loading spinner
At art, history and culture museums, explore the diverse heritage of Tulsa, from its beginnings as an Indian Territory, to the prosperity that followed its 1901 oil boom — and beyond.
Rating (5)
Program No. 23215RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
1,459
Oklahoma

Best of Oklahoma: From Tulsa to Tahlequah

At art, history and culture museums, explore the diverse heritage of Tulsa, from its beginnings as an Indian Territory, to the prosperity that followed its 1901 oil boom — and beyond.
Length
7 days
Starts at
1,459
Program No. 23215 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Oct 3 - Oct 9, 2021
Starting at
1,499
Oct 17 - Oct 23, 2021
Starting at
1,499
Nov 7 - Nov 13, 2021
Starting at
1,499
Mar 27 - Apr 2, 2022
Starting at
1,459
Apr 3 - Apr 9, 2022
Starting at
1,559
Oct 23 - Oct 29, 2022
Starting at
1,559
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Oct 3 - Oct 9, 2021
Starting at
1,899
Oct 17 - Oct 23, 2021
Starting at
1,899
Nov 7 - Nov 13, 2021
Starting at
1,899
Mar 27 - Apr 2, 2022
Starting at
1,679
Apr 3 - Apr 9, 2022
Starting at
1,779
Oct 23 - Oct 29, 2022
Starting at
1,779

At a Glance

When oil was discovered in Tulsa in 1901, the little frontier town exploded with prosperity. In the oil boom years that followed, the city’s downtown developed with Art Deco architecture, and the Greenwood neighborhood became the wealthiest African American community in Oklahoma, bustling with the sounds of jazz, blues and — later — the Tulsa Massacre. Travel to the “Oil Capital of the World” to study the city’s diverse history, art and culture at museums across the city and the surrounding area, including the Greenwood Cultural Center, the Tulsa Botanic Gardens and more.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles daily, sometimes on unpaved terrain and standing at museums.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • At the Cherokee Heritage Center, learn how the Trail of Tears brought thousands of Cherokee to Oklahoma, and explore Tahlequa—the capital city of the Cherokee Nation.
  • Visit the Woody Guthrie Center and the Will Rogers Memorial Museum to learn about the lives and legacies of two of Oklahoma’s most famous former residents.
  • Discover amazing art and architecture throughout the city and at museums like the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art and the Gilcrease Museum.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Kim Hale
Born in Chicago, Kim Hale grew up in Tulsa and has since lived in cities from Washington, DC to Los Angeles and multiple points in between. After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Oklahoma, Kim embarked on a 20-plus-year career in government and public relations, inspiring and educating audiences, before joining the Road Scholar team. Today, she shares her love of learning and travel with participants in programs across the Southwest.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Kim Hale
Born in Chicago, Kim Hale grew up in Tulsa and has since lived in cities from Washington, DC to Los Angeles and multiple points in between. After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Oklahoma, Kim embarked on a 20-plus-year career in government and public relations, inspiring and educating audiences, before joining the Road Scholar team. Today, she shares her love of learning and travel with participants in programs across the Southwest.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Tulsa's Historic Greenwood District (Images of America)
by Hannibal B. Johnson
Mankiller: A Chief and Her People
by Wilma Mankiller and Michael Wallis
An autobiography by Wilma Mankiller, the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Bound for Glory
by Woody Guthrie
A partially fictionalized autobiography of folk singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie.
Cherokee Nation: A History of Survival, Self Determination and Identity
by Dr. Bob Blackburn, Dr. Duane King, and Dr. Neil Morton
Tulsa: Where the Streets Were Paved With Gold (Images of America)
by Clyda R. Franks and Kenny Franks
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
by David Grann
Hidden History of Tulsa
by Steve Gerkin
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
7 days
6 nights
15 meals
6 B 5 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Tulsa, OK
D
Hyatt Regency Tulsa

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in. Orientation: 5:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Transportation will be provided primarily by motorcoach, unless specified otherwise. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In our private hotel meeting room, we’ll enjoy a tasty welcome dinner featuring a choice of entrée selections, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Greenwood Center, Downtown Art Deco, Boston Ave. Church,
Tulsa, OK
B,L,D
Hyatt Regency Tulsa

Activity note: Walking about 3 miles throughout the day; uneven brick sidewalks with inclines; periods of standing totaling up to 3 hours in museums or on walking exploration. Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 15 miles total, approximately 1 hour throughout the day with stops.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet will feature a variety of hot breakfast items to choose from as well as cereals, yogurts and fresh fruit, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: A local expert will lead a discussion about the history of the area that is now Oklahoma, from its earliest Native American inhabitants to the American soldiers and settlers who followed. We'll also hear about the unique history of Tulsa. We'll then head out by motorcoach for the Greenwood Cultural Center with our Group Leader. Upon arrival, we’ll meet a docent who will share with us some of the history of the area before opening up for independent exploration. The Center preserves the history of the Black Wall Street era and the events known as the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. It also bears witness to the amazing resurgence of the Greenwood District in the months and years following the tragedy. Booker T. Washington, the acclaimed author and educator, referred to the 35-block Greenwood District surrounding the corner of Greenwood Avenue and Archer Street as America's "Black Wall Street." As a lucrative hub for black commerce in the early 1900s, it was also a center for jazz and blues, and the site where the renowned jazz pianist Count Basie first encountered big-band jazz. At the time, the Greenwood District was the richest African-American neighborhood in North America.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Next, we'll meet a local expert who will lead us on a walking exploration of the downtown Tulsa area. We will learn more about Tulsa’s history and architecture, particularly the Art Deco and Gothic structures that were built during Tulsa’s oil boom in the early 20th century. Afterwards we’ll visit the Boston Avenue United Methodist Church where we’ll enjoy some time to look around independently and admire the impressive Art Deco architecture. The beautifully executed ecclesiastical style earned the 1929 church a designation as a National Historic Landmark by the Department of the Interior, a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, and status as an international United Methodist Historic Site. We will then return to the hotel via motorcoach with some time to relax and freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll enjoy a tasty plated meal with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Tahlequah, Cherokee Supreme Court Museum, Murrell Home
Tulsa, OK
B,L
Hyatt Regency Tulsa

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 65 miles one way, approximately 2.5 hours roundtrip. Walking up to 2 miles total, approximately 3 hours; uneven brick sidewalks; periods of standing totaling up to 1 hour at museum.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Setting out via motorcoach, we’ll make our way to Tahlequah, the Capital of the Cherokee Nation, where our first stop will be at the Cherokee Heritage Center for a docent-led exploration, followed by time to see and do what you like independently. Independently operated by the Cherokee Historical Society, the Cherokee Heritage Center has sprawling grounds featuring indoor and outdoor learning experiences such as working replicas of customary 18th-century homes in the Diligwa Living History Village and Outdoor Museums, along with individuals performing traditional chores and making crafts reflective of the time period. To give the sense of time and progression, the Adams Corner Rural Village displays what a Cherokee settlement would have looked like in the 1890s. As a leading institute in the study of Cherokee history and culture, the Heritage Center leads many educational programs and even offers an on-site service where professionals help reconnect people with their Cherokee heritage.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Continuing to explore Tahlequah, we’ll make a stop for an expert-led field trip at the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum, which showcases what was once the only Supreme Court in “Indian Country” and is still the oldest government building standing in the state of Oklahoma. The building was also home to the original printing press of the Cherokee Advocate, the official publication of Cherokee Nation and the first newspaper in Oklahoma. Inside are exhibits covering the history of the Cherokee judicial system, the Cherokee written language, and the evolution of Cherokee journalism. Next, we’ll visit The Hunter’s Home, formerly known as the George M. Murrell Home, for an expert-led visit. This historic house, now a museum, was built in 1845 and is one of the only antebellum homes to remain standing on Cherokee territory through the horrific years of the Trail of Tears, and then the Civil War. John Ross, the first principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation who was born to a Cherokee mother and Scottish father, used this house as a social center in the mid-1800s. Eventually, it was acquired by the state in 1948 and, in 1974, became a National Historic Landmark. We will return to Tulsa for arrival in the early evening.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in Tulsa. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Sherwin Miller & Gilcrease Museums, Woody Guthrie Center
Tulsa, OK
B,L,D
Hyatt Regency Tulsa

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; varied terrain including uneven sidewalks, gravel paths; periods of standing totaling up to 2 hours during field trips.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After breakfast, we’ll make our way to the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art where we’ll be led by an expert docent and learn about the travels of exiles and immigrants to new homelands. We’ll also learn about Jewish practices, ceremonies, holidays, and overall heritage. As a longstanding component to Tulsa’s collective identity, the museum’s exhibitions of Jewish art and artifacts serve to enlighten visitors and provide opportunities to learn about the vast history of the Jewish faith, from before the Canaanite era over 5,000 years ago all the way throughout settlement in the southwestern United States. Afterwards, we’ll continue to the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art where a museum docent will lead us around the exhibit dedicated to art of the American West. Also known as the Gilcrease Museum, it is a leading institution dedicated to the maintaining and displaying one of the nation’s most impressive collections of the American West’s artistic legacy.

Lunch: At the on-site restaurant, we’ll enjoy plated meals with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We'll travel to the Woody Guthrie Center, which houses the archives and research center, details his life and creative journey, and preserves many of his handwritten lyrics and musical instruments. A docent will lead us on an exploration of the center and point out significant details of Guthrie’s life. Following our visit to the Woody Guthrie Center, we will have some time to independently explore the Tulsa Arts District. One of the oldest neighborhoods in Tulsa, the Tulsa Arts District (also known as the Brady District) is a diverse, culturally rich area in downtown Tulsa. Springing from an historic oil-rich past with icons including the Brady Theater and Cain's Ballroom, the area has evolved over time to become a creative, community-driven engine of the Tulsa economy.

Dinner: At a popular local restaurant, we’ll choose plated meals from a select menu including a choice of entrées, plus soft drinks, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: After returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening will be at leisure.

DAY
5
Will Rogers Memorial Museum, Free Time
Tulsa, OK
B,L
Hyatt Regency Tulsa

Activity note: Driving about 90 miles roundtrip, approximately 1.5 hours total, with stops. Walking about 2 miles throughout the day; periods of standing totaling up to 2 hours at field trip locations; gravel paths and dirt roads. Extent and duration of free time activities according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Boarding our vehicle, we’ll travel to the Will Rogers Memorial Museum where a museum docent will lead us around the facility. The life of the much-loved entertainer, Will Rogers, is commemorated in his hometown of Claremore, Oklahoma, in his very own museum that has collected a plethora of his work and memorabilia. On display, we’ll be able to see video performances of all types as we learn about his life and career. Not only this, but his tomb is also on the grounds overlooking the town and Rogers State University. After our docent-led exploration, we’ll have some time to explore independently.

Lunch: At a popular local restaurant, we’ll choose plated meals from a select menu including a choice of entrées, plus soft drinks, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. Afterwards, we'll return to our hotel in Tulsa and adjourn for the day.

Afternoon: Free time. This time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Tulsa has a limited number of traditional taxi cab companies, so a cab may not be immediately available at all times. If you have a smartphone, we strongly recommend downloading a ride share app (such as Lyft or Uber) before the program so that you will have more options for getting around town during free time.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa Botanic Gardens
Tulsa, OK
B,L,D
Hyatt Regency Tulsa

Activity note: Driving about 15 miles roundtrip, approximately 1/2 hour total. Walking about 1 mile throughout the day; varied terrain, dirt trails, some inclines; periods of standing totaling up to 1 hour at museum, and 2 hours at garden.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Setting out after breakfast, we’ll travel to the Philbrook Museum of Art for an expert-led field trip through this historic 1926 Italian Renaissance-style villa, which was the home of Waite and Genevieve Phillips. First opened in 1939, the museum has collected art from various time frames, artistic mediums, and locations across the globe. A primary focus of the museum, which we will see today, is the extensive exhibit featuring Native American artistry and traditional craftwork. The Philbrook is also known for its extensive and lovely formal gardens. Feel free to stroll through them and soak in the atmosphere during some time for independent exploration.

Lunch: In the cafe at the Philbrook, we’ll choose plated meals from a select menu, plus soft drinks, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Next, we'll transfer to the Tulsa Botanic Gardens in the Osage Hills. A local expert will introduce us to the extensive all-season gardens; we will then have time to explore the various garden terraces and trails on our own.

Dinner: Plated meal at the hotel.

Evening: While gathered with our Group Leader, we’ll engage in a program wrap-up and share some of our favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
7
Program Concludes
Tulsa, OK
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 12:00 p.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Your Well-Being is Our #1 Priority

We’re committed to making your experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.

See Our Safety Roadmap
Enroll With Confidence
Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.