Do you want to move to Oklahoma? Well, as good of an idea as that may be, you still need to know a little more about this beautiful city. Plus, you’ll also need someone to help you move around, and what better way to convince you to hire us than a 10 minute read on the great and the not-so-great things about Oklahoma City.
So, put on your reading glasses (if any) and get ready to explore a bit of Oklahoma’s rich history, learn what makes the city such a great place to live in, and what your potential neighbors love.
Oklahoma City is a city rich with history. From the early pioneer days to modern times, a lot has changed. Find out more about the history of Oklahoma City below.
When Oklahoma became Oklahoma
You’ve probably figured out that you’re not the first American to settle in Oklahoma City. That title goes to over 50,000 land-hungry settlers who participated in one of the most interesting historical events some 132 years ago. This was the great Oklahoma Land Rush.
On March 3, 1889, the then president, Harrison, announced that the government would be opening nearly two million acres of land for settlement at 12 pm on April 22. The agreement was any settler may join the race and claim land, but no one could enter the territory before the gunshot.
So, by April 22, tens of thousands of eager settlers established tent cities around the territory. These were known as ‘Boomers,’ and by 11.50 am, over 50,000 Boomers stood in a line, anxiously waiting for the clock to strike noon and the pistol to fire. And when gunshot finally boomed, they all streamed into the territory, some on horseback, others in wagons, and the rest on foot.
In a matter of hours, 50,000 to 60,000 Americans had claimed a piece of land in what has since become the state of Oklahoma. So it’s pretty much safe to say that these Boomers laid the foundations of Oklahoma City, Guthrie, Norman, and Kingfisher overnight.
During the rush, the land that Oklahoma City now occupies spanned 400 acres and was claimed by 5,000 people.
Oklahoma is a state built on Black Gold
Oklahoma had its fair share of the settler population by the end of the 19th century. But it was not until a decade later that the state started experiencing some real economic prosperity. And it all started with the discovery of the black gold that forms the foundation of Oklahoma city.
In the early 1900s, oil was struck in the southwest of Tulsa in a neighborhood called Red Fork. But the true scale of Oklahoma’s hidden wealth was realized with the monumental discovery of an oil field called Glenn Pool. Glenn Pool was so rich that Tulsa was considered the Oil Capital of the World for a long time. To this day, the oil field has yielded 340 million oil barrels and attracted around 100 oil companies.
Oklahoma City wasn’t to be left behind in the oil business. The precious commodity was successfully drilled for the first time in the city in 1928. This was in The Oklahoma City Discovery Well. The discovery of the oil well attracted the many investors who launched the energy industry that’s still alive today.
The state’s economy is still largely dependant on oil, so much so that even the State’s Capitol is built on top of an oil rig.
The Native Americans
The two million acres opened up to settlers on April 22, 1989, was part of Native American Territory. Between 1817 and 1880, various Native American Tribes had been relocated from their traditional lands to allow for white settlement. And since the land around and including Oklahoma state was initially thought unsuitable for settler colonization, the tribes were moved there.
Today, over 39 Native American tribes live within Oklahoma, giving the state the second largest population of Native Americans. Some of the tribes include Chickasaw, Creek, Apache, Comanche, Cherokee, Cheyenne, and Chocktaw.
Life in Oklahoma City
Now that you know the roots of your potential home, what about today? What should you expect from the city of Oklahoma? Well, starting with the most important aspects, here is everything you need to know about life in Oklahoma City.
The cost of living in Oklahoma City
Analyzing the cost of living is a step you have to take before moving to a new location. And if you’re seriously considering relocating to Oklahoma City, you may have something to smile about.
The city is one of the most affordable cities to live and work in in the United States and one of the best for first-time homebuyers. It has a cost of living 14% lower than the national average and one of the most affordable housing markets in the country; the cost of housing is 21% lower than the national average.
So, if you’re looking for somewhere affordable to settle down or are a first-time homeowner, it’s great that you have OKC on your radar.
There is no lack of opportunities
If your moving to Oklahoma City is inspired by the desire for a nice and stable career, you’re on the right track. This city is full of job, career, and business opportunities.
First, it is home to two Fortune 500 companies, Devon Energy and Chesapeake Energy, the city’s largest employers. In addition, many national companies have their offices in OKC. These companies include Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrop Grumman, Dell Halliburton, Northwestern Mutual, CBRE Group, General Dynamics, and many more.
Second, the low-cost housing in Oklahoma City means that the cost of doing business is lower than in other cities. This affordability is partly responsible for the booming startup scene in Oklahoma City. The other reason for our strong startup presence is i2e.
i2e is an organization that provides business expertise and secures funding for local startups. It also tries to provide offices to startups at an affordable cost and should be a good place to take your innovative ideas. Thanks to them, the city has many incubators and co-working spaces, and startup events being held in the city.
There is no rush hour in Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City isn’t like your typical American city when it comes to traffic. Instead, the city has three major and two secondary interstates that make traffic less congested and driving around much easier. This smooth flow of traffic allows OKC residents to commute about 5 minutes faster than the national average.
There is also a decent public transportation system in the city, including a 1.7-mile streetcar loop with 22 stops in the downtown area, a public bus system running about every thirty minutes, and the Spokies bike-share program. So, if buying a personal vehicle is not in your plans in the near future, moving around Oklahoma City shouldn’t be a challenge.
And since we’re on matters transport, the city is served by the Will Rogers World Airport, which will comfortably meet all your local and international air travel needs.
The scenery may not be as breathtaking
For all its goods, the state of Oklahoma doesn’t have the prettiest of landscapes. It’s by no means ugly, just that it’s nowhere near the top when it comes to scenic landscapes. This is because Oklahoma has tons of rolling plains; a whole lot more than the average state. Unfortunately, the plains can be a little monotonous and are certainly not the best destinations for hikers and those who love exploring the great outdoors.
You won’t hate the weather after moving to Oklahoma City
On a more positive note, Oklahoma has some of the best weather conditions in the country. The winters are mild, with the state experiencing six to eight inches of snowfall throughout the season. The summers are also not as overbearing as you’d expect them to be, allowing both locals and visitors to enjoy events and other outdoor events.
However, Oklahoma City is in the middle of a tornado zone. Thus, it’s prone to heave thunderstorms, hail, and tornados. So, pay close attention and do what you’re told when you hear a tornado warning.
Leisure and Entertainment in OKC
Wondering what you’ll be doing during your free time in Oklahoma City? Well, you’ll never stay bored for long as there are a lot of places to go and things to do in OKC for your leisure and entertainment.
A passion for sports
Yeap, Oklahoma loves its athletic competitions. There is a fanbase for everything, from football and basketball to soccer and baseball.
Of course, football and basketball are the biggest sports in the city. College football games are also broadcast on local TV and radio stations, and every bar has someone that won’t shut up about them.
The biggest football rivalry is between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Oklahoma Sooners Football team. They play for Oklahoma State University (orange and black) and the University of Oklahoma (crimson and cream). Therefore, if your idea of entertainment is watching testosterone pumped males tear each other apart for an oval ball, you have a place at the Bedlam.
Fun fact; Oklahoma is nicknamed the ‘Sooner State’ after the ‘Sooners,’ people who entered the unassigned land before noon of April 22 during the land run. However, the state would have never embraced the nickname if not for the University of Oklahoma football team. The team took up the name ‘Sooners’ in 1908, removing any negative connotation associated with the word.
Matters basketball, there is the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team that made their NBA debut in 2008. So if you’re all about the hoops and shoots, you should join the NBA’s craziest fanbase as they cheer on their team at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
For those who prefer corners, dribbles, and freekicks, check out the Oklahoma City FC and OKC Energy soccer teams. There are also the OKC Dodgers for those who love baseball. You can catch them playing at Chickasaw Bricktown Ball Park. The ballpark hosts the Big 12 Baseball Tournament every May.
The nightlife in Oklahoma City
When the sun goes down, a good portion of the city comes to life. There are infinite ways to have funs in the many clubs and bars opening their doors at night. So, don’t forget your dancing shoes when we move you into this vibrant city. Spend your Friday and Saturday nights at famous bars like UP-Down OKC, The Study, the Bunker Club, Ponyboy, Micheal Murphy’s Dueling Pianos, and so many more.
Whatever your idea of nighttime fun is, there is a place for you in Oklahoma City.
The family-friendly activities in Oklahoma City
Those hoping for some fun adventures with their families will find a place in the many family-friendly locations in Oklahoma City. For instance, the Oklahoma City Zoo is home to about 19000 animal species, including exotic wildlife like red pandas, lions, tigers, Komodo dragons, snow leopards, and Asian Elephants. It is one of the most visited locations by families in the city.
Scissortail Park is another firm favorite of OKC families. Here, residents enjoy peaceful strolls while eating lunch from a food truck, participate in yoga classes, or have fun at a concert with their family. And that’s without mentioning the park’s biggest attraction, Skydance Bridge, which passes over the interstate and provides visitors with stunning views of the city’s skyline.
You can also visit the Oklahoma City Museum during the weekends for a glimpse at some really interesting artifacts.
Explore Oklahoma City History
For the history buffs, Oklahoma City has many places that allow you to travel back in time and explore the city’s past. One of the most famous is the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, home to a massive collection of artifacts, classes, and demonstrations showcasing the American West.
However, the best place to start after moving to Oklahoma is the Harn Homestead. This establishment attempts to recreate the lives of the city’s first settlers in the later 19th century.
Fast forward a century later to the April 19th Oklahoma City bombing tragedy. Despite the loss of life and property, the city recovered and established the Oklahoma City Memorial museum to honor the fallen. The museum sits on site of the bombing, where the Alfred Murrah Federal Building stood before being hit by the blast. Here, locals and visitors learn the events of that fateful day and its impact on the community.
You can also visit the Reflecting Pool, the Field of Empty Chairs, and Survivor Tree; a hundred-year-old American elm that survived the blast.
Don’t miss Bricktown Entertainment District in OKC
Bricktown Entertainment District is the heart of Oklahoma City and a firm favorite among young professionals. If you want to experience the vibrant energy of OKC to its fullest, Bricktown is a must-visit.
The entertainment district is home to Bricktown Bikebar, where you’ll enjoy a drinking experience like no other as you tour the district. Another way to explore Bricktown is via the quiet and calm Bricktown Water Taxi.
You can also shop for local goods at Painted Door Gift Boutique and enjoy concerts and comedy shows at the Chevy Bricktown Events Center or Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The district is also home to the famous Bricktown Brewery. Here, you have the privilege of sampling some of the best local beers in the state of Oklahoma. For some Ribeye, Louisiana Shrimp & Grits, and smoked meats, head over to Mickey mantle’s Steakhouse, Bourbon Street Cafe, and Earl’s Rib Palace, respectively.
There are many reasons why moving to Oklahoma City is never a bad idea. We have a great transport network, no congestion, great entertainment, good weather, low crime, and an extremely hospitable population.
But, do you know what else is a good idea? Contacting us for a free moving estimate! We are a professional Oklahoma moving company and the final piece to your Oklahoma City moving plans.