Tulsa, the second largest city in Oklahoma, is located on the Arkansas River in the northeastern part of the state. When oil was discovered in 1901, Tulsa quickly became one of the world’s leading oil capitals. The city also is known for its rich Native American heritage. Student groups will find Tulsa a great place for their next trip.
Top Student Travel Attractions in Tulsa
Students at the Gilcrease Museum can see paintings that tell the story of western North America and Native Americans, including works by such artists as Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. Philbrook Museum of Art exhibits more than 8,500 works and is considered one of America’s top art museums. The collection includes European art and Native American artifacts.
The Tulsa Air and Space Museum chronicles the incredible aerospace heritage of Tulsa. Along with tours and a visit to the planetarium, students can launch a simulated NASA space shuttle mission and try the Space Maneuvering Unit, which gives the feel of what it is like to be weightless.
Tulsa’s Zoo and Living Museum is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, with nearly 2,800 animals representing 436 species from all over the world. The zoo’s botanical collection is situated on 84 landscaped areas.
Stop and smell the roses at the Tulsa Rose Garden, home of over 10,000 varieties of roses. Students groups can learn about plants through lectures, shows and special events. Another great place to enjoy nature is Utica Square, a shopping area in Tulsa’s midtown and one of the city’s most treasured attractions. It is known for its beautiful manicured gardens and trees.
One of Tulsa’s most visited recreational areas is River Parks. Here you can walk, run, bike or skate along its 20 miles of trails along the Arkansas River. Student travel groups can enjoy such activities as picnics, fishing and horseback riding.
Big Splash Water Park can provide your youth group with a whole day of fun and entertainment. Students will enjoy Oklahoma’s largest wave pool, five water slides and a water roller coaster.
Philtower Boston Avenue Methodist Church, located in downtown Tulsa, is considered to be one the best examples of religious Art Deco architecture in the United States and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Popular Student Sightseeing Tours in Tulsa
On “Travel the Tulsa Tunnels” (a walking tour), a Bandana Tours guide leads your student group around and under the streets of downtown Tulsa. See buildings dating from the oil boom days of the early 20th century and sculptures, murals and paintings in and near these downtown buildings. Learn about Native Americans, cowboys and oil barons who helped shape the city’s history.
On the “Tulsa Time Tour,” a historical and architectural tour, hear about and visit the sites that tell the story of Tulsa from its beginning to the present day. See the lobbies of historic buildings, mansions built by the oil barons in the 1920s and visit historic Greenwood, home of a thriving African-American community in the early 20th century. The tour also looks at chainsaw art scattered throughout Tulsa neighborhoods.
Student Performance Venues in Tulsa
At Woodland Hills Mall, one of the largest malls in Tulsa, groups can perform in the common areas. At River Parks, the Reynolds Amphitheater hosts many concerts for student groups with seating that looks out on the downtown Tulsa skyline.
Student Accommodations in Tulsa
There are approximately 13,000 hotel rooms scattered across the city. Popular budget hotels are located on South 79th East Avenue, South Yale Avenue and East Skelly Drive. Affordable choices include the Tulsa Econo Lodge Inn on South 79th East Avenue and the Microtel Inn on East Admiral Place.
A little more expensive are the Holiday Inn City Center and Doubletree Hotel on West 7th Street, which are close to the Tulsa Convention Center and the city’s entertainment and business districts. Near the Greenwood Cultural Center is the Holiday Inn Express Hotel on West Cameron Street. The Courtyard by Marriott on South 79th East Avenue is a short drive from top attractions like Big Splash Water Park.
Food and Dining in Tulsa for Student Groups
Dave and Buster’s Restaurant, a great place for students, not only offers food but an arcade to make your dining experience fun and entertaining.
Cracker Barrel, a store and restaurant, offers home-style country cooking and welcomes student groups. Hideaway Pizza, serving pasta and sandwiches as well as pizza, also welcomes student groups.
If desserts are your favorite part of the meal, try Village Inn, which is known for its pies. Don’t miss out on their pecan pie, one of Oklahoma’s best known desserts and a Southern favorite.
Student-Friendly Festivals and Events in Tulsa
Tulsa’s Oktoberfest is considered one of the top 10 Oktoberfest celebrations in the world. It features a wide range of arts & crafts, original polka bands from Germany, carnival rides and great German food.
The Tulsa Indian Art Festival in February celebrates Native American history and culture, with artists converging from all over the country. This festival offers cultural demonstrations, educational exhibits, storytelling, authentic American Indian food and a student art exhibit.
In Tulsa, student groups have a chance to explore our nation’s Native American roots, learn about the oil boom days, visit some of the region’s top art museums and have fun at the same time.