20 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Tulsa

Voted as one of “America’s Most Affordable Cities” by Forbes in 2014, Tulsa, OK, emits a cosmopolitan feel combined with Southern hospitality. Moving to Tulsa? Here are 20 things you need to know.

1. Let me introduce …

We’re best known for oil and natural gas. Other major industries include aerospace, transportation, health care and telecommunications. Our employment diversity has helped us weather economic downturns.

2. Our weather is ever-changing.

You’ll frequently hear Tulsans say, “Don’t like the weather? Just wait a minute.” In the same day, you might wear a coat in the morning and shorts in the afternoon. Don’t pack away those summer clothes.

3. Don’t be driven to distraction.

Limit cellphone use while driving. Tulsa police can pull you over for distracted driving. U-turns are a no-no. Watch for one-way streets downtown.

4. Give us a hand.

Pray Hands sculpture

Tulsa’s Oral Roberts University is home to the world’s largest praying hands — a 30-ton sculpture.

5. See it live!

Catch big-name acts like Miranda Lambert and Mötley Crüe at the award-winning BOK Center. Visit the historic Cain’s Ballroom known as “The Home of Bob Wills” and groove on the maple, spring-loaded dance floor.

6. Getting the lay of the land.

East-west streets are numbered; north-south streets are alphabetical. Odd-numbered addresses are on the north or east side of the street. Even-numbered streets are on the south or west.

7. Don’t stress out over your commute.

You’ll love the short commute. According to the 2010 Urban Mobility Report, Tulsa ranks 75th out of 101 cities for the longest travel time. About three-fourths of Tulsans arrive at work in less than 30 minutes.

8. College football: Pick a side.

We take our pigskin seriously. Around these parts, you’re either an Oklahoma State Cowboys fan or an Oklahoma Sooners fan and never the two shall agree. But we’re nice about it.

9. Learn a new language.

Native American-named nearby cities are Sapulpa, Catoosa, Broken Arrow and Owasso. Neighboring counties are Muskogee, Okmulgee, Osage and Creek.

10. Try your luck!

We’ve got three Native American-owned casinos. The Osage Casino (northwest), the River Spirit Casino (on the river) and the Hard Rock Tulsa (east). The Joint at the Hard Rock features musical acts like Styx and Little Big Town.

11. Get pumped up about cheap gas.

Our fuel prices are pleasantly below the national average. Find the cheapest gas at TulsaGasPrices.com.

12. Find fun for the little ones.

Oklahoma Aquarium

Kids can pet the stingrays and feed the turtles at the Oklahoma Aquarium. The 85-acre Tulsa Zoo was named “America’s Favorite Zoo” by Microsoft Game Studios in 2005.

13. Soak up the sunshine.

Enjoy the sunny weather! Tulsa averages 230 sunny to partly sunny days a year — more than the national average.

14. We love food.

The hot spot for hungry Millennials, “Restaurant Row” in south Tulsa, offers eats from Applebee’s to Zio’s. This two-mile stretch between Memorial and Garnett packs more than 60 restaurants, plus a shopping mall.

15. Hop on the bus.

Tulsa Transit buses run six days a week, with limited Saturday and evening schedules. Find out more at tulsatransit.org.

16. Catch some baseball.

Tulsa Drillers

ONEOK Field is home to the Tulsa Drillers, a minor-league baseball team that competes in the Texas League. Notable alumni include Sammy Sosa, R.A. Dickey, Matt Holliday and Mark Teixeira.

17. Enjoy the great outdoors.

Our moderate temperatures mean you can partake in outdoor activities year-round. Challenging terrain for bikers can be found at the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area, overlooking the Arkansas River.

18. Marvel at artistic endeavors.

The Gilcrease Museum houses the world’s largest collection of art and artifacts of the American West. The Philbrook Museum of Art is home to several collections including Asian, Modern and Native American Art.

19. Park it.

The River Parks, near the Arkansas River, offer 26 miles of surfaced trails for cycling, running or other sports activities. Year-round events include running and cycling competitions, concerts and festivals.

20. Go Art Deco.

Thanks to the 1920s oil boom, prominent businessmen left us a legacy of impressive skyscrapers in the Art Deco style. The Tulsa Historical Society offers guided walking tours on the last Friday of the month.

Sherri Ledbetter