Last updated: 07:00 PM ET, Wed January 05 2022
Downtown Oklahoma City From Bricktown Bridge.

Oklahoma City

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The West Gate time 9:03. wWhen life was changed forever, the minute after the bomb. (chanceb737 / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
The West Gate time 9:03. wWhen life was changed forever, the minute after the bomb. (chanceb737 / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

The largest city in the state, Oklahoma City is located at the crossroads of I-35, I-40 and I-44 in the heart of Oklahoma. The second-largest city in the continental U.S. based on geographical size, more than 1.1 million people call the Metro Oklahoma City area home. The city offers a Western heritage, sophisticated entertainment and plenty of opportunities for sightseeing and outdoors activities.

The Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City is a hot spot for world-class rowing events and scenic river cruises. Oklahoma City has undergone $1 billion worth of renovations and new development, including revitalizing the downtown and historic Bricktown areas, plus projects along the Oklahoma River. With the newly built Chesapeake Boathouse, the Oklahoma River is poised to make the city a premier destination for collegiate, professional and recreational rowing. The Oklahoma River Trails also contain 13 miles of multi-use, asphalt trails.

The hub of Oklahoma City, the Bricktown Entertainment District offers restaurants, shopping, nightlife, a canal with water taxis, the Oklahoma Banjo Museum, a Landrun Monument Sculpture, and the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark, home of the Oklahoma City Redhawks, a AAA affiliate of the Texas Rangers baseball team. The Ford Center, home to the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team, is a few blocks away. Bricktown has been restored and is a highly sought-after destination for locals and tourists alike. The once abandoned old warehouse district received a facelift in 1993 when Oklahoma City took on a massive public facility enhancement project. The canal and riverwalk lend itself to the picturesque look and feel of the district.

The Oklahoma State Capitol houses more than 100 works of art including paintings, murals and sculptures. Located across the street from the Oklahoma Governor's Mansion, the Oklahoma History Center presents a comprehensive historical overview of the state, from prehistoric times to oil field wildcatters to the space program. Oklahoma City also is home to Stockyards City, a National Register Historic District located minutes from downtown. Stockyards City boasts a variety of authentic Western shops, restaurants and more.

A decade in the making, the Oklahoma History Center is an 18-acre, 215,000 square-foot learning center exploring Oklahoma’s unique history of geology, transportation, commerce, culture, aviation, heritage and more. The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum embodies the spirit symbolized by the American West. Through art and exhibitions, the museum tells America’s story as it unfolds across the West through fine art, pop culture and more.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum was created to honor those who were killed, those who survived and those who were changed forever by the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The memorial and museum educate visitors about the impact of violence, and provide information about events surrounding the bombing. Adjacent to the outdoor memorial are the Oklahoma City National Memorial Center and the Oklahoma City National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism.

The Oklahoma City Zoo opened the $8.3 million Children’s Zoo in March 2010. The zoo is located in the Adventure District, which also includes three museums, a horse racing facility, a 20-screen theater complex and restaurants.

Oklahoma City’s climate is generally mild and humid except in the far northwest where it is typically semi-arid. Summer temperatures range between 80-100 degrees, while average annual rainfall is 35.9 inches.