By Maggie Dunning
Staff reporter

Staycations may be great for big city folk, but what about people living in a small town or rural area?

A weekend getaway may be the solution. Luckily there are large cities close by for fun when the boring sets in.

Wichita, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., offer events, restaurants, and places to see that are affordable to students.

Wichita is the closest at 43 miles away and a 50 minute drive. Oklahoma City is 151 miles away and takes about a two hour drive. Tulsa, Okla. is 133 miles away and has about a two and a half hour drive time.

Transportation is always an issue when planning a weekend getaway. Carpooling with others is a cheap and fun option when money is tight.

When you finally get to your destination there are plenty of hidden gems to take advantage of.

Garrett Chapman, communication freshman, is from Broken Arrow, Okla. near Tulsa. He said, “A hot spot a tourist wouldn’t know about in Tulsa is Sky Zone. It’s a trampoline park that just opened. It brings in a lot of money.”

Kayla Demel, athletic training freshman, is from Wichita. She said, “One of the best events I went to in Wichita was a Shockers game in Koch Center.”

Jerry Jones, athletic training freshman, is from Owasso, Okla. He said, “The RiverWalk in Tulsa is a really cool place to hang out.”

Haley Fort, biochemistry senior, is from Oklahoma City. She said, “A great place to eat in Oklahoma City is Raw. It’s a sushi place. It’s a little bit more expensive, but its food is great.”     

Tripadvisor.com is a great website to check out for more information about events, hot spots, restaurants, and places to go.

Tripadvisor ranked Botanica No. 2 for places to go in Wichita.

Oklahoma City’s No. 1 attraction on Tripadvisor is the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.  

These aren’t the only attractions in the cities to see though.

“Wichita has the largest IMAX Theater. It is a part of the Warren Theaters,” said Demel.

Chapman said, “The Oklahoma Aquarium is pretty cool. You don’t get to see many marine type fish in Oklahoma besides here.”

Sightseeing is a great way to work up an appetite. Luckily, large cities are chock full of great places to eat.

“Sumo in Wichita because it’s kind of like Kobe’s except they grill in front of you. It’s a high class restaurant. Most people dress up, don’t wear sweats and stuff. You should dress dressier than usual,” said Demel.

Chapman recommended Shogun’s Hibachi Grill in Tulsa. He said it has great service and food quality. He also said it’s relatively cheap for the amount you get and they cook right in front of you.

Fort said her favorite place to eat is Ted’s Mexican Restaurant.

“It always has great food. It’s reasonably priced and the wait staff is good,” said Fort.    

Of course in every big city, there are areas people should be careful going into.

Chapman said, “North Tulsa is the ghetto part.”

Fort said, “When you get further into the downtown, traffic gets really hard to get through. Construction is still going on, so it gets really confusing.”

Demel said, “There are some parts of the Wichita Riverfest that I would never go to. Just because of the people that are there. It’s the trashiness of them. You just almost don’t feel safe.”

If you are looking to explore the night life in these cities, yelp.com is a reliable resource to use to get accurate reviews of dance clubs.

Yelp.com had quite a few reviews for night clubs in Oklahoma City. The top club was Copa and the review said, “Don’t plan to leave before 1:45 a.m.”

For people who want personal recommendations of clubs in the surrounding area, these should come in handy.

“The best 18-and-over clubs in Wichita are Denim and Diamonds and Club Rodeo. At D&D, Wednesday nights are ladies nights,” said Demel.

 Chapman said, “Teen Crave is a popular 18-and-under club in Tulsa.”

Maggie Dunning is a sophomore majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at margaret.dunning@sckans.edu.