For today’s A to Z Challenge, O is for Oklahoma. Oklahoma is a southern state in the US that is considered a midwest state. Confusing, right? It’s location is southern, but the people consider themselves part of the midwest culturally. It’s located north of Texas, and is home to a large proportion of Native American tribes (although not all by original choice).
Oklahoma has a very expansive (read flat) landscape, except in the southern part of the state, and is mainly dominated by agriculture and oil and gas industry. The capital is Oklahoma City, which is a smaller big city.
Oklahoma City is the site of the biggest domestic terrorist attack in the US – the Oklahoma City National Memorial. This memorial commemorates the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, and stands on the site of the destroyed building. The 21st anniversary happens to be tomorrow (April 19, 2016), and it is commemorated with a marathon, among other tributes.
Downtown Oklahoma City also boasts a stunning indoor exotic botanical garden called Myriad Gardens. This has exotic tropical species that you might expect to see in Maui, but in the middle of the US south. In addition to the indoor greenhouse portion, there is also a beautifully manicured outdoor garden with a water feature and paths to stroll along.
Just a little over an hour away from Oklahoma City is Turner Falls, a one time private property turned tourist trap/tourist getaway that lies near the Arbuckle Mountains to the south. The main attraction is the waterfall that leads to the river, where people go to get away from the summer heat.
There are also some winding paths that lead to Collings Castle, made by private owner Dr. Ellsworth Collings and created from the surrounding volcanic rocks. Unfortunately, there is lots of graffiti and trash at the abandoned castle, but it’s fun to explore.
Have you ever visited Oklahoma? Where would you recommend to visit? Let me know in the comments!