You’re heading to Bartlesville, Oklahoma and wondering what there is to do in this charming town. With a population of just over 37,000, Bartlesville likely seems quaint but don’t be fooled - this city has a lot to offer visitors of all ages. From exploring the city’s oil heritage to enjoying the performing arts, you're quickly going to discover Bartlesville’s small town charm masks a surprisingly diverse array of attractions.
In this blog post, we're going to highlight the best things to do to make the most of your upcoming trip to Bartlesville. Whether you want to explore Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, watch a Broadway musical, admire beautiful nature trails, or visit a fascinating museum, Bartlesville has something for everyone. Keep reading to receive an inside scoop on planning an amazing getaway in this Oklahoma treasure.
Visit the Price Tower - Frank Lloyd Wright's Only Built Skyscraper
If you're an architecture buff, the Price Tower should be a priority during your visit to Bartlesville. This 19-story skyscraper was designed by the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright and completed in 1956 - it's the only actual skyscraper he ever built!
- Make your way to the Price Tower Arts Center on Dewey Ave to explore this unique triangular structure with copper spires rising high into the sky.
- Take a guided tour to learn all about Wright's innovative design and see the tower's original furnishings.
- Marvel at the geometric patterns and textures inside, like the hexagonal tiles and angled skylights.
- Check out the western art exhibits and cultural events held at the tower. Don't miss the chance to dine or stay overnight in this architectural icon.
- If you're short on time, admire the tower's exterior and snap photos. It's an impressive attraction along the Bartlesville skyline.
With its striking appearance and significance as Wright's singular skyscraper, the Price Tower is a true Bartlesville treasure. Appreciate this pinnacle of mid-century modern design on your Oklahoma travels.
The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve - Largest Protected Remnant of Tallgrass Prairie
Trying to immerse yourself in nature while in Bartlesville area? Head just north to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, home to nearly 40,000 acres of protected tallgrass prairie - the largest such preserve in North America.
This National Park Service site offers miles of scenic trails that wind through the rolling hills and sea of grasses. Look around to find bison and wildflowers in bloom. The best times to visit are spring and fall when the foliage is at its peak.
Nature Center & Museum
Be sure to stop by the preserve's Nature Center and Museum to learn about the natural and cultural history of the prairie ecosystem. Exhibits spotlight the plants and animals found here, from big bluestem grass to scissor-tailed flycatchers. You're bound to gain an appreciation for this iconic landscape that once covered much of the central United States.
Guided hikes and bus tours are available if you want to delve deeper into the preserve with a naturalist. Or feel free to explore the trails at your own pace, stopping frequently to take in the sweeping views. Pack a picnic lunch, binoculars, and your camera to make the most of your prairie adventure.
With its rolling terrain and diverse wildlife, the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve makes for an unforgettable outdoor experience right in Bartlesville's backyard. Breath in the fresh air, soak up the tranquility, and relish this chance to connect with nature.
Phillips Petroleum Company Museum - Learn About Oil History in Bartlesville
Bartlesville's history is closely tied to oil and the Phillips Petroleum Company. You can learn all about it at the Phillips Petroleum Company Museum located downtown.
- Get an up close look at the technology that made oil exploration possible, like early drilling rigs and pump jacks. See just how far things have come!
- Learn how Frank and L.E. Phillips got their start in 1917 and built their company into an oil industry titan.
- Check out antique gas pumps, classic cars and more in the transportation exhibit. You'll see how the rise of automobiles impacted the demand for oil.
- Kids could play interactive games in the children's energy exhibit and get hands-on with building molecules.
- Take a self-guided audio tour around the museum at your own pace. Be sure to visit the gift shop for some unique souvenirs!
The Phillips Museum is a must-see for understanding Bartlesville’s deep roots in the petroleum industry. You'll come away with a new appreciation for all that oil has contributed to the area.
Take a Stroll on Dewey Avenue - Historic Downtown With Local Shops
Dewey Avenue is the middle of historic downtown Bartlesville. Strolling down this tree-lined street feels like stepping back in time, with original brick roads and buildings from the turn of the 20th century. Make sure to browse the shops housed in these charming storefronts.
Find everything from antiques and collectibles at Sunrise Antiques to gifts and home décor at The Pink Buffalo. Stop for a scoop of ice cream on the sidewalk patio at Frank and Lola's, or belly up to the old-fashioned lunch counter at the Bartlesville Print Shop for burgers and malts.
Further down Dewey you're going to come across Bartlesville's original skyscraper, the 16-story Phillips Building. After all that walking, relax in the shady oasis of the Community Center Park with its musical playground equipment. The Pathfinder Parkway trail begins nearby, perfect for a leisurely stroll along the riverfront.
Whether you spend an hour or a whole afternoon, Dewey Avenue lets you soak up Bartlesville's small-town charm and historic downtown vibe. Chat with the friendly shop owners, browse goods made by local artisans, and sip an iced coffee on a bench. With its quaint red brick streets and locally-owned businesses, Dewey Avenue offers a quintessential slice of Americana.
Attend the OK Mozart Festival - Summer Music Festival Featuring Classical to Jazz
If you're visiting Bartlesville in the summer, be sure to check out the OK Mozart Festival held annually in June. This multi-day event celebrates the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart while also featuring other classical and jazz artists.
- Check out performances by world-renowned musicians at the Bartlesville Community Center. You'll be treated to beautiful orchestral pieces as well as solo and ensemble performances.
- Pack a picnic and head to Johnstone Park for free outdoor concerts in the evenings. Bring some wine and blankets or lawn chairs and relax under the stars with incredible live music.
- Take a break during the day and attend free 30-minute concerts at the Price Tower Arts Center featuring chamber music.
- Support young talent at the student showcase concert. Prodigies from around the country vie for top honors at this competition.
- If you have kids, bring them to a free family concert geared towards getting young audiences excited about classical music. There's even an instrument "petting zoo" afterwards!
With so many opportunities to experience live music in an intimate setting, the OK Mozart Festival is the perfect way to take in the local arts scene. Concert tickets are very reasonably priced, making this a budget-friendly summer activity for music lovers. Don't miss out on world-class performances right in the center of Bartlesville.
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That's right! If you're reading this blog, you're likely ready to enjoy your stay in Bartlesville. There's many fun things to do in this town -- but EASY Wireless is here to make your trip evenbetter!
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