Oklahoma City, known for its western roots and cowboy culture, serves as the state capital of Oklahoma. As a cultural, financial and economic hub, it’s home to a diverse population and is famous for its welcoming and friendly atmosphere and its many entertainment opportunities. So, grab your cowboy boots, hold on to your hat and get ready to discover all you need to know about moving to Oklahoma City.

How big is Oklahoma City?

With its almost 690K residents, Oklahoma City is populous enough to offer that big city feel, encompassing diversity, vibrancy and access to all sorts of opportunities. However, you’ll never feel cramped while in Oklahoma City because it’s really big when it comes to its actual geographic size.

Serving as the county seat of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma City covers much of the county and stretches into neighboring Canadian, Cleveland and Pottawatomie counties. It covers a total area of just over 620 square miles, making it the second-largest city by area in the US, second only to Houston. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area covers seven counties and a total of around 6,360 square miles.

The city proper is divided into nine districts: Downtown, Midtown, Uptown, Inner City South, Northeast, Northwest, Westside, Southside and Southeast. Each district is subject to special zoning rules in order to maintain the character of the various communities and neighborhoods within it.

What is the weather like in Oklahoma City?

With a humid subtropical climate, Oklahoma City weather allows residents to spend plenty of time outdoors. Residents do enjoy four seasons, although summers can get very hot. In the summer months, from June to August, temperatures can soar to highs in the 90s, with occasional heat waves bringing temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity can also be high during this time, making it feel even hotter. Winters in Oklahoma City are mild, with temperatures occasionally dropping to the low 20s in December and January. Snowfall is common during the winter months but is rarely significant. Spring and fall are transitional seasons in Oklahoma City, with mild temperatures and occasional thunderstorms.

Oklahoma City is known for its occasional extreme weather events. Being located in the heart of Tornado Alley, it’s prone to thunder and hailstorms, as well as tornadoes. The most extreme weather tends to strike in April and May.

How are the economy and the job sector doing in Oklahoma City?

Driving sectors of Oklahoma City’s economy have traditionally included oil and energy, agriculture and government. However, in recent years the economy has diversified to the extent that industries such as tech, IT, health care and services now play a major role in the job market. Tourism is another important sector, with travelers from across the globe visiting Oklahoma City for a taste of the old west.

The city is home to several large energy companies, as well as health care organizations such as Integris Health and OU Health. The aerospace industry is also significant, as is the military, with Boeing and Tinker Air Force Base employing thousands of workers. In addition, the city has a strong logistics sector, with its central location making it an ideal hub for distribution and transportation.

Oklahoma City has also seen significant growth and investment in recent years, with a thriving downtown area and ongoing development of new businesses and infrastructure projects. Overall, the local economy in Oklahoma City is robust and diverse, offering a range of opportunities for both businesses and workers.

Finding your ideal home in Oklahoma City

Housing in Oklahoma City is fairly varied and in recent years, downtown development has increased the diversity of the real estate market considerably. Downtown neighborhoods are experiencing a surge of revitalization, with new apartment blocks and condos appearing side by side with commercial areas and entertainment districts.

Currently, about 60% of Oklahoma City’s residents are homeowners, while the rest are renters. The majority of homes are single-unit, with family homes spreading out across most neighborhoods outside of downtown. Lincoln Terrace offers a range of historic homes, many boasting two stories, as well as fireplaces and spiral staircases. Meanwhile, The Village offers more modern and affordable housing, with proximity to the fantastic amenities of the neighboring Nichols Hills neighborhood featuring streets lined with upscale family homes.

Mesta Park, an historic neighborhood located just east of downtown, is known for its beautiful architecture, including many homes on the National Register of Historic Places. It has a strong sense of community and is home to several parks and community events. The trendy Midtown neighborhood, located just north of downtown, has a quiet, residential feel and is popular with families. As you can see, there’s something for everyone in terms of housing and neighborhood feel in Oklahoma City — you just need to find the right one for you and your family.

How is education in Oklahoma City?

Families that intend to make OKC their new home should know they have access to good quality education for their children, with schools such as Classen School of Advanced Studies and Harding Charter Preparatory High School ranked among the best in the state.

OKC is home to a sizable student population as well, featuring a few public and private universities and colleges. The largest of these is the University of Oklahoma, which has a campus in Norman, just south of Oklahoma City.  The University of Oklahoma has several institutes within the city, including six medical schools. Dating back to 1904, Oklahoma City University also offers a wide array of programs, including performing arts, law, science and business.

Other notable institutions include Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City and the University of Central Oklahoma. In addition, the city has several community colleges and technical schools that provide vocational training and workforce development opportunities.

Beyond traditional academic programs, Oklahoma City also has a strong focus on research and innovation, with several institutions dedicated to advancing science and technology. For example, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation is a world-renowned biomedical research institute, while the Oklahoma City-based Thunderbird School of Global Management is a leader in international business education.

What to do for fun in Oklahoma City, from the great outdoors to the cowboy culture and more

There are plenty of fun things to do in and around Oklahoma City for everyone, from families with children to young adults who want to party, or from lovers of the great outdoors to sports fans.

If you’re into an active lifestyle and enjoy being outdoors, check out Scissortail Park, which offers 70 acres of green space, walking trails, an outdoor stage and a playground. Or you could take a scenic walk or bike ride along the Oklahoma River, where you can partake in activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding and boating. A great family activity is visiting the Oklahoma City Zoo, with over 1,900 animals, including lions, tigers, bears and many other species.

Horseback riding and cattle wrangling are traditional Oklahoma City pastimes, and many residents continue to enjoy cowboy culture in the city. Immerse yourself in it by exploring the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s galleries and exhibits, which include art, artifacts and interactive displays.

One of the most popular areas in OKC is the Bricktown Entertainment District, which features a lively canal, shops, restaurants and bars. The district is also home to the Chesapeake Energy Arena, where you can catch a Thunder basketball game or a concert.

What the process of moving to Oklahoma City actually entails

Oklahoma City is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, with newcomers pouring in not only from other parts of the state, but also from cities such as Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles.

  • Moving to Oklahoma City from Dallas

The cost of moving  from Dallas, Texas, to Oklahoma City varies between $1,900 and $4,500 for the contents of an average three-bedroom home if you’re using professional movers. The cost of housing in Oklahoma City is 39% lower compared to Dallas, while utilities are 17% lower. Both Oklahoma City and Dallas have a humid subtropical climate, which means they have hot summers and mild winters with occasional snowfall. However, Oklahoma City tends to be a bit colder in the winter. Compared to Dallas, a larger city with more diverse cultural offerings and a more bustling downtown area, Oklahoma City has a more laid-back, small-town feel, but still has plenty to offer in terms of cultural attractions.

  • Moving to Oklahoma City from Los Angeles

 Moving from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City can be a significant change in lifestyle, as the two cities have quite different cultures. On the one hand, you may find that life is less stressful in Oklahoma City, with a slower pace and more friendly, community-oriented people. On the other hand, you may miss the excitement and energy of Los Angeles. Another big difference is the cost of living. Oklahoma City is generally much more affordable than Los Angeles, with lower housing costs, lower taxes and a lower overall cost of living. This can be a big advantage if you’re looking to save money or stretch your budget further.

  • Do you need a car in Oklahoma City?

Most people moving to Oklahoma City need a car to be able to get around. Although there’s public transportation in the city, including fixed-route buses, express buses and downtown streetcars, the network is relatively limited compared to larger metropolitan areas. Additionally, Oklahoma City does not have a dedicated light rail or subway system.

  • How can you make the move to Oklahoma City easier?

Before moving, research Oklahoma City to familiarize yourself with its geography, neighborhoods, climate, cost of living and amenities. This can help you understand what to expect and make informed decisions about where to live, work and play. If possible, it’s a good idea to actually spend some time in the city prior to relocating there, in order to get a sense of the place.

Check out different neighborhoods and housing options in Oklahoma City based on your budget, preferences and lifestyle. Consider factors such as proximity to work, amenities, schools and transportation options when choosing a place to live. It will probably be helpful to rent at first and look into buying a home only when you’re positive you found the perfect area for your needs and wants.

How to use self storage while moving (and living) in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City benefits from a well-developed self storage sector, with around 116 self storage facilities offering no less than 6.9M square feet of storage space to residents.

Renting a storage unit in Oklahoma City can be a great way to make the moving process run a little more smoothly. By sending your belongings to storage rather than straight to your new home, you gain flexibility when it comes to moving in. Thus, you can start life in your new abode at your own pace.

You can choose among a variety of unit sizes depending on how much stuff you own. A 10’x20’ storage unit, which holds all the contents of a medium to large home, rents for around $150 per month in Oklahoma City. However, for some, this unit might be too large, in which case they can rent a 10’x15’ storage unit — the cost for this unit size hovers around $122 per month.

A storage unit is worth keeping your even after you’ve moved in — it’s a great way to maintain your home clutter-free and provides a fantastic solution during renovations. Most homeowners find that a 10’x10’ storage unit is just the right size when it comes to storing various possessions long term. You can keep extra furniture, out-of-season clothing, tools and equipment that you don’t use on daily basis, sports gear and so on. Renting self storage in Oklahoma City can also be a great way to keep your belongings safe during stormy periods. These can include vehicles, outdoor furniture and any other valuable personal possessions.

Moving to a new city can be a big undertaking, but with careful planning, research and a positive mindset, you can make your move to Oklahoma City smoother and more enjoyable.


Maria Gatea is a real estate and lifestyle editor for Yardi with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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