Oklahoma Culture | Oklahoma Department of Commerce

Oklahoma Culture

Oklahoma calls the Great Plains home, but you’ll come to see we’re more great than plain.

Higher quality of life leads to happier employees and research shows that happier employees have higher productivity in the workplace. Our two largest metros are growing – economically, culturally and socially – and they’re surrounded by unique small towns with big personalities. Oklahomans, in general, are welcoming people – friendly, laid-back and good-natured – and we’re famous for our hospitality.

What do you know about Oklahoma?

What first comes to mind when you think of Oklahoma? The sweeping melodies of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical? Covered wagons traversing prairies? Oil derricks sprouting from the plains like great black trees? Chris Paul thundering down a slam dunk at a professional basketball game?

Rowers on the North Canadian river in Oklahoma City in the river sports district and the Oklahoma City downtown skyline in the background

Although these images are representative of Oklahoma’s past and present, there’s much more to the Sooner State than sports and our pioneer history. Many are surprised by our diversity and modernity, and still more people are pleased to learn about the ample opportunities we offer newcomers. Here, you can live life to the fullest.

Oklahoma is a young state, and we’ve earned a reputation as an innovative, entrepreneurial place. We’ve seen significant growth and change since the ’90s: adding attractions and outdoor activities, reinvigorating cities and neighborhoods, even bringing in our first major professional sports team, the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Our two largest metros are growing – economically, culturally and socially – and they’re surrounded by unique small towns with big personalities. Oklahomans in general are welcoming people – friendly, laid-back and good-natured – and we’re famous for our hospitality. There’s more to do here than you think, and with our low cost of living, you’ll be able to enjoy to the fullest everything our state has to offer.

"We have had so much talent come out of our state. When I think about Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood – and that’s just the country music – and Tony Randall, and other actors and musicians like Leon Russell ... We have a lot to be proud of. It’s not just about the red dirt. It’s about the people that came from it."
Kristin Chenoweth, Actress and Singer
Arts + Entertainment
Fine arts, food, festivals and fun.

300+ Museums

More than 300 museums to enjoy across the state.

5-Time NW Division Champions

One of the NBA’s most exciting and successful teams.

Top National Film Festival

Annual deadCENTER Film Festival is one of the top film festivals in the country.

Oklahoma is home to a wide variety of entertainment and excitement, and our list of things to do just keeps growing.

Food and entertainment hubs – such as Oklahoma City’s Bricktown and Plaza District, and Tulsa’s Blue Dome District – offer trendy restaurants, locally run shops, fine dining and more.

Our thriving arts districts are accompanied by architectural marvels, world-class theaters, a nationally renowned zoo, music venues big and small, more than 300 museums, and nearly 30 craft breweries. 

After my wife and I visited Norman, she turned to me on the second day and said, ‘You are taking this job. We have to move here!’
Berrien Moore III
Director, National Weather Center
Arts + Entertainment Spotlights

deadCENTER Film Festival

Since 2001, deadCENTER Film Festival in Oklahoma City has evolved into the premier film festival in the state. It’s an international festival boasting more than 1,400 films, ranked as one of the “20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker magazine. It also gives local filmmakers a platform to showcase their work.

Tulsa Tough

Tulsa Tough is a three-day cycling festival in downtown Tulsa. From extremely competitive races featuring some of the sport’s top cyclists to casual, family-friendly races, the event has something for riders of every age and skill level. The festival also has a bit of a wild hair, offering a taste of Tulsa’s free spirit and eclecticism.

OK Mozart

This music festival brings internationally acclaimed classical musicians, as well as jazz, pops and Broadway artists, to Bartlesville for a multi-day event. The event also features fascinating lectures discussing history, architecture and culture; kid-friendly activities; and great food.

Great Outdoors
Things to do, places to see.

1,000s of Miles

Hiking trails crisscross Oklahoma’s diverse regions.

55,646 Miles of Shoreline

More shoreline than the Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined.

10 Ecological Regions

Oklahoma offers the most diverse terrain per mile in U.S.

Oklahoma hosts a surprising assortment of outdoor adventures. Whether you’re looking for the perfect swimming hole, mountain hiking trails, city biking trails or the ideal spot for something more extreme, our state has the outdoor adventure for you.

Oklahoma features three distinct mountain ranges – the Wichita Mountains in the southwest, the Ozark Mountains in the northeast and the Ouachita Mountains in the southeast. These ranges offer miles upon miles of hiking trails, scenic roads and recreational areas sure to satisfy even the most avid outdoorsman.

You need to see it! You need to see the vibrancy. Oklahoma is a place where people develop roots and call home quickly.
Mike Ming
former General Manager, GE Global Research Oil and Gas Technology Center
Outdoor Spotlights

Scenic Talimena Drive

The headliner here is the Talimena National Scenic Byway. This 54-mile stretch of nationally protected road winds through the Ouachita Mountains and Ouachita National Forest of southeastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas, and it offers some of the best views this side of the Rockies. Although this scenic drive is worth the trip year-round, a fall drive offers the best viewing experience, when the region’s foliage lights up with bright reds, yellows and oranges.

Tahlequah Hills

Tahlequah, found in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, is a hotspot for the outdoor enthusiast. From floating the Illinois River during the summer to hiking Sparrow Hawk Mountain or camping at Lake Tenkiller in the fall, the capital of Cherokee Nation runs the gamut of outdoor recreation. Tahlequah also is known for its Red Fern Festival, inspired by the book “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Tahlequah-areanative Wilson Rawls.

Watonga Canyons

Watonga is home to an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities. Roman Nose State Park is set in a vast canyon and offers a unique 18-hole golf course, swimming pools, hiking and two separate lakes with fishing, paddleboats and more. Additionally, the beautiful Red Rock Canyon State Park, once a stop for pioneers on the California Trail, and popular Cherokee Trading Post are located just 30 minutes from Watonga.

Family Life
Raising the bar for raising a family.

Is it a white picket fence? A big backyard? A house to call your own? Home can be all of those things. But most importantly, it’s where your family lives.

Family is a big part of the Oklahoma life. Safe communities, great schools and a low cost of living make our state a smart place to raise a family. Combine those amenities with family-friendly activities, beautiful parks and thriving entertainment districts, and you’ve got a truly great place to raise children.

With two renowned state colleges, some of the nation’s top college-preparatory schools – Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School and Casady School in Oklahoma City, and Holland Hall and Cascia Hall in Tulsa – and several state-sponsored financial aid programs, you don’t have to go far to get a great, affordable education. And with many conveniently located suburbs and one of the lowest costs of living in the U.S., you can live close to where you work for less.

Going to work, getting your kids to and from school, and still making it home for dinner is incredible. The short commute is important to us.
Michelle Robinson
President, Southeast Region, Verizon Wireless
Oklahoma Spotlights

Historic Enid

Oklahoma’s eighth-largest city is chock-full of activities for families on the go. Leonardo’s Children’s Museum and Adventure Quest feature a science playground and interactive educational exhibits for kids of all ages. The Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, located on the former Chisholm Trail, is dedicated to educating visitors about the state’s pioneer history. And the more-than-a-century old Government Springs Park features public art, trails and fishing.

Clinton’s Route 66

Today, Clinton honors its heritage with the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum, featuring exhibits, antique cars and a drive-in theater. Sandwiched between Weatherford and Elk City along I-40, Clinton is also home to an impressive indoor water park, offering yearround family fun. Clinton is only an hour’s drive from Oklahoma City, offering a great balance between small-town life and big-city access.

Suburban Edmond

Edmond is a fun-loving city whose motto is “A Great Place to Grow.” It features some of the finest housing additions in the state and several golf courses, including Oak Tree National and its two championship courses. The city also is known for its festivals, such as the Downtown Edmond Arts Festival and LibertyFest, a weeklong patriotic celebration that draws more than 125,000 people each year and features the state’s largest hometown Independence Day parade.

Search
Questions?
Follow Us

Questions? Contact us today.

Thank you for visiting the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

The news from Oklahoma Now (now.okcommerce.gov) can now be found on the new and improved okcommerce.gov.

Read our latest business news here.