When traveling to communities across Oklahoma or out of state, one of my top goals is having an authentic experience. Whether history and art, food and coffee, or architecture and design, the things that make my destination distinct from every other place are what I want to see and do. Ultimately, I want to immerse myself in the local culture.

For visitors to Oklahoma City, a resource is available that provides the tools and incentives for them to experience the local places that make Oklahoma City unique. Since 2011, Keep it Local OK has been making it easy for people to fully immerse themselves in the Oklahoma City community.

Started by longtime Oklahoma City residents, Bryce Bandy and Chris Branson, who, today, remain its only full-time staff members, Keep it Local OK produces and sells an annual discount card for only $10 that allows card holders to take advantage of discounts offered at hundreds of locally owned Keep it Local OK member businesses. For many people, the card pays for itself after only a few purchases. Cards are available online, but Bandy and Branson encourage people to purchase cards from their member businesses.

To assist people in finding Keep it Local OK member businesses, a free app for iPhone and Android users is available for download. The Keep it Local OK app makes it easy to discover and learn about the locally owned member businesses, and it lists discounts offered by each for cardholders. Member businesses include retail stores that sell artist designed T-shirts and one-of-a-kind products, coffee shops that roast and brew their own unique blends of coffee, restaurants that offer cuisine for every palate, and much more. The app even includes menus of the food and beverage businesses that are Keep it Local OK members.

Beyond their free app, the Keep it Local OK website features videos, produced by local talent, that offer an engaging glimpse at the local hot spots and districts that out-of-town guests may want to explore.

Thanks to the tools and incentives offered by Keep it Local OK, visitors to Oklahoma City will be able to take home with them the keepsakes, specialty items, experiences and memories that will forever remind them of their time in Oklahoma City.

To learn more about Keep it Local OK, find member businesses, or purchase a Keep it Local OK card, visit keepitlocalok.com.