If you are considering relocating to the great state of Oklahoma — either for the low cost of living, great career opportunities, unique culture, or tons of activities — you’ve chosen well. There are so many advantages of living in this state that’s located smack dab in the heart of the country, that embraces innovation just as much as its rich history. There are many more, but here are our top 10 reasons to relocate to Oklahoma — particularly its two largest cities of Oklahoma City and Tulsa!
1) Low Cost of Living
The overall cost of living in Oklahoma is well below the national average, which means your dollar stretches further for both basics like utilities and food, and for the fun stuff like shopping and entertainment. A new home in Oklahoma City or Tulsa is an especially good investment, since both markets are currently about half as expensive as the national average, and home prices continue to rise.
2. Fun Activities for Everyone
There are tons of interesting, fun, and downright exciting things to do in Oklahoma! In Oklahoma City, stop by the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum for a casual stroll through the recently-renovated, state-of-the-art facility, or turn the energy way up at a Thunders’ basketball game at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. In Tulsa, spend a Saturday night in the Blue Dome Entertainment District for tasty food, cocktails, and live entertainment, or bring the kids to the fantastic Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks, about 20 minutes south of Tulsa.
3. Unique Shopping Districts
The state’s two biggest cities have some of the most unique specialty shopping in the Midwest! In OKC, head to Stockyards City to stock up on quintessential western wear like cowboy boots, hats, and jeans. Western Avenue has plenty of one-of-a-kind shops for antiques and records. And in Midtown you’ll find hip and trendy stores for the fashion-forward shopper.
In Tulsa head to The Boxyard, an innovative shopping experience where each retailer is housed in a refurbished shipping container. No big box stores here — only little ones! From women’s wear to skate gear, if it’s unique enough you’ll find it here. In Utica Square you’ll find the perfect mix of upscale national retailers and smaller, independent shops.
4. Amazing Restaurant Scene
Did you know? Oklahoma is a test market for many national restaurant chains. The state is literally in the heart of the county and its residents represent a microcosm of the American population. If a restaurant or new dish does well here — chances are it’ll be a national success!
Oklahoma cities also have their fair share of local restaurants that attract foodies from all over the state. From BBQ to international flavors, you can find the best of it here. In the OKC area try the Onion Burger at Tuckers, or stroll through Chisolm Creek and take your pick from a number of excellent casual and fine dining places. In Tulsa, try any of the restaurants at Mother Road Market or along Cherry Street and you won’t be disappointed.
Oklahoma is especially known for a good old-fashioned hamburger, and all the variations of it! Check out The 13 Best Burgers in OKC and Tulsa and add as many as you can to your “must-do” list the next time you’re in town.
5. Not Your Ordinary Public Parks
Public parks are a source of pride for many Oklahoma cities, and with acres upon acres of green space, walking and biking trails, gardens, playgrounds, water features, and other attractions, residents take full advantage of them. In OKC the main attractions are Lake Hefner, Martin Park Nature Center, and Scissortail Park. In Tulsa, The Gathering Place is a 100-acre, world-class, riverfront park with various activites like Mist Mountain and Chapman Adventure Playground, educational activities, and year-round events. It’s the ultimate park, and it’s right here in Tulsa!
6. Outdoor Festivals
As one of the top states with the most days of sunshine in a year (231 days, on average), Oklahomans live for outdoor festivals. The largest are the state’s music festivals — with sounds ranging from country to metal and everything in between. Must-sees include Normal Music Festival in Norman, American Heritage Musical Festival in Grove, and Rocklahoma in Pryor.
If browsing art stalls on a beautiful sunny day is more your speed, check out Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City, Tulsa International Mayfest, or the Paseo Arts Festival in OKC. Finally, if taste testing specialty food sounds appetizing, find your way to the Frederick Fantastic Oyster Fry, or the El Reno Fried Onion Burger Day Festival.
7. Great Schools and Universities
No matter where you live in Oklahoma, you have access to great schools! Deer Creek School District, where Beacon Homes builds in OKC, is ranked the best school district in the state according to graduation rates and testing. For higher education, The University of Tulsa is known as the “Harvard of the West,” and the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, and the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond are also excellent options.
8) Access to Everywhere
As mentioned earlier, Oklahoma is at the geographic center of the country, and that’s useful for a lot more than just testing restaurants! The state is located on the crossroads of I-40 and I-35, which means you have a straight shot to either coast. For those who travel often for work or fun, you can get to Dallas in just 3.5 hours, Arkansas in 2 hours, and Wichita, KS in just over 3 hours.
9) All Four Seasons
Due to the tilt of the Earth and Oklahoma’s location, the state experiences all four seasons in all their splendor. Whether you love sunny summers for swimming or cold winters to cozy up to a fireplace, you can enjoy it all here in Oklahoma. There’s also plenty to do in each season — lake trips in the summer, balloon fests in the fall, eagle spotting in the winter, and state parks and museums in the spring. Every season is unique and wonderful!
10) Job Opportunities
If you are looking for a career opportunity in aviation, biotechnology, energy, transportation, or business services, there’s a good chance you’ll find it in Oklahoma City or Tulsa. Both cities have unemployment rates well below the national average, and expect positive job growth over the next ten years.