Golfing takes a little athleticism, a little strategy and a lot of confidence. In Tulsa, Southern Hills Country Club takes the cake as top golf course in Tulsa. The course is unlike any other in America, and some of the hardest 18 holes to play in the region are right here at Southern Hills. Golf Club of Oklahoma, located in the rolling hills of eastern Oklahoma, offers beautiful trees and lush fairways. The 32-acre spring-fed lake adds to the beauty of the course. Rounding out the top three, Cherokee Hills Golf Club is the official course of Hard Rock Tulsa Hotel & Casino. The course, originally designed in 1924, offers four teeing places to accommodate golfers of all levels.
In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club has been recognized by Golf Digest as one of the premier golf courses in Oklahoma. This par-71 has rolling hills and mature landscape, having been constructed in 1929. Gaillardia Country Club has played host to two PGA Senior Championships and is a regular playing course for several on the PGA tour. The course, designed by golfing legend Tom Kite, offers challenging playability. Rounding out the top three is Moore Golf & Athletic Club, whose 18-hole championship course is located on 145 acres. A driving range and short game practice area are also available for members.
Oklahoma has no shortage of talented artists, and the art they create is sold in galleries in cities large and small. In Tulsa, M.A. Doran Gallery, located along Brookside, is a choice gallery for acquiring pieces by nationally recognized artists, as well as local artists including Otto Duecker, Kreg Kallenberger and Ann Garrett. Aberson Exhibit, also located on Brookside, carries contemporary works that are desirable to some of the area’s top art collectors. Joseph Gierek Fine Art, rounding out the top three, has been a Tulsa establishment for more than 30 years, representing artists in a variety of media, including painting, sculpting and mixed media.
Oklahoma City’s IAO Gallery, operated by Individual Artists of Oklahoma, represents a wide variety of the state’s artists. The gallery features thought-provoking works of art that enhance the public’s perception of the importance of art in society. DNA Galleries is an urban, contemporary art gallery displaying works by up-and-coming artists. DNA also offers a small retail shop with goods produced entirely by local artisans. Howell Gallery, rounding out this year’s top three, represents fine artists who work in a variety of media. Noted Oklahoma artists include Bennett Berry and Suzanne Mears.
You may know when to hold ‘em, but do you really know when to fold ‘em? Try your hand with Lady Luck at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, which garners the top spot in this year’s survey. The casino boasts more than 2,600 electronic games as well as blackjack and a poker room. Hard Rock even hosts regular poker tournaments. River Spirit Casino offers poker progressive jackpots as well as monthly tournaments and a host of electronic games, earning it the second slot. Osage Casino and Downstream Casino & Resort share this year’s third spot. Osage, just minutes from downtown Tulsa, offers more than 1,000 electronic games, 11 table games and an eight-table poker room. Downstream provides an entire slot floor, with more than 2,000 games available for its patrons. Table games and a poker room are also offered at this northeast Oklahoma casino.
Riverwind Casino – bringing a little Las Vegas flair to Oklahoma – offers electronic and table games, off-track betting and Keno. Regular promotions mean there’s always something to be won at Riverwind. Winstar World Casino, located in tiny Thackerville, Okla., offers the standard gaming amenities, plus roulette, off-track betting and Keno, all in a stunning setting. Firelake Grand Casino, rounding out this year’s top three, offers a variety of gaming options as well as an entertainment venue that brings in some of the nation’s biggest acts.
The biggest names in the entertainment industry are certain to be seen at BOK Center. The Tulsa arena consistently ranks among the top in the nation in terms of ticket sales, and the acts just keep getting bigger. Historic Cain’s Ballroom ranks second this year. Bringing acts of all sorts, from country and rock to reggae and rap, Cain’s is a top destination in Tulsa for music. Brady Theater brings music and comedy acts to its storied stage.
When it’s not hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chesapeake Energy Arena brings in top acts from around the globe, from Bieber and Beyonce to NKOTB. Riverwind Casino keeps casino-goers entertained. Comedy, country and rock all converge at Riverwind’s event center. Civic Center Music Hall and Diamond Ballroom tie for third this year. Civic Center’s line-up includes award-winning musicals and world-renowned performers. Diamond Ballroom brings classic ‘80s artists as well as up-and-coming bands and solo artists to its stage.
Whether it’s for family in town or you just need a night away from your own home, there are plenty of hotels in the state that offer top-notch amenities. The Mayo Hotel, renovated and reopened in 2008, hosts visitors to Tulsa in a lavish yet comfortable setting. An in-house restaurant and coffee shop add convenience to the hotel that offers luxurious rooms. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa comes in second this year. The hotel that towers above the casino includes 356 rooms, of which 56 are suites, with amenities like plasma TVs, expanded cable, free wi fi and walk-in showers. Ambassador Hotel houses just seven rooms and suites per floor, offering privacy and exclusivity. Be sure to dine at Ambassador’s award-winning restaurant, The Chalkboard.
The luxurious Skirvin Hilton Hotel is the hotel of choice in downtown Oklahoma City. Top-notch amenities and prime location, along with a lounge and celebrated restaurant, Park Avenue Grill. Colcord Hotel, a boutique hotel also located in downtown Oklahoma City, offers four distinct room options for patrons as well as the stylish restaurant, Flint. Waterford Marriott Hotel rounds out the top three. The four-diamond Oklahoma City hotel boasts an on-site spa and is close to downtown amenities as well as several area golf courses.
Local TV Station
We all have shows that we absolutely can’t miss. Some may not want to admit it openly, but the weekly results of The Bachelorette can definitely affect the rest of our week. In Tulsa, KOTV Channel 6, a CBS affiliate, takes tops for its programming of popular shows like NCIS, The Good Wife and The Big Bang Theory. Stellar news reporting by seasoned national and local anchors also earns KOTV the first place nod. KJRH Channel 2, the NBC affiliate in Tulsa, comes in second. With programming like the reality smash hits The Voice and America’s Got Talent and sit-coms like Parks and Recreation and Community, it’s easy to see why KJRH is so popular with viewers. KOKI Channel 23 rounds out the top three. American Idol, The New Girl, Glee and, of course, The Simpsons are all feathers in Fox’s hat.
In Oklahoma City, KWTV Channel 9, the CBS affiliate, earns the top spot according to our readers in that market. Consistent news coverage as well as favorite shows like Late Night with David Letterman, Criminal Minds and the CSI franchise all add up to a great network. NBC affiliate KFOR Channel 4 earns the second slot. Top anchors and shows like Saturday Night Live as well as a stellar daytime line-up earn KFOR second place. KOCO Channel 5, an affiliate of ABC, rounds out the top three. With reality shows like The Bachelorette and Shark Tank along with the top-rated sit-com Modern Family, KOCO pleases its audiences night after night.
There are all kinds of art and artifacts to be seen in the state. Tulsa readers have spoken, and Philbrook Museum earns the top spot as Best Museum this year. Philbrook regularly hosts popular traveling exhibitions and is also home to a stellar collection of everything from Asian art to modern and contemporary; the recent opening of a new studio space in the Brady Arts District has also created a lot of buzz for this historic museum. Gilcrease Museum comes in second place this year. As one of the country’s best facilities for the preservation and study of American art and history, the museum also houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West. Thousands travel from all over annually to visit Gilcrease. Tulsa Air & Space Museum rounds out the top three. The museum boasts a planetarium as well as exhibits that include a wide variety of aircraft.
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art earns the top spot this year as Best Museum by Oklahoma City readers. Provocative exhibitions and collections ranging from Dale Chihuly glass to works by O’Keeffe and Renoir. The Noble Theater also provides museum-goers to view indie films in a comfortable theater. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History both tie for second this year. The Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum brings exhibitions that showcase art of the American West, while permanent collections include monumental sculptures, the Western Performers Gallery and the American Rodeo Gallery. The Sam Noble Museum boasts collections that showcase the origins of Oklahoma. From skeletons of dinosaurs to collections of artifacts that showcase 11,000 years of history, the museum offers a glimpse into Oklahoma’s very storied past. Science Museum Oklahoma is a great place for young and not-so-young alike. Fun and educational exhibits get kids interested in learning about how the world works. A planetarium also offers a glimpse into the stars.
Place to Catch a Flick
Whether it’s the latest summer blockbuster or an Academy Award contender, there are plenty of places to view movies. In Tulsa, viewers prefer the accommodations of AMC Southroads 20. Roomy seating, 3D viewing and friendly staff make it a great place for catching a flick. Cinemark Tulsa also boasts 3D screens and comes in second place in this year’s survey. Circle Cinema, a boutique theater located in historic Kendall-Whittier, brings smaller movies that one may not catch at the larger theaters in town. Recent improvements have made watching a movie at Circle even more comfy.
Moore Warren Theatre is tops with our Oklahoma City readers for its upscale movie-viewing experience. Movie-goers can enjoy dinner and cocktails along with their film. Harkins Theatres, located in Bricktown, is a great place to go for catching the latest smash hit, especially in 3D. AMC Quail Springs Mall 24 brings the biggest and best movies to its screens, ensuring satisfied viewers each night.
Place to See and Be Seen
To be seen, you have to get out of the house. And when our readers want to be seen – or see – they head to Utica Square for shopping, yoga and cocktails with dinner. BOK Center is another great place to see and be seen, with concerts heating up the stage several times a month. Brady Arts District, Tulsa’s newest hotspot, is a great place to be seen having dinner, catching some live music or taking a stroll along the bustling sidewalks.
In Oklahoma City, it’s no wonder that those who are in the know go to Oklahoma City Thunder games. The city’s biggest big-wigs sit next to fans in a great show of support for Oklahoma’s NBA team. Bricktown is another popular hotspot. With dining, clubs and shopping available, there’s certainly something for most to enjoy. Chesapeake Energy Arena, home of the Thunder as well as some great concerts, rounds out the top three.
Professional Sports Team
Oklahomans love their sports, and there is no one they love more than the state’s only NBA team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. With its first-ever 60-win season coming in the 2012-2013 season, the Thunder look to top this past year’s accomplishments in the season to come. The Tulsa Drillers and Tulsa Shock share the second spot on this year’s survey. The Drillers, playing out of ONEOK Field, continue to please crowds with great play and those great weekend fireworks shows. The Tulsa Shock, Oklahoma’s only WNBA team, looks to improve upon the previous season, and with the acquisition of some key players, its stock will only continue to rise. The Oklahoma City RedHawks, Oklahoma City’s minor league baseball team, bring people out to the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark for America’s favorite pastime.
Resort in Oklahoma
Where are the best places to get away in the Sooner State? In Tulsa, readers say it’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. Be sure to check into your room early and enjoy all it has to offer before dining at one of Hard Rock’s great restaurants, then head to the gaming floor or take in a show at The Joint, Hard Rock’s live music venue. The Canebrake and Quartz Mountain Resort Arts & Conference Center tie for second place this year. The Canebrake provides a relaxing atmosphere in which to recharge. Activities include spa services, yoga, birding and live music, and all this just a short drive from Wagoner. Quartz Mountain Resort provides relaxation, boating and water activities, hiking and golfing, all in the picturesque Wichita Mountains in southwest Oklahoma. Western Hills Guest Ranch, located along the shores of Fort Gibson Lake, offers an 18-hole golf course, boat rentals, paddle boats and fishing. Equestrian and nature trails, mountain biking and hiking are also popular activities at this guest ranch, which rounds out this year’s top three.
Echo Canyon Spa Resort, located in Sulphur, is tops with readers in Oklahoma City. Echo Canyon offers a full-service spa and fine dining at Baron of Beef. Beaver’s Bend Resort Park, located in the far southeast corner of Oklahoma, offers hiking, fly-fishing and other amenities. Visit nearby Hochatown for fine dining and shopping. Medicine Park, Oklahoma’s first resort town, is located at the entrance to the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities, from shopping and museums to swimming and fishing.
Stop on the Radio Dial
There are terrific radio stations offering music and talk. In Tulsa, 740 AM KRMG earns the top spot for its news coverage as well as traffic reports. Tulsa’s NPR affiliate, 89.5 KWGS, offers coverage of local and national news as well as interesting and entertaining discussions and stories on current events. Rockers know to turn to 97.5 KMOD to hear the best of new and classic rock.
Top 40 hits are spinning 24/7 on 102.7 KJYO. The station plays everything from hip-hop and dance music to rock and pop. 98.9 KYIS, plays the biggest hits of today and from the ‘90s. Entertaining show hosts also make KISS FM a favorite. 101.9 KTST, also known as The Twister, plays the hottest country hits for teems of listeners and rounds out this year’s top three.
Wedding or Party Venue
There are many great parties in this state. But where do you go to throw the party of the century? In Tulsa, readers say The Mayo Hotel is the place to be. With luxurious décor and the Crystal Ballroom, along with a rooftop that offers views to die for, it is certainly a perfect backdrop for an unforgettable night. The Tulsa Convention Center offers event suites, an assembly hall and a giant ballroom. Couple that with excellent catering services and modern décor, and the possibilities of having your wedding or party at Tulsa Convention Center are endless. Harwelden Mansion and Post Oak Lodge, tied for third place in this year’s annual survey, provide more intimate settings for weddings and parties. Harwelden, an historic mansion in the Collegiate Gothic-English Tudor style, is on the National Register of Historic Places and provides a historical context for any event. Post Oak Lodge, resting on 1,000 acres of natural beauty, offers several indoor and outdoor venues for weddings and parties of all sizes. Onsite catering is also available.
In Oklahoma City, Castle Falls receives top billing as Best Wedding or Party Venue. Originally modeled after a Normandy castle, the castle offers several options, from space for up to 25 guests to dinners for up to 50. Natural beauty makes it a romantic setting for any event. Cole’s Garden offers gardens and banquet rooms, perfect for outdoor weddings with indoor receptions. With catering options offered by some of the city’s finest, Cole’s Garden offers a great venue for that special day. Skirvin Hilton Hotel rounds out this year’s top three. Offering plenty of room for weddings, receptions and parties, the hotel can also accommodate guests who choose to stay the night.
Weekend Getaway Destination
When Oklahomans need to get away from the daily grind, they head to northeast Oklahoma and to Grand Lake. With plenty of lodging and fun on the water, Grand Lake has been a summer destination for decades. Eureka Springs, Ark., is also a top getaway destination. Just a few hours’ drive from the state line, Eureka Springs is comprised of quaint streets lined with Victorian-esque buildings that specialize in everything from art to antiques, not to mention restaurants and bars. Dallas, Texas, that big city to the south, rounds out the top three weekend getaway destinations. With everything from dining and shopping to a thriving nightlife, Dallas has everything one could look for in a getaway.
There are great wineries across the state at which to sample wines. Girouard Vines, located in downtown Tulsa, is a great place to try inventive grape blends. Chris Girouard opened the winery in 2007 as a way to showcase his father’s hybrid vines. Tidal School Winery is another top winery in the state. Operating out of an old Drumright schoolhouse, Tidal School’s vintages have won state and national recognition. Girls Gone Wine and Summerside Vineyards wrap up the third spot. Girls Gone Wine is located in far southeast Oklahoma and offers a wide range of varietals, fun for both guys and gals. Summerside Vineyards is a lush vineyard located along Route 66 in Vinita.
Oklahoma City residents head over to Put A Cork In It, an urban winery located in the city’s Bricktown district. Sample wines handcrafted from the finest varietals. Rosebrook Vineyard is located in south Oklahoma City and provides many different varietals, inspired by wines from all over the world. Urban Wineworks, located in Oklahoma City’s trendy Plaza District, offers many wines to sample and purchase.