5. Oklahoma Aquarium
In the Tulsa suburb of Jenks, the Oklahoma Aquarium is home to an array of aquatic life, from otters and beavers to a loggerhead sea turtle and electric eels. Visitors can feed the stingrays and red-eared sliders, interact with the horseshoe crabs, chocolate chip sea stars and pencil urchins and climb in the tunnels under the Extreme Amazon gallery.
Shark Adventures, a 380,000-gallon saltwater tank and tunnel that is home to what's billed as the world’s largest collection of bull sharks, remains the aquarium's mesmerizing highlight. Information: https://www.okaquarium.org.
6. Philbrook Museum of Art
Combining a historic home, world-class museum and 25 acres of gardens, the Philbrook Museum of Art boasts a collection with more than 16,000 objects and a focus on American, Native American and European art. The permanent collection includes works by Pablo Picasso, Kehinde Wiley, Marisol, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Auguste Rodin, Thomas Moran and many more.
Through Sept. 11, the Philbrook is hosting "Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism," a sprawling special exhibition that celebrates one of the art world's most famous power couples though paintings, drawings, prints, clothing and 100-plus photographs. Information: https://philbrook.org.
7. Turkey Mountain and Tulsa River Parks
A natural oasis in the middle of one of Oklahoma's biggest cities, Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness encompasses more than 300 acres of rugged terrain just a few miles from downtown Tulsa. As you ascend the winding dirt trails, the sight of lush woods contrasts with the faint sounds of nearby traffic.
Children's climbing boulders, three covered pavilions and two bronze sculptures, including the fitting “Rio Grande Turkeys," are located near the trailhead at W 67 Street and S Elwood Avenue.
Turkey Mountain is part of Tulsa's River Parks, which features 26 miles of asphalt-surfaced trails along the banks of the Arkansas River as well as seasonal draws likes fishing, rowing, kayaking, disc golfing and outdoor dining. Information: https://www.riverparks.org.
8. Tulsa Zoo
The Oklahoma City Zoo is bigger, but the 84-acre Tulsa Zoo is home to a charming colony of African penguins. Plus, the Tulsa Zoo features Australian kangaroos, South American jaguars, Malayan tigers and many more remarkable species. Information: https://tulsazoo.org.
9. Woody Guthrie Center
Since 2013, the Woody Guthrie Center has been paying homage to the legendary folk singer-songwriter, who was born in Oklahoma and would have turned 110 this summer.
From the carefully preserved original handwritten lyric sheet to his most beloved song, “This Land is Your Land," and Woody's Music Bar, where folks can hear the prolific songwriter crooning several of his tunes, to an immersive virtual reality Dust Bowl experience and recordings by Guthrie disciples, the center is keeping the famed 20th-century troubadour's legacy alive, right in his home state. Information: https://woodyguthriecenter.org.
10. The Church Studio
After spending five and a half years reviving it, Tulsa native Teresa Knox recently reopened The Church Studio, the historic church the late Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Leon Russell turned into a recording studio and home office for Shelter Records in 1972.
"First and foremost, The Church is a recording studio. That was really important to me. But I thought at the same time, I have this collection that has been growing over the years — a Leon Russell collection, Shelter Records and Tulsa Sound artifacts and items. My goal was, 'How can I have a recording studio, but still be open to the public?'" Knox told The Oklahoman.
"Currently, we are opened up as a recording studio. ... And I'm calling it an analog museum: I know so many of the museums are very digital and interactive, but this is old school. We have stuff hung up and (are) sharing some of the things that I love — and Leon Russell fans enjoy looking at and sharing that with others."
Along with Russell, Tom Petty, JJ Cale, Jimmy Buffett, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder, Asleep at the Wheel, Michael Bolton, The GAP Band, Kansas and many more hung out or recorded in the studio. Information: https://thechurchstudio.com.
11. Oxley Nature Center
Nestled into a corner of Mohawk Park, Oxley Nature Center features more than 800 out-of-the-way, wooded acres, plus nine miles of trails and an interpretive center.
Although the Redbud Valley Nature Preserve is closed to the public until fall, hikers can hit the trails year-round seven days a week, venturing into the forests, fields and wetlands. The flood-plain forest of cottonwood, oak, sycamore, hackberry and pecan trees is home to numerous wildlife and wildflowers.
While many are wheelchair- and stroller-accessible, the trails in Oxley Nature Center are not set up for horses, bicycles or vehicles, which means hikers have them all to themselves. Information: https://www.oxleynaturecenter.org.