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6 Must-Visit Historic Sites In Tulsa, Oklahoma


by Quintana Cosgrove


Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a city steeped in history, boasting a rich tapestry of cultural heritage and significant landmarks that offer a glimpse into its storied past. From the oil boom era to its Native American roots, Tulsa's historic sites provide a captivating journey through time. Visitors can explore architectural marvels, learn about the city's pivotal role in the civil rights movement, and immerse themselves in the vibrant legacy of this dynamic metropolis. In this article, we will delve into six must-visit historic sites in Tulsa, Oklahoma, each offering a unique and compelling perspective on the city's history. Whether you're a history enthusiast, architecture buff, or simply curious about the past, these sites promise an enriching and enlightening experience. So, let's embark on a virtual tour of Tulsa's historical gems and uncover the stories that have shaped this remarkable city.

The Golden Driller

Standing at a towering height of 75 feet and weighing 43,500 pounds, The Golden Driller is an iconic symbol of Tulsa, Oklahoma. This colossal statue, constructed in 1953, pays homage to the city's rich history in the oil industry. The Golden Driller is a must-see for visitors, offering a unique opportunity to witness a larger-than-life representation of Oklahoma's oil heritage.

The Golden Driller is a testament to the significant role of the oil industry in shaping Tulsa's identity. This monumental figure, adorned in a hard hat and work boots, stands proudly at the Tulsa Expo Center, serving as a reminder of the city's deep-rooted connection to the oil and gas sector. Visitors can marvel at this impressive structure, capturing memorable photos with the towering Golden Driller as a backdrop. The site provides a captivating glimpse into Tulsa's industrial legacy, making it an essential stop for anyone exploring the "6 Must-Visit Historic Sites in Tulsa, Oklahoma."

Philbrook Museum of Art

Nestled amidst lush gardens and scenic landscapes, the Philbrook Museum of Art is a cultural gem that beckons art enthusiasts and history aficionados alike. Originally the former residence of Waite and Genevieve Phillips, this stately mansion was transformed into a world-class art museum in The Philbrook Museum of Art showcases an extensive collection of diverse artworks, spanning from classic to contemporary pieces, offering a captivating journey through various artistic movements and styles.

The Philbrook Museum of Art stands as a testament to Tulsa's vibrant cultural scene, providing a captivating blend of art, history, and natural beauty. Visitors can explore the opulent interiors of the mansion, adorned with exquisite furnishings and captivating architectural details. The museum's expansive grounds feature enchanting gardens, creating a serene atmosphere for leisurely strolls and moments of contemplation. With its rich history and diverse art collection, the Philbrook Museum of Art is an essential destination for those embarking on a tour of the "6 Must-Visit Historic Sites in Tulsa, Oklahoma."

Cain's Ballroom

Cain's Ballroom, a legendary music venue nestled in the heart of Tulsa, holds a storied past as a hub for iconic performances and cultural significance. Established in 1924, this historic ballroom has hosted a myriad of renowned musicians, earning its status as a revered institution in the realm of live music. The venue's rustic charm and vintage ambiance provide an unforgettable setting for music enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the city's rich musical heritage.

Cain's Ballroom stands as a living testament to Tulsa's enduring musical legacy, offering a captivating space where visitors can experience the magic of live performances in an intimate and historic setting. The venue's hallowed halls have welcomed legendary artists, leaving an indelible mark on the city's cultural tapestry. For music aficionados and history buffs alike, a visit to Cain's Ballroom is a journey through Tulsa's vibrant musical history, making it an indispensable stop on the tour of the "6 Must-Visit Historic Sites in Tulsa, Oklahoma."

The Blue Whale of Catoosa

The Blue Whale of Catoosa, a beloved roadside attraction located just outside Tulsa, is a whimsical and nostalgic landmark that has captured the hearts of locals and tourists alike. This larger-than-life sculpture, crafted by Hugh Davis as a surprise anniversary gift for his wife, stands as a symbol of joy and creativity. The Blue Whale's endearing presence and picturesque surroundings make it a must-see destination for those seeking a delightful and offbeat experience.

The Blue Whale of Catoosa embodies the spirit of lighthearted adventure, inviting visitors to bask in its quirky charm and scenic allure. The site's tranquil pond and idyllic setting offer a serene retreat, perfect for picnics and leisurely moments of relaxation. As a beloved icon with a heartwarming origin story, the Blue Whale of Catoosa holds a special place in the hearts of Oklahomans and serves as a whimsical addition to the "6 Must-Visit Historic Sites in Tulsa, Oklahoma."

Tulsa Art Deco Museum

The Tulsa Art Deco Museum, nestled in the heart of downtown Tulsa, stands as a living tribute to the city's architectural heritage and artistic innovation. Housed within the Philcade Building, a stunning example of Art Deco design, the museum showcases a captivating array of artifacts and exhibits that celebrate the opulent and dynamic Art Deco movement. Visitors can immerse themselves in the glamour and sophistication of this iconic era, gaining insight into Tulsa's architectural evolution.

The Tulsa Art Deco Museum offers a captivating journey through the city's rich history, providing a deeper understanding of the Art Deco style's influence on Tulsa's skyline and cultural identity. The museum's curated displays and immersive experiences offer a fascinating exploration of a bygone era, making it an essential stop for those seeking to uncover the artistic treasures within the "6 Must-Visit Historic Sites in Tulsa, Oklahoma."

The Cave House

Nestled within the picturesque terrain of Tulsa, the Cave House stands as a unique architectural marvel, captivating visitors with its unconventional design and intriguing history. Constructed in the 1920s by an eccentric visionary named Joseph Koberling Sr., the Cave House is a striking example of innovative architecture, featuring a facade that mimics the rugged contours of a natural cave. This distinctive residence has sparked curiosity and fascination, drawing inquisitive explorers to marvel at its unconventional beauty.

The Cave House's enigmatic allure and unconventional aesthetic make it a compelling stop for those embarking on a tour of the "6 Must-Visit Historic Sites in Tulsa, Oklahoma." The residence's fascinating backstory and distinctive appearance offer a glimpse into the city's architectural diversity and the spirit of creative expression. As a testament to Tulsa's penchant for embracing unconventional artistry, the Cave House stands as a captivating testament to the city's spirit of innovation and individuality.


Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a treasure trove of historic sites that offer a glimpse into the city's rich past. From the iconic Philbrook Museum of Art to the solemn Greenwood Cultural Center, each location tells a unique story that resonates with the spirit of Tulsa. Whether you're a history enthusiast, an art aficionado, or simply someone eager to explore the heritage of this vibrant city, these six must-visit historic sites promise an enriching and captivating experience. By immersing yourself in the history and culture of Tulsa, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for the city's evolution and the enduring legacy of its people.


Q: Are these historic sites suitable for family visits?
A: Yes, these historic sites are family-friendly and offer engaging experiences for visitors of all ages. Many of them have interactive exhibits and educational programs that cater to children and adults alike.

Q: Can I take photographs at these historic sites?
A: Photography policies vary by site, but generally, non-flash photography for personal use is allowed. However, it's advisable to check with each site regarding their specific photography guidelines before your visit.