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The city of Tulsa, off in the distance, is home to a variety of attractions for visitors to enjoy, including museums and the Tulsa Ballet. (Photo: PGA.com)
The city of Tulsa, off in the distance, is home to a variety of attractions for visitors to enjoy, including museums and the Tulsa Ballet. (Photo: PGA.com)

Historic Tulsa provides something for everyone

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The city of Tulsa, which sits in the heart of America, boasts a wide variety of attractions for residents and visitors to enjoy. Tulsa is home to several historic buildings, museums, art and the Popular Cain's Ballroom.

Located in the heart of "Green Country," Tulsa was first settled by The Five Civilized Tribes in 1826, the Cherokee, Choctawa, Checkasaw, Creek and Seminole. Known as Tulsy Town until 1879, the area flourished through trading posts and cattle. The early 1900s brought oil with the Glenn Pool Strike, naming Tulsa the Oil Capital of the World until 1984. Oil, gas and energy companies continue to play a dominant role in Tulsa's economy. Many businesses have made Tulsa their home, including aerospace, telecommunication, manufacturing, construction, high technology, healthcare, education and transportation companies.

Residents and visitors enjoy a surprisingly vast art centered community including the Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Opera, Tulsa Performing Arts Center and world-known museums. The Philbrook Museum of Art came to exist in 1938, when Waite Phillips gifted his 72-room mansion to the City of Tulsa. The walls of the mansion now display art from around the world and sits on 23 acres of lush gardens, making this one of America's finest art museums.

Wealthy oilman Thomas Gilcrease spent the 1920s through the early 1960s building his personal art collection, which emphasized the history of the American West and his American Indian heritage. In 1949, the native Tulsan brought his expanding collection back to Tulsa and opened it for public viewing on his own estate. During financial down times in the 1950s, Gilcrease deeded his collection, the museum buildings and museum grounds to the City of Tulsa. Today the collection holds over 10,000 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures by over 400 artists. These collected works are said to be the world's largest collection of art, artifacts and archives detailing the story of the Americas.

Other popular Tulsa attractions include Cain's Ballroom, known as the Carnegie Hall of country music. Located in downtown Tulsa, Cain's Ballroom has played host to such musical legends as Hank Thompson, Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, Hank Williams and Patsy Cline since the 1920s.

For the nature minded, visit the Oklahoma Aquarium, located just South of Tulsa in Jenks. With over 200 exhibits and more than 1 million gallons of water, there is something for everyone. If you are up for a walk, jog or bike ride, explore the River Parks. Walkers, runners, bikers, skaters and disk golfers can enjoy the 20 miles of trails and parks that trace the banks of the Arkansas River.

Historic Route 66 runs through the heart of Tulsa's downtown. From the 1930s to the 1950s, Route 66 was the way West and served as the passage across the United States until the interstate highway system was born.

In the heart of America, Tulsa has something for everyone, from history to heritage to all the promises of tomorrow.

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