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With a vast array of cultural events, festivals, museums, live music and entertainment venues, Tulsa is known as the cultural and arts center of Oklahoma. But it’s not all play and no work. Tulsa is also considered the “Oil Capital of the World.” Besides that, it’s been ranked as one of the best places to start a business in the U.S. by various publications, including WalletHub and NerdWallet. Finally, the iconic Route 66 was born out of the mind of a Tulsa businessman — Cyrus Avery (the Father of Route 66), in 1925 — earning Tulsa the nickname “The Birthplace of Route 66.”
With an area of more than 200 square miles and a population around 402,000, Tulsa is the second-largest city in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma City is a little more than 100 miles southwest of Tulsa, while Kansas City lies around 260 miles to the north and Dallas is about 250 miles south.
Situated at the edge of the great plains and nestled at the foot of the Ozark Mountain Range, Tulsa enjoys something of a micro-environment of rolling hills, prairie lands and forests, with the Arkansas River flowing right through the city. As a result, it also enjoys a temperate micro-climate. Annually, the average temperature is around 60°F, while summer highs average around 100°F in July and August. January is the coldest month of the year, with average lows of around 27°. Light snowfall is common in December through February, with annual totals of around 12 inches, on average. Late spring and early summer see the most rain, although, sunny days are far more common than rainy ones throughout the year.
Sunny weather, a low cost of living, and a wide array of things to see and do in the city make Tulsa an attractive place to call home. Surrounded by stunning natural beauty, it offers residents a great balance between city life and the great outdoors. Tulsa is also among the most walkable cities in the U.S.
A wide range of people call Tulsa home and the population is extremely diverse. Indeed, the city celebrates this diversity with a number of ethnic events throughout the year.
With a cost of living score of 83.2, Tulsa offers a lower cost of living than many parts of the U.S. In fact, the cost of housing is almost 50% lower than the national average, while items like utilities, groceries and transportation are around 10% lower.
You can expect to pay around $1.75 for a one-way ticket on local bus routes or $45 for a monthly pass. A variety of discounts are offered on local transit for military personnel, children, seniors and the disabled.
A single meal in an inexpensive restaurant will normally cost around $12, on average. For a three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant, you can expect to pay $50, on average. Meanwhile, a regular coffee typically costs just under $4.
Basic utilities for a 915-square-foot apartment will typically cost $179, on average. This includes water, electricity, heating, cooling and garbage disposal. To hook up an internet connection, you can expect to pay an extra $74 per month.
The average rent for an apartment in Tulsa is $905 per month.
The average apartment size in Tulsa is 822 sq. ft.
Rent for a studio apartment in Tulsa ranges between $550 and $1,600 per month.
Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Tulsa ranges between $465 and $2,028 per month.
Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Tulsa ranges between $675 and $2,780 per month.
Rent for a 3-bedroom apartment in Tulsa ranges between $1,000 and $4,356 per month.
There are a wide variety of jobs available in Tulsa that are spread across a number of different industries. The most common sectors include healthcare, technology, manufacturing, transportation, aerospace and energy.
Tulsa’s major employers include: the City of Tulsa; American Airlines; Blue Cross and Blue Shield; Bank of Oklahoma; AT&T; Tulsa Public Schools; the University of Tulsa; and QuikTrip.
Tulsa has a highly educated workforce, with almost 90% of employees graduating high school or higher; 31% with a bachelor’s degree or higher; and more than 10% with a professional degree or higher. This is perhaps one of the reasons that Tulsa offers the fifth-lowest cost of doing business in the U.S.
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Tulsa schools are provided by the Tulsa Public School Board of Education (TPS). In 2016, TPS enacted a bold strategy named “Destination Excellence,” which serves more than 40,000 students and works alongside nearly 100 schools. The objective is to ensure that every child is placed on a path to realize his or her full potential. Tulsa Tech is an independent public school district that serves 27 high schools and 24 private schools. It offers a range of programs both full- and part-time, as well as training programs to ready students for work in business and industry.
There are 15 institutions of higher education in Tulsa offering an array of programs and certifications to suit all needs. The University of Tulsa is one of the top-rated national doctoral universities in the U.S., while Oral Roberts University is ranked among the top 50 master’s universities in the country. There are also campuses of both Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma, while the well-regarded Tulsa Community College is also based in the city.
As the cultural and arts center of Oklahoma, Tulsa itself is one of the top attractions with its historic neighborhoods and districts. A number of walking tours can help you discover more about the city and get a feel for the diversity that the city offers. Some top neighborhoods and districts include Brady Arts District, East Village Downtown, Swan Lake Historic District and the Riverview District.
Sitting at the foot of the Ozark Mountain Range, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Tulsa, including hiking, cycling and camping. Within the city, you’ll find 140 parks and green spaces covering more than 8,200 acres. Chandler Park offers an array of activities, including swimming, disc golf, rock climbing, playgrounds and much more.
You’ll find a mix of professional and college-level sports teams in Tulsa competing in a wide variety of sports and leagues. Professional teams include FC Tulsa (soccer), Tulsa Oilers (ice hockey), Tulsa Drillers (baseball) and Tulsa Rugby Football Club (rugby union). For college sports, the University of Tulsa sponsors almost 20 teams, including basketball, tennis, golf, volleyball, soccer and football (check out the Golden Hurricanes).
You’ll find a diverse array of events throughout the year in Tulsa. Some of the most popular include: The Tulsa United Film Festival; Tulsa International Mayfest; Cherry Street Farmers Market; Juneteenth Blues and Jazz Festival; Wunderfest; Oktoberfest; and the Tulsa State Fair.
Tulsa is a mecca for the arts, offering a veritable treasure trove of galleries, theaters, concert venues and much more. You’ll find works of art scattered throughout the city, particularly along the trails of the River Parks. Head to Woodward Park to take in Cyrus Dallin’s “Appeal to the Great Spirit,” a stunning and inspiring statue. You’ll also find a wide range of plays, musicals and Broadway shows at the Performing Arts Center and the Tulsa Ballet Company.
Tulsa is home to a number of fascinating museums, including the Gilcrease Museum, the Tulsa Art Deco Museum, the Woody Guthrie Center and the Philbrook Museum of Art.
Tulsa is famous for its mouthwatering BBQ food, which you can experience at restaurants such as Burn Company, Smoke and Texas Roadhouse. There’s also excellent pizza to be found in Tulsa — just check out Andolini’s. For other tastes, you can find cuisines from around the world in some of the many fantastic restaurants in Tulsa.
Renters’ rights in Tulsa are governed by the State of Oklahoma Landlords and Tenants Act. Under the act, tenants have the right to habitable living conditions, which must meet basic health, safety and structural standards. Rental units must be in good repair, and landlords are required to make the necessary repairs to ensure a rental unit remains habitable. Failure to do so gives the tenant the right to withhold rent until repairs are made, or to repair the issue themselves and deduct the cost from the next payment. However, tenants must give their landlord written notice of the issue before taking any action.