Day 1: You can easily spend an entire day at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, America’s premier institution of Western history, art, culture, education, and research. The museum’s 12 permanent galleries and rotation of exhibits show you the full span of the West’s history and impact. If you’re in town in October, make sure to attend Cowboy Crossings, a museum event that showcases wares from the Cowboy Artists of America and the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association. Art and traditionally crafted saddles, bits, spurs, silver, and rawhide will be available for viewing and purchase. After a busy day, enjoy some of the dry-rub barbecue Oklahoma City is famous for at Bedlam Bar-B-Q.
Day 2: Saddle up at Tatanka Ranch, an hour northeast of the city, on a guided horseback ride around the ranch’s 15-acre lake and through wooded trails. After your ride, Bricktown Brewery in downtown Oklahoma City serves up the cure for saddle soreness. Spend the afternoon at Stockyards City, home of the world’s largest live cattle auction, as well as great food and shopping. Western mega-store Langston’s Western Wear is a must-see. In the evening, enjoy a show at the Centennial Rodeo Opry, a musical destination that has previously hosted one of country music’s greats, Reba McEntire. And make sure to try the rib eye at the renowned Cattleman’s Steakhouse.
3 daysDay 3: Plenty is going on at the State Fair Park, including the Cinch USTRC National Finals of Team Roping (Oct. 25–Nov. 2), which boasts over $6 million in prize money to competitors. The American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show is hosted at the same venue Nov. 7-22. While at either event, get a meal at Abuelo’s Mexican Food Embassy, which serves up award-winning recipes of traditional Tex-Mex cuisine. Also worth visiting is the 45th Infantry Division Museum, which showcases military memorabilia dating as far back as 1541. Wind down your night on the Oklahoma River with a country-music themed “Western Waters” cruise from Oklahoma River Cruises.