Oklahoma is a museum-goer’s paradise, with more than 280 museums covering a wide range of subjects. Visitors short on time have tough choices to make.
The types of museums are mind-boggling, covering topics ranging from Native Americans to oil companies to the state’s history to old-time pharmaceuticals and modern-day astronauts. No matter what your interest is, Oklahoma is likely to have a museum on that subject.
Oklahoma has two museums that honor famous native sons: Will Rogers, a folksy philosopher, wit and vaudevillian, and Gene Autry, a singing cowboy who found fame on the screen in the mid-1900s.
Will Roger was born in 1879 in Oolagah Lake, where his memorial museum is located. Rogers planned to retire to this site, but died in a plane crash in Alaska before he could realize his dream. The museum sits on 400 acres that has been restored as a living history ranch. The museum contains artifacts and memorabilia of his life.
Autry was born in Texas, but moved to Oklahoma with his parents as a teenager. The Gene Autry Oklahoma Museum is located – where else – but in the town of Gene Autry, so named because he owned a ranch nearby. While the museum primarily honors Autry, it is dedicated to all singing cowboys of that era, including Roy Rogers and Ken Maynard. The museum is housed in the town’s old school house.
Native American Museums
Oklahoma is home to several Indian tribes, with each having a museum or cultural center to showcase important tribal events and traditions. One example is the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur. This is a 96,000-square foot complex set on 109 acres adjacent to the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. The center uses movies and interactive exhibits to tell the story of the tribe. Another tribal museum showcases the culture and traditions of the Seminole Indian Nation. Located in Wewoka, the museum uses artifacts, photographs and interpretive exhibits to tell the story of the Seminoles in Oklahoma.
Museums Honoring the Old West
Numerous museums across the state are devoted to Oklahoma’s place in the westward movement across the United States. Most counties have an historical museum about the development of that county. One of the more well-known museums is the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan. The Chisholm Trail was developed to move longhorn cattle from Texas to a trailhead in Abilene, Kansas, where the cattle would be shipped east to feed Americans who were developing a taste for beef. The trail passed through Oklahoma.
The state has dozens of miscellaneous museums covering subjects from oil to space. Oklahoma is famous for oil productions, and several oil companies have their own museums. One such museum is hosted by the Phillips Petroleum Company in Bartlesville. Then there’s the Stafford Air & Space Museum, located in Weatherford, the birthplace of astronaut Thomas P. Stafford. The museum has more than 20 aircraft, including rockets.
- Top things to do in Tenerife
- Best time of the year to visit Hawaii
- Downtown LA Walking Tours
- Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
- Let’s Take a Tour of the Alaska Cruises
- Denver Tourist Attractions
- Attractions in Downtown Chicago
- San Diego Tourist Attractions
- Main Attractions in San Francisco
- Walt Disney World – the most visited vacation resort in the World
- Hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park – an unforgettable family getaway
- Oklahoma Is OK When it Comes to Museums, Just Choose Your Topic
- Savannah, GA in a Day
- Dallas Travel and Tourism Guide – Top Tourist Attractions
- Unique Places to See When on Sanibel Island, Florida
- Top 8 East Coast Destinations for Senior Travel
- 4 Hotels in the Historic District of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Aquariums: Best Places for Summer, Family, and Affordable Fun
- 3 Great Lakes to Visit in California
- Tourist’s guide to the Islands of Hawaii
- Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
- Vermont attractions
- Golden Gate Park: Where all diverse creatures come together
- Death Valley National Park
- The Beauty Of Myrtle Beach All Inclusive Vacations
- Tangier Island
- Visit the Naples Zoo at the beautiful Caribbean Gardens
- Vancouver Aquarium: Marine gem in British Columbia
- Niagara Falls – A Natural Wonder
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Haleakala National Park: House of the Sun in Hawaii
- Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
- Lyric Theater, Miami
- Osceola County Courthouse, Kissimmee
- Waikiki Beach
- Venice Beach
- Inner Harbor, Baltimore
- Santa Monica
- Yosemite National Park California
- Chinatown New York
- Times Square New York
- The Statue of Liberty
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
- Central Park New York
- Las Vegas Hotels
- Key West Vacations
- Alcatraz San Francisco
- Universal Studio Rides
- Empire State Building
- Las Vegas Casinos
- Walt Disney World