Bricktown is one of the most exciting areas of OKC, giving us a restaurant, sports, and shopping hotspot in the tradition of San Antonio's Riverwalk. One could quite easily spend an afternoon exploring it all, but you should have a plan before you go. Know the landscape, so you can thoroughly enjoy yourself as you travel along the canal.
The first thing you want to do is park your car. You won't need it. Most things to see are within a small area, and driving along the brick-covered downtown streets can often be difficult at busy times, most notably during sporting events at either the Bricktown Ballpark or the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Speaking of sporting events, let's start there as the major complexes essentially create bookends for the primary attraction district of Bricktown. The Bricktown Ballpark is just north of Reno Avenue. between Mickey Mantle Boulevard. and Joe Carter Avenue on the east side. The Chesapeake Energy Arena and the Cox Convention Center are just outside the western side of Bricktown.
So we'll start on the east end and work our way west first. There are a number of parking areas along Oklahoma Avenue. right in the middle, but let's put our car in the multi-level parking garage just beside the ballpark. When the garage is full, it can be difficult to maneuver up and down the ramps, but one familiar with parking garages likely won't have much trouble. It's on Sheridan, just north of the ballpark, so we work our way south to the entrance.
If you're going to a game at the "Brick," consider yourself lucky. This is one of the better minor-league parks around the country. Even if you don't know any of the players from the top level of the Texas Rangers farm system, you'll have a good time at the park.
The suites are fantastic, of course, but the good old-fashioned bleacher seats are quite comfortable as well. You can get all of your favorite ballpark favorites to eat and drink, and there are some fine park eateries as well.
If you feel like spreading out, see about getting a group together and watching the game in the center field picnic area. Still hungry after the game? A terrific option is Mickey Mantle's Steakhouse, located right across Mickey Mantle Boulevard.
Walking in Bricktown
Coming out of Mickey Mantle's Steakhouse puts us right back on Mickey Mantle Boulevard, looking down at the canal. There are a variety of restaurants and things to do all along the canal. We'll touch on some of them as we go.
But first, we go to the canal. The booth along Mickey Mantle sells tickets to ride the Water Taxi if you'd prefer to take a load off those legs and float along the canal in comfort. But we're here for a walking tour so we choose either the stone sidewalk along the north side of the canal or take the stairs down to the lowest level on the south side.
Along the Canal
If you haven't filled up at the ballpark or Mickey Mantle's Steakhouse, the selection of restaurants along the canal is excellent.
All of the buildings appear shiny and new with an old-fashioned brick design but a polished contemporary flavor. Painted railings trace the walkway while benches dot the grounds for the tired. The entire canal area is very well groomed with a variety of beautiful trees and shrubs.
Be prepared to climb steps around the canal. There are several elevators located along the path that can take you from level to level of restaurants and shops. But there are a number of steps along the way as you traverse occasionally uneven ground.
Oklahoma Avenue is the next street west of Mickey Mantle where we began. You can return to street-level at Oklahoma if you so choose as there is a green metal bridge that passes over the canal. The canal continues beyond Oklahoma Avenue, gently flowing between the shops and restaurants.
Unfortunately, space is limited, and the canal comes to a somewhat abrupt end with a small waterfall and a stone wall. Whichever side you chose (north or south), you should now make your way to the other and work back east toward Mickey Mantle Boulevard. Once you trace the canal again, you may need a short rest. But don't sit too long because our tour of Bricktown is not yet complete.
So now we're back at Mickey Mantle Boulevard. staring at the Bricktown Ballpark. We could return to our car in the garage or we could do a bit more. If we opt to go north, Sheridan contains even more brick street charm with restaurants and businesses.
There's the Spaghetti Warehouse or Abuelo's if you want Italian or Mexican. Or there's TapWerks for ale, Crabtown for seafood and The Mantel if you prefer a nice glass of wine, all along Sheridan Ave. There are also a few places even further north on Main Avenue, for example, Bricktown Burgers, one of the top burger spots in OKC.
If instead, we choose to go south from the canal, we'll hit Reno Avenue. Reno is one of the busier streets in downtown, and once we cross it, we're entering Lower Bricktown.
Lower Bricktown, unfortunately, doesn't take advantage of the canal nearly as well as upper Bricktown. Right there by Mickey Mantle and Reno is the Harkins Theatre, a state of the art movie watching experience.
Just east of that is the world's only dine-inside Sonic and the Sonic corporate headquarters. Walk downstairs and we're again along the canal. It's not a bad time to take a break, have a drink and perhaps bowl a game at RedPin, one of the top attractions in Bricktown.
After our game, we'll continue along the canal and take note of the Bricktown celebrity restaurants, Toby Keith's and Kd's. We walk past the Residence Inn, one of the many good hotels in and around Bricktown. And just a bit further down is the huge sporting goods experience at Bass Pro Shops retail store.
Bricktown Continues to Thrive
Bricktown has become one of Oklahoma City's top attractions, a regional tourist spot as well as a local favorite. It has grown so rapidly and continues to do so, with more restaurants, bars, attractions, and even residential properties on the way. While you're in Oklahoma City, take a day or an evening and see all it has to offer for yourself.