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Tulsa - Part Hometown, Part Exploration, All Fun Times

Updated: May 9, 2020

When you hear of fun towns near Dallas, you hear Austin, San Antonio, Shreveport, etc. You never hear of Tulsa. Tulsa is one super hip, bar hopping town that has a vibe all its own. A vibe that needs to be shared and explored.

The Dallas Weekender in Downtown Tulsa at sunset
Downtown Tulsa at sunset

WKNDR Snap Shot

Friday Night

- Check into Hotel: Any downtown spot will do.

- Dinner at McNellie's Pub

  • Drinks - Arnie's Bar


  • Brunch - Dilly Diner (Giant Cinnamon Roll)

  • Lunch - Margaritaville (Duh)

  • Activities

- The Gathering Place

- Dead Armadillo Craft Brewing

- NEFF (New Era Fine Fermentation) - Evening Snacks

- Tulsa Performing Arts Center

  • Nightlife

- Center of the Universe

- Saturn Room (A MUST)

- Late night snacks - The Tavern


  • Brunch - Elgin Park

There comes a time in every relationship where you must venture to the significant other's home town. On this trip, it was my turn to venture north to Tulsa, Oklahoma to see Michal's former stomping ground. Michal, was raised for a good portion of her youth in Broken Arrow, a southeastern suburb of Tulsa. Though the town has changed significantly since she had lived there, it was a welcomed trip to see where she grew up and gain a further understanding into her upbringing.

Friday after work we trucked north on 75 for several hours and checked into the Hyatt (where we got a killer deal btw) around 10:30, tossed our bags in the room and walked 4 blocks to our first stop of the night: James E. McNellie's Pub. They were pretty packed and we got the last seat in the house. They served solid pub food: epic hummus and solid fish and chips. Can't recommend them enough.

On our walk back to the hotel through the streets of the blue dome district I spotted a wonderful sight: Arnie's Bar. A small shotgun style bar, adorned with an Irish flag and teeming with people. It was the perfect establishment for one last round of beverages.

After fighting the crowd, getting drinks and a couple of seats; we start looking around and taking in the establishment. As it turns out, I had been in this bar before. No joke. Flashback 5 years ago to a guys’ trip and this was a place we stopped at. Ha, who would have thought? Did I mention Michal also saw somebody she knew from high school? Flashback central.

The next morning we checked out Dilly Diner; Michal’s dad recommended we get a cinnamon roll. He was right! It was huge and fantastic. Our breakfast was so big we were not hungry for lunch until much later in the afternoon. The place was packed, the staff was great and the food was awesome. Michal’s Dad gets an A+ for his recommendation.

From here, we ventured to Broken Arrow, where I saw houses, schools and haunts of Michal's youth. It really was a cool experience finally getting to put sights and scenes to things that I'd had only heard of.

Since we were in the neighborhood and wanted to spend our afternoon at The Gathering Place; I of course suggested lunch at Margaritaville.

Being a parrot head, I pretty much require going to any Margaritaville within a 30 mile radius. Lucky for me, volcano nachos were in my future… as were margaritas. Wasted away again? Not yet. We still had more to see.

We made our way to The Gathering Place a massive, I repeat, massive city park over looking the Arkansas River. Beautifully landscaped, this is more than just a city park, it more like an arboretum meets chill coffee house meets family friendly dog park. It really earns its name: The Gathering Place. If in Tulsa, is a must see.

We returned to the hotel, dropped the car, and had a few hours to kill before our evening plans; a night at the Theater. We checked out Dead Armadillo Craft Brewing and then New Era Fine Fermentations.

After having a beer each, we walked over to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center where one of Michal's best friends, Ian, was one of the star performers in 'The Wedding Singer' the musical. The production was spot on. As a matter of fact, the production was beyond community theater, it was a professional spectacle that was as enjoyable as great theater could be.

After chatting with Ian after the show for a bit, we made our way to The Center of The Universe a unique phenomenon where sound waves culminate in one area producing odd sound effects and echoes as if you’re in the center of the universe. Our next stop was The Saturn Room: A hip Tiki Bar in the Brady Arts district with flaming drinks and an incredible island vibe. It really was the perfect way to end the evening until we realized that we were hungry. Luckily The Tavern was open and had late night food. A day in Tulsa well spent. Time for bed.

Brunch was at Elgin Park where we had some awesome chicken wings before heading South toward Norman, Oklahoma to see Michal's parents before heading home. Our trip to Tulsa was a great experience. Not only did I get to learn more about Michal through seeing parts of her childhood; as it turns out, Tulsa is a super bad-ass little town. Forget what you have heard, take a shot and go spend a weekend there. You won't regret it. #WKNDR

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