Home > Moving > City Guides > 14 Things to Know About Living in Tulsa
View of Downtown Tulsa Skyline at Night

14 Things to Know About Living in Tulsa

Considering moving to Tulsa? T-Town has a hot real estate market, major oil industry, beloved sports teams, incredible dining, and more. Not to mention, this Oklahoma city is also known for its exceptional quality of living and beautiful Green Country scenery. If you’re thinking about living in Tulsa, here are 14 things you should know!

An Affordable Place to Call Home

Aerial View of Tulsa Downtown at Dusk. Photo by Instagram user @tulsadowntown

Photo via @tulsadowntown

With affordable housing and one of the lowest costs of living in the U.S. (nearly 17% below the national average), living in Tulsa is extremely budget-friendly! T-Town has been recognized time and time again for being one of the most affordable cities in the country, so if finances are a priority for you, moving to Tulsa may be a good choice. The median home price in Tulsa is just $126,200, and Oklahomans also pay 24% less in taxes each year compared to the average American, providing yet another boost to the city’s already great affordability. And if you’re a renter, you’ll be glad to know that Tulsa has also been named the most affordable city for renters in the U.S. Given all these factors, it’s no wonder why Tulsa’s population has grown so much!

Plenty of Job Opportunities

Tulsa has received national attention for its Tulsa Remote program, which pays qualifying workers moving to the city up to $10,000 to live and work there. That said, Tulsa doesn’t need any help supplementing its job market—since the Tulsa oil boom in the early 1900s, the city’s oil industry has been one of the leading forces in the local job market. The “Oil Capital of the World” also has jobs with energy industry leaders like QuikTrip, ONE Gas, and Helmerich & Payne, as well as a wealth of tech startups. Ultimately, professionals living in Tulsa can find work in nearly any common industry, from aerospace to healthcare and beyond!

The Perfect Place to Retire

Not only is T-Town a safe and affordable place to live, but it’s also a great place for retirees to spend their golden years. Tulsa’s many restaurants, lively arts and entertainment, abundant outdoor recreation, and thriving sports culture all contribute to it being an excellent place for retirees to live. Plus, Oklahoma is a tax-friendly state for retirees, offering a full exemption for Social Security retirement benefits and a deduction toward a 401(k) or pension. But this only scratches the surface of the reasons why Tulsa is one of the best places to retire in the entire country. The city’s strong healthcare system is another draw, with the local Saint Francis Hospital ranked as the best hospital in Oklahoma. To top things off, Tulsa has also been named among the most affordable cities for retirement in the U.S.!

Search Form Find an Extra Space Storage facility near you

Say Hello to Convenient Commutes

Street View of the Tall Buildings in Downtown Tulsa. Photo by Instagram user @pfptulsa

Photo via @pfptulsa

Despite its size, Tulsa offers significantly faster commutes than other American cities—less than 20 minutes on average! This is due, in part, to programs like Complete Streets, a city-backed initiative that helps make roads accessible for all modes of transportation. T-Town has even been ranked as one of the nation’s best cities to drive in—yet another convenience for people moving to Tulsa. The icing on the cake? Oklahoma’s yearly car insurance rates are about $70 lower, on average, than other cities. And for those who prefer to get around by bike, Tulsa also has a wide network of trails and is considered very bike-friendly!

Seek a Degree at Top Institutions

Exterior of the University of Tulsa On Campus Building. Photo by Instagram user @okhiddengems

Photo via @okhiddengems

Moving to Tulsa in search of higher education? The city has a variety of highly regarded institutions. Attend The University of Tulsa, where students can pursue any of the school’s 79 undergraduate degrees, 27 master’s degrees, and 12 doctoral programs, all while enjoying a student culture focused on ethical citizenship and lifelong learning. Enroll at The University of Oklahoma‘s Tulsa campus and engage in real-world learning experiences as you work toward any of the 30+ degree programs available. Find faith-based education at Oral Roberts University, which offers more than 150 majors, minors, and pre-professional programs. Or if you’re seeking an associate degree or need to get your pre-requisites in, Tulsa Community College is a great option—it’s the largest two-year, multi-campus college in Oklahoma!

Explore the Great Outdoors

Person in a Kayak at the Gathering Place Tulsa. Photo by Instagram user @ok_gotakeahike

Photo via @ok_gotakeahike

Living in Tulsa means enjoying the best of both worlds, as it not only offers big-city conveniences, but natural beauty as well. Close to the Arkansas River with a number of lakes in the surrounding Green Country area, Tulsa offers tons of waterfront recreation. This includes paddle boat rentals at the Gathering Place, a gorgeous 100-acre green space once named the best city park in the nation. Other city parks, including Centennial Park at the center of the city, and hiking trails like those at Oxley Nature Center are ideal for walking, jogging, biking, bird-watching, or just enjoying a day in the sun. You can also cast your line and spend the day fishing at the beautiful Lynn Lane Reservoir, attend adult classes and programs at the Tulsa Garden Center at Woodward Park, or hike the massive Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area, where you can see unique wilderness statues like the Rio Grande Turkeys and Rocky Mountain Bighorn.

Tour the Gorgeous Deco District

Exterior Photo of the Boston Avenue United Methodist Church in Tulsa. Photo by Instagram user @thedecodarling

Photo via @thedecodarling

Brought about by the wealth that came to the town from its 1900s oil boom, elaborate Art Deco architecture is all over Downtown Tulsa. This vibrant area, now known as the Deco District, still has the signature geometric patterns and bold designs of the Art Deco movement. Today, both tourists and Tulsa residents enjoy taking walking tours through the area to see some of the city’s greatest Art Deco monuments. Check out the towering Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, which features gorgeous spires and sleek statues. Visit the ornate Tulsa Fire Alarm Building—just as much a historical site as it is an architectural wonder. Or see the revitalized Tulsa Club Hotel, where modern touches blend with classic 1920s design.

Endless Arts & Entertainment

Staged Production of War Horse at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Photo by Instagram user @tulsapac

Photo via @tulsapac

A vibrant arts scene ensures that there are plenty of things to do in Tulsa! The city even has its own arts district! Cut a rug while top artists from Stoney LaRue to Tech N9ne perform at Cain’s Ballroom. Venture beyond the district and browse exhibitions combining sculpture, lighting, and animation at ahha Tulsa. Get tickets to see lectures, live music, theatre, and dance at the gorgeous Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Spend a day looking at art and artifacts from local Indigenous tribes in the permanent Enduring Spirit exhibition, alongside other works of American history at Gilcrease Museum. Attend classes in the lush garden or marvel at fine art collections from around the world at Philbrook Museum of Art. Or check out the musical stylings of local artists and national performers at Tulsa Theater.

Look Forward to Annual Festivals

People Cheersing Mini Mugs at the Harvest Beer Festival in Tulsa. Photo by Instagram user @mcnellies_pub

Photo via @mcnellies_pub

There are always events and festivals to look forward to when living in Tulsa! Engage in arts and humanities through dance performances, live music, and delicious food at Tulsa Mayfest. Experience German culture with mouthwatering dishes, frothy pints of beer, and live music and dancing at Tulsa’s Germanfest. Spend a weekend celebrating the local LGBTQ community at Oklahoma’s longest-running Pride festival Tulsa Pride Festival. Connect to Tulsa’s cultural roots at the Intertribal Indian Club of Tulsa’s annual Pow Wow of Champions, where you can support indigenous artists and craftspeople, try Native American dishes, and see dances and other performances. Sample beer from more than 40 breweries and snack on great eats in between at McNellie’s Tulsa Harvest Beer Festival. Or celebrate life and loved ones at Tulsa Water Lantern Festival, where you can float rice paper lanterns with a personalized message down the water.

See Cultures Come Together

Traditional Greek Dancers at the Greek Festival in Tulsa. Photo by Instagram user @tulsagreekfest

Photo via @tulsagreekfest

Tulsa is one of the United States’ most highly populated cities, and its residents represent cultures from all over the world. Groups like Tulsa Area United Way and Mosaic help make Tulsa an inclusive place to live and work. In addition, residents can plant roots in diverse neighborhoods and suburbs like Turley and Catoosa, enjoy international cuisine at restaurants like Rendang & Co. Indonesian Bistro and Zogam Cafe, shop at international markets like Albarka Food International, and attend cultural celebrations like the Muscogee Nation Festival. So no matter where you’re moving to Tulsa from, you can be sure you’ll feel welcome!

A Hot Spot for Sports Fans

Tulsa University Basketball Player Dunking Against Houston. Photo by Instagram user @imaulephotos

Photo via @imaulephotos

Indulge your sense of team spirit as a spectator of Tulsa’s awesome sports scene! Go tailgating before a Golden Hurricane college football game, then cheer on the team during a home game at Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium. Don an orange jersey and snag a seat in the stands to watch some Oklahoma State Cowboys college basketball. Of course, football or basketball aren’t the only games you’ll find going on in T-Town. Sports fans of all kinds can find something they love in Tulsa! Grab seats at ONEOK Field and see the Drillers (MiLB) in action. Or check out Hurricanes softball, another local favorite college team. Prefer hockey? T-Town’s pro hockey team, the Tulsa Oilers (ECHL), are the city’s best thing on ice. But what if you want to get in the game yourself? Tulsa has several public sports leagues, from basketball to kickball and beyond!

Find Fun for the Whole Family

Male and Female Lion at the Tulsa Zoo. Photo by Instagram user @tulsazoo

Photo via @tulsazoo

Moving to Tulsa with kids? The city has a plethora of family-friendly activities that children and adults of all ages can enjoy. Go wild at the award-winning Tulsa Zoo, where you can ride the Safari train and see everything from arctic foxes to African penguins. View underwater creatures at Oklahoma Aquarium‘s various habitat zones, Polynesian Reef, and incredible shark exhibit. Watch your kids experiment and engage in hands-on STEM experiences at Tulsa Children’s Museum Discovery Lab. Catch outdoor movies, hang out at summer concerts, or kick a ball around with family and friends at the gorgeous Guthrie Green. Head to the Meadow Gold District, a booming area of T-Town along Tulsa’s Historic Route 66 featuring delicious Tulsa restaurants, fun events, and shopping. Step into a model town square full of shops, displays, and art for the whole family to enjoy at Decopolis 66’s TulsaRama! Or experience the acoustic phenomenon found at Tulsa’s Center of the Universe—stand on the marked spot and hear your whisper echo back to you much louder!

Eat Your Way Through Restaurant Row

Plates of Food Set Out at the India Palace Restaurant in Tulsa, OK. Photo by Instagram user @sharon.phoods

Photo via @sharon.phoods

The entire city has fantastic cuisine of all kinds, but locals know that some of T-Town’s best eats are on Restaurant Row in the heart of South Tulsa. Dig into delicious surf and turf like the 28-day aged Top Sirloin and Shrimp at Fish Daddy’s Grill House. Listen to live music on the weekends and order up classic Thai fare from Tom Kha Gai to Panang Curry at Lanna Thai Restaurant. Split an authentic New York-style Brooklyn Prosciutto Pizza or order by the slice at the lively yet low-key Jimmy’s New York Pizzeria. Try the Indian flavors foodies in Tulsa have been raving about since 1993 when you get a plate of Chicken Vindaloo at India Palace Restaurant. Chow down on Frito Pie, a Chili Cheese Coney, a Buster Burger, and other American staples at Ron’s Hamburgers & Chili. Or enjoy a Thursday Dinner for Two special for date night at Villa Ravenna, which features a 32oz Kobe Tomahawk Steak with two salads, two sides, and two desserts.

Experience the Local Nightlife

Nightlife is alive and well in Tulsa, especially in the always high-energy Blue Dome District! That said, you can find fun after sundown throughout the rest of Tulsa, too. Rock the night away at Soundpony, one of Tulsa’s best bars for live music and cold brews. Get your game on and try delicious cocktails at Tulsa’s only ’80s and ’90s arcade-themed bar, The Max RetroPub. Hang out on the back patio with a pint of Guinness at Arnie’s Bar. Put on your dancing shoes and head to The Unicorn Club for themed events like Luau Parties. Vibe with handcrafted cocktails like the Hollabaloo at Enso Bar. Let loose in LGBTQ favorite Club Majestic, where you’ll find amazing drag performances and tasty drinks. Savor a glass of whiskey on the rocks and take in the sights of the city from the rooftop at Roof Sixty Six. Or have a low-key evening with some Tater Tot Poutine and a Bacon-Infused Old Fashioned at The Tavern.


Moving to Tulsa? Extra Space Storage has self storage facilities throughout the Tulsa metro to help with your transition. Find Tulsa storage near you!

Pinterest Image: Living in Tulsa, Ok 14 Things to Know

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.