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Red dirt, rolling hills and real-world experience abound in Oklahoma’s best college towns.
Oklahoma is not just about cowboy culture and stunning landscapes. It’s also home to some of the most vibrant college towns in the nation. These bustling hubs of education, creativity and entertainment provide students with a perfect blend of academic rigor and exciting social opportunities. In this article, we’ll dive into the best college towns in Oklahoma, exploring their unique charm and the reasons why they’re ideal for students of all walks of life seeking a fantastic college experience.
Let’s start our journey with Norman, the third-largest city in Oklahoma and home to the prestigious University of Oklahoma. With a population of over 120,000, Norman has everything a student could want in a college town. It’s a town proud of its rich history and tradition, with the university’s stunning architecture and beautiful campus as its centerpiece.
The city’s lively downtown area is teeming with local restaurants, bars and shops, ensuring that students never run out of things to do or places to explore. Nestled within the heart of Tornado Alley, Norman is a thriving hub of weather research and meteorology, making it an excellent choice for students pursuing a degree in these fields.
Next up is Lawton, a city that perfectly exemplifies the unique blend of military and academic life found in many small college towns throughout the country. Home to both Cameron University and the Fort Sill military base, Lawton is a place where students can enjoy the best of both worlds. It boasts a vibrant arts scene, with several museums and galleries to explore, including the Museum of the Great Plains and the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center.
For outdoorsy types, Lawton’s proximity to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge provides ample opportunities for hiking, wildlife observation and even rock climbing. This picturesque backdrop, combined with a friendly community and affordable living, makes Lawton a great choice for students looking for a college town in Oklahoma with a unique atmosphere.
Our journey continues to Tulsa, Oklahoma’s second-largest city and home to several colleges and universities, including the University of Tulsa, Oral Roberts University and Tulsa Community College.
This vibrant and cosmopolitan city offers students a wide array of activities, attractions and cultural experiences to indulge in. From attending concerts at the historic Cain’s Ballroom or the BOK Center to exploring the Philbrook Museum of Art or the Gilcrease Museum, there’s always something happening in this bustling town. The thriving music scene, combined with the city’s diverse culinary offerings, ensures that students in Tulsa have easy access to global and local culture.
The home of Oklahoma State University, Stillwater is often referred to as the quintessential college town in Oklahoma. Its welcoming atmosphere, rich history and strong sense of community make it an ideal destination for students to receive a top-tier education and stick around after receiving their degrees.
The city’s lively downtown area, known as ‘The Strip,’ offers an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and bars, making it the perfect place for students to unwind and socialize after a long day in the classroom. Additionally, the university’s sports teams, particularly the OSU Cowboys football team, are a significant source of pride and excitement for the town, with game days drawing thousands of fans to Boone Pickens Stadium.
With a strong emphasis on agricultural research, Stillwater is also an excellent destination for students pursuing careers in agriculture, animal science or environmental studies.
We can’t discuss college towns in Oklahoma without mentioning Oklahoma City, the state’s capital and largest city. Home to Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City and the University of Central Oklahoma, this metropolis offers students an urban experience with a distinctively Oklahoman flavor.
Oklahoma City is rich in history, culture and entertainment, with attractions like the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, the Myriad Botanical Gardens and the Bricktown entertainment district. The city’s booming economy and numerous internship opportunities make it an ideal destination for students looking to jump-start their careers.
Now that we’ve covered some of the most notable college towns in Oklahoma, let’s explore a couple of hidden gems that are also worth considering. One such town is Weatherford, located about an hour west of Oklahoma City. Home to Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford offers students a warm, welcoming atmosphere and a vibrant local community. Its proximity to the stunning Red Rock Canyon State Park and the historic Route 66 provides students with ample opportunities for outdoor adventures and sightseeing.
Another lesser-known college town in Oklahoma is Shawnee, situated just east of Oklahoma City. As the home of Oklahoma Baptist University and St. Gregory’s University, Shawnee provides students with a close-knit, faith-based environment. The town’s rich Native American history and cultural attractions, including the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art and the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center, offer students a unique and engaging educational experience.
Claim your space in one of Oklahoma’s best college towns
Oklahoma is home to a diverse array of college towns, each with its own unique charm and character. From the bustling urban centers of Tulsa and Oklahoma City to the serene, rural landscapes of Weatherford, there’s a college town in Oklahoma to suit every student’s preferences and interests.
The towns above offer not only excellent educational opportunities but also lively social scenes, rich cultural experiences and strong communities, making them the ideal destinations for students seeking a fulfilling and unforgettable college experience. Find your favorite city, pick an apartment and enjoy your new life in one of the top college towns in Oklahoma.