About Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City is the capital of Oklahoma and its largest city. It's home to one of the largest livestock markets in the world, and the local economy is largely dominated by the oil, natural gas and petroleum industries. However, Oklahoma City is beginning to play a growing role in sectors like high-tech, aviation, bioscience, aerospace and medicine.
Oklahoma City attracts residents with its low housing costs, variety of housing options, historic districts and lack of traffic congestion. There's a downtown trolley service that makes getting around town convenient, as well as a bus service to all points of the city. Oklahoma City is known for having a major park in each of the four quadrants of the city, an idea that was established in the city's original master plan. There are also over 100 small, local parks, as well as a large number of top-rated public golf courses to enjoy.
The History of Oklahoma City
The area that's now Oklahoma City was acquired by the United States as part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, but it was designated as Native American territory for many decades. However, during the post-Civil War westward expansion, the government made much of the land available to settlers. The subsequent 1889 "land runs" brought thousands of settlers to the area, doubling the population by 1900. The area flourished during the early 1900s and was named the state's new capital in 1913 thanks to a successful petition and vote backed by the state's governor.
In 1928, oil was discovered in Oklahoma City, which led to a huge economic boom. When the interstate highway system made Oklahoma City one of its main interchange points, the population and economy continued to flourish. After a series of recent revitalization efforts in the past two decades, the Oklahoma City of today is a bustling metropolis.
Things to Do in Oklahoma City
There are plenty of ways to keep busy in Oklahoma City, and a number of its attractions are based on the area's history and culture. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art has a variety of exhibits and a theater where you can enjoy classic, independent and foreign films on a weekly rotating basis. It's also home to the largest collection of Chihuly glass art in the world, made by world-renowned glass blower Dale Chihuly.
During the spring and summer, the Myriad Botanical Gardens, an urban park, receives a large number of visitors, both local and from out of town. It's a 17-acre urban garden with a variety of local and exotic plants and animals as well as several pieces of sculptural art.
Other popular activities in the city include shopping, dining at its large variety of restaurants and attending games played by the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder.
Neighborhoods in Oklahoma City
Here are a few of the great neighborhoods Oklahoma City has to offer:
Bricktown is named for its collection of historic brick buildings that date as far back as 1898, originally built as operations centers for the major railroads in the city. Today, massive renovations made it a busy entertainment district, offering trendy restaurants, music venues, boutiques and lounges.
The Arts District
Home to one of the largest arts festivals in the nation, the appropriately-named Arts District contains the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the Myriad Botanical Gardens and many local theaters. A converted Montgomery Ward department store is just one of the re-imagined spaces now serving as trendy housing options.
The Stockyards City area is a tribute to the city's early 20th-century roots, with gaslights and wooden storefronts dotting the streets. It's also home to the largest Western clothing store in the state, Langston's Western Wear, which opened in 1913.
The uniquely-named Deep Deuce neighborhood is the historic center of jazz music in the region and has deep roots in African-American culture. Civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. also spent some time in the neighborhood when he applied for a position at a local Baptist church.
Oklahoma City Schools
The Oklahoma City Public Schools district manages most public schools in Oklahoma City
, including elementary, middle and high schools as well as several charter schools. The district offers advanced placement courses, International Baccalaureate degrees and concurrent college enrollment, and it has a handful of nationally-recognized schools. You also have the option of enrolling your child in a local magnet or private school in the area.
If you'd like to pursue higher education in Oklahoma City, there are several colleges and universities to choose from. Oklahoma City University is one of the oldest in the area, founded in the early 1900s. The University of Oklahoma also has several campuses in the metropolitan area.
Resources for Moving to Oklahoma City
Here are a few helpful resources to help you with your move to Oklahoma City:
Utilities: OG&E is the city's main electricity provider, and the city manages water services.
Garbage and Recycling: The city provides curbside collection of both trash and recycling. Disposal cans are provided by the city, and you can request more cans for an additional fee.
Transportation: Oklahoma is a city traveled primarily by car, though there's a moderately well-established network of bus routes in the area.
Pets: As a new resident, you'll have 30 days to comply with pet licensing regulations, which include up-to-date rabies vaccinations.
Oklahoma City Housing
The median home value in Oklahoma City is quite a bit lower than the national average. If you're looking for housing, you have your choice of a variety of options, including trendy apartment communities, cozy single-family homes or even sprawling estates on large lots.