A Lifestyle Diary

Weekend Travel Guide to OKC

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March 14, 2019

This post is sponsored by Roomkey. All opinions, text, and advice are my own. 

When traveling for a fun weekend getaway in the Midwest, most people forget about the little hidden gem that Oklahoma City is. Within the last five years, OKC has delivered an abundance of restaurants, bars, and hotels. We have modernized our districts and now have a plethora of charming, local shops. We even have a brand new streetcar! Trust me when I say, Oklahoma City has a lot to offer. Chad and I spent the weekend in our own city and still feel like there is always more to see and do. So whether you're a native Okie or a sightseer, Oklahoma City has a little something for everyone.

First things first. You're going to need a place to rest your head after eating all the finest foods in Oklahoma City. (Seriously- None Such was awarded 'America's Best New Restaurant' in 2018.) Chad and I found a hotel through Roomkey, the internet's only hotel search engine that compares prices and loyalty rates. There are oodles of great features, but one of my favorites is the ability to be alerted for dynamite deals at your favorite hotel through their “Price Alerts” feature! Just sit back and relax, while Roomkey does the work! You will be notified via email once they find a deal you won’t want to pass up. After I found a hotel, Roomkey took me directly to the hotel’s website where I booked our room. (I’ll share our favorite hotel in just a second.) BAM! Money saved. It’s hassle-free to book directly and you have the option to choose exactly what room you want. Booking directly also means that I don’t have to stress about my reservation getting lost. Roomkey simply curates loyalty rates that aren’t available through other online booking sites.



Chad and I are big time Marriott fans. There's just something about Marriott hotels that feel upscale, yet affordable! Did you know you can join their loyalty program for absolutely free? We signed up in a matter of minutes and had instant access to the special loyalty rates! Just by signing up, we automatically saved about $25. You’ll always save money by using a hotel royalty program! I used the hotel brand filter on Roomkey's website to help me narrow down the hotels in Oklahoma City. So it should come to no surprise that we ended up at the AC Hotel by Marriott in Oklahoma City- one of the newest hotels to hit the block! However, I also picked this particular hotel because of its fantastic location. Psst... there are restaurants, bars, and activities galore in this area! Most places are in walking distance, but of course Uber or Lyft are always a tap away. If you plan on driving yourself, just beware of paying for parking at most lots. Tip: Meters in Oklahoma City are free on the weekends!


Eats 

Like I said earlier, Oklahoma City's restaurant industry is booming. We have every cuisine you can imagine and they're all one-of-a-kind places. I'm going to list just a few of my favorites that are musts, if you are only here for the weekend!


Cafe Kacao $$ Open M-F 7-2:30 PM Sat 7-4 PM Sun 8-3 PM (405)-602-2883
This Guatemalan/ Latin treasure is a necessity if you find yourself in Oklahoma City during the brunch hours. The craft coffees are to die for and the traditional Guatemalan breakfast, 'Desayuno Chapin', is my go-to. I highly recommend calling ahead to add your name to the list, but if you're stopping by during a weekday you most likely won't have a long wait.


Cheever's Cafe $$ Open M-Th 11-9:30 PM Fri 11-10:30 PM Sat 10-10:30 PM Sun 10-9 PM (405)-525-7007
I'm a sucker for any historical influence a building has kept intact. Thankfully, Cheever's has kept a lot of that since it was originally a flower shop during the early 1900's. After admiring the art deco architecture, you will find that the flower case is still the center of the restaurant. Besides being historically interesting, Cheever's is known for their classic yet modern comfort food. A popular choice among Oklahoman's is the Chicken Fried Steak!


Empire Slice House $ Open M-Sat 11-2 AM Sun 11-12 AM (405)-557-1760
This charm of a pizza place is located in the Plaza District- a redeveloped art district with shops and awe-inspiring murals. By serving New York style pizza slices, it has won the hearts of many locals. They serve a wide variety of local, craft beer which doesn't hurt either! If the weather is nice, definitely check out their new patio area. Once you're overstuffed with pizza, you may want to stop by the neighbor's at Roxy's Ice Cream Social for some tasty ice cream.


Nightlife

Oklahoma City nightlife has quickly evolved over the last decade. Once Bleu Garten and Fassler's came along, we started seeing craft breweries and outdoor patios open up. (You'll definitely want to check those places out if the weather is nice!) But even in the last year, we've seen a lot of new concepts arrive that OKC has never seen before.




Banquet Cinema Pub Open Thurs-Fri 4-2 AM Sat 11-2 AM Sun 11-11 PM Tues-Wed 4-11 PM
This nostalgic movie theater opened just this month and has already won me over. They play everything from sporting events to cult classics. Once you've picked a movie, feel free to arrive early and grab a beer bite to eat. Who am I kidding, definitely grab a beer while you're at it! After ordering, you can head to your theater and wait for your food to arrive. P.S. I highly suggest ordering the popcorn with 'crack butter'!


Bar Arbolada Open M-Thurs 3-12 AM Fri 3- 2 AM Sat 11-2 AM Sun 11-12 AM (405)-601-8569
You know how I mentioned I'm a sucker for anything history related? I'm also a sucker for just a good story period. That's exactly what Bar Arbolada is. Started by two Okies who found themselves in L.A. at the same place, same time. Found out they had a lot more in common than the average two strangers and come to find out, they lived on the same street in Los Angeles: Arbolada. What are the odds?! Anyway, stop by and have a craft cocktail (rotates seasonally) and enjoy the atmosphere.


The Jones Assembly Open Thurs- Sat 11-2 AM Sun 10-2 PM Tue-Wed 11-12 AM (405)-212-2378
If you're a local, you know this has been a hot spot since the day it opened! For good reason too. If Chad and I ever have out-of-towners with us, we always bring them here for a date night. Craft cocktails, incredible food, and a rad venue if you're seeing a concert. Check out their calendar before you head to OKC to see what's happening. The must-have on their menu is the Scratch Biscuits- they're exactly what the name sounds like: hot-out-of-the-oven-mini-honey-butter-goodness.


Districts 

Oklahoma City has revitalized a lot of neighborhoods that were considered rundown not that long ago. All of our districts have a distinct and unique feel to them. You'll find local shops, breweries, and a slew of artistic murals. There is so much to see and do in each district that I recommend looking beforehand to see what suits your fancy. Most districts have events at least once a month, if not more, so you will easily find something to do on the weekends. I love that our districts are all relatively close together, which makes stopping by multiple very doable! Definitely take a ride on the streetcar if you have time to spare.


  • Automobile Alley Local shops galore. Variety of eats. Multiple streetcar stops. Parking can be tricky, but once you do find a spot, walking is very easy.
  • Bricktown In this district you'll find Russell Westbrook in. Stop by the Chesapeake and see a Thunder game. Lots of nightlife in this district, as well as family-friendly activities too.
  • Plaza District Restaurants and small bites are plentiful. Cute local shops for men, women, and baby. Tattoo parlor, yoga studio, and thrift shops!
  • Midtown Some of my favorite shops and restaurants are located here. Streetcar passes through. Walking is the best way to get around this district.
  • Paseo Arts District Known for their First Friday Gallery Walks, this is a pit-stop necessity for any art appreciator. Walking is best. One of the most unique and quaintest neighborhoods around.
  • Wheeler District (As pictured above) One of Oklahoma City's newest districts, with plans of it being an urban neighborhood by 2030. Right now, the main attraction is the former Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel. Hammocks and a snack bar make this place the perfect way to catch some rays.

There you have it, folks. A quick, weekend getaway guide to Oklahoma City. I have a mile-long list of recommendations if you plan on staying longer. Please don't hesitate to leave a comment or email me if you have any questions. Can't wait for you to see all that OKC has to offer. Xo

Photography by Chris Paul Photos
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