5 Best Photo Opportunities in Oklahoma City
Lee Van Grack
The Romantic Photo: Lake Hefner
There may not be a more beautiful photography landscape in Oklahoma City than Lake Hefner at sunset. The orange dusk as the light streams across the water is a sight to behold. I can't think of a better place for a romantic photo opportunity in the entire state of Oklahoma.
Lake Hefner covers 2,500 acres and is surrounded by almost ten miles of bike trails. It is located on the north side of Oklahoma City just off The Lake Hefner Parkway. While the parkway borders the east side of the lake, the south side retains forest along most of the scenic shore.
The lake is a large recreational spot with boats and marina activities always available. During the summer, private organizations hold sailboat races on the lake. There are also tasty upscale restaurants with patios along the East Wharf. If you want to drop to a knee and ask your sweetie to marry you, there is not a better spot than Lake Hefner on a cool summer evening.
The Quirky Photo: Giant Cross
Visible from I-35 in Edmond, the Giant Cross belongs to LifeChurch.tv and sticks out in the scenic landscape like nothing else in Oklahoma City. The cross is a symbol for all the churches in the area and rests on the Edmond campus, which houses both the central organization of the church and the Edmond church itself.
When the cross was first erected in 1996, the cross caused quite an uproar. Many people criticized the religious symbol because of its size, 163 ft. tall. A symbol of the midwestern Bible belt, the cross is still a topic of conversation for anyone who passes by.
There are plenty of places to pull over and get a shot of this giant cross, but you can also pull into the church. They are always accommodating to visitors who wish to walk the grounds and snap some personal shots up close and personal with one of Oklahoma City's best photo ops.
The Family Fun Photo: Science Museum Oklahoma
The Science Museum Oklahoma is still known to the old-timers as the Omniplex. For kids of all ages and their parents, the museum offers the opportunity to discover the glories of science. Located at 2100 NE 52nd St. in the heart of Oklahoma City's Adventure District, the museum is a great place for families and large groups to play, discover, and learn.
Experience what it might be like to be an astronaut and enjoy simulations of shuttles, space probes, and other artifacts. The museum is more than happy to let you pose in the exhibits and enjoy travel photography at its finest.
There is a large children's play area where kids can slide down a model of the Archimedes Slide, the nation's tallest spiral slide at 24 ft. tall. While the kids play in the two-story tree house built in an historic Shumard Oak, one of the tallest species of trees in North America, parents can snap pictures to their heart's content.
Cameras are not allowed in the Planetarium and Dome Theater presentations. The museum hours are Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM, Sat 9AM-6PM, and Sun 11AM-6PM; 402-602-6664.
The Scenic Photo: Myriad Botanical Gardens
While you don't necessarily want to make this trip on a hot summer day, the Myriad Botanical Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City possess one of the best photo ops of exotic plant life and beautiful grassy hills. Please note, however, that the gardens are temporarily closed for a major reconstruction. Call ahead to determine when they will re-open; 405-297-3995.
The Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory is a 224-foot living botanical museum with plants, flowers, palm trees, and waterfalls. There are a number of beautiful garden exhibits here allowing a photographer to spend hours snapping pictures. Yellow, purple, green, and blue are only some of the colors in the kaleidoscope of this tropical paradise.
Outside, there is a giant park for quiet walks in the green majestic landscape. Just over the trees, you can see touches of the downtown skyline, creating a breathtaking photography landscape. If you are looking for an outdoor scenic location to take pictures, the Botanical Gardens are an ideal spot. The gardens are located at 301 Reno at the intersection of Reno and Robinson in downtown Oklahoma City. Hours for the gardens are Mon-Sat 9AM-6PM, Sun noon-6PM; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
The Classic Photo: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
The National Cowboy & Western Museum is one of Oklahoma's most prestigious tourist stops. Founded in 1955, the museum collects, preserves, and exhibits western art and artifacts while promoting the legacy of the American West.
When approaching the museum on I-44, it is hard to miss the giant sculpture of the cowboy that greets you on the front lawn. Of particular note is "The End of the Trail" sculpture, a representation of the American Indian slumped on horseback, which rests in the entrance of the museum. The sculpture once sat in Visalia, California, until the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum purchased and restored it, offering perhaps the best photo in Oklahoma City.
Pictures are only allowed in certain areas (noted in your guidebook), but once the tour of the museum concludes, there are immaculate gardens to explore. The museum is open every day from 10AM-5PM except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is $12.50 for adults, and children under 12 only pay $5.75. The address is 1700 N.E. 63rd Street in Oklahoma City's Adventure District; 405-478-2250.
Can't Get Enough? Discover More of Oklahoma City
- Overview: Oklahoma City Travel Guide