Here’s 20 must-see places in 2015. Whether it’s India’s literary hub or Switzerland’s mountain majesty, these 20 go-now destinations will send you packing.
Topping the list; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City has never been “mighty pretty,” despite the shout-out from Bobby Troup’s iconic “Route 66.” To look at, it’s been more like the beer-gut metropolis spilling across the Great Plains. But things have changed.
The central Oklahoma River has a community boathouse and a new West River Trail. An 11-acre white-water rafting center is due in 2015. Local architect firms and coffee roasters that wouldn’t be out of place in Portlandia now line once dormant Automobile Alley. The city even plans to add a streetcar loop downtown in 2017.
When to Go: April 26, Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K, which supports the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum; June 10-14, deadCENTER Film Festival; October 2-5, Oklahoma Regatta Festival.
Where to Stay: Housed in OKC’s first skyscraper (built in 1910) and restored to its original grandeur in 2006, the luxurious 12-story Colcord Hotel combines convenience (free downtown shuttle service) with pampering (complimentary coffee or tea wake-up calls delivered to your room). The Colcord is within walking distance of the Myriad Botanical Gardens, the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, and Chesapeake Energy Arena, home to the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder.
Where to Eat or Drink: Join the local “Que-heads” at Back Door BBQ, where the daily Beast-wich (such as pulled pork piled high and topped with mustard, mayo, spring mix, sweet pickle relish, red peppers, and red onions) could be enough to cover both lunch and dinner. Or follow the aroma of smoky pecan wood to theWedge Deep Deuce Pizzeria, where handcrafted pies such as the Truffle-Shuffle (truffle oil, sage, cremini mushrooms, spinach, roasted chicken, parmesan, and mozzarella) are baked bubbly and golden brown in a wood-fired oven.
Fun Fact: It only took a day for Oklahoma City to become a city. The day was April 22, 1889, when the federal government held the first “land run” into the Unassigned Lands (territory not designated for a specific Indian nation) of modern-day western Oklahoma. More than 10,000 men, women, and children moved to Oklahoma City that day, founding the city that would become the state capital in 1910.
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