Oklahoma is a land of prairies, oilfields and Native American culture—could it also be your next home? Whether you’re anxious to move to the Sooner State (we’ll spare you the pun) or you’re on the fence, there is much to learn about the unique traditions and destinations that define Oklahoma. With a population of 3,930,864 spread across 69,899 square miles, Oklahoma has roots in the oil industry but has since grown to embody a diverse economy. From world-class friendliness to Bigfoot lore, here are six reasons why we think you should move to Oklahoma:
Oklahoma is Friendly
Once you move to Oklahoma, you’ll notice that people are just nicer here. Don’t be surprised if strangers say hello to you on the street or if new neighbors knock on your door to welcome you to the neighborhood. There’s a reason why Oklahoma City is often referred to as The Big Friendly. In 2019, it was ranked as the eighth friendliest city in America. Another Oklahoma location,Tulsa, took the 27th spot.
The Barbecue is Better
You’ve heard of Texas, Kansas City, Memphis and Carolina barbecue, but you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted Oklahoma barbecue. The state’s barbecue may fly under-the-radar, but it manages to uniquely combine all of the best traits of more famous methods. Popular barbecue spots around the state include Swadley’s BBQ, which has been in Oklahoma for 21 years and has seven locations including several in OKC and Mustang. If you’re in that area, you should also swing by Leo’s BBQ for hot links and strawberry banana cake. In Tulsa, there’s Burn Co. Barbecue, which is known for its hardwood charcoal smoked meat. Over in Skiatook, stop by Mac’s Barbecue for the best barbecue Frito pie on earth.
Oklahoma is Affordable
According to a study by U.S. News, Oklahoma is the 4th most affordable state in the country. The median household income is $50,051 and the average home price is $270,787. Additionally, the Bureau of Economic Analysis noted that Oklahoma was one of the only states in America that reported a high percentage of growth following the 2008 recession.
The Talimena National Scenic Byway Will Take Your Breath Away
Naysayers love to criticize Oklahoma for lack of scenery, but those haters clearly have never driven the Talimena National Scenic Byway. Located in the eastern part of the state, this 50-mile stretch of road will take you on a journey from East Oklahoma to West Arkansas. Along the way, you’ll see tree-covered mountains, charming towns and wildlife. If you’re the outdoorsy type, hiking and camping opportunities abound.
It’s All About Oklahoma Sports
Oklahoma City is home to the state’s only major professional sports team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. If you move to Oklahoma, you’re sure to become a basketball fan (it doesn’t hurt that the team is pretty good). If you’re more into football, you’ll become very invested in the state’s iconic college rivalry between the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Located in Norman and Stillwater respectively, these two Division I teams match up as part of the Bedlam Series. Which side you end up on will likely be determined by where you live—or where you attend school—in Oklahoma.
It’s the Home of Bigfoot
Do you believe in Bigfoot? Then you’ll definitely want to add the annual Bigfoot festival to your agenda when you move to Oklahoma. This event takes place on the first weekend of October in the Kiamichi Mountains in Honobia and is run by the Honobia Bigfoot Organization. Enjoy a full weekend of speakers, research presentations, live music, storytelling and a 5k run. Tent and RV camping is available for those who are hoping to catch a glimpse of Bigfoot after the sun goes down.