Historical Sites And Museums in Oklahoma City

An overview of the primary museums and historical sites in and around Oklahoma City. With a wide variety of historical sites and museums, Oklahoma City has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in Native American culture, the Wild West, or the oil boom, there’s a museum or historical site that will pique your interest.

Despite the cosmopolitan appearance of the city’s skyline, Oklahoma City hasn’t lost touch with its past. Several major historical sites and museums offer a look at the city’s history. Born within a single day between noon and sundown when the prairies of Oklahoma Territory were opened to settlement in 1889, Oklahoma City’s early boom lasted, and by 1910, the city had been named the state capitol.

Oklahoma State Capitol

Oklahoma State Capitol

The Oklahoma State Capitol is one of many sites accessible to the public. It’s worth a drive down Lincoln Boulevard to see the classical Greek and Roman architecture of the capitol building. Visitors will find another piece of local and state history on the grounds – Capitol Site No. 1, an oil well.

Oklahoma Historical Society

Nearby at 2100 Lincoln Boulevard, delve deeper into the details of local history at the Oklahoma Historical Society and State Museum of History. Admission is free and displays document Oklahoma history, including that of state native Wiley Post.

Southwest of the state capital, visitors will find a close look at the past at the Harn Homestead and 1889er Museum. On this former ten-acre homestead once owned by land agent William Fremont Harn, a restored 1904 farmhouse, outbuildings, historic gardens, and the city’s first two-story building can be toured. A replica of the cedar barn features an indoor windmill. Guided tours are given on the hour between 10am and 4pm, Monday through Friday.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Explore the history and culture of the American West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. The museum features a vast collection of art, artifacts, and exhibits that tell the story of the West and its people. From cowboy gear to Native American art, there’s something for everyone at this iconic museum.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Oklahoma City’s frontier background is highlighted at another museum – the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum near Interstate 35. Covering 32 acres, the facility offers an extensive collection of Western art, historical artifacts, and exhibits about Native American life.

Features include a 33-foot tall statue of Buffalo Bill Cody, the renowned Western showman, and the well-known “End of the Trail” statue. On-site, the Rodeo Hall of Fame offers an in-depth look into the sport, legendary performers, and trophies.

The Western art collection includes works by Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, as well as contemporary works. In the Visions of the West gallery, visitors will take a look at the idealized West of myth and movie as well as saunter down a recreated Western Street complete with a sod house, marshal’s office, and train depot.

Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum

A trio of local museums explores the heritage of several occupations. The Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum on South 50th Street displays vintage firefighting tools in a reconstruction of the first fire station in the state.

In the same vicinity, the National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum takes a look into the history of the popular sport. At the Museum of Woman Pilots, located at the entrance to the Will Rogers World Airport, visitors can imagine the women who first took the skies. Displays feature the history of women in aviation, including Amelia Earhart.

Oklahoma National Stockyards

One of the world’s largest cattle markets is also a historic site. The Oklahoma National Stockyards on Exchange Avenue was founded in 1910 and remained a working market. Guided tours are available on Mondays and Thursdays. Details are available at (405)235-6875.

Oklahoma City Zoo

Oklahoma City Zoo

As one of the oldest zoos in the Southwest, the Oklahoma City Zoo offers both fun and history for the entire family. And military history of the Sooner State is documented at the 45th Infantry Division Museum with items dating from 1541 to the present day.

At the Omniplex at N.E. 52nd Street and Martin Luther King Avenue, a variety of sites are available to the public. These include the Air Space Museum, with exhibits that tell the story of Oklahoma aviation; sixteen art, historical, and cultural galleries that feature art from around the globe; the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum; and the Red Earth Indian Center, featuring Native American history and an annual pow-wow.

In nearby Norman, Oklahoma, visitors can take a closer look at a dinosaur skeleton and much more at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History on the University of Oklahoma campus.

We understand the importance of preserving history and showcasing the stories of our past. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the top historical sites and museums in Oklahoma City that you won’t want to miss.

Photo of author
About the author
Growing up in Detroit, Lindsey is a Michigan State University alumnus. She feels incredibly lucky to live in Detroit, and much more, to spend her days promoting the Detroit area as a travel destination.