Exploring Stockyards City
Where cattle culture lives on
Oklahoma City has grown beyond its frontier-era ranching roots, but not forgotten them. Even if you’ve never punched a steer, ridden a horse or held a rope, there’s plenty to enjoy in Stockyards City, the mini-district just south of the river that’s still home to a bustling livestock market. In actual land area, it’s not very large, but it leaves an impression as big as all outdoors.
In terms of bucket list experiences, Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, 1309 S Agnew, is an absolute must-try; it’s older than the state and pairs an unmistakable, un-fake-able atmosphere with its big helpings of prime beef. McClintock Saloon & Chop House, 2227 Exchange, also has carved out a name for itself with stylish fare, lavish ambiance and a killer drinks menu. But the area holds more than steak: Try the carnitas tacos or a roasted pork torta at Los Comales, 1504 S Agnew, or swing by Heather’s Place in the Yard, 2501 Exchange, for a big diner-style breakfast – the pancakes are especially immense.
If you need some fresh duds, you’ve come to the right place. Between the 106-year-old Langston’s Western Wear, 2224 Exchange, Little Joe’s Boots, 2219 Exchange, and the Western Wear Outlet, 2235 Exchange, cowboys and girls of all ages can find authentic gear from boots to bolos. And Shorty’s Caboy Hattery, 1007 S Agnew, has no equal when it comes to custom-fitted headgear.
If you need some cold suds, you’re covered there, too. Stockyards Sarsaparilla, 1307 S Agnew, sells t-shirts, caps and other souvenirs in addition to a selection of top-notch housemade fudge and specialty sodas.
Aside from the overall denim-and-Stetson vibe, there are some specific highlights to take in. Rodeo Cinema, 2221 Exchange, is worth a trip all by itself, as a recently refurbished theater that’s now showing first-run independent movies from fascinating documentaries to piercing dramas. Check out rodeocinema.org for showtimes. Plus, for the intrepid explorer, the OKC Rattlesnake Museum, 1501 S Agnew, is a scaly, slithering, mesmerizing collection of reptiles from around the world – more than 50 species from a red diamondback rattler to a deadly fer-de-lance to a 21-foot python. Watch your step.