We (retired) live in Wales UK and are planning a holiday in June. (We have travelled fairly extensively in the States and prefer the friendliness of small town America to the bigger 'touristy' cities on the east and west coast). So far nothing is cast in stone except our flight to Fort Worth where we plan to catch the Amtrak up to Oklahoma City to pick up our hire car. We would obviously like to drive along Route 66 towards Tulsa but so far it's all an open book. Having grown up in the era of cowboy films, Dodge City is a must! Can anyone suggest some atmospheric places to visit geared towards the cowboy culture, old cattle trails etc. or if there are any events coming up roughly between 11th - 20th June with live country music, etc.
Oklahoma City has one of the best western museums anywhere. It is the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Center. One of the most moving sculptures I have seen anywhere is "The End of the Trail" there. There is lots about Native American art and culture as well. I think it is well worth a visit. While you are there, you should also have a steak at the Cattlemen's Steakhouse in the old stockyards district. Here is a link to my VT page that has more info on these and other things in OKC. Also, here is the link to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Center:
Speaking of western museums, if you allow any time in Ft. Worth, there is the Ft. Worth Cultural District there with the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, which has, among other things, a superb collection of Remington and Russell paintings of the Old West - see [original link] . Actually, the whole district is quite nice - the Kimbell, for example, is a "traditional" art museum with a tremendous collection - and includes also the Cattle Raisers Museum (which I have not seen) and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. See [original link]
And east of downtown (the Cultural District is in a huge park west of downtown) is the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame ( [original link] ) - again, another place I wasn't even aware of, much less visited.
While you are in Oklahoma City, please do visit the Oklahoma City Museum of Art especially to see the Chihuly glass collection ( [original link] ). The collection was a surprise to me several years ago when we went up there, and it created quite an impression.
Also, in Oklahoma City, you'll want to see the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum ( [original link] ) dedicated to the memory of the bombing in 1995 of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building by domestic terrorists that killed 168 people. You may not think that you would want to visit the site, but the way that the artist constructed the memorial will leave you speechless...it is stunning.
Oh, and if you're lucky, maybe you can take in a minor league baseball game while you're down in the Brickyards or Bricktown or whatever it is...the area is full of bars and restaurants around the stadium, and everyone knows that minor league games are a lot more fun and intimate than major league games.
Oh, as long as you are going to wander around Kansas, do go see the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home in Abilene (the one in Kansas, not Texas) ( [original link] ). Yes, ol' Dwight was born in Texas (Denison), but was raised in Kansas, so they got the rights to him. And since Dwight served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe (think: D-Day) as well as was the first chief of NATO, as UK residents, I figured you might have an affinity for him. Oh, and he wasn't a bad president, either ;-)
I can't say that I know much about country music, but we did take a trip up to Branson, Missouri one year. It is a giant almost Las Vegas like setting for country/western/americana - a more family-friendly locale than Sin City ;-)
Oddly enough, the show we saw was Shoji Tabuchi - an ethnic Japanese who has (with his wife and daughter) has run a first class production of American and patriotic music in his own theater for twenty years. Who would have thunk it? Actually it was really quite well done. And, of course, there are umpty bumpty other things to do there...see [original link]
Thank you so much for your information (did answer before but it got lost somewhere in cyber space!). In view of your info we definitely plan to stay an extra night and visit the museum it sounds wonderful - right up our street!
Thank you very much for your info. We feel the cowboy museum is a must. It sounds exactly the sort of place we want to visit and spend time in.
Rex - My reply to you has come out one below! So sorry! As you will see from the gist of it this is exactly what we are looking for. Thank you so much once again you've been very helpful.