View Full Version : OKC now in Frommers' USA book!

03-07-2005, 11:29 AM
Most every time I enter in a bookstore, I check to see if the travel guides are updated and if so, what they say about OKC. Well, yesterday, I checked the travel section again, and saw the new, 29th edition of Frommers' USA book. You might say that it's a higher level guide that doesn't pretend to be comprehensive. Instead, it shows "only the best" destinations. For years, this meant that Oklahoma was never mentioned.

That changed this time. OKC was featured for the first time since I've been reading these guides, the only Oklahoma destination listed. It's listed as one of two cities (the other being Omaha) in the "Northern Rockies and Great Plains" section. Even better is that the entry has nothing but positive comments throughout.

The introduction is longer in text than many other cities' in the book. It talks about the land run and capitalhood. It then goes to the requisite mention of the bombing, but follows that with glowing commentary on how downtown has revitalized. It concludes by saying that despite this "push to modernity" (no sarcasm detected), OKC retains the flavor of the Old West with Stockyards City and the western heritage museum.

The attractions feature the obvious, with a special "Best" section for the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. The others are the Myriad Gardens, Zoo ("consistently ranked as one of the country's best"), Frontier City/White Water Bay, 45th Infantry Division Museum, Omniplex, Stockyards City, Firefighters museum, and Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

The dining section was less generous. Only three were mentioned -- Metro Wine Bar and Grill (although Western Avenue was mentioned as a district), Cattlemen's Steakhouse, and the Hideway. I understand leaving out the Bricktown restaurants because it's mentioned in the nightlife section, but not to include any of the Little Asia restaurants was a gross omission, IMO.

Also less generous was the shopping section which again only listed three stores -- Langston's, Tener's, and Bass Pro Shop. Penn Square may be just like any other upscale mall, but I think readers deserve to know at least one mall exists in OKC.

In terms of nightlife, the obvious CityWalk was featured, water taxis (oddly enough), and VZD's for live music. One or two more may be mentioned, but I don't remember what they were. One I know that was not listed was Lit, which should have been.

Finally, in terms of hotels, four properties got notice. The stated leader of the pack was the Renaissance downtown, as well as the Courtyard by Marriott. A nice inclusion was the downtown B & B Grandison at Maney Park, the place "for couples". A bit of trivia I didn't know was that the last property, Wingate Inn on Meridian, is an OKC-based chain.

Even though it maintains that it's not comprehensive, Frommer's does feature destinations from every state. There's a section of "let's not forget" states that have their own section -- Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and Idaho, I believe.

All in all, I think it shows a good picture of OKC. What I found most remarkable was no mention of the oil industry, not even the usual mention of the oil derrick on the capitol grounds. OKC and Omaha were the only new cities (with full-length entries) added to this edition, and these sections were written by the same writer. This tells me that this writer came from up north, or at least not south from Texas, which was base of Let's Go's travel writer who refuses to give OKC its due and instead prefers to write how there's this "psychic" hold that the bombing has over the city.

OKC has leaped a hurdle passing the bombing as the last impression of OKC's status. As reports on the tenth anniversary of April 15 go across the world, this message of a rejuvenated OKC will continue to be spread.

03-07-2005, 11:36 AM
Excellent news. OKC just needs to keep developing what we already have, and in 10-20 years, this city will hardly resemble its current self.

03-07-2005, 02:16 PM
Sorry, it's the 9th edition, not 29th.

03-07-2005, 03:57 PM

That is great news!

Thanks for sharing, it always makes me feel about moving here.

03-07-2005, 05:54 PM
Also, a year or so ago, Southern Living published its top 15 Southern cities, OKC was in their for Bricktown, and Tulsa was in their for Utica Square and the Jenks Antique area. Thought that was pretty cool.

03-07-2005, 06:02 PM
Excellent summation of the piece in Frommers!

03-07-2005, 06:14 PM
Continue the Renaissance!!! Oklahoma City.

03-07-2005, 07:33 PM

03-07-2005, 07:56 PM
I guess it is a start. We need the other guides also. Plus these people to stop calling us a hick village.

03-07-2005, 10:22 PM
Oh man, it's April 19, of course. Tax day cometh.

03-08-2005, 02:58 AM
Great news. I hope other publications begin presenting us in a positive light as well. This might turn around the negative, hickville image our city is in the eyes of outsiders.

03-14-2005, 02:46 PM
I had the unique opportunity to meet Arthur Frommer several years ago when he was visiting OKC. At the time, MAPS was in its infancy, but he had nothing but GREAT things to say about OKC.

I specifically remember his comments about Downtown: This is "fabulous!"

He's a great guy and a big fan of OKC.

03-15-2005, 04:39 PM
That's great to hear, always good to have someone who has clout on our side! Thanks for sharing...