Oklahoma is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma which means “red people”. Residents of this place are called Oklahomans. Oklahoma City, Okla. sprang overnight when the US government opened the territory for settlement and within a short time, the city was bustling town of 10,000. It is situated between the Great Plains and the Ozark Plateau in the Gulf of Mexico. Oklahoma enjoys mountain ranges of Ouachita Mountain, Arbuckle Mountains, Wichita Mountains and Ozark Mountains. Because of its topography, 24 percent of Oklahoma is composed of forests. It holds populations of white tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, elks and different species of birds.
In 1928, oil was discovered and since then production of petroleum product became the mainstay of the economy of Oklahoma City, Okla. Besides petroleum products, the city is a producer of natural gas and agriculture. Oklahoma City, Okla also derives income from aviation, energy, telecommunications, transportation equipment, food processing, electronics and biotechnology. Major agricultural products of this city are cattle and wheat. Approximately 5.5% of American’s source of beef and 6.1% of wheat come from Oklahoma. Oklahoma City, Okla. has become one of the most business-friendly cities in the nation with the seventh lowest tax burden in the year 2007.
Located in the southern central region of the USA, Oklahoma is known as the “Sooner State”. The name “okla–homma” means “red people” in the Native American dialect of the Choctaw tribe. Its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.
International travelers reach this state via the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City. Most of the state is covered by small mountain ranges, prairies, forests, etc.
Oklahoma has four primary mountain ranges: The Arbuckle Mountains, Ouachita Mountains, Wichita Mountains and the Ozark Mountains. Due to the diversity of nature, the country has wild white-tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, elk, bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, pheasants, quails, black bear, etc.
Since Oklahoma is located in the temperate region, is has extremes of temperature and rainfall occasionally. The state lies in the area colloquially known as “The Tornado Alley” which produces severe weather due to the collision between cold and warm air masses. Southerly winds bring moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and rainfall may range from 17 inches to 56 inches annually.
Oklahoma is located in the heartland or center of the country and has the most diverse terrain in the nation. It has the larges number of Native American Tribes in the USA. It was the end of “trail of Tears” in the early 19th century for many tribes as they found a new home in Oklahoma.
There are over 200 lakes in the state which makes it perfect for boating, fishing, sailing, canoeing, swimming, etc. The diverse landscape of this state also provides its visitors with numerous choices for a fun filled vacation.
Frontier City Theme Park (1150 N I-35 Service Road – OK 73131) is a wild west themed amusement park that can fascinate the young and old alike. Included in this theme park are more than 75 rides, a wild freefall ride, four exciting roller coasters, thrilling water rides, games, exhibits, etc. Also available are many types of shows, entertainments and attractions for people of all ages.
A must see is the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame (2100 NE 52nd Street – OK 73111) where American and international gymnasts have exhibits in their honor. Sports Enthusiasts can stroll through the walkways and exhibition rooms where they can view and study portraits, sculptures, uniforms, medals, photos, awards, videos, etc. Some of these memorabilia dates back to the 1932 Olympic Games!
Do not forget to visit the Myriad Botanical Garden (301 W Reno – OK 73102 where there is an amazing garden oasis including a spring fed lake that is full of Japanese Koi fish and other fish native to the USA. There are exotic plants such as palms, plants, butterflies and lizards in the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory in the compound. Visitor can stroll along the stone pathways and freshwater ponds gazing at the perennials and shrubs and the beautiful landscaped gardens.
Make time for the Oklahoma City Zoo (2101 NE 50th Street – OK 73111), the oldest Zoo in Southwestern US. This zoo comprises of over a hundred acres of land with thousands of exotic animals collected from all over the world. Stroll through the “Cat Forest/Lion Overlook” exhibits and see Tigers, Lions, Jaguars, Leopards and other big cats of the world. In the “Great Escape” exhibit, children will have a great time imitating the chimps, orangutans and gorillas. This Zoo also offers rides and tours for the entire family while they learn about the animal kingdom.