The 10 Best Museums in Tulsa

Tulsa, Oklahoma, a city with a rich tapestry of history, culture, and art, offers a treasure trove of museums that are a must-visit for anyone craving a deep dive into the heartland’s heritage. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, the museums here are sure to leave you with a profound appreciation for the region’s past and present. Let’s embark on a journey through the 10 best museums in Tulsa, where each stop is a unique chapter in the storybook of this vibrant city.

Philbrook Museum of Art

Imagine a place where Renaissance art meets 1920s charm. The Philbrook Museum of Art is just that—a former oil magnate’s villa turned into an art lover’s paradise. Stroll through the galleries, and you’ll find yourself whisked away on a global art tour, from European classics to Native American masterpieces. But don’t rush off too quickly; the gardens are a masterpiece in themselves, offering a serene escape amidst Italianate architecture.

Gilcrease Museum

Next up is the Gilcrease Museum, a haven for American art and history enthusiasts. With thousands of artifacts and artworks, including the world’s largest collection of art from the American West, it’s like stepping into a time machine. The museum’s extensive anthology of Native American art and historical manuscripts is a testament to the diverse tapestry of America’s cultural heritage.

Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium

Got a thing for the stars and beyond? The Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium will fuel your cosmic curiosity. With interactive exhibits and vintage aircraft on display, it’s a tribute to Oklahoma’s rich aerospace history. The state-of-the-art planetarium is the cherry on top, offering a glimpse into the galaxy that’s both educational and downright mesmerizing.

Woody Guthrie Center

Music buffs, rejoice! The Woody Guthrie Center is a lyrical journey through the life of one of America’s most iconic folk musicians. Guthrie’s message of Unity and social justice resonates throughout the exhibits, and his original, scribbled lyrics are a poignant reminder of his enduring legacy. It’s a place that harmonizes history with melody, striking a chord with visitors of all ages.

The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art

Delve into the rich tapestry of Jewish history at The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art. With artifacts that span 5,000 years, it’s a profound narrative of faith, tradition, and resilience. The Holocaust exhibit is particularly moving, offering a solemn reflection on one of history’s darkest chapters.

Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame

Feel the rhythm of Tulsa’s jazz scene at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. Housed in the historic Union Depot Building, it’s a Celebration of the city’s musical roots. From toe-tapping exhibits to live performances that swing, it’s a place where the spirit of jazz is alive and well.

Tulsa Historical Society & Museum

For a comprehensive look at Tulsa’s past, the Tulsa Historical Society & Museum is your go-to. The museum chronicles the city’s evolution with a collection of photographs, documents, and artifacts that tell the story of Tulsa from its early days to the present. It’s a local history lesson you won’t find in textbooks.

Discovery Lab – Tulsa Children’s Museum

Who says museums can’t be hands-on fun? The Discovery Lab – Tulsa Children’s Museum is where kids (and the young at heart) can explore science and engineering through interactive exhibits. It’s a place where curiosity is encouraged, and learning is an adventure.

The Tulsa Geoscience Center

Earth science comes to life at The Tulsa Geoscience Center. With exhibits on geology, energy, and the environment, it’s a fascinating look at the forces that shape our planet. The center’s educational programs are a hit with students and teachers alike, making it a valuable resource for the community.

Admiral Twin Drive-In

Last but not least, the Admiral Twin Drive-In isn’t your typical museum, but it’s a nostalgic nod to Tulsa’s entertainment history. As one of the few remaining drive-in theaters in the country, it’s a living exhibit of Americana and a reminder of simpler times. Catching a flick here is like stepping into a bygone era.


  • What are the admission fees for these museums?
    Admission fees vary by museum, with some offering free entry and others charging a range of prices. It’s best to check each museum’s website for the most up-to-date information.
  • Are there any museums with special programs for kids?
    Absolutely! The Discovery Lab – Tulsa Children’s Museum is specifically designed for kids, and many other museums offer special programs and interactive exhibits that are kid-friendly.
  • Can I host an event at any of these museums?
    Many of Tulsa’s museums offer event spaces for private functions. Contact the museum directly for details on venue hire and event planning.

In conclusion, Tulsa’s museums are a cultural cornucopia, each offering a unique glimpse into the facets that make this city so special. From the Philbrook Museum of Art’s lush gardens to the soulful sounds at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, there’s a museum in Tulsa to satisfy every interest. Whether you’re a history buff, art aficionado, or science enthusiast, these institutions are more than just repositories of the past—they’re vibrant centers of learning and inspiration. So next time you’re in Tulsa, carve out some time to explore these treasures. You’ll walk away with a deeper understanding of this great city and memories that are sure to last a lifetime.

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