Hotels.com asked me to share these accessibility suggestions for Oklahoma City, so I’m thrilled to bring you this article! As travel today remains uncertain, please keep your safety and the safety of others in mind at all times. If you are comfortable with traveling, please travel responsibly and within regulation. Any travel is at your own risk.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is a very wheelchair accessible city with many family friendly options for exploring, both indoors and out. The following operates as a guide to help anyone plan a trip to Oklahoma City, especially wheelchair users looking for accessible things to do, places to stay, and ways to get around the city. There are many fun destinations in the city, from the zoo and science center to the water taxi to learn about the canal. There are also a few places that are open all day and night, like the memorial museum and park, so even if you’re in town for work, you can still do a bit of sightseeing.
Where to Stay
1: Hyatt Place OKC / Bricktown
Staying in wheelchair accessible accommodations in Oklahoma City and Bricktown puts you right in the center of everything, making it easy to travel with the local transit to see all the sights and visit popular restaurants. Hyatt Place Oklahoma City / Bricktown is a modern hotel with a luxury feel, giving you a comfortable spot to relax after a busy day. There are three types of wheelchair accessible rooms, two king rooms, one with a roll-in shower and one with a tub, and a two queen bedroom with an accessible tub. These rooms also have wider doors to accommodate wheelchairs, added alerts for the smoke detector, phone, alarm clock, and a mini fridge in addition to the amenities available throughout each room.
2: Ambassador OKC
The Ambassador Oklahoma City is another great wheelchair accessible option within the city for an elegant hotel experience. The Ambassador wants to make every guest feel at home, making it easy for anyone to ask for assistance and accommodations. The entire campus is wheelchair accessible, from the lobby and the restaurant to offering ADA rooms and suites, hearing impaired rooms by request, and both the fitness center and outdoor pool are wheelchair accessible. When booking a room at this hotel, there is information about the accessibility depending on which room size and style you are looking for.
3: Staybridge Suites OKC Downtown / Bricktown
Another hotel recommendation is Staybridge Suites Oklahoma City / Bricktown, which makes it easy to book a wheelchair accessible room. In addition to the hotel’s main space accommodations for wheelchair users, each accessible room highlights the room’s accessibility features, giving you a clear idea of what each room can provide. There are two different types of accessibility rooms, hearing and mobility. The mobility rooms include a tub, raised toilet, grab bars, and a full kitchen.
Wheelchair Accessible Oklahoma City Things to Do
1: Oklahoma City Zoo
The city zoo is always a great accessible destination because of the open spaces and outdoor setting. The Oklahoma City Zoo is a wide, open zoo with a unique layout, highlighting different types of animals from the kid’s zoo near the front of the property to island life, a cat forest, Oklahoma trails, an Asia sanctuary, and even a Dino Safari. There are a range of activities from the standard zoo pathways to extra VIP events for feeding animals and learning more about the highlighted animal.
While the Oklahoma City Zoo does not specifically highlight their accessibility online, they do offer wheelchairs, strollers, and electric convenience vehicles available for rental on a first come, first serve basis. Service dogs are also welcome on the property, but are not allowed on the train or in the aviary exhibits. Visitors with service dogs should check in at Guest Services upon arrival to discuss these restrictions. Wheelchair users may also want to stop at Guest Services to ask for a wheelchair friendly map to have a guide for accessible bathrooms and pathways that may be more wheelchair friendly.
2: National Cowboy Museum
When many people think of Oklahoma, they think of cowboys, so while you’re planning a trip, why not stop at a cowboy museum to learn more? The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum has a large collection of Western art and artifacts that are on display to highlight the story and history of the American West. Between the range of art, the on site tours, and the host of events throughout the year, this is a great place to learn more about the history of the area and expand your knowledge of what it means to be a cowboy. The tour typically lasts at least an hour, working through the history displayed through art from mountain men, frontier military life, and the evolution of the working cowboy including the media’s portrayal of the cowboy in television and film.
The National Cowboy Museum is wheelchair accessible, with each area of the museum providing accessibility. On site, there are wheelchairs and strollers available to borrow during your stay at no charge, but they are in limited supply and available on a first come, first serve basis. The events are also wheelchair accessible, but may be slightly limited depending on the nature of the event.
3: Myriad Botanical Gardens
Another great outdoor destination is the Myriad Botanical Gardens, along with the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. The property is divided into indoor and outdoor spaces, with the botanical gardens outdoors and the indoor space of the Crystal Bridge lobby and conservatory. This is a great place for enjoying the weather and learning more about Oklahoma’s native plant life. There is a free guided walking tour to provide information, education, and inspiration for your own garden. Each month the tour varies to highlight new growth. Self-guided tours are also available, giving a handout for a tour at your own pace.
Both areas of the Myriad Botanical Gardens are wheelchair accessible. All the exterior grounds are ADA compliant, and the interior, the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, is accessible as well. Inside, there are two levels, the first level and third level, both of which are accessible with the use of the elevator located in the South Lobby. On the third level, there is a catwalk that allows guests to travel to the north side and return to the lobby to reach the first level. Admission to the grounds is free for all guests and the outdoor grounds are open daily, but the interior and visitors center are closed on Mondays.
4: Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum
Oklahoma City has also seen tragedy, with the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995. The grounds of this tragedy have been preserved and are now the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum. The property has two pieces, the outdoor symbolic memorial with a field of empty chairs to remember those lost, a reflecting pool, rescuer’s orchard, a survivor’s tree, and children’s area. The outdoor space is open every day, 24 hours a day, and has a powerful light display after sunset. The indoor space is the museum where you can learn the stories of those lost, the survivors of the blast, and those that responded in the aftermath.
The accessibility of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum is completely wheelchair accessible, both outdoors as well as inside the museum itself. A map of the grounds helps highlight the wheelchair accessible parking on the north side of the museum on 6th Street between Harvey Ave and Robinson Ave. There are wheelchair accessible entrances on three sides of the grounds, giving visitors the opportunity to access each component on a paved path. The museum is wheelchair accessible from the entrance to each level, and wheelchairs are available to rent on site if needed.
5: Bricktown Water Taxi
If you’re planning to explore downtown Oklahoma City, you will have to stop in historic Bricktown, home of the Bricktown Canal. This is a great place to explore the city through pedestrian pathways, but the Bricktown Water Taxi is a nice way to get a new view of the city and to catch a cool breeze while learning about the history of Bricktown. The water taxi provides a narrated tour while traveling the 40 minutes around the canal. The water taxi docks at one main dock, giving a tour of the canal and is not a traditional taxi, providing travel from one location to another.
The Bricktown Water Taxi is wheelchair accessible. The water taxi has a portable wheelchair ramp for access to and from the dock, as well as 2 wheelchair locations on board complete with tie down straps to keep everyone safe. The canal through which the water taxi travels is also wheelchair accessible with a mix of elevators and ramps, depending on which portion of the canal you’re exploring. Visitors will have access to the water’s edge, the dock, and the water taxi itself where it picks up and drops off passengers.
6: Science Museum Oklahoma
For some indoor fun, consider visiting Science Museum Oklahoma. This is a family friendly space that showcases some unique educational environments from aviation and space to weather, light, and curiosity. There is a science live space as well as a planetarium, giving everyone a space to explore and connect with a range of science topics. In addition to the exhibits, both permanent and visiting, there is a small cafe for snacks, a lunch room and picnic area for outside food, and an outdoor garden space with picnic benches.
The accessibility of the Science Museum Oklahoma is wheelchair accessible throughout. Wheelchairs are available to reserve for free at a first come, first serve basis and can be reserved ahead of time with an online form. There are also sensory kits available to rent for free that include earmuffs, a timer, fidget toy, gloves, sunglasses, and a sensory focused map and story. There is also an adult changing station on the second floor and is marked on the maps provided with admission. There are wheelchair accessible facilities on site and most, if not all, of the exhibits are accessible to all visitors.
How to Get Around Oklahoma City
Aside from the usual options of a rental car or a ride share service, there are two ride services to consider in Oklahoma City. The first is a paid transportation service that specializes in wheelchair transportation, and the other is the public transit service. Often public transit is a great option as many are ADA compliant, but if you’re traveling beyond the city or route limits, an alternative transport may be needed.
Depending on how often you’ll need transportation, Medride is available to provide wheelchair accessible transportation for wheelchair users along with ambulatory persons. While this isn’t a typical taxi service, it is a service that provides rides to people for health appointments as well as recreational appointments. This would be an appropriate ride for a day trip, say to the zoo or the science center, somewhere you’ll be for the majority of the day, and Medride can drop you off and pick you up along with your party if you’re traveling with just a couple of people.
For a public transportation option, try Oklahoma City Embark, a public transit that includes buses and ferries. The Embark system is made up of wheelchair accessible vehicles, all of which have a wheelchair lift and features to accommodate everyone. This is a good option for those traveling a lot within the city, as you’ll be able to get on and off at various stops within the city itself. Wheelchair users can also qualify for a reduced fare card, which requires an application in advance. The typical rate for a single ride is around $1.00, so this option can also be a more affordable option compared to a rideshare or taxi service.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is a very accessible destination for exploring museums and local tourist hotspots, ranging from the zoo and the botanical gardens to the science center and the memorial museum. Between the accessible things to do and transportation, along with the accessibility of local downtown hotels, any wheelchair user can feel comfortable and excited to plan a trip to visit Oklahoma City. Using this guide, anyone can plan their next trip looking forward to the fun and family friendly options OKC provides.