Nestled just north of downtown, the historic Paseo Arts District is a hidden gem to even some locals and a must-visit destination for new residents who love the arts (and/or food).
The Paseo is a district of firsts. The Paseo was originally developed in 1929 by Oklahoma City pioneer GA Nichols as the first commercial shopping district north of downtown. The Paseo still features the same Spanish-inspired, stucco buildings it did in the ’20s. From its 1960s and ’70s heyday as a counterculture haven to its current renaissance as the center of Oklahoma City’s arts community, the historic Paseo District is a place of singular charm and style.
The winding streets are home to the art galleries and studios that give this district so much artistic flair. The Paseo Arts District is also home to some of Oklahoma City’s best restaurants and bars.
The surrounding Paseo Neighborhoods, filled with historic homes, makes it the perfect walkable neighborhood. In fact, the Paseo was ranked one of the top 10 great neighborhoods in America by the American Planning Association.
Each May, the district holds its annual Paseo Arts Festival which routinely draws more than 60,000 visitors to enjoy art, music and food. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this year’s festival has been postponed to Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5-7.
On the first Friday of each month, the Paseo cranks up the hospitality with the First Friday Gallery Walk, in which more than 80 neighborhood artists show off their wares amid a blocks-long party of music, food and fun. For the time being, the First Friday Gallery Walk is going virtual.