Photo: Gold oil statue

In a more bountiful time, Tulsa, Oklahoma, sat atop the world's largest known pool of oil. Drilling derricks were everywhere and the city called itself "Oil Capital of the World." To celebrate this good fortune, a 76-foot (23-meter) roustabout was built on the Tulsa Fairgrounds in 1953.

Photograph by Karen Wiley, My Shot

Pop. 385,635
GPS: 36°07'N, 95°55'W

Tulsa has two major art museums, pro ballet and opera companies, and a revitalized downtown full of art deco buildings, but it's far from arts-centric: There's serious hiking in two hours southeast in the Ouachita Mountains and hard-core singletrack in Osage Hills State Park.

PLAY

Join up with New Heights Rock Gym in town, and take a weekend Basic Guiding course to nearby Sams Throne, a three-mile (five-kilometer) long sandstone cliff with more than 500 routes ($150; newheightsgym.com).

EAT

Knotty Pine is a hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint that sells its sauce in gallon jugs; locals grew up loving it (knottypinetulsa.com).

SLEEP

The quiet, boutique-style Hotel Savoy offers full-size kitchens and French antiques in every room (suites from $119; tulsasavoy.com).

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