Oklahoma

In the US state of Oklahoma, there is almost always an opportunity for a boat tour, a road trip along Route 66, or a dive into Native American history. Come with us - we'll show you the cowboy state in the Midwest in all its beauty!

Oklahoma facts

Capital: Oklahoma City
Area: 181,038 km²
Population: about 4 million
Location: Great Plains Region
Nickname: Sooner State
State animal: Bison
Time zone: Central: UTC−6/−5

Oklahoma: location & population

Because Oklahoma is fairly central on the map of the USA, the state is sometimes classified as part of the US Midwest and sometimes as part of the US Southern states.

In fact, the "Sooner State," as Oklahoma is called because of its first immigrants who came in a hurry, is part of the Great Plains region - more precisely, the Intermountain Region in the Plains - and borders Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.

In the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metropolitan areas, population density is nearly 2,000 residents per square kilometer, while in the rest of the state, it is mostly less than 22 residents per square kilometer.

Oklahoma is home to many Native American tribes. Today, the state still has the second-highest percentage of Native Americans of any of the American states. The largest groups are Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muskogee, and Seminole.

Approximately 16% of Oklahoma residents were born outside the United States. The most common country of birth for immigrants in Oklahoma is Mexico, followed by Vietnam and India.

The biggest cities in Oklahoma

More than 60% of Oklahoma's residents live in the metropolitan areas surrounding Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The largest cities in Oklahoma by population are:

City Population
Oklahoma City 655,000
Tulsa 400,000
Norman 125,000
Broken Arrow 110,000
Edmond 94,000
Lawton 93,000

Climate and nature in Oklahoma

The climate in Oklahoma varies from region to region: the south has a subtropical climate with mild winters and hot, humid summers, while the north has much colder winters.

Due to the climate difference, temperatures in Oklahoma vary between -35°C in winter and 40°C in summer, and the location in the famous Tornado Alley brings regular storms.

Oklahoma's nature is characterized by mountain ranges, flat grasslands, swamps with cypress forests, flat hills with sparkling minerals, deciduous and coniferous forests, and the fertile Red River Valley. In the center of the state, you'll find the most distinctive part of Oklahoma: the Red Beds Plains with its Martian landscape of red sandstone and shale.

On your tours through the state parks of Oklahoma, you can meet antelopes, bison, armadillos, coyotes, and even alligators.

Best time to visit Oklahoma

If you like it warm and dry, you can come to Oklahoma between April and October. However, since May has the highest risk of tornadoes, we recommend you travel in the summer or fall.

Oklahoma in summer

Oklahoma surprises you in many places with clear blue water that invites you to swim, snorkel, paddle, or take a boat ride in summer temperatures.

Looking for more action? Then visit the Comanche Nation Water Park with its countless water slides or the Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival. You also can't beat a round of parasailing over Grand Lake on a clear summer day! To end the summer, spend a warm September day at the Oklahoma State Fair.

Oklahoma in fall

Pumpkin festivals, hay mazes, lots of Halloween fun, and the glowing forest of leaves on the hills of Oklahoma are all great reasons to come to the Sooner State this fall. Don't miss out on a relaxing drive on Route 66, where you can really admire the autumn scenery.

Tip: The three-day Fall Festival in Shawnee is worth a visit with its fairground games, amusement rides, a pumpkin pie eating contest, costume contests, and plenty of shopping.

How to get to Oklahoma

Unlike flight prices to many other US states, connections to Oklahoma are a bit more expensive. From Europe, even the cheaper flights to Oklahoma City cost between €800 and €1,000, and you’ll be traveling for at least 14 hours.

If you fly to Oklahoma from Canada or Moscow, you can grab a bargain between €500 and €700. However, two stops are usually necessary.

The main airports in Oklahoma include:

  • Will Rogers World Airport (Oklahoma City)
  • Tusla International Airport
  • Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport
  • Stillwater Regional Airport

Flights to Oklahoma

Oklahoma travel authorization

Don't forget: If you are not a US citizen or Green Card holder, you will need a US visa or ESTA to enter the US.

ESTA – visa-free to the USA

With an ESTA, you can stay 90 days visa-free in the USA. Apply online now!

Oklahoma airport transfer

If you have taken a flight to Oklahoma City, then there are several transfer options available to you at the airport:

Taxicab

Cabs are located in the Transportation Plaza, which can be accessed through the baggage claim area (lower level).

Shuttle Bus

You can use both public and private shuttles at the Oklahoma airport. Rates vary from company to company and are posted on the outside of the vehicles.

Many hotels in Oklahoma City also offer their own shuttle service. To find out if you can use one of the convenient hotel shuttles, give your first accommodation a call in advance.

Public Transportation

Public bus service is temporarily suspended at the Oklahoma City airport. If it hasn't resumed by the time you arrive, you can use the Soldier Express Bus, Village Tours, or Greyhound bus companies east of downtown Oklahoma City. Plan about 15 minutes for a cab ride to the Greyhound station.

Other options

Shuttle buses will take you to the rental car station outside the terminal around the clock. You can also find cab alternatives Uber and Lyft at the Oklahoma City airport. The pick-up area is located on the upper level in the departure lane at the west end. The area is designated as "TNC Pick Up."

State parks and natural wonders in Oklahoma

On an outdoor adventure in Oklahoma, you will see spectacular mountains, crystal clear lakes, waterfalls, and surreal rock and desert landscapes. Here are the most beautiful places in the Sooner State:

Natural Falls State Park

Rugged cliffs, rushing waterfalls, and turquoise ponds make for a magical hiking experience at Natural Falls State Park on the Arkansas border. Join a big campfire at one of the rustic campsites in the evening or enjoy this peaceful place alone under clear skies. This quaint little park is truly worth a visit.

Little Sahara State Park

The "Little Sahara" in the red-colored center of Oklahoma lives up to its name! Book a wild dune buggy ride, push your off-road vehicle to its limits, or hike the small trails between the sand mountains and pitch your tent at one of the many campgrounds.

Tip: The sand dunes are also a magical place at night!

Beavers Bend State Park and Nature Center

Beavers Bend State Park, located on the large Broken Bow Lake in southeastern Oklahoma, seems unimpressive at first, but it's a hidden gem with lots of wildlife, whitewater, and diverse outdoor activities. With great hiking trails, golf courses, the adventurous Zip Line, and plenty of water sports, you're guaranteed not to get bored!

Black Mesa State Park

Atemberaubende Aussichten und faszinierende Felsformationen erwarten dich abseits der Touristenströme im Black Mesa State Park am nordwestlichsten Zipfel von Oklahoma. Hier kannst du an der Grenze zu Colorado und New Mexico für ein paar Tage richtig abschalten. Wandere entlang der malerischen Pfade zum Stausee und beobachte die vielseitige Tierwelt rund um das Vulkanfeld.

Beware: the road conditions are terrible. It's best to take two spare tires with you and make sure you have enough supplies.

Lake Thunderbird State Park

You can lose yourself for days in the silence and vastness of Lake Thunderbird State Park. Rent a boat or canoe and float until sunset. The area around the beautiful Lake Thunderbird is also perfect for hiking or mountain biking. Here, you'll find beautiful views, the exciting Nature Center, and lots and lots of birdsong.

Top 10 sightseeing highlights in Oklahoma

The following places in Oklahoma are must-sees and should definitely be on your travel list:

  • National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
  • Myriad Botanical Gardens
  • Frontier City
  • Science Museum Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
  • Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
  • Fort Washita Historic Site
  • Armstrong Auditorium
  • Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve
  • Museum of the Great Plains

Oklahoma city highlights

Oklahoma is more diverse than almost any other state in the USA. Especially the rich offer of art, culture, and history makes the big and small cities of the "Sooner State" an Eldorado for city travelers. Here are our Oklahoma city highlights:

City Highlights Oklahoma City

Besides the exciting architecture and a touch of the Wild West, Oklahoma also offers numerous activities for visitors. They range from sporting events and horse races to water sports and great museums and restaurants. In OKC, as the city is also lovingly called, you won't get bored, promised.

Don't miss these places in Oklahoma City:

  • National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
  • Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
  • Frontier City
  • Myriad Botanical Gardens
  • Bricktown

Accomodation in Oklahoma City

City highlights Tulsa

The second-largest city, Tulsa, offers outdoor adventures, thriving parks, open-air concerts by the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, and a wealth of museums and shows. You can also enjoy culinary delights here, with the best food from every corner of the world.

These are the places you should not miss in Tulsa:

  • Philbrook Museum of Art
  • Gilcrease Museum
  • Blue Whale of Catoosa
  • The Cave House
  • River Spirit Casino Resort

Accomodation in Tulsa

City highlights Norman

If you love art, Norman is the place to be. The city is also a great place to take a boat ride on beautiful Lake Thunderbird or a trip to the surrounding state park.

Check out these places when you're in Norman:

  • Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
  • Lake Thunderbird State Park
  • Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
  • Riverwind Casino
  • Oklahoma Memorial Stadium

Accomodation in Norman

City highlights Edmond

North of Oklahoma City, Edmond offers a full program of festivals. Whether it's farmers’ markets or festivals on American holidays, there's always an event somewhere with music and good food. It gets extra thrilling around here on Halloween!

Don't miss these places in Edmond:

  • Armstrong Auditorium
  • Acardia Lake
  • Edmond Historical Society & Museum
  • Pelican Bay Aquatic Center
  • Mitch Park

Accomodation in Edmond

Oklahoma road trip

Two words for you: Route 66! The world-famous favorite route among road trip fans is also called "Mother Road," and Oklahoma is home to the longest driveable stretch of Route 66 in all of America.

Many surprises await you on your relaxing drive through Oklahoma. Look forward to museums, restaurants, shows, drive-in theaters from the 1950s, and countless roadside attractions like the famous Whale of Catoosa, the Pops 66 Soda Ranch, the Big Beaver, or Buck Atom, the gigantic space cowboy.

Instagram hotspots in Oklahoma

The US state of Oklahoma surprises you with magically beautiful photo opportunities in many places. Here are our Instagram hotspots in Oklahoma:

  • The Wheeler Ferris Wheel
  • Lake Hefner Lighthouse
  • Tower Theater
  • Bricktown Canal
  • Myriad Gardens

Food highlights in Oklahoma

The traditional food in the US state can be described in one sentence: not healthy, but beastly delicious! Try the following treats when you're in Oklahoma:

  • Oklahoma Onion Burger — Greasy ground beef with cheese and lots of fried onions on a burger bun
  • Chicken Fried Steak — Fried chicken cutlet with creamy sauce
  • Fried Okra — Okra cut and deep-fried in cornmeal batter
  • Biscuits & Gravy — Soft buttermilk rolls with creamy meat sauce
  • Pecan Pie — Spicy sweet tart filled with pecans
  • Cowboy caviar — Bean salad made with black-eyed peas, jalapeños, tomatoes, corn, onions, and spices

Oklahoma fun facts

You probably haven't heard these exciting facts about the US state of Oklahoma:

  • The Oklahoma State Capitol is completely surrounded by oil wells.
  • Oklahoma has the most tornadoes of any state per square mile.
  • In Oklahoma, it is illegal to spit on a sidewalk.
  • In Guthrie, there is a lighter museum with nearly 20,000 items on display.
  • In Bartlesville, it is illegal to own more than two adult cats if they are outdoor cats.
  • In Quapaw in northeastern Oklahoma, the famous Hornet Spook Light has haunted a dirt road for centuries. The haunting involves brightly glowing spheres that bounce across the road.

Moving to Oklahoma

If you're thinking about moving to Oklahoma, you've made the right choice! The state is truly a hidden gem in the Great Plains. Here are a few tips for living and working in Oklahoma:

Working in Oklahoma

Oklahoma's major industries include agriculture, natural gas, and oil extraction, machinery, and airplane parts construction, and food and electronic equipment manufacturing.

However, more modern companies are also on the rise. There are already several Fortune 500 companies that are considered attractive employers in Oklahoma. They include, for example, Hobby Lobby, Love's, American Cancer Society, and Sonic. The very affordable rents are also attracting more companies to Oklahoma, which is very good news for the job market.

Oklahoma City and Tusla, for example, have a surprisingly strong startup scene with incubators, co-working spaces, and events. Employees are in constant demand in schools, food services, and construction in Oklahoma. Drivers, salespeople, managers, and cashiers are also in demand. Compared to other US states, Oklahoma also has an unusually high number of people working as tire builders, and workers in the oil, gas, and mining industries.

Living in Oklahoma

Life in Oklahoma is significantly less expensive than in the rest of the USA. And while the weather in the Sooner State with its tornadoes isn’t perfect, Oklahoma is still a great place to live.

If you talk to locals, they'll often tell you that Tulsa, Oklahoma City ("the greatest small town in the world"), and Norman are tops for living.

People in Oklahoma are considered friendly and will not make it difficult for you to settle into your new home.

Oklahoma is also a good place for students because Stillwater, the home of Oklahoma State University, is at the top of the list of the most affordable places to study in the USA.

Come to Oklahoma with a Green Card

A Green Card is the only visa that allows you to live and work in the US indefinitely. The easiest way to get one of the prestigious immigrant visas is through the Green Card Lottery, in which the US government raffles 55,000 Green Cards every year.

Apply today - it only takes a few minutes! We have our fingers crossed for you!

Green Card Lottery

Win one of 55,000 Green Cards in the official Green Card Lottery of the US authorities!