As Christmas approaches, we thought we’d spotlight a few of Tulsa’s unique shopping districts. This week, we’ll wander through Utica Square, which marked its 50th anniversary in May.
Located at the corner of Utica Avenue and 21st Street, Utica Square was on the outskirts of town when it opened in 1952 — which gives you an idea of how rapidly Tulsa has grown. Laid out more like a community than a mall, the shopping center is home to a mix of high-end chain stores and one-of-a-kind local businesses, all tucked into pretty little storefronts under stately shade trees. You can pick up kitchen gadgets at Williams-Sonoma, quirky accessories at The Snow Goose, and all the ingredients for a perfect Christmas dinner at Petty’s Fine Foods. In between, you’ll find clothing, coffee, chocolates, jewelry, knitting supplies, bedding, bath products, luggage, smoking accessories, gift wrap, and a variety of places to stop for lunch. If you can’t find it at Utica Square, you probably don’t need it. (OK, “need” is probably a strong word to describe a decaf cappuccino or a scarf designed to look like crime-scene tape, but we all have to stay warm and hydrated, right?)
Utica Square is mentioned in several of the books in P.C. and Kristin Cast’s House of Night books; in particular, the shopping center’s Starbucks is a popular meeting place for students at the series’ eponymous “vampyre finishing school.”
There were no apparent vampires (or “vampyres,” to use the Casts’ spelling) hanging out at Utica Square during a recent visit, but a nearby clock tower evoked images of Wookiees and Jawas when it marked the end of the day by chiming the main theme from the Star Wars movies. Now that we’re past Thanksgiving, you’re more likely to hear Christmas carols as you wander along the sidewalks and admire the decorations, which include large animated dioramas depicting scenes from The Nutcracker.
A shopping excursion at Utica Square is the perfect excuse to spend a weekend in Tulsa. Why not treat yourself to a night at The Campbell Hotel and a day of exploring one of Tulsa’s oldest and best-loved shopping centers? To reserve your room, call us at (918) 744-5500 or visit www.thecampbellhotel.com.
To get to Utica Square from The Campbell Hotel, turn left on 11th Street and go about a mile and a half west to Utica. Turn left on Utica and proceed south about a mile to 21st Street. Utica Square is on the southeast corner of 21st and Utica.