OKLAHOMA CITY — It’s turning out to be a very Ford-driven trip, this foray into Oklahoma. Literally. Our Lyft driver picks us up at Devon Energy Tower in a Ford F-150, driving us to 21c Museum Hotel, which resides within a former Ford assembly plant that opened in 1916 to make Model Ts.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Why am I in Oklahoma? My daughter is marrying an Oklahoma guy, so I’ve scheduled 24 hours to hang out with her fiance’s mom, Kathy Andrews.

I pick Kathy up at the family’s restaurant, Jo’s Famous Pizza in Purcell, about 45 minutes south of Oklahoma City, and, while I scarf down a taco mini-pizza, she tells me the story of her sister, Jo Powers, founding the restaurant in 1963 as Jo’s Pizza Hut. Purcell’s a bit isolated, and Jo didn’t know about the big chain that quickly sent her a cease-and-desist letter.

“The next day, Jo was out there scraping the word ‘Hut’ off the sign,” Kathy says as her own pepperoni pizza arrives. The “Famous” part of the name came later, after the place became a well-known stop for the hungry along Interstate 35. Long before I knew Kathy, I loved this pizza, born of house-made dough and sauce and carefully sourced real cheese and ingredients, all piled by the fistful atop a crunchy crust that’s thinnish, yet sturdy enough to hold up to the pile of toppings.

Thus fortified, we drive north, through Norman, home of OU. Close your eyes if you will, but I can tell you there’s a really good Mexican restaurant in Norman — Ted’s Café Escondido, an outpost of the Oklahoma City spot. Try the spinach enchiladas. And if you have a day up here with the kids, I highly recommend a tour of the National Weather Center, the National Weather Service’s huge headquarters, right here in the middle of tornado alley. Schedule your tour a couple of weeks in advance. They’re popular.

On this day, though, Kathy and I push on to Oklahoma City, known for its Bricktown bar-and-restaurant area as well as some good museums. My favorites are the American Banjo Museum (history all the way back to when they were made with gourds) and the National Cowboy Western Heritage Museum, filled with art (Bierstadt, Remington and more) but also poker chips from the old TV show “Gunsmoke” and an excellent maple bread pudding in the cafeteria.

We’ve decided to hit the emerging warehouse redevelopment, Film Row. We wend our way through construction, over the Robinson Street bridge crossing I-40, past the 380-foot Skydance pedestrian bridge over which looms a nearly 200-foot, scissorlike steel structure. Kathy explains the sculpture is meant to portray the state bird, the scissor-tailed flycatcher.

We arrive at the 21c Museum Hotel. If you’ve stayed in a 21c, you know they all house art museums. This one’s created from the aforementioned former Ford assembly plant. The first floor’s a museum, and each floor still has giant garage doors, as well as contemporary art and the occasional purple penguin. Penguins — you can take one home for just shy of $3,000 — show up all over the hotel and move around during the day. At one point we find two in the elevator.

After checking into our industrial-chic room ($199 on a weekday) featuring a huge multi-paned window overlooking the construction of zillions of nearby apartments, we browse the deceptively huge first-floor art gallery. It features contemporary work including edgy art such as a portrait of Reagan-era Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci that French artist Alain DeClercq created by shooting plywood with his .22 rifle.

Then off we trek to explore Film Row, the warehouse-filled Sheridan Avenue that was the former distribution point for movies back when they had to be moved in huge canisters. Now, the warehouses are filled with art and architecture firms, galleries and a growing number of restaurants and bars. Emerging artists are showcased in IAO (Individual Artists of Oklahoma), which is typically open 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., but sometimes it’s not if nobody’s there. (It wasn’t at 3 p.m. on our Monday.) The ’80s-themed Flashback Pub offers a chance to play vintage arcade games (“Donkey Kong,” anyone?). Brownies and grilled cheese sandwiches are among the specialties at Caeli’s Sweets, Eats and Bar.

We’ve heard great things about the savory tarts at Okay Yeah, a coffee spot inside a plant store. It’s a little hard to find, set back off Sheridan, with the Plant Store sign large and “Okay Yeah” in small print on the door. But it’s a fun place, with an airstream trailer parked inside amid the plants. Sadly, we’re told the gas has been turned off three days ago, nobody knows why, and there’s no food available. I’m beginning to think Austin doesn’t have a corner on weird.

I’d had in mind dining at the Jones Assembly, an industrial hip food and craft cocktails spot with live music that occupies the back half of the Ford plant our hotel is in. Alas, it’s Monday and the place is closed. My son-in-law-elect recommends Vast, a high-end restaurant on the 49th floor of the 50-story Devon Energy Tower that has dominated the Oklahoma City skyline since 2012.

In years past, you could never trust the food at a place with a view. But in this millennium, some good chefs have become less afraid of heights. Happily, Vast’s Kevin Lee is one. We love our massive appetizer, a double-decker crab tostada with avocado and fava beans. Good thing we’re sharing; it’s entree-size. My actual entree, Duck Two Ways, satisfyingly pairs a chicken-fried duck leg over duck fat polenta with a deftly medium-rare roasted duck in a berry gastrique with mixed berries, baby spinach and almonds.

We roll ourselves into the elevator down and, ears a-popping, summon the Ford F-150 home to the factory. It’s been a far-more-than-OK day in Oklahoma, and I’ll be back when Okay Yeah gets its gas turned back on.

— Helen Anders writes about travel for the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman.