoma City home. This is a land of lakes, forests, rolling green hills, red rock canyons, big sky and beautiful sunsets.
Today, after a multi-year revitalization campaign, downtown OKC—dubbed "Bricktown" for its old-fashioned brick streets—has truly regained its status as the city's premier dining and entertainment district. Refined cultural pursuits like the distinguished Ballet Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra at the Civic Center Music Hall, exist alongside those aimed at a sportsman's heart such as Wranglers arena football at the Myriad Convention Center and RedHawk baseball at the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark. Those who come downtown soon find that having fun is a full-time pursuit. Board a Water Taxi and float down the Bricktown Canal, which runs throughout the district, enter a tropical wonderland in the Myriad Botanical Gardens and Crystal Bridge, or join the festivities.
If Bricktown is the city's modern nucleus, then Stockyard City, adjacent to downtown, is the neighborhood of living Oklahoma history. A trip here is not complete without taking a meal at Cattlemen's Steakhouse. The 90 year-old restaurant continues to be a symbol of the old cattle baron lifestyle and serves some of the most mouth-watering steaks in the city. At every turn, visitors are reminded of the way of life in frontier times. Stores like Langston's, Shepler's Western Wear and Tener's can outfit you in authentic Western duds, while performers at the Oklahoma Opry will serenade you with sweet country melodies. Don't pass up an opportunity to journey into this cowboy country.
North of Bricktown, around the area of 30th Street and Dewey, is OKC's only artists' district, the Paseo. Designed in the style of an old Spanish villa, the area's buildings house numerous galleries and studios, along with a few popular restaurants and coffee bars. One such popular meeting place is Galileo's Bar and Grill, an eatery with a Mediterranean flavor, which also hosts a poetry night. Memorial Day brings a flurry of activity to the area, when the annual Paseo Arts Festival is held.
Northwest, Nichols Hills and The Village
For the finest shopping experience, head to the twin communities of Nichols Hills and the Village, which hold a multitude of upscale boutiques and luxury services. Outlets like Penn Square Mall and 50 Penn Place carry only the most ultra-chic goods. This is the place to be seen and definitely the most exclusive area in the city. The larger northwest district revolves largely around one major thoroughfare: the Northwest Expressway. Not really a "neighborhood" per se, the street is synonymous with the district, as it cuts through the entire northwest side of the city and is home to many of OKC's dining and shopping treasures. Aside from Bricktown, no other area of the city compares to it in the concentration of commerce and interchange. The area also holds entertainment attractions like the Oklahoma City Art Museum and State Fair Park, as well as outdoor retreats like Hefner Lake, Martin Park Nature Center and Will Rogers Park.
Northeast OKC holds some of the city's most prominent establishments. As home to the State Capitol and governmental district on Lincoln Avenue, it is the power center of the city. It is the place where politicians and dealmakers meet, but there is also a distinct undercurrent of fun. The world-renown Cowboy Hall of Fame brings western history to life, Frontier City lets you play in a Land Run-era theme park, ponies thunder and adrenaline surges at Remington Park and the Oklahoma City Zoo delivers an African safari and aquatic harbor to the plains. These attractions are just a sample of the area's exciting offerings.