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  • Writer's pictureNicole

A Three Day Tulsa Getaway

Downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma

WHERE IS TULSA?: Part of the United States Midwest, Tulsa is also called T-town or the 918 for the area code. The city is located on the Arkansas river.

WHY TULSA?: Wedding season has begun and the first (and only wedding) for in my foreseeable future was the nuptials for my beautiful cousin, Kaleigh! So my mom and I flew from Calgary to Denver with WestJet and then onto Tulsa with United Airlines. It’s always exciting to visit somewhere event though I wasn’t too sure what to expect. So of course you know your girl here did some research beforehand to prepare.

WHAT TO DO: Cherry Street is located in the Gillette Historic District which dates back to 1922. It’s a very cool spot that is home to the most locally owned businesses in the city. You can find clothing boutiques, antiques, restaurants and some absolutely gorgeous homes, (if you like wandering around looking at houses like I do).

Greenwood District: Once a thriving community of black-owned businesses, race riots in 1921 destroyed it all. Today, the trendy Greenwood District stands as a symbol of remembrance, paying homage to the past with plaques, the beautiful Black Wall Street mural and other works of street art alongside cafés, restaurants and shopping. the Greenwood Central Centre was an absolute treasure trove of artifacts, beautiful photos and information. I learned that the title of the Bob Marley and the Wailers song ‘Buffalo Soldier’ was inspired by the black soldiers who fought alongside the American Indians in the Battle of Honey Springs. The black soldiers’ textured hair and fighting style led the American Indians to give them the name Buffalo Soldiers that inspired Bob Marley so much that he wrote the the popular and well-loved song.

Greenwood Cultural Centre, Tulsa
Black Wall Street, Tulsa Oklahoma

Buffalo Soldiers Photo and Information at the Greenwood Cultural Center

Shopping: I don’t often shop while travelling because of the space constraints that go along with bringing carry-on luggage. Shipping items back home is an option, but one I rarely use. Tulsa was different. This city has so many locally-owned and operated stores and restaurants. As someone who loves to support local businesses whenever I can, this was a mecca.

Modern Mess
Modern Mess
Modern Mess

I fell in love the Tulsa Boxyard, a shopping centre of locally owned micro boutiques and restaurants all made of shipping containers. They also have a cool rooftop bar and patio area offering great views of this gorgeous city. I am obsessed with the Modern Mess boutique, a whimsical clothing and accessories spot featuring lovely and original pieces. This place had the cutest clothing and owner Carley was just as cute and super friendly (and half Calgarian!). The second shop that stole my heart was Beau and Arrow, another clothing boutique featuring gorgeous clothing and accessories with another very nice and welcoming owner who was super attentive and friendly. Everything in the store had a minimalist feel and was one hundred percent up my style alley. It took every ounce of strength that I had to not buy a lot more than I left with. I could have spent hours in both stores.

Beau & Arrow
Beau & Arrow

[Beau & Arrow, above]

Tulsa Arts District: If there is an arts district, you will find me there. And we went. There is such high quality street art that is literally everywhere. It is such a beautiful and unique touch on an already quaint city.

Street Art Tulsa Arts District
Street Art Tulsa Arts District

Route 66 Street Art

Downtown Tulsa

Arkansas River: Beginning in Colorado, the river winds its way through a few states and several cities, one of which is Tulsa. There are paths and places to walk, run and bike as well as observation points. The riverfront is also home to Gathering Place, a huge all-ages park designed for Tulsans and visitors to walk around, learn, play, enjoy events, art and picnic. It was a bit cold and windy on the day that we visited the gathering place. The next time that I am back, I’ll be checking out the Skywalk Forest suspension pathways twenty feet above the ground.

Tulsa river front
View of Arkansas River

The pre-wedding festivities were so much fun and led up to the big day itself was beautiful full of love, laughter and dancing with family who had travelled from near and far to witness the nuptials.

The happy newlyweds

EAT UP!: The evening that mom and I arrived in Tulsa we ran into the bride-to-be picking up her bother at the airport. An hour later, after many hugs, kisses and catching up standing outside at the airport, we parted ways so that mom and I could pick up our rental, check into the hotel and meet back up with other family members who had arrived. We all ended up at Andolini’s Pizzaeria located on Cherry Street and this place did not disappoint. The food was delish and the location cozy and really nice aesthetically. The server and the miscommunication was a bonus. I ordered a cranberry soda - meaning cranberry juice and club soda and ended up with cranberry juice with ginger ale. How? Well, in the States, soda is called pop (I honestly didn't know this) and if you want club soda, be sure to ask for just that. The cranberry ginger ale combo was amazing, though!

THE DIGS: We stayed at the brand new Holiday Inn Express on Archer Street in the Arts District (310 East Archer Street). The location is second to none as it’s within walking distance to restaurants, museums, a stadium, art crawls, outdoor yoga, the Greenwood district and loads of public art.

If you’re looking for the most for your money, look no further. Mom and I ended up with a large room with two queen beds and a view of the pretty Tulsa skyline. Thanks to black out shades, we slept longer than planned in the super comfy beds. Oh, and paid $60 in taxes because we used Airmiles. Heh.

Holiday Inn Express Tulsa Downtown
Me at the Tulsa Holiday Inn Express gym

The hotel offered up the following freebies: Airport Shuttle from TUL, WiFi, full breakfasts from 6 - 10am, swimming pool and a clean and well-equipped gym.

Note: We rented a car to get around easily and parking was $10 USD per day. Also paid for with Airmiles. (Fist pump.)

THE VERDICT: I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I absolutely loved Tulsa. Each distinct districts weaves together to create the colourful and vibrant tapestry of the city. So yeah, I’ll be back!

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