Travel Nurse Assignments: Live Like a Local – Tulsa, OK!

Welcome to Tulsa, Oklahoma! Once known as “The Oil Capital of the World”, Tulsa has diversified their economy to become perhaps the most cosmopolitan city in Oklahoma. Considered the cultural and arts center of the state, Tulsa is home to a number of world-class art and history museums. The city also has one of the largest concentrations of art deco architecture in the United States, which gives the downtown area a unique aesthetic. Situated between the Osage Hills and the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, there is plenty of natural scenery to explore here. Countless walking trails and bike paths line the countryside, offering plenty of opportunities for exercise and outdoor recreation. Tulsa has been lauded as one of America’s most livable cities by publications such as Forbes, and was ranked among the 50 best cities in the nation by BusinessWeek. Come see why everyone is talking about Tulsa!

1. Arts and Culture

Tulsa has a vibrant arts scene, and several different art and history museums that are worth visiting. The Philbrook Museum of Art is one of Tulsa’s crown jewels, and one of the top fine art museums in the entire country. The museum features works from famous artists like Pablo Picasso and Georgia O’Keefe, and also displays works from local artists. In addition, there are formal gardens that you can walk through and enjoy. The gardens were recently named one of the state’s most beautiful places, and feature native plants from Oklahoma, a variety of pathways, bridges, and a meandering creek.

The Philbrook Museum of Art and Gardens

Another museum you should check out is The Gilcrease Museum, located on the outskirts of the city. This museum houses the largest collection of arts and artifacts of the American West in the world. The collection includes more than 350 years of American paintings and sculptures, and has archaeological artifacts from pre-Coumbian cultures dating all the way back to 12,000 BCE. Highlights of the museum include a letter by Diego Columbus from 1512, copies of the Deceleration of Independence and Articles of Confederation, and hundreds of paintings from Native American artists both past and present.

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2. Parks and Outdoor Recreation

Tulsa has several parks and recreation sites that are perfect for both kids and adults. One of the top attractions in Tulsa is Gathering Place, a one-of-a-kind outdoor amusement center completed in 2018. Gathering Place was featured by The New York Times, Time Magazine, and other national publications as one of the best attractions and most unique parks in the United States. This is certainly not your average park. Gathering Place has an adventure playground, a water park, a boat house with an viewing deck and an outdoor terrace, sports fields and courts, a skate park, a much more! There are literally hundreds of activities to enjoy!

The boathouse at Gathering Place

Other popular parks include Woodward Park, just three miles south of Downtown. This park was built in the 1920’s and 30’s, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are lots of flower gardens and walking paths, and it’s a great spot for a picnic! There’s also a historic mansion, now the home of the Tulsa Garden Society, as well as an arboretum. Furthermore, Mohawk Park is another great place for an outdoor excursion, located just north of town. Mohawk Park is a sprawling 3,300 acres, with over 9 miles of hiking trails. The Tulsa Zoo is located within the park, and there’s also a nature center with interpretive exhibits. It’s a fantastic location to relax and enjoy some of Tulsa’s native wildlife.

3. Where to Eat and Drink

Tulsa has an eclectic lineup of food options, from Southern homestyle cooking, to Lebanese, and everything in between. Evelyn’s Soul Food Kitchen has been a Tulsa staple since 1974, and specializes in southern comfort cuisine. Locals especially love the Chicken Fried Steak, a traditional meal for many Tulsans. Shawkat Mediterranean Grill offers more international flavors, and continues Tulsa’s rich tradition of authentic Lebanese restaurants. They have all of the Mediterranean-style favorites you love, and they make their pita bread in house!

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Tulsa also has a flair for BBQ. Burn Co. BBQ has limited hours, and the lines can get long, but it is definitely worth the wait. They serve all your traditional BBQ favorites including The Happy Plate, a smorgasbord of smoked meats and delicious sides.

The historic Route 66 sign in Tulsa

For drinks, it’s hard to overlook Tulsa’s burgeoning craft beer scene. Welltown Brewing opened their doors in 2017, and styles themselves as a neighborhood hangout focused on brewing beer that doesn’t suck. Pippin’s Tap Room at High Gravity Brewing Company is also sure to please any beer connoisseur. They serve traditional and experimental style beers, and have over 11 rotating taps to choose from!

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