Is Oklahoma City a Good Place to Live? Pros & Cons

by Rentals Editorial Team | Published: Oct 4, 2023

Welcome to Oklahoma City! Here, you’ll find a variety of points of interest and attractions that cater to every interest and taste. From exploring the stunning natural landscapes and engaging in outdoor activities, to immersing yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture, Oklahoma City has it all. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, art aficionado, or simply looking for exciting entertainment options, you’ll discover an abundance of opportunities to explore and enjoy. So come along as we take a closer look at what makes Oklahoma City such a fantastic place to visit or call home.

Exploring Nature and Outdoor Activities in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City offers a plethora of opportunities for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The city is surrounded by breathtaking natural landscapes, making it an ideal place for outdoor activities.

One of the must-visit places for nature enthusiasts is the Myriad Botanical Gardens. This urban oasis spans 17 acres and features stunning gardens, walking paths, and a lake. It’s the perfect spot for a relaxing stroll or a picnic with friends and family.

If you’re an adventure seeker, head to the Oklahoma River where you can indulge in various water sports such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and rowing. The river is also lined with scenic trails that are perfect for biking or jogging.

Oklahoma City boasts several beautiful parks like Martin Park Nature Center, Lake Hefner Park, and Bluff Creek Park. These parks offer opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, fishing, and wildlife spotting.

The Rich History of Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City has a fascinating history that dates back to its establishment in the late 1800s. It was initially settled during the Land Run of 1889, which marked the opening of Indian Territory for homesteading.

The city played a significant role in the development of Western United States as a major trading hub along historic Route 66. Today, you can still visit iconic landmarks like the Milk Bottle Building and Gold Dome which reflect this era.

Oklahoma City also holds somber historical significance as it was severely impacted by the devastating Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. The Oklahoma City National Memorial stands as a tribute to those affected by this tragic event.

Immerse Yourself in Culture and Arts

Oklahoma City offers a vibrant cultural scene with numerous museums, galleries, and performing arts venues to explore. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is a must-visit for art enthusiasts, featuring an impressive collection of European and American art.

The Paseo Arts District is a hub for local artists and hosts monthly art walks where you can discover unique artworks, pottery, jewelry, and more. The district is also home to trendy cafes and restaurants, making it a great spot to immerse yourself in the local culture.

If you enjoy live performances, the Civic Center Music Hall hosts Broadway productions, ballet performances, and symphony concerts throughout the year. You can also catch local talent at intimate venues like The Blue Door or Tower Theatre.

City Entertainment

Oklahoma City offers a vibrant and diverse entertainment scene that caters to various interests. From live music venues to theaters and museums, there is something for everyone in this bustling city.

If you are a fan of performing arts, the Civic Center Music Hall is the place for you. It hosts Broadway shows, ballet performances, and symphony concerts throughout the year. For a more intimate setting, head to the Lyric Theatre or the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre.

Those who enjoy live music can check out iconic venues like The Jones Assembly or The Blue Door, where local and national artists perform regularly. If you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, Bricktown is home to numerous bars and clubs where you can enjoy live music while sipping on your favorite beverage.

Oklahoma City also boasts incredible museums that offer a glimpse into its rich history and culture. The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum showcases Western art and artifacts, while the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum pays tribute to the tragic events of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

Nature lovers will appreciate the Myriad Botanical Gardens, which feature beautiful gardens, walking paths, and even a splash pad for children. Additionally, Lake Hefner provides opportunities for outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, and cycling along its scenic trails.

Local Sights, Attractions, Events and Things to Do

Oklahoma City has an abundance of local sights, attractions, events, and activities that keep its residents entertained year-round.

One must-visit attraction is the Oklahoma City Zoo. With over 2,000 animals across various exhibits like the Great EscApe and Elephant Habitat, it guarantees an enjoyable day out for families.

If you love sports, catching an Oklahoma City Thunder NBA game at the Chesapeake Energy Arena is a thrilling experience. The city also has a vibrant minor league baseball team, the Oklahoma City Dodgers, who play their home games at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

For those seeking a bit of adventure, Riversport Adventure Park offers activities such as whitewater rafting, zip-lining, and paddleboarding. The Boathouse District also hosts events like rowing and kayaking competitions.

Oklahoma City takes pride in its annual events, such as the Oklahoma State Fair and the Festival of the Arts. These events bring together local artisans, musicians, and food vendors to showcase the city’s unique culture.

Job Opportunities and Overall Economy

Oklahoma City’s economy has experienced significant growth in recent years, providing ample job opportunities for its residents.

Some of the biggest employers in Oklahoma City include Tinker Air Force Base, which provides thousands of jobs in defense and aerospace industries. Other major employers include Devon Energy Corporation (energy sector), OU Medicine (healthcare), Chesapeake Energy Corporation (energy sector), and American Fidelity Assurance Company (insurance).

The city’s overall economy has been thriving as well. The average household income in Oklahoma City is above the national average, offering residents a comfortable standard of living.

In terms of unemployment rate, Oklahoma City fares well compared to other cities in the United States. With stable job markets in sectors such as energy, healthcare, and defense industries, the unemployment rate remains relatively low.

Oklahoma City’s Taxes

Oklahoma City boasts a relatively low cost of living, partially due to its favorable tax rates. The city imposes a 4.5% sales tax, which is lower than the national average. Additionally, Oklahoma has a progressive income tax system with rates ranging from 0.5% to 5.0%, depending on your income level. However, keep in mind that property taxes can vary based on the specific neighborhood you reside in.

Education System in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City offers a diverse range of educational opportunities for residents of all ages. The city is home to several well-regarded colleges and universities:

  • University of Oklahoma – Norman: Located just south of Oklahoma City, this flagship university is known for its strong programs in business, engineering, and medicine.
  • Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City: This campus provides accessible education with a focus on applied sciences, business, and technologies.
  • Oklahoma City University: A private institution offering degrees in arts, business, law, and health sciences.
  • Rose State College: This community college provides affordable education and offers associate degrees and certificate programs.

Public Transportation and Traffic in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City has a growing public transportation system that includes buses operated by Embark. The bus network covers most areas of the city and offers convenient routes for commuters. However, it’s important to note that public transportation might not be as extensive or efficient as in larger metropolitan areas.

In terms of traffic, Oklahoma City generally experiences moderate congestion during peak hours but is not known for heavy gridlock compared to larger cities. The city’s layout includes well-maintained roads and highways, making it relatively easy to navigate by car. Additionally, Oklahoma City has two main airports: Will Rogers World Airport and Wiley Post Airport, providing convenient air travel options for both domestic and international flights.

Neighborhoods in Oklahoma City

Here are some notable neighborhoods in Oklahoma City:

  • Bricktown: Located in the heart of downtown, Bricktown offers a vibrant entertainment district with restaurants, bars, and live music venues.
  • Paseo Arts District: Known for its artistic atmosphere, this neighborhood features art galleries, boutiques, and unique dining experiences.
  • Mesta Park: A historic neighborhood with charming homes and tree-lined streets, Mesta Park provides a tranquil residential area close to downtown.
  • Nichols Hills: Considered one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Oklahoma City, Nichols Hills features luxurious homes and beautiful parks.
  • The Village: Offering a mix of suburban and urban living, The Village has a strong sense of community and is known for its safety.

Is Oklahoma City a Good Place to Live for Families?

Oklahoma City is an excellent place for families to live. The city offers a welcoming and friendly environment, making it a perfect location to raise children. It provides various family-friendly amenities, including parks, recreational centers, and educational opportunities.

The city boasts several top-notch schools and educational institutions that ensure quality education for children of all ages. Families can also benefit from the affordable cost of living in Oklahoma City, as housing options are diverse and reasonably priced.

In addition, the low crime rate contributes to the overall safety of the city, providing peace of mind for families. The community is tight-knit and supportive, making it easy to form connections and build lasting friendships.

Exploring the Tourism Opportunities in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City offers a plethora of tourism opportunities that cater to visitors of all interests. Whether you are a history buff or an outdoor enthusiast, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.

History enthusiasts can delve into the rich heritage of Oklahoma City by visiting attractions such as the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum or exploring the historic Stockyards City district. The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum honors the victims of the 1995 bombing and provides a somber yet important learning experience.

If you enjoy the outdoors, Oklahoma City provides numerous parks and recreational areas where you can enjoy activities such as hiking, biking, and picnicking. Lake Hefner is a popular spot for boating and fishing enthusiasts.

The city also hosts various festivals throughout the year that showcase its cultural diversity and vibrant arts scene. Events like the Plaza District Festival or Opening Night on New Year’s Eve offer unique experiences for locals and tourists alike.

Making a Move to Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City is an attractive destination for individuals looking to relocate due to its growing economy and affordable living conditions. The city has seen significant development in recent years, offering ample job opportunities across various industries.

With a lower cost of living compared to many other major cities, Oklahoma City provides residents with a higher standard of living and more affordable housing options. The city also offers a favorable climate with all four seasons, providing outdoor enthusiasts with plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature.

Furthermore, the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of Oklahoma City makes it easy for newcomers to settle in and form connections within the community. The city’s strong sense of community fosters a supportive environment for individuals and families alike.

Retiring in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City, with its low cost of living and friendly community, can be a great place to retire.


  • Affordable housing: The city offers a wide range of affordable housing options, making it easier for retirees to find a comfortable place to live within their budget.
  • Retirement communities: Oklahoma City has several retirement communities that provide active and engaging environments for seniors who want to socialize and enjoy their golden years.
  • Cultural attractions: From museums and art galleries to theaters and music festivals, Oklahoma City offers plenty of cultural attractions that retirees can explore and enjoy.


  • Extreme weather: Oklahoma City experiences hot summers and cold winters, along with occasional severe weather conditions such as tornadoes. Retirees should consider these factors when choosing the city as their retirement destination.

Pros and Cons of Living in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City has its advantages and disadvantages as a place to live. Here are some pros and cons:


  • Affordability: The cost of living in Oklahoma City is lower than the national average, making it an attractive option for individuals or families on a budget.
  • Friendly community: Oklahomans are known for their warm hospitality and friendliness, creating a welcoming atmosphere for residents.
  • Economic growth: The city has experienced significant economic growth in recent years, resulting in job opportunities and a thriving business environment.


  • Weather variations: The city experiences extreme weather conditions, including hot summers, cold winters, and occasional tornadoes. This can be a drawback for those who prefer more temperate climates.
  • Limited public transportation: Oklahoma City’s public transportation system is not as extensive as in some larger cities, so owning a car is necessary for convenient travel.
  • Sparse walkability: The city’s layout and infrastructure make it less pedestrian-friendly, requiring residents to rely heavily on personal vehicles for transportation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Oklahoma City

Is Oklahoma City a safe place to live?

Oklahoma City has both safe and less safe areas, like any other city. It is advisable to research specific neighborhoods and use common sense safety precautions when living in the city.

What are the main industries in Oklahoma City?

Oklahoma City has a diverse economy with major industries including energy, aviation and aerospace, healthcare, technology, and manufacturing.

What are the best schools in Oklahoma City?

Oklahoma City has several top-rated public and private schools. Some notable ones include Classen School of Advanced Studies, Harding Charter Preparatory High School, and Casady School.

What is there to do in Oklahoma City for entertainment?

Oklahoma City offers a range of entertainment options such as visiting the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, exploring the Bricktown district with its restaurants and nightlife, attending sporting events at Chesapeake Energy Arena or watching live performances at the Civic Center Music Hall.

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