Bartlesville might be a small city, but it has one of the most interesting skylines in mid-America. Once and perhaps permanently a large petroleum center, the buildings reflect the art deco and industrial style of the 1930s and onwards – most notably, Frank Lloyd Wright’s only skyscraper gleams between the sparsely dispersed apartment complexes, commercial buildings and hotels. They have the capacity to touch a low-hanging sky in Bartlesville, but it’s a commitment to good old-fashioned Oklahoma hospitality that keeps them grounded. There’s no shortage of barbecue restaurants in the area, but ask any local and you might start an argument about which is the best one.

Located just 50 minutes north of Tulsa by car and 2.5 hours from Oklahoma City, Bartlesville is also a convenient stop for drivers on their way from Kansas. Road trippers who are interested in architecture, culture and food will be surprised at what they can find at Bartlesville.

Photo by Rodney Murrow via Flickr.

Photo by Rodney Murrow via Flickr.

Admire the art deco design at Bartlesville’s premier attraction, the Price Tower

Photo by Debra Jane Seltzer via Flickr.

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and completed in 1956, this gorgeous 19-story landmark building graces its visitors with its imposing architectural design, rotating exhibits and a permanent collection of works from Bruce Goff, Dennis Oppenheim and others. Near the top of Price Tower is a stunning hotel that’s worth a look just for the view, but people just dropping in can grab a drink and soak in the vertigo at Copper Bar. Also available are 60-minute historic tower tours.

Learn about the Price Tower from these visitors:

Price Tower (1952)
Dami – July 13, 2012

This architecture fanatic visits Price Tower and explains some of the architectural details of the construction.


WORLD ARCHITECTURE/ Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Tom Shess – October 1, 2012

The Price Tower was endearingly referred to as the “tree that escaped the crowded forest” by Wright and was his only built skyscraper.


Route 66 & Wright, Mix, of Storms
April 19, 2011

Roadtrippers get their kicks off 66 and instead take a historic tour of the Price Tower. See their photos and read some of its history at this blog.


Discover more local arts and culture at these three museums in Bartlesville:

Bartlesville Area History Museum

This 10,000 square foot facility on the top floor of the historic City Center celebrates the rich heritage of Bartlesville that stretches back to the Delaware, Cherokee and Osage peoples.

Phillips Petroleum Company Museum
Can you Phill Up and Fly with the Gasoline That Won the West? Find out at the Phillips Petroleum Company Museum.

Tom Mix Museum

Tom Mix was a high-rollin’, wild-flyin’, rip-roarin’, hot to trot, old west cowboy. Spent some time in Oklahoma and told a lot of stories, some true but more of them lies. Make a stop at the Tom Mix Museum in nearby Dewey, OK, to find out what’s what about this Oklahoma prodigal son.

Visit an old cowboy ranch house at the Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve

Photo by janetfo747 via Flickr.

Established as a ranch retreat of oil tycoon Frank Phillips in 1925, the 3700 acre wildlife preserve Woolaroc (made up of the the words Woods, Lakes and Rocks, all three in loving abundance on the site) is open to whoever desires to get out into the open. In addition to over 30 kinds of wild inhabitants such as buffalo, elk and longhorn cattle, Woolaroc contains a museum that displays a variety of Western art and artifacts and the rustic ranch house that was home to the Phillips’ family and hosted parties and meetings.

Read what these visitors have to say:

Galen Frysinger

Visitor information on Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve, includes tons of photos of cowboy statues.


Full Time RV Travel: Woolaroc Frank Phillips Ranch
Mark C – October 1, 2012

Mother and son saddle up the RV and hit Woolaroc on the recommendation of a friend. No regrets!


Discover Bartlesville: Woolaroc; bandit haven, outlaw refuge, and famous home of Frank Phillips
Oklahoma Traveler – June 2011

A step back in history, this blog details the story of the Woolaroc Ranch and its many famous and notorious guests.


Explore more sprawling natural wonders and exotic wildlife in Oklahoma:

Oklahoma Tallgrass Prairie Preserve

Hike, stroll or bike through the largest protected region of tallgrass prairie left on earth.

Redbud Valley Nature Preserve

This preserve is ideal for a leisurely stroll and daydream, or a visit with a naturalist to discover the exotic plants and wildlife in the area. Be warned though, there may be snakes on the path!

Tulsa Zoo

Dedicating to education through organized events and programs, interactive exhibits like their Tropical American Rainforest, the Giraffe Experience and Chimpanzee Connection, and their wide variety of animals both local and exotic.

Frank & Lola’s offers contemporary American fare in a cozy, artsy space

Photo by Jeremy Lunsford via Flickr.

This clean, immaculate industrial space in the 1910 Buford & Song Building in downtown Bartlesville is immediately warmed up with an exposed brick wall and a splash of Japanese lacquer-red and mint green on the walls and massive windows gracing the front of the long restaurant. At Frank & Lolas, art and food go together, with weekly musical performances by local acts, and paintings and photos adorning the walls. The food is impeccable – classic American fare, like pork loin and pulled pork, catfish and meatloaf, but with an elevated extravagance. A dash of creole mustard cream sauce, salsa verde, jalapeno tartar sauce, applied with an expert hand.

Everything is beautiful at Frank & Lola’s, especially their food:

Frank and Lola’s
Dyann – August 18, 2010

A  glowing review of Frank & Lola’s accompanied by a photo of a pork loin that looks good enough to lick off a monitor.


Price Tower
Stephie Jane – January 5, 2011

A visiting blogger stays at the Price Tower and hangs out at Frank & Lola’s, a restaurant which exceeded her expectations.


Bartlesville, Ho!
Jean – October 4, 2010

See photos of beautiful Frank & Lola’s in the daytime.


Dink’s Pit Bar-B-Que is a contender for the best barbecue joint in Oklahoma – and Oklahomans know their BBQ

Photo by gordon huggins via Flickr.

For almost 30 years, not much has changed at Dink’s Pit Bar-B-Que. The original outdoor pit, built in 1982, still cooks the meat slowly over hickory wood fire, the recipe for their barbecue sauce is still untouched, and their first regulars from the ‘80s are likely still occupying their preferred tables time and time again. Why? Because Dink’s knows what they excel at: good old-fashioned pit BBQ and a homey atmosphere. For around $10, diners can get a heaping plate of Oklahoma’s best barbecue, so why mess with that?

These travelers are going to want to start looking up local real estate after eating at Dink’s:

Dink’s Pit  Bar-B-Que
Meseida Riviera – March 3, 2010

Dink’s does several things right, according to this food blogger: sweet tea, the real way, the BBQ sauce, perfectly seasoned onion straws and great hickory-smoked pulled pork.


Best BBQ…Ever!
Mustang – November 5, 2009

A blogger recounts the best BBQ joints between Neosho and Utah.


Washington County
Ben - June 17, 2009

This picky BBQ connoisseur (apparently all Okies are) swears on Dink’s.


You’ll never go hungry in this town, as Bartlesville has a lot of diverse dining options:

Jared’s Frozen Custard

Family-owned and operated, the Jareds’ have been offering cool, delicious solace in the sweltering hot Oklahoma summers since 2001.

Weeze’s Cafe

Offering classic brunch specials, Weeze’s Cafe is an ideal place to start a day on the town.

Murphy’s Original Steak House

Leave the tie at home, unless it’s a bolo, because the only thing they’re fancy about here is the quality of their cooking.

Live, breathe, and sleep design in Frank Lloyd Wright’s only skyscraper, the Inn at Price Tower

Photo by Exquisitely Bored in Nacogdoches via Flickr.

Spend a night sleeping in an iconic piece of architecture. Impeccably designed inside and out, the furniture in each room and suite were inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s original designs, copper trim to mirror the copper trim on the exterior of the building, triangle-shaped light fixtures, organic material, angled staircases to get from the suites’ living rooms to their respective sleeping quarters, and a red and green color palette. Offering festive packages for couples that include champagne, roses, chocolate-covered strawberries, complimentary breakfast and admission to all of the Price Tower attractions; or massage packages, the Price Tower is definitely a worthy contender for accommodation destinations in Bartlesville, and unquestionably the most unique inn around.

Designers and artists parse through the details at the Inn at Price Tower:

Oklahoma: Small Towns, Big Things
Emma Krasov – March 14, 2012

A blogger travels through Oklahoma and shares her favorite artistic and architectural attractions.


Frank Lloyd Wright’s Little Skyscraper on the Prairie
Debby Kaspari – March 12, 2013

An artist books the Valentine’s Day Inn Love Package and sketches the room, and notices some of the shortcomings of the elaborate design.


Price Tower – Bartlesville, OK – Part 1
Four Squares Per Inch – June 6, 2010

A blogger spends a weekend in one of the suites at Price Tower and, while finding the experience unique, sees some flaws in the design.


For the less avant-garde lodger, here are some more hotels in Bartlesville:

Hampton Inn Bartlesville

Located three miles from downtown Bartlesville and  convenient to all of the natural attractions of the Osage Hills.

Hilton Garden Inn Bartlesville

Located in the heart of Bartlesville’s central business district, with a restaurant and fitness center in the complex, the Hilton Garden Inn has everything to make a convenient stay.

Fairfield Inn & Suites Bartlesville

A reliable go-to for business travelers, the Hilton Garden Inn serves as a comfortable and economical lodging for any visitor to the area.

See Bartlesville, Oklahoma, on the map:

Jessica Wei

Jessica Wei

Jessica is a Montreal-based journalism graduate who hails from Toronto and has a passion for writing. Find her on Google+.