Oklahoma City: Downtown and Bricktown

Downtown Oklahoma City reverberates with the energy of commerce by day and the rhythms of entertainment by night. Explore the many museums, walk through gardens and parks, or stop for coffee or lunch at one of the many restaurants and cafés around the district. Downtown has several places to lay your head, including two recently restored properties – The Colcord Hotel and The Skirvin Hilton, which have been added to the National Trust Historic Hotels of America list.

Staying in the heart of the city has many advantages. Downtown is home to premier concert venues like the Ford Center and the Cox Convention Center. Several arts venues and museums are within walking distance of downtown hotels, including the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. Experience this peaceful monument that pays tribute to those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever by the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The interactive memorial learning museum offers visitors from around the world comfort and hope. The museum, and outdoor memorial with its reflecting pool, gives pause to all who visit and provides important insights through special exhibits.

The Myriad Botanical Gardens, a 17-acre oasis of landscaped walkways, dancing waterfalls, sculpture and ponds, fills the heart of downtown. The Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory – a seven-story cylinder suspended over a lake the size of a football field – serves as the gardens’ centerpiece. The “tube,” as it is called, is filled with lush tropical plant life. Beginning April 30, 2010, the Gardens and Crystal Bridge will close to undergo renovations. The project will significantly enhance the Gardens as a prime visitor destination in Oklahoma City.

Adjacent to downtown Oklahoma City is the fastest-growing entertainment district in the Southwest – Bricktown. With its large concentration of high-energy night clubs, casual lounges and list of restaurants covering a multitude of culinary cultures, Bricktown has something for every taste. And, when you factor in its picturesque setting, embracing a mile-long canal lined with eateries, clubs, a movie theatre, a bowling lounge, the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark and beautifully landscaped gardens and public art, you’ll discover something the whole family can enjoy!

Vibrant melodies can be heard coming from the American Banjo Museum and the Academy of Contemporary Music, the newest additions to the district. Shop or watch the fish swim in the museum-like setting of Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. Take the Water Taxi cruise along the canal and discover the history of this energetic district. Or, in warm weather, hail one of the Pedicabs or one of several horse-drawn carriages that can be seen ferrying customers all over Bricktown. It’s the perfect place for you to choose your own adventure!

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