Oklahoma's two largest metropolitan areas are deeply connected, and they complement each other well in a number of ways. Whether you live in the state capital of Oklahoma City or are just visiting, the smaller city of Tulsa is just 106 miles (170 kilometers) away. Tulsa makes for an excellent excursion and is one of the many fine day trips from the metro. You can get from Oklahoma City to Tulsa by car, bus, or plane. Driving your own car allows you the most freedom to explore at your own pace, especially if you want to check out the famous Route 66.
|Car||1 hour, 45 minutes||106 miles (170 kilometers)||Exploring on your own|
|Bus||1 hour, 50 minutes||from $17||Budget travel|
|Plane||2 hours, 50 minutes||from $89||An adventure|
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Oklahoma City to Tulsa?
The cheapest way to get between Oklahoma City and Tulsa is by bus (from $17). Greyhound buses leave every four hours from the Oklahoma City Bus Station east of Bricktown. You'll arrive at the Tulsa Bus Station in downtown, close to many attractions. The ride takes about one hour, 50 minutes, which is just a few minutes longer than driving the most direct route would typically take. Booking your ticket online or at the station in advance is encouraged.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Oklahoma City to Tulsa?
The quickest way to get from Oklahoma City to Tulsa is by driving. It's a fairly short ride of 106 miles (170 kilometers). This route takes about one hour, 45 minutes. From Oklahoma City, just follow Interstate 44 east, also known as the Turner Turnpike. If you don't have an Oklahoma PIKEPASS, be prepared with cash for tolls, which vary depending on where in Tulsa you exit.
Parking in Tulsa is easy. You can use the ParkMobile app to find street parking at two-hour metered spots (monitored weekdays) available around downtown. People without smartphones can pay for parking using coins, cards, or by phone in some areas of downtown. There are also private paid parking lots.
How Long Is the Flight?
Flights between the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City and Tulsa International Airport take approximately two hours, 50 minutes or more. For those who would rather not be on the road much, United, American Airlines, Southwest, and Delta have flights starting at $89 one way. The flights typically cost more than going by car. Flying also takes longer when you factor in all the time getting to the airport and checking in for your flight, so driving or taking the bus are usually better options.
When Is the Best Time to Travel To Tulsa?
The best time to visit Tulsa is from April to October, when temperatures are warm, though May and June are often the rainiest and most humid months. Also, keep in mind there are more tourists from May through July, so prices on accommodations and flights increase. Buying in advance can often help you save money. Tulsa Mayfest is one of the area's top arts festivals held in May. Travelers and locals also enjoy the Linde Oktoberfest Tulsa with live music, arts and crafts, beer, and more in late October. These events may be altered or canceled in 2020, so check event websites for more information.
What's the Most Scenic Route to Tulsa?
The most scenic option for travel from Oklahoma City to Tulsa is the famed Route 66. This historic journey begins from east Edmond, just north of Oklahoma City. Follow Highway 77 east through the nearby town of Arcadia toward Tulsa. You'll pass through towns such as Chandler, Stroud, Bristow, and Sapulpa along the way. One worthwhile stop is the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, where you can see the internationally-known collection of Western art and artifacts. Arcadia Round Barn, a museum and gift shop built in 1898, is a good place to learn more about the history of Route 66. And Stroud's Rock Café—listed on the National Register of Historic Places—inspired the character Sally Carrera from the animated movie "Cars."
With the slower speeds and stoplights, the scenic drive takes at least 30 minutes more than the Turner Turnpike, depending on the speed of traffic on the two-lane highway, plus how many stops you make.
Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?
Tulsa International Airport is around 8 miles (13 kilometers) northeast of downtown Tulsa. Several major car rental companies are onsite. The ride will take about 11 minutes. You can also arrive in the same amount of time with an Uber or Lyft ride-share (from $13), or get a ride with Jayride Private Transfers—contact the company for prices and to reserve.
What Is There to Do in Tulsa?
Tulsa offers great attractions. The Gilcrease Museum has a huge collection representing the American West, as well as Native American history and culture. Visitors enjoy an eclectic array of global art at the Philbrook Museum of Art—a 72-room masterpiece with 23 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, gardens, and a creek. Tulsa also has a long history of live music. Cain's Ballroom, nestled in the downtown Brady Arts District, is known across the country as "the Carnegie Hall of Western Swing." The Brady Theater is on the National Register of Historic Places and hosts many touring music concerts and children's shows. Located in Jenks about 20 minutes away, the Oklahoma Aquarium is a great place for visitors to learn about sharks, stingrays, and other marine creatures from Oklahoma waters and around the world.