Summer activity recommendations

27 April 2017
Nick Rethford, Apprentice Editor

Check out these summer-friendly attractions to get the full Tulsa experience.

With the spring semester winding down, there is only one thing on every college student’s mind: summer. Perfect for visits back home, spontaneous road trips and all around relaxation, summer is the ideal best friend. For the students remaining in Tulsa over the break, summer provides the perfect opportunity to explore the city and get a taste of the rich culture that inhabits it. Make sure these local attractions make your summer to-do list.

The Philbrook Museum
One of Tulsa’s most popular art museums, the Philbrook offers a perfect blend of modern and contemporary art for all tastes. Not only is it housed in the Villa Philbrook, Waite Phillips’ eccentric mansion, but it showcases a variety of art from permanent selections by established artists to rotating exhibitions by up-and-coming artists. TU students receive free admission with ID.

The Gilcrease Museum
Known for its collection of Native American art and artifacts, the Gilcrease Museum is the perfect place to learn about Oklahoma’s Native American history. It also has a very extensive collection of contemporary art, so all visitors get the experience of two museums for the price of one. Since the University of Tulsa partners with this museum, TU students receive free admission with ID here, too.

The Oklahoma Aquarium
What better way to spend a hot summer’s day than “swimming with the fishes?” The Oklahoma Aquarium offers a variety of exhibits featuring fish and other aquatic animals from the bottom of the ocean to the rapids of the Ozarks. Its Shark Adventure features a tunnel that goes straight through the exhibit to allow visitors to get up close and personal with the sharp-toothed hunters. For those who have already been to the Oklahoma Aquarium, it just unveiled its new Sea Turtle Experience, which is definitely worth a repeat trip.

The Blue Whale of Catoosa
While this one isn’t technically in Tulsa, it’s still worth checking out. Built along the historic Route 66 in Catoosa, OK, the Blue Whale is just that: a giant blue whale stationed in a pond alongside the highway. It’s a very popular tourist spot to picnic, so pack a lunch and spend a day getting just a little more familiar with Oklahoma’s history.

Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area
Considering this is Oklahoma, Turkey Mountain isn’t an actual mountain, but it’s still the closest thing Tulsa’s got. With a massive collection of trails, the park is the perfect spot to get away from the stress of everyday life and just spend a day hiking and enjoying nature. And if that doesn’t sound relaxing enough already, it’s also dog-friendly, which basically seals the deal.

Tulsa Zoo
Where else could one see a variety of animals from across the globe all in one place? The Tulsa Zoo offers tons of educational fun and the chance to observe animals such as tigers, elephants and giraffes in their (almost) natural habitats. Plus, the forest trails surrounding the zoo are perfect for hiking.