Tulsa

Tulsa is in the Green Country region of Oklahoma. It is also called “T-town” by the locals and has been called the "Oil Capital of the World". The city had about 391,000 people and the metro area had about 937,000 people as of 2010 from the US Census Bureau. The Tulsa Bartlesville Combined area had 988,000 in the 2010 census.

Understand

Tulsa lies in northeastern Oklahoma, at the convergence of the Great Plains and the Ozark Plateau, and receives an average of 40 inches of precipitation each year, both of which account for its abundant beautiful rolling green terrain. As a result, Tulsa breaks the Oklahoma stereotype of being nothing but a flat, arid dust bowl. Summers can be very warm and with the cold wind across the plains it can get very cold in the winter, but it does not last long. The winters are considered to be very mild. There is not much snow, just a few inches each year, typically, although in 2007 and again in 2008 there were rather large "ice storms". Tulsa has over 225 days of sunshine annually.

In Tulsa you will find old west charm as well as a cosmopolitan atmosphere. You will find the people of Tulsa love their city and they have that southern charm, so they are willing to help you find your way around. Tulsa has one of the largest concentrations of Art Deco in the nation, having been a booming city during the 1920s when the architecture was first built by rich oil barons who built stately mansions and turned the Downtown area into a treasure trove of art.

Get in

By plane

By train

There is no passenger train service to Tulsa.

By car

Most Tulsans drive almost everywhere, although bus, bike, and pedestrian routes are starting to catch on.

From the North/Kansas - US-75 South from Bartlesville, OK, or US-169 South from Coffeyville, KS.

From the Northeast/Missouri - I-44 West, aka the "Will Rogers Turnpike." The world's former largest McDonalds spans the roadway near Vinita, OK.

From the East/Arkansas - US-412 West, aka the "Cherokee Turnpike."

From the Southeast/Arkansas - The "Muskogee Turnpike."

From the South - US-75 from Okmulgee, OK, aka the "Okmulgee Beeline."

From the Southwest/Oklahoma City - I-44 East, aka the "Turner Turnpike."

From the West - US-412 East, aka the "Cimarron Turnpike."

For the slow scenic route from Northeast or Southwest come in on old Route 66.

By bus

Get around

Thanks to urban planning, the major city streets are placed in a grid layout. Almost all major intersections are one mile from each other, and exactly in a straight line. That makes it much easier to find places than in cities where streets go every which way. The major exception is downtown, which is slanted at almost a 45 degree angle to the rest of the grid.

By car

Several freeways and bypasses can be used to easily get around the Tulsa Metro area: I-244, I-44, US 169 (Mingo Valley Expressway, aka "Pearl Harbor Memorial Expressway"), US 75, Hwy 51 (Broken Arrow Expressway, The "B.A."), Creek Turnpike.

The streets and avenues are planned on a 1 mile by 1 mile grid system, with the main arterials running on each mile. In the core of the city, named avenues run north/south and are named after US cities, generally in repeating alphabetical order (for example, Winston-Yale-Allegheny-Braden). In the mid-town area the names are taken from colleges and college towns. North/South is divided by Admiral Blvd. Name streets East of Main are cities east of the Mississippi River, vice versa for name streets west of Main. In the parts of the city farther from downtown, north-south streets are numbered. It is important to recognize that the specific format of the north-south numbered street names is North/South 145th East/West Avenue.

Numbered streets run East/West with Main Street and the Arkansas River as the dividing line. Watch out for Place, Street, Avenue designation, e.g. 47th Place, 47th Street, or Florence Place, Florence Avenue. It is important to recognize that the specific format of the east-west numbered street names is West/East 71st Street North/South. In some parts of the city, numbered streets intersect, so the distinction is important. Although rare, one east-west numbered street may even intersect with a street of the same number running north-south.

Downtown streets were originally platted parallel to the Frisco railroad tracks. When Tulsa expanded beyond the bounds of its original plat, the expanded areas were platted in alignment with the points of the compass. Thus the "twisted" area down-town represents the original extent of Tulsa ca 1907.

By bus

Tulsa Transit provides bus service for the Tulsa Metro area. Cities served are Tulsa, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Jenks, and Broken Arrow. The central station is at 319 S. Denver (downtown). They do not run that often, especially to the outer towns like Broken Arrow. Unlike major cities in the Northeast, the city bus is not a major form of transportation in the city. It is usually a means of travel for those who are without their own motor vehicle.

By bicycle

Tulsa has an extensive interconnected paved bike trail system. Rivertrail follows the Arkansas River from downtown Tulsa south to the suburbs. The Katy Trail runs west to Sand Springs. The Osage Trail is a rails-to-trails route that begins at the OSU-Tulsa campus and travels north 15 miles to Skiatook. The Creek Trail connects Rivertrail and continues east through Broken Arrow to the NSU-Broken Arrow campus. Riders accustomed to flat terrain may find Tulsa's rolling land to be a bit more challenging, particularly during the heat of summer. If you are looking for a good workout, the Creek Turnpike Trail follows the land's original contours. Rivertrail is probably be best choice for the rider seeking an easy route.

Four bike loan depots, located along Rivertrail, allow riders to borrow a bike for free for up to twenty-four hours.

Tulsa has an active bicycling community.

See

Downtown Tulsa

Do


Events

Buy

Shops

Stores

Shopping Centers

Shopping Malls

Eat

If you're looking for nicer restaurants, then the major dining corridors can be found along 15th Street South ("Cherry Street") near downtown, along 71st Street South near Woodland Hills Mall, in the Brookside district near midtown, the Blue Dome district, and in the Utica Square shopping area. However, if you want an authentic experience, then you should be looking for good barbecue and regional fast food chains like Taco Bueno. For dessert, head to Braum's for Oklahoma ice cream. This popular regional chain does farm-to-fork dairy products, and refuses to open stores more than 300 miles away from their home farm in Central Oklahoma.

BBQ

Fine Dining

Indian

Italian

Japanese

Chinese

Mexican

Pizza

Thai

Vegetarian/Vegan

Drink

Bars & taverns

Pubs

Coffee

Music

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Connect

Tulsa County has more Wi-Fi spots than anywhere else in Oklahoma (as well as most of the Great Plains), making it a major tech hub in the region. If you need a Wi-Fi link, check into any number of restaurants and cafes and you'll be sure to find one.

Stay safe

Take precautions as you would in any other larger American city. Generally speaking, the areas of Tulsa immediately north and east of downtown have a rough reputation and caution should be taken.

The tornado sirens are tested at noon on Wednesday, but they are not tested if it is rainy, stormy, or very windy. You might want to check the tornado safety page if you are visiting Tulsa. Tornado season is normally in the spring and early summer, but they can occur anytime during the year.

Oklahoma Weather is very harsh on road conditions and road repairs are needed on an almost yearly basis. Please be prepared to slow down or stop for road workers as fines double for accidents in work zones as specified by Oklahoma State Law.

Swimming in the Arkansas River is inadvisable due to the large amounts of pollution and the currents created by the dams near downtown.

The intersections along 71st Street, especially the one at Memorial, are amongst the most dangerous in America. Drive defensively.

Respect

Religion is still a very sensitive topic in Oklahoma. This accounts for some people calling Tulsa "The Buckle of The Bible Belt". As with many States in The South, this stems largely from 300 year old Christian religious traditions mixed in with Southern political, cultural and (in some rare cases) racial beliefs.

Go next

Routes through Tulsa

Oklahoma City Sapulpa  W  E  Catoosa Joplin
Sapulpa Jenks  W  E  Broken Arrow Catoosa
Enid Sand Springs  W  E  Bixby Fort Smith
Oklahoma City Sapulpa  W  E  Catoosa Joplin
Topeka Skiatook  N  S  Jenks Dallas
Kansas City Owasso  N  S  END
Enid Sand Springs  W  E  Catoosa Springdale
Stillwater Sand Springs  W  E  Broken Arrow Muskogee via


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, February 29, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.