Friday, May 17, 2013

Two Quick Touristy Things to Do in Oklahoma City

Breezing through OK? Here are two places within a few minutes drive from each other that you can quickly visit for free.

Mosaic mural and
fountains at one end of the canal.
There's a lovely canal meandering through the heart of town. You could spend hours hiking from one end to the other, or you could park in a $5 lot (free on Sundays) and wander along a short section.

The canal is lined with benches, murals, sculpture, restaurants, coffee shops, and snacky places (like an ice cream shop that makes custom flavors while you watch). Beautiful landscaping decorates the walkways, tunnels, and bridges.
Mural along the canal showing the
 canal tour boat departing. 
There are canal boat tours which require some planning and may make you wait in line. Tickets are purchased at special ticketing areas NOT at the docks. Maps and info readily available all along the canal.

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum (Outdoors)
The not-to-be-missed memorial commemorating those who died during the 1995 bombing. Park across the street or along the curb (if you can find an available meter).
Tributes to loved ones on the fencing.
Check the fencing for tributes to loved ones. There's a lovely reflecting pool situated between 9:01 and 9:03 walls giving a somber and sacred atmosphere. Beside the pool are chairs, one for each person killed in the blast. There are small chairs representing the children in the daycare center. The seat bottoms are glass cubes that light up at night. The outdoor park is open 24 hours and there's a cell phone tour (dial 405.445.4792).

The reflecting pool at 9:02.

The reflecting pool is a few inches
deep with imperceptible drain and
recycling niches along the sides.
The chairs along the right side
of the reflecting pool.
 On the other side of the pool is the Survivor Tree (which survived the blast). From the tree you can get an overview of the grounds. Behind the tree is a graffiti wall with the original (regularly cleaned, painted, and renewed) words sprayed by rescue workers.

The Survivors Tree.
Looking left from the
Survivors Tree.
Looking right from the
Survivors Tree.
Further along is the children's area featuring a wall of children's art from a Texas Elementary school. The plaza features large slate tiles and colored chalk for children to enjoy.
You can stay longer if you visit the indoor museum (not open 24 hours and there's an entry fee) which has three floors and in depth displays of all bombing-related events.

Tiles made by Elementary school
children in Texas. Nicole was
6 years old at the time.