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Updated by Kimberly McKay on Jun 16, 2015
Headline for My Top Reasons for Living in Oklahoma City
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My Top Reasons for Living in Oklahoma City

After moving and living all over the globe, the most frequent question I get asked (behind 'aren't you afraid of tornadoes?') is 'Why do you live in Oklahoma?'. People make the obvious assumption that we're in the middle of nowhere, that we live in trailers or teepees, and actually may travel in a surrey. I can't blame anyone really. So I thought I'd put together a list for you and your friends on WHY I LOVE living in Oklahoma City.

1

Accessibility

Accessibility

Between the highway structures (the interchange, where they all meet is called the 'Crossroads'), the many turnpikes, and major roads, the city is easy to navigate and investigate. Most of #Oklahoma is set up on a grid (N, S, W, E), and from the city (this means Oklahoma City to locals) it's fairly easy to head in any direction for any event or town. This means I get to travel on the weekends to many of the desired get aways in Oklahoma without getting too lost. Anyone that knows me - understands that I'm directionally challenged. IF I get lost, I just keep turning right until I'm back where I need to be. :)

2

The Architecture

The Architecture

This city holds the most diverse architecture than almost any place I've ever experienced, from it's renovated historic districts to its modern and forward designs throughout. The history behind each piece is just as thoughtful as the interior and exterior design. Oklahoma is constantly looking for ways to improve and move forward to continue making history in our state.

3

Activities Galore

Activities Galore

If you want to live or visit somewhere, where you have plenty to do -than Oklahoma City is the place to be. There's never a shortage of events or activities to partake in. The above photos were all pulled from my instagram account at https://instagram.com/kimberlymckay/.

If my family ever feels bored it's not for lack of activity to participate in - it's only due to our own choice. There is something for everyone here in this great city, from cultural events, air shows, color or fun runs, rock climbing, hiking, concerts, to marathons, and every sport you can think of from foot golf, the NBA, paddle boarding, kayaking, mountain climbing, to horseback riding. We have a ton of trails, zip lines, water taxis, hills, mountains, big open skys, fields, race tracks, baseball/soccer/football stadiums, to lakes. You name it - we can do it here.

4

Lake-life

Lake-life

Although I was raised on the beach, I find solace when sitting still and taking in a sunset at the lake. If visiting or planning a move to Oklahoma City, make sure to put these on your list to visit:

  • Lake Hefner, built in 1947, is easily accessible from Hefner Parkway. With a handful of restaurants that sit on the banks, you have your choice of fine dining. In the summer, there are many evenings, in which they'll have live music on the balconies, where you can enjoy a drink while the sun sets. After dinner, take a stroll to the lighthouse to find a bench, pictured above, to watch the myriad of sailboats while the sun sets.
  • Lake Overholser is the city's oldest reservoir, built in 1919. It was built to provide water to a treatment plant still operating at NW 6 and Pennsylvania Avenue, however this is where you find my favorite spot for paddle boarding and kayaking. There are also trails around the lake that offer a perfect place for biking or jogging.
  • To save the best for last - make sure to visit the Boathouse district, where you can find all of the above with a kick of adrenaline. They've got everything from kayaking to zip lining.. The following website can give you more information: http://boathousedistrict.org/adventures/
5

Cost of Living

Cost of Living

Across the board our unemployment rates are lower than those throughout the nation, and the cost of living is by far the best compared to wherever I've lived. My husband and I often talk about real estate in California, where he's from, versus Oklahoma. Our house, which we bought for around 90K in 2002, would have cost 5X that in California.

6

OKC Thunder

OKC Thunder

There's nothing like rooting for our home team. Our players aren't just playing the game of Basketball - they're supporting our city, and we love them for it. From the floor seats to the very top nose bleeder tickets - the fans root for our players because of how much heart they pour into our city.

7

Oklahoma Heart

Oklahoma Heart

On April 19, 1995, our state and the nation found out just how much heart we have. Most sat glued to the T.V. unsure of what happened, and then unable to tear their eyes away as our city went from a blip on the map to a major part of current history. For those of us, who lived here at the time of the Murrah bombing, we can tell you where we were at that exact moment. We all know someone who was lost or someone who lost someone. No one was left unaffected. And, the rest of the nation had a front row seat to our compassion, our hard work ethic, and our survivor spirit. This became know as the 'Oklahoman Standard' and this is what we live by. Our heart is with our people and our state, and anyone who visits here will see a part of it and realize how special it is.

8

Big Open Skies

Big Open Skies

Although I miss my Hawaiian sunsets, I look to the skies in Oklahoma and my heart is happy. I took this photo about a year ago, on a clear sunny day. Every now and then, I'll find a photo, like this one, where one of the clouds will have a particular shape, which makes me wonder if an angel isn't peeping out from above. If you look closely at the cloud just above the trees - you'll see a smiling face peering out from the top. Days like these, make me happy to be exactly where I am.

9

Sunsets

Sunsets

The sunsets in Oklahoma are like none other. Whether setting in a clear sky or through a clouded veil, the skies turn a glorious amber with striations of gold, pink, and purple. They are an inspiration to many photographers and artists around the state.

10

The Art Culture in OK

The Art Culture in OK

Since I couldn't say it any better, I pulled this from the following website: http://www.abetterlifeokc.com/what-to-do/arts-culture/

Gaze in awe at the world's largest Chihuly glass tower; catch an outdoor concert at a 17-acre park in the middle of downtown; explore the galleries of our major museums overflowing with treasures or enjoy the organic creativity flowing from dozens of art galleries and performance venues. No matter what you're looking for, Oklahoma City is sure to dazzle you.

With three major arts festivals each year and more than 50 independent galleries showcasing local artists, Oklahoma City's exuberant arts scene provides the perfect mix of mainstream and off-beat art encounters.

  • Festival of the Arts: Held every spring, this festival transforms downtown Oklahoma City into an Arts District. More than 150 locally and nationally known artisans join numerous tasty food vendors and musicians for this annual event.

  • Paseo Arts Festival: During Memorial Day weekend artists and musicians fill the streets of the Paseo Arts District, a charming neighborhood offering studios, boutiques and restaurants.

  • Oklahoma City Museum of Art: Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art serves more than 135,000 visitors annually from all fifty states and more than thirty foreign countries and hosts special exhibitions drawn from throughout the world. The Museum's collection covers a period of five centuries with strengths in American and European art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and includes a comprehensive collection of glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly.

  • Civic Center Music Hall: Experience the performing arts in the splendor of the renovated Art Deco concert hall in downtown Oklahoma City's Civic Center Music Hall. Featuring a multi-tiered auditorium with three balconies, 2,500 private seats, a hydraulic orchestra pit and virtually perfect acoustics, the Civic Center is home to Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra, Oklahoma City Ballet, Canterbury Choral Society, BLAC, Inc., and Lyric Theatre -- named one of the "10 great places to see the lights way off Broadway" by USA Today. The Civic Center also plays host to touring Broadway musicals and an annual series of national artists.

  • DeadCENTER Film Festival: Oklahoma City's biggest film festival, attracts filmmakers from across the globe. deadCENTER screens more than a hundred independent films over a five day period in June in seven premiere downtown Oklahoma City locations. Beyond screening world class films, deadCENTER Film Festival hosts a professional panel series and a screenwriting competition for the avid film fanatic.