Oklahoma City will be filled with fans and runners alike this month at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 24. The annual event, also known as the “Run to Remember,” is a Boston Marathon-qualifying race that honors the memories of those killed in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Take time to explore the city’s recent history as well as its legacy as a Western territorial outpost at several museums, historic hotels, a whiskey lounge and more.


Rusty Gables Guest Lodge & Gallery

Relax in one of two rooms at Rusty Gables, a ranch and bed-and-breakfast minutes from the Bricktown entertainment district, city zoo, state park and museums. Enjoy a country breakfast and take in artwork from several dozen artists in the Great Room Art Gallery located on site. 3800 NE 50th St., Forest Park, 405.424.1015, rustygables.com

Colcord Hotel

Built in 1910, this luxury hotel’s elegant touches include original marble columns and marble lobby walls that evoke a sense of refinement. Be sure to dine at Flint, its restaurant that serves upscale comfort food. 15 N. Robinson Ave., Downtown, 405.601.4300, colcordhotel.com

Aloft Oklahoma City Downtown-Bricktown

Convenience and comfort are the hallmarks of this boutique hotel. Its nearby entertainment district is home to dining, nightlife and shopping. Amenities include an outdoor pool, a gym and pet-friendly rooms. 209 N. Walnut Ave., Bricktown, 405.605.2100, aloftoklahomacitybricktown.com


Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewery

This brewpub offers hearty food and beer brewed on site, plus live music on weekends. Kick off a meal with appetizers with local flair such as boneless bison “wings” or fried Swiss cheese. Try the range-fed Oklahoma longhorn beef burger for more flavor and less fat than a traditional patty. Be sure to also try Belle Isle’s brews, including Wild Mary’s Hefeweizen, Frozen Finger IPA and the light-bodied Belle’s Blonde.

1900 NW Expressway, Suggs Park, 405.840.1911, belleislerestaurant.com


Housed in the Devon Energy Center tower, Vast’s restaurant and lounge provides a dramatic view of the city. Chef Patrick Williams – a veteran of Kansas City restaurants The American Restaurant, Pierpont’s at Union Station and others – prepares a daily prix-fixe lunch with dishes such as soy-glazed chicken, striped bass and lemon-sole picatta. Dinner selections vary with the season. Past dishes of quail stuffed with pickled shiitake, oxtail soup, pan-fried Atlantic skate wing and select cuts of dry-aged steak hint at the possibilities. 333 W. Sheridan Ave., Downtown, 405.702.7262, vastokc.com

Empire Slice House

Empire Slice House’s slogan says it all: “It’s like Frank Sinatra and David Bowie had a pizza baby.” Timeless cool unites with tasty slices in this pop culture-friendly pizza parlor. A 1-pound Andre the Giant Meatball is a must-try. Favorite pizzas include the hot pepper-laden Evil Empire; the Foghorn Leghorn with Asiago, chicken, bacon, jalapeño, marinara and Sriracha; and the Figgy Stardust, made with basil pesto, fresh mozzarella, figs, chicken and prosciutto. Empire also boasts an impressive menu of cocktails, craft beer and wine. 1734 NW 16th St., Plaza District, 405.557.1760, empireslicehouse.com

Wsky Lounge

Craft cocktails, 250-plus whiskeys, nearly 400 spirits, small plates and cigars add up to one memorable evening in the heart of OKC’s jazz district. Nibble on a selection of loaded wagyu sliders and fries, fried mac ‘n’ cheese balls or a hand-rolled pretzel. Cigar aficionados will savor the selection of light- to full-bodied cigars, like a Rocky Patel Vintage 1990 Torpedo. The air-filtration system ensures comfort for all guests, smoking or not. 228 NE Second St., Deep Deuce District, 405.606.7171, wskylounge.com

The Bleu Garten

Nearly three dozen local food trucks make scheduled appearances at this innovative food-truck park. The truck roster includes varied selections like Masa, Mob Grill, Phill Me Up Cheesesteaks, Mim’s Bakery & Nosh, The Healthy Hippo, Snow S’more and Back Door Barbecue, and the Bar Pod is a full-service bar with craft beer, liquor and wine on tap. Look for local Black Mesa Brewing Co. and its Endless Skyway Bitter, Kölsch and spring seasonal Doppelbock. 301 NW 10th St., Midtown, bleugarten.com


National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Exhibits at this decidedly Oklahoman museum include The Cowboy Returns: Photographs by Bank and John Langmore, which documents two generations of cowboys. Remember to tip your hat to the bronze statue of Buffalo Bill. 1700 NE 63rd St., Persimmon Hill, 405.478.2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org

The Paseo Arts District

This vibrant two-block area with Spanish-revival architecture is home to more than 20 galleries featuring 80-plus artists. First Friday art walks and local food trucks are ready to feed imaginations and bellies. Brayer & Brush, The Craft Room and the Paseo School of Art offer art classes for those creatively inclined. Along Paseo between NW 28th and 30th streets, Paseo, 405.525.2688, thepaseo.com

Myriad Botanical Gardens and Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory

The 13,000-square-foot conservatory contains 750 varieties of plants, cascading waterfalls, and wet and dry tropical climate zones. A $30-million makeover of family-friendly Myriad Botanical Gardens updated the facility to include an ice-skating rink, amphitheater, children’s play area and dog park. 301 W. Reno Ave., Downtown, 405.445.7080, oklahomacitybotanicalgardens.com

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Writer Pete Dulin is the author of Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland, KC Ale Trail, and Expedition of Thirst: Exploring Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries Across Central Kansas and Missouri.

More Road Trip articles.