Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Best U.S. Made-Over Towns Worth a Visit

Who made Yahoo Travel's list of best made-over towns worth a visit? Oklahoma City did!
Set where the state’s eastern green Ozark leftovers open into the wide-open plains of the west, Oklahoma City is justifying the claim that it’s "oh so pretty" from the Bobby Troup song "Route 66." Long the dusty cow town at the point where old Route 66 crisscrosses with I-40, I-44 and I-35, the city has passed a one-penny sales tax to pretty itself up. The change so far has been stunning. Its long-domeless capitol finally got its top, its central river finally has water (and sculler rallies in stylish new boathouses), and its downtown has transformed from a mass exodus scene at 5 p.m. to an after-hours destination. Here you’ll find the NBA’s Thunder playing at the new Ford Center, rooftop cocktails and independent films at the relocated Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and Bricktown’s San Antonio-styled canal passing a minor league ballpark, barbecue restaurants and Flaming Lips Alley, named for the local rock heroes. Those needing something beyond the usual meat-and-potato go for authentic Vietnamese pho (beef noodle soup) or banh mi (sandwiches, filled with tofu or pork) in the in-progress renovation of "Asian District" – centered on old Route 66 at NW 23rd St and Classen Ave.

MAPS3 is already paying off.

(Hey, I've blogged about the independent films at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Hipster!)

Good for us. Next time you're out this way, stop by. You won't be disappointed.

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