Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum named Best Oklahoma Attraction

Beavers Bend State Park comes in second

Situated at a cultural and geographic crossroads of the United States, Oklahoma is home to 39 Native American tribes, a dozen ecosystems, two transcontinental highways and more than 200 man-made lakes. Old West heritage is evident around every turn, and natural beauty abounds in this land where prairie and mountains collide. 

  • Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve
    Bartlesville

    The Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve gets its name from woods, lakes and rock, the three elements that dominate its landscapes. Established in 1925 as a private ranch retreat, the 3,700-acre preserve is today home to elk, buffalo and longhorn cattle, as well as a 50,000-square-foot museum dedicated to the history and heritage of the American West's first residents.
    Photo courtesy of Matt Howry / Flickr

  • Museum of the Great Plains
    Lawton

    Visitors to the Museum of the Great Plains in Lawton learn all about the cultural and natural history of America's breadbasket. Highlights of the museum include a recreation of the Domebo Dig Site, a giant map of the Great Plains and an interactive saddle shop exhibit inspired by the work of legendary saddle maker Howard Council.
    Photo courtesy of Jphill19 / Wikimedia Commons

  • Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
    Indiahoma

    The two rugged granite rock mountain ranges of Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge once protected Native Americans from detection by the U.S. Calvary. Since the early 1900s, bison and other endangered species have found refuge within the walls and canyons that enclose its natural plains habitat. Roughly 650 American bison call it home, along with Rocky Mountain elk and white-tailed deer. The refuge also maintains a herd of Texas longhorn cattle to preserve the cultural and historical legacy of the breed.
    Photo courtesy of Larry Smith / Flickr

  • Black Mesa State Park
    Kenton

    Situated on the panhandle near the border with Colorado and New Mexico, Black Mesa State Park gets its name from a layer of lava rock covering the plateau. A trail leads to the top of the mesa – Oklahoma's highest point at 4,973 feet. Birders come to the park to spot pinyon jays, golden eagles, black-billed magpies and a host of other species. 
    Photo courtesy of Christopher Gabbard / Flickr

  • Science Museum Oklahoma
    Oklahoma City

    A wonderland of interactive and hands-on exhibits to bring out the kid in just about anyone, Science Museum Oklahoma encompasses 8 acres of exhibit space, with spaces dedicated to engineering, music, health and outer space. Visitors can take a spin along a Segway Course, explore the Milky Way in the Planetarium Theatre or train like an astronaut at Destination Space.
    Photo courtesy of Science Museum Oklahoma

  • Great Salt Plains State Park
    Jet

    One of Oklahoma's more unique natural attractions is Great Salt Plains State Park, a barren landscape leftover from prehistoric days when an ocean covered the state. The last remnant of this ocean is a saltwater lake where visitors can float, swim or fish. Recreational trails facilitate hiking and horseback riding, and unique hourglass-shaped crystals form just beneath the surface of the salt plains – a natural treasure hunt.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Tallgrass Prairie Preserve
    Pawhuska

    Oklahoma's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve protects the largest tract of native grassland prairie left on the planet. The 39,650-acre preserve is all that's left of a prairie that once spanned 14 states. Wildlife watching opportunities abound, with the chance to spot 80 mammal species (including bison), 300 bird species and 700 plant species. Hiking trails lead through bottomland forest, prairie and crosstimbers.
    Photo courtesy of Justin Meissen / Flickr

  • National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
    Oklahoma City

    Founded in 1955 and dedicated to Western history and heritage, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum collects and exhibits a superb collection of art and artifacts from across the American West. Themed interactive galleries cover topics like rodeos, frontier military and Victorian firearms, while Prosperity Junction brings to life a turn-of-the-century cattle town complete with a blacksmith shop, church and mercantile. 
    Photo courtesy of National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

  • Beavers Bend State Park
    Broken Bow

    Located in Southeast Oklahoma along the banks of Mountain Fork River and Broken Bow Lake, Beavers Bend State Park is one of the state's most popular spots for outdoor recreation. Amid the hardwood and pine forests, visitors can hike, bike, boat, fish, float a river or go horseback riding.
    Photo courtesy of Lane Pearman / Flickr

  • Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
    Oklahoma City

    Somber and poignant, the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum commemorates those killed (and those who were forever changed) during the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The Memorial Museum recounts the story of that tragic day, while allowing visitors to hear oral histories from friends and family members of victims. The outdoor memorial includes a 318-foot reflecting pool, Survivor Tree, Rescuers Orchard and the Field of Empty Chairs, each chair representing one of the 168 lives lost.
    Photo courtesy of EPA/LARRY W. SMITH

We asked our readers to vote for their favorite state attractions, and the results are in. 

The top 10 winners in the category Best Oklahoma Attraction are as follows:

  1. Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum - Oklahoma City
  2. Beavers Bend State Park - Broken Bow
  3. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum - Oklahoma City
  4. Tallgrass Prairie Preserve - Pawhuska
  5. Great Salt Plains State Park - Jet
  6. Science Museum Oklahoma - Oklahoma City
  7. Black Mesa State Park - Kenton
  8. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge - Indiahoma
  9. Museum of the Great Plains - Lawton
  10. Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preser - Bartlesville

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Kim Baker (Oklahomaphotography.com), Deborah BouzidenDennis Spielman (Uncovering Oklahoma) and Wesley Treat (Weird Oklahoma) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in the state.

Congratulations to all these winning attractions!

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