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Do this: The summer bucket list you've always wanted

A checklist of the best things to do in Tulsa this summer

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Admiral Twin

Beer & wine, yoga & boot-scootin’, food trucks & calf nuts. The editors & contributors of The Tulsa Voice offer this checklist of the best things to do in Tulsa this summer. Do it all and, who knows, you might evolve into a higher life form. Or, at least, you’ll be exhausted in the best possible way, sweaty, GRITTY, and GRINNING. 

1 // Catch a double feature

For over 60 years, Tulsans young and old have flocked to the Admiral Twin, just off our city’s stretch of Route 66, to watch the day’s summer movies from the comfort of their own jalopies. (Someone told us that the majority of born-and-raised Tulsans were conceived during a picture show at the famous two-sided drive-in.) The Admiral Twin is a true Tulsa icon, and we’re lucky to have it back after the fire that destroyed the former screen structure nearly four years ago.  // John Langdon

2 // Lurk at the Cellar Dweller

True story: the biggest reason I moved into my apartment is because it sits next door to this hidden gem of a watering hole. Getting shitfaced without having to take a cab ranks right up there with air conditioning and Internet porn among the joys of 21st-century civilization. Most nights, local art photographer and mix master Western Doughty is behind the bar, tending to the needs of regulars and newcomers alike (including, on at least one occasion, some bona fide stars), and every Wednesday you can imbibe musical manna from the great Mike Cameron Collective with no cover. Tucked underneath the Del Rey building at 417 W. 7th St., the Cellar is a one-of-a-kind, not to be missed. // Joe O’Shansky

3 // Show Philly how it’s done

What started as a dive on the south side of downtown is now a hot spot on Peoria just north of Cherry Street for foodies seeking an Okie take on Philly flavor. The owner of Phat Philly's, Jason Smith, conducted his product research on the streets of Philadelphia by eating piles of various cheese, meat, and veggie concoctions. He brought one change in opposition from the land of the Liberty Bell; today, he creates the meal made-to-order with Bob Marley blasting in the background. Tulsa doesn’t mind waiting for this steak-filled calorie bomb when it is this good. Check out the post in the dining room that’s signed by the greats of music’s highest echelons. // Britt Greenwood

4 // Go on a UHF pilgrimage

Tourists have made the trek for years, and if you are a native Tulsan it is your obligation. From Billy Ray’s Catfish as Burger World to First Christian Church as the film’s City Hall, Tulsa is the backdrop for the Citizen Kane of Twinkie-wiener-sandwich movies, “UHF,” starring none other than Weird Al Yankovic. tulsatvmemories.com has a comprehensive list of the film’s landmarks. // Mitch Gilliam

5 // Walk on water

Not quite like Jesus, but close. Take up stand-up paddleboarding and learn to wield a paddle. Soon you can roll along our lazy shoreline (yes, we have shoreline here in landlocked Oklahoma—we’re the real land o’ lakes). Private, group, and fitness classes are offered through SUP Oklahoma, a stand-up paddleboard shop serving Tulsa and the surrounding area. If you’re already adept at paddling, equipment can be rented for hours or days; the group leads monthly social paddles, too. Check the calendar at supoklahoma.com for dates and breakdowns—see about the Full Moon events, too. // Jennifer Luitwieler

6 // Listen for the Tulsa Sound

From Western Swing to Greenwood Jazz to the legendary Tulsa Sound, our city is home to a towering musical heritage, and a new generation of musicians carries on that legacy every night in venues across Tulsa. But few musical hotspots can top The Colony (2809 S. Harvard Ave.), where every single night you can hear original Tulsa tunes from a vast variety of genres and styles. For more on how to hear the best local music, see page 42. // Matt Cauthron

7 // Join the underground

Wander through the network of tunnels that connect several Tulsa buildings, parking garages, and cafes just beneath the skin of the city. Get started on your tour of these underground thoroughfares – originally conceived in the ‘20s, the current network makes it possible to walk from 5th and Boston to 1st and Main without stepping foot outside – at the parking garage adjacent to the Hyatt Hotel, at 100 E. Second St.  // Natasha Ball

8 // Smell some art

Just as impressive as the Philbrook mansion, its architecture, and the massive art collection is what awaits outside: a circuit of what are, in my opinion, the most stunning walking paths in Tulsa. Exiting the east doors of the museum, visitors are welcomed by awe-inducing gardens, coy ponds, and carefully cultivated flowerbeds. The massive south garden gives those on promenade a visual feast. Follow the paths to find bridges, sculptures, a creek, or veer off into the manicured lawns to explore nature and man-made art. // Britt Greenwood

9 // Eat at Mario’s New York Style Pizzeria

Why? Because someone named Mario once co-owned it and he looked like the guy in the video GAME. Because you can order “naked” pasta. Because when my daughter was three, they used to cut her off a piece of dough to play with. Because, even though she’s 25 now, if she wanted dough, they still would. Because they have a gumball machine and shitty plastic forks. Because it’s not just about the pizza. Because, well, it really is. // Barry Friedman

10 // Re-enact a scene from Rumble Fish

In the early 1980s, Francis Ford Coppola was inspired by Tulsa, by S.E. Hinton and her writing. He and Hinton wrote the script for Rumble Fish, his unsettling, avant-garde movie starring Mickey Rourke as Motorcycle Boy and Matt Dillon as Rusty James, while filming The Outsiders. Coppola’s black-and-white tale of teenage angst in Tulsa flopped at the box office. But the three decades later critics and Tulsans have learned to love this strangely compelling gem. Trek off the beaten RiverParks path underneath the 21st Street Bridge, where a few scenes from the movie were shot. Now, the area is filled with happy day-drinking spots like Elwood’s and the Blue Rose Café. In coming years, this area will be developed like crazy with A Gathering Place, a multi-multi-million-dollar park extravaganza, slated to open in 2015.  // Jennie Lloyd

11 // Eat breakfast in an Art Deco relic

Enjoy Tulsa’s Art Deco history over a crepe and some gelato. Located in the Philcade Lobby, on Boston between 4th and 5th Streets, the Tulsa Art Deco Museum features several displays containing relics and photographs celebrating the Art Deco of Tulsa’s past and present. The museum’s location in the Philcade Building is appropriate, as the building is itself one. The proximity to Mod’s Coffee and Crepes is an added perk; find tasty things within. // John Langdon

12 // Take the Pony Shot

Knock back the booze and use the “glass” as a chaser, or pop the whole thing in your mouth like a Fruit Gusher. Neither technique will mask the hot-dog-full-of-blackberry-rum taste of this specialty shot at Soundpony, ground zero for Tulsa’s music scene that’s patronized by a certain ilk. Use on tourists and touring bands. Just don’t tell ‘em I sent you, because they are a pain to make. // Mitch Gilliam

Ed. note: Make that blackberry brandy, not rum. 

13 // Get fat at Ron’s

Since 1975 Ron’s Hamburgers & Chili has been making what is, to my mind and stomach, some of the very best burgers in Tulsa. What started as a modest family business has turned into popular local franchise and burger phenomenon. Ron’s is known for homemade chili and burgers cooked on a flat grill, but it’s the sausage cheeseburger that is phenomenal. Ron’s Special, a 1/3 lb. cheeseburger with cured ham and real bacon pieces, is a crowd-pleaser and my personal favorite. Order the spicy Spanish Fries to share with a friend. // Allison Keim