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27 Things You Need To Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Here's a teaser: Exciting nightlife, world-class horses, and food that will make your mouth water just thinking about it. Read on for even more of what you should know about Tulsa.
  • Natalie Grigson
  • Staff Writer
  • 68,981 views
  • 59 comments
  • Natalie Grigson, Staff Writer
  • 68,981 views, 59 comments

1. Live Music Is Alive And Well In Tulsa

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Cain's Ballroom Facebook page

First stop-Cain's Ballroom, hands down the best live music venue in Tulsa for everything from country, to blues, to rock, to electronic. Another cool spot nearby is the Brady Theater, a former vaudeville house. This is the place to see some of the bigger-names in the music biz. And for the biggest of big names, check out the BOK Center.

2. The Tulsa Zoo Is Home To This Guy

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Tulsa Zoo Facebook page

I'm not sure who this little critter is, but I do know that he's from the Tulsa Zoo, and therefore this zoo is awesome. His home also happens to be one of the highest ranked things to do in Tulsa, one of the better zoos in the nation, and-well, just look at that face!

3. PROST!

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Tulsa Oktoberfest Facebook Page

In October, Tulsa celebrates-well, drinking, it seems-with Oktoberfest. It's the best time of the year for bratwurst, the Chicken Dance, wiener dog races, German beer, music, German beer and oh yeah, more German beer. Prost!

4. A Great Place For Drag

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Tulsa Raceway Park Facebook page

Racing, that is. The Tulsa Raceway Park is nationally known as one of the best raceways for drag racing, because of the track's exceptional surface quality. What does that mean? I'm not sure-to me, asphalt is asphalt. But the drag racers sure seem to like it.

5. Brookside Is The Place To Be

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Fuji Sushi Bar Facebook page

This trendy little neighborhood is not only home to Tulsa residents, but also to some of the city's best restaurants, shopping and nightlife. Just a few of the awesome spots here: Fuji, R. Bar & Grill, Levels nightclub and of course, Sharky's Entertainment Emporium and Billiards.

6. A Rivalry To End All Rivalries

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Union Redskins Football Facebook page

No, I'm not talking about the Bloods and the Crips-I'm talking about Jenks and Union. The high schools, that is. This has been one of the biggest high school football rivalries in the nation year after year-there's even a documentary about it called "King of the Mountain." I haven't seen it, but I sincerely hope it ends with a "Westside Story"-style dance off.

7. In The Raw Is In. As In, It's Hip. Good. It's Just Awesome.

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: In the Raw Facebook page

Adding more cool points for the Brookside neighborhood is In the Raw Sushi, an award-winning sushi restaurant with an ultra-cool ambiance. Try the Nirvana Roll-it got its name for a reason.

8. Tulsa Is Healthy

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: TulsaRunner Facebook page

While you may not see Tulsa on any "Healthiest Cities in the U.S." lists any time soon, compared to the rest of Oklahoma Tulsa looks pretty good. They have plenty of healthy markets like Whole Foods and various farmers markets throughout the city (Check out the one on Cherry Street). And there are multiple outfitters like Tulsa Runner and Sun & Ski that cater to residents who love to hit the city's running, walking and biking paths.

9. Cherry Street Is Just So Quaint

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: The Coffee House on Cherry Street Facebook page

This cute little district is just north of Midtown and is home to a number of cafes and boutiques. Start your day with the The Coffee House on Cherry Street, hit up Smoke for an early dinner of juicy steak or the catch of the day, and then check out Pinot's Palette afterward for wine and an evening of painting. Talk about a perfect day.

10. A Pony's Paradise

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user ThisIsChristiaan

Every year Tulsa hosts one of the largest horse shows in the world, the Arabian Horse Association's U.S. Nationals competition. Even if you don't happen to be a horse yourself, this event also features shopping, barn decorations, and a chance to meet and greet some of the world's most famous Arabian horses. I'm serious, there are actually famous Arabian horses.

11. Philbrook Museum Of Art Is A Work Of Art

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Philbrook Museum of Art Facebook Page

Not only is the art inside this nationally ranked museum beautiful (African, European, contemporary and more), but the building itself (a former mansion) and the grounds are just as breathtaking. Do the audio tour. It's worth it.

12. BYOD

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user Lachlan Hardy

That's right, you can bring your own dog-almost anywhere in Tulsa. This dog-friendly city is home to plenty of restaurants and stores (like the Utica Square shopping square, for example) that welcome furry friends, as well as dog parks (Biscuit Acres at Hunter Park), and even Nuyaka Creek, a dog-friendly winery about an hour away. Fido could be your new best wine-sipping buddy-just don't let him drive home.

13. Keep It Local

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Dwelling Spaces Facebook page

Dwelling Spaces is an indie boutique in the Blue Dome District that makes a business of supporting local artists and artisans. These guys sell art, T-shirts, jewelry, books and who knows what else-and you can even grab a coffee at Joebot's Coffee Bar.

14. Villa Ravenna Will Change Your Life

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Villa Ravenna Facebook Page

This Italian restaurant may not look like much from the outside, but think of Villa Ravenna like a delicious, perfectly wrapped, crunchy and cream-filled cannoli-it's what's on the inside that counts. And what's inside, in both cases, is deeeelicious.

15. Live It Up At The Blue Dome Entertainment District

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: McNellie's Facebook Page

This is the spot for nightlife in downtown Tulsa, and named for the Blue Dome (an old 1920s Gulf Oil Gas Station) in its center. For you beer lovers out there, check out Arnie's Bar or McNellie's Public House. And for something a bit more posh, try Juniper Restaurant and Martini Lounge or El Guapo's Cantina for rooftop views of the entire city.

16. A Great Place for Parking

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: River Parks Authority Facebook page

Tulsa leaves an overall impression of being green, well-landscaped, clean and inviting. Park must-visits include River Parks, LaFortune Park, Mohawk Park, the Linnaeus Teaching Gardens and the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area (over 300 acres with trails for hiking or even horseback riding).

17. You're In The Bible Belt

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user ruthdaniel3444

A stark contrast to the revelry of Oktoberfest, perhaps, is the sobering reality that in Tulsa, you're inside the nation's Bible Belt. In fact, when I asked a few friends for tidbits on Tulsa, this was a constant first response. Baptist churches, Life Churches, Methodist-oh my!

18. You're Also In The Path Of... SHARKNADOES!

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user OakleyOriginals

Sorry, I just finally watched that movie. I mean you're in the path of. TORNADOES! Yes, aside from being smack dab in the heart of the Bible Country, Tulsa is smack dab in the middle of Tornado Alley. So keep your eyes on the horizon, and watch out for Sharknadoes too-because hey, you never know.

19. Cheer Up, Have A Cookie

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Old School Bagel Café Facebook page

Tulsa may be a land of occasionally lethal weather patterns, but it's also the home of Old School Bagel, where the cookies are so good, a friend of mine exclaimed that they'll "make love to your mouth"-in not so many words. With a review like that, you basically have to try it.

20. The Tulsa Tough Is. Seriously Tough

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Tulsa Tough Facebook page

The Tulsa Tough got its name for a reason. It's an intense three-day, three-course bike race around the city. However, if you're not a masochist there is also a giant festival during the Tulsa Tough with rides, vendors, and activities for kids.

21. Gangster's Paradise

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user U.S. Marshals Service

Okay, so this one isn't quite the same as a fun festival, but I'd be remiss not to mention Tulsa's gang problem after not one, not two, but three people mentioned it to me as a top thing to know about their fair city. On one hand, it isn't as bad as Oklahoma City. On the other, Oklahoma City is one of the worst cities for gang violence in the nation, so maybe that's not such a good thing.

22. Laffa Will Make Your Mouth Sing

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Laffa Medi-Eastern Restaurant and Bar Facebook page

If you're looking for outstanding Middle Eastern or Mediterranean food, go to Laffa in the Brady Arts District. No, don't go to that other falafel spot that you've heard about and were thinking of trying. I'm telling you, go to Laffa. Your mouth will thank you for it.

23. Valkyrie For Serious Drinks

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Valkyrie Facebook page

I'm not kidding. I'm serious. Very serious. That's actually how they advertise their drinks on the website: "Valkyrie: Serious Drinks." Even despite the names like "Buffalo Sweat" and "Cockfight." So head to the Brady Arts District to drink at Valkyrie if you mean business.

24. Hodges Bend: Not So Serious Drinks

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Hodges Bend Facebook page

For drinks with less of an edge, head to Hodges Bend downtown for coffee, pastries and even wine. And don't forget your dog-they're welcome here on the patio.

25. Take A Stroll On Campus

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user bburky

Tulsa is home to two beautiful college campuses: The University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts University. Even if you're not a student here, take a day to walk around on either campus for your fix of academia, cool architecture and greenery.

26. Forget About Your Diet

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user balise42

Gluten free? Staying away from carbs? Vegan? These two places will make you forget about all that, at least for a day. Try Muhanna Sweets for the world's best baklava, and then for dessert hop over to the Stonehorse Café & Market for some legit French pastries.

27. A Great Place To Be A Kid

27 Things You Need to Know About Tulsa Before You Move There

Source: Flickr user thefixer

Tulsa's probably not the first city that springs to mind when it comes to nightlife, the singles scene or urban life, but it IS a wonderful place to raise a family. The cost of living is 6 percent lower than the national average according to Forbes, and Tulsa also has some of Oklahoma's top-rated public schools, including BerryHill High School, Booker T. Washington High School, and Carnegie Elementary School. And to top it off there are tons of Tulsa family-friendly events year-round.


Who is Movoto Real Estate, you might ask? Movoto is an online real estate brokerage based in San Mateo, CA. Our blog has been recognized for its unique approach to city-based research by major news organizations around the world such as Forbes and CBS News.
Posted on: January 28, 2014
68,981 views, 59 comments
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