Disclosure: All accommodations, meals and activities were provided by VisitOKC. However, I love sharing travel tips and reviews with you and all opinions are my own.
I love to plan and I love to travel. So planning a trip ranks at the top of my list of favorite things to do in life.
But I think I have a new favorite thing… someone else planning the perfect vacation for me. That is how I felt after my weekend in Oklahoma City. Yes, we had a busy schedule. But we wanted to see, do and eat as much as possible during our weekend road trip and VisitOKC did not disappoint! To find featured events, festivals, things to do, and what NOT to miss when you visit Oklahoma City, go check out VisitOKC.com.
So I’ve lived in Texas for 14 years and I have to admit before our road trip to Oklahoma, I had never visited Oklahoma City. My two biggest surprises were 1) the fact that OKC has a huge foodie scene and 2) there are tons of opportunities to exercise in OKC. Which is important, because of the foodie scene! The theme of our weekend was FOOD then FITNESS then more FOOD. Friday afternoon we left Norman and drove 20 miles up to Oklahoma City.
Where We Stayed
Pulling up in front of the 21C Museum Hotel, it reminded of a large brick warehouse. However, looks can be deceiving! Walking into the felt like walking into an Art Museum with stark white walls, soaring ceilings and concrete floors. Photos, paintings and sculptures filled the large ground floor of the hotel. Near the back of the room were three industrial desks where we checked in. Ginger was my roommate again and after checking out the lobby, we were eager to see our room.
This 135-room boutique hotel is only four stories tall and was designed to remind you of loft style apartments in New York’s Soho neighborhood. The building was built in 1916 and is listed on the National Register of Historic places. It was formerly the Ford Motor Company Assembly plant and the history of the building has been incorporated into the architecture and design of the hotel. There is even a steel tree that sprays mist outside the hotel.
Once we got to our room, the bellman pointed the design features that were inspired by the automotive industry. It had tire track carpet, shipping blankets hung on the walls as art, and plumbing fixtures that were shaped liked steering wheels! With high ceilings and large steel windows, our room was filled with natural light but we could close a floor to ceiling curtain at night to sleep. I had to resist falling into the soft, comfortable bed and taking a nap right away! The Nespresso machine meant I was able to wake up each morning and have coffee in bed.
The museum is open to the public and there was in event in one of the galleries on Saturday evening. Mary Eddy’s Kitchen X Lounge is located in the hotel, along with a spa and small fitness center. Be on the lookout for the big purple penguin. It randomly appears in different locations of the hotel!
Where We Played
I stepped WAY outside my comfort zone during our weekend trip. While I am all for fitness and adventure, I am not a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie. However, being with a fun group of girls (my fellow Dallas Fitness Ambassadors) helped push me to try new things… like river rafting! We got our exercise by rock climbing, doing boot camp on a stand up paddle board and paddling down Class III-IV rapids in the middle of the city!
Wheeler Ferris Wheel – Located in the developing Wheeling District neighborhood, the Wheeler Ferris Wheel is a bright spot in the OKC night skyline. As we rode up into the sky, we had a beautiful view of the Oklahoma River and fireworks! After our feet were back on the ground, we headed straight for the giant OKC sign for photos.
Riversport Adventures – White water rafting down the rapids at Riversport Adventures was the highlight of my trip. But I will never do it again. Trust me, we were in the best hands with one of the greatest river raft guides who had more than 15 year of experience. But falling out of the raft was my biggest fear! There are two courses, a recreational course and an Olympic course and our boat of six girls survived them both! The experience lasts about 40 minutes, with four trips down the rapids. But after losing one of our girls overboard, then watching an entire raft AND their guide flip into the water… I was DONE!
If river rafting is not your thing, there are so many other activities offered at Riversport Adventures. Kayaking, tubing, adventure courses, zip lines and stand up paddle boarding. We didn’t have time to try out everything, but I want to take my daughter to the adventure course and zip line.
Climb Up Rock Climbing Gym – On Saturday afternoon, we went indoor rock climbing at the 90 feet grain silos at Climb Up. After putting on our shoes and harnesses, we took a 45 minute course to learn how to use belays for top roping. It has been several years since I climbed, but I quickly remembered how much fun it was. However, I don’t recommend going river rafting and rock climbing in the same day. My arms were so tired that I could only make it up the walls a few times.
SUP – Stand Up Paddle boarding is something that has quickly become a new favorite hobby for me. There are several places to rent paddle boards in OKC. We tried Flat Tide SUP at Lake Overholser but it was so windy it was impossible to get back to the spot we put the boards in the water. I would recommend Riversport Adventures instead.
Where We Ate
Barrios – We had a reservation for dinner on the patio, so we did not have to wait long for our table. Everyone from the bellman to the barista at Hank’s Coffee had a recommendation about what to order at Barrios. We started with queso (tex-mex and fundito) and guacamole (traditional and mango-chipotle), and I ordered the fajitas. Cocktail favorites included the frozen Avocado Margarita, the Cactus Fruit slushie and the Beer-Rita.
Waffle Champion – Arrive early if you want to beat the line at Waffle Champion! They serve both sweet and savory waffles and waffle sandwiches. My favorite was the blueberry sunrise,
Hall’s Pizza Kitchen – We timed our trip to OKC well, just a few weeks after Hall’s Pizza Kitchen opened their brick & mortar location. They started with a food truck in 2013 and their wood fired pizza quickly became a favorite in OKC. Must order items include Quinn’s buratta, the Not So Daily salad, and the Saturday Night and Company pizza.
The Drake – Dinner at The Drake was unexpected; from the atmosphere of the restaurant, to the menu and the surprise visit from the Chef during our meal. Located in the Uptown 23rd District, The Drake offers seafood with “a little adventure in the mix.” Several dishes can be shared, like the seafood paella, the whole salt crusted branzino and the grilled sea scallops. Don’t miss the out on the Lona Faye’s 4-H Club hush puppies, which is the chef’s grandmother’s family recipe!
Cheever’s – Our last meal in OKC was brunch at Cheever’s and it was delicious! After a full foodie weekend, I was craving something light, so I ordered the chopped salad with grilled shrimp. With a huge cinnamon roll on the side! The Cowboy Rubbed salmon salad and shrimp and grits were other favorites at the table.
Food, fitness and fun time with friends in OKC made it an amazing weekend getaway. Honestly, we were all pleasantly surprised to find out all that Oklahoma has to offer and I can’t wait to go back with my daughter. I hope to plan a girls trip for just the two of us in August for her birthday!
Various Photo Credit to my fellow Dallas Fitness Ambassadors on the trip:
- Mai Lyn of Deep Fried Fit
- Ginger of The Ginger Marie Blog
- Jess of The Sports Brat
- Brit of Fit x Brit
- Jerica of Jerica Says