Land of Hidden Treasures | Oklahoma
Oklahoma has divided its diverse landscape into six regions or "countries" - each with a distinct flavor, image and unique cities and towns that make great destination sites. Did you know that mile for mile, Oklahoma offers the nation's most diverse terrain? Why not explore it now?
Red Carpet Country
If you prefer museums, Alva has got you covered. Established in 1902, the Northwestern Oklahoma State Museum is the second oldest in Oklahoma. After learning about fossils, next is the Cherokee Strip Museum, which has one of the best collections of pioneer exhibits and Indian art and artifacts in the state. As an added treat, around town, you will also find an impressive series of more than a dozen historical murals that will add a wonderful touch to your tour.
The historic town of Enid was a well-known watering hole and overnight stop along the Chisholm Trail and was opened for settlement as part of the Cherokee Strip land run. Local attractions in Enid include the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, Leonardo’s Children's Museum and Adventure Quest, Gaslight Theatre, and more. Spend a summer day marveling at the incredible model train exhibits at the Railroad Museum of Oklahoma. Enid's Summer Chautauqua is one of the oldest Chautauqua events in Oklahoma.
Freedom is home to the largest natural gypsum cave in the world that is open to the public and the only gypsum show cave in the United States. Explore this unique treasure at Alabaster Caverns State Park, which offers daily guided cavern tours. Within the park, discover the Selman Bat Cave, which hosts an annual summer event when one million Mexican free-tailed bats return to the area during migration.
Founded in 1893, the entirety of downtown Newkirk is on the National Register of Historic Places with the largest collection of limestone buildings in Oklahoma. If you are after a taste of history in Kaw County, head to the Newkirk Community Museum or the Newkirk Heritage Center. This small north-central Oklahoma town offers casinos big and small to fit your gaming style - from the sprawling SouthWind Casino to smaller operations like the 7 Clans Casino. Newkirk is also home to the Native Lights Casino and 7 Clans First Council Casino, which also has a luxurious onsite hotel.
A lottery drew the lucky numbers of Ponca City, Oklahoma's settlers and oil made it into the thriving cultural center it is today. Honor the brave women who settled Oklahoma at the Pioneer Woman Statue and Museum. Tour the Italian "Palace on the Prairie," the Marland Mansion, built by oil baron and Governor E.W. Marland.
With a history of black gold dating back to 1905, Bartlesville is a hub of architecture, culture, history, and art in Oklahoma. Visit the Price Tower & Price Tower Arts Center to see modern art and feats in design including works by Oklahoma architect Bruce Goff. The Price Tower is famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s only fully realized skyscraper and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
The Route 66 town of Claremore gave the state two of its best-loved sons: Will Rogers and Lynn Riggs, scribe of Green Grow the Lilacs, the play that inspired musical Oklahoma! Visit the Will Rogers Memorial Museum, where you can explore the life and accomplishments of this dynamic political pundit, comic and global celebrity. At the small Lynn Riggs Memorial, you can see the original "surrey with the fringe on top" from the movie musical version of Oklahoma!
The city of Okmulgee takes its name after the Muscogee Creek word meaning “bubbling water.” Take a walking tour of the Okmulgee Downtown Historic District, which boasts over 140 buildings that were nominated for the National Register of Historic Places. In 2002, Okmulgee was ranked in the top five Great American Main Streets by the National Main Street Center.
Tahlequah, the capital of the Cherokee Nation, has been named one of the Top 100 Best Small Towns in America. Tour the recreated ancient Cherokee village of Tsa-La-Gi, located at the Cherokee Heritage Center. Float down what many consider the state's best canoe waterway, the Illinois River, or make a big splash at Lake Tenkiller. Tour the Tahlequah Original Historic Townsite District, an area where the street signs are written in English and Cherokee, and test your luck at the Cherokee Casino.
Tulsa, Oklahoma's second-largest city is a haven of Southern comfort and cosmopolitan style. The city stands tall with its magnificent art deco treasures, Route 66 gems, and the new Cesar Pelli-designed BOK Center, a state-of-the-art venue for national concerts and sporting events. Each year a multitude of festivals and events such as Tulsa International Mayfest, Tulsa Oktoberfest, and the Oklahoma Scottish Festival celebrate Tulsa's culture and heritage and add to the long list of things to do. Discover unique vibrant districts such as the Blue Dome Entertainment District, the Brookside District, the Brady Arts District, and the Cherry Street District.
As Oklahoma's territorial capital, Guthrie's ongoing restoration efforts make the town's downtown area the largest Historic Preservation District in the nation. Take a trolley tour through downtown to find fascinating history, one-of-a-kind stores and more than a dozen bed and breakfasts housed in charming Victorian-era buildings or enjoy the views from a romantic horse-drawn carriage.
Western charm goes metropolitan in Oklahoma's capital city. Oklahoma City offers plenty of things to do and boasts big-league attractions, including the OKC Thunder NBA team and a revitalized downtown area starring the Bricktown Entertainment District. Enjoy top-notch museums, including the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Rope up some fun at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and other Adventure District destinations.
Named after the Seminole Nation, oil played a starring role in local history as the Greater Seminole Area was once one of Oklahoma's 22 "giant" oil fields (oil continues as a viable industry in the region to this day). Two museums showcase the town's diverse offerings: explore the oil boom days of the Roaring 20s at the Oklahoma Oil Museum, and spur imaginations with the interactive magic of the Jasmine Moran Children's Museum.
If you are seeking a more refined getaway, head to the Choctaw Casino Resort (reminiscent of Vegas) in Durant. This world-class resort has a concert venue that brings some of the biggest names in entertainment. There is endless fun to be had at the casino’s tables, and the resort ensures a one-of-a-kind getaway with nearly a dozen dining options, a spa, luxury hotel, and a beautiful water park with Jacuzzis, streams for floating, and a covered cabana that’s accessible without ever leaving the water.
Full of natural beauty, Davis is home to Turner Falls Park, home to one of the state’s tallest waterfalls that drops 77 feet into a refreshing swimming hole. Full of wildflowers and breathtaking scenery, both Turner Falls Park and the Arbuckle Mountains are popular camping areas in the region. See the mountains from a different vantage point and get your adrenaline pumping by zip lining 1,700 feet at Air Donkey Zipline Adventures. Get in touch with the area’s past at the Arbuckle Historical Society Museum and attend the Arbuckle Mountain Bluegrass Festival held each fall.
Thackerville is known far and wide as the home of the Winstar World Casino & Hotel. This world-class getaway sports over 600,000 square feet of gaming, making it the largest casino in the United States. A trip to Winstar offers everything you need for an inclusive vacation, complete with countless restaurants, over 7,400 electronic games, nearly 100 table games.
Great Plains Country
Anadarko has a rich Native American history and it is the self-proclaimed “Indian Capital of the Nation,” as Native Americans make up the near majority of the population. The Southern Plains Indian Museum celebrates the arts, crafts, clothes, and weaponry of several tribes including the Kiowa, Comanche, Kiowa Apache, Southern Cheyenne, Southern Arapaho, Wichita, Caddo, and Delaware tribes. Don’t miss the annual Kiowa Black Leggings Warrior Society Ceremonial in the summer. Anadarko is also home to the National Hall of Fame for Famous American Indians, the Delaware Tribal Museum, Gallery of Art at Anadarko and Anadarko Heritage Museum. Even the post office in town is a special place that holds 16 murals by Stephen Mopope, an artist of the “Kiowa Five.”
Known as the “Hub City of Western Oklahoma,” Clinton has become a major city along Route 66 and it is home to the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum. Let the audio tour and exhibits guide you through over sixty years of history, catch a movie at the drive-in theater or browse replicas of 1950s style diner replicas and antique cars. See all Clinton has to offer including wineries, cultural centers, and Native American attractions just off Route 66.
More Oklahoma Attractions
Find adventure and comfort alike in the heart of Oklahoma with a visit to the city of Shawnee! With cuisine from downhome to modern, shopping for all tastes and a wide variety of museums, historical attractions and more, Shawnee promises a uniquely Oklahoman experience: where all of the appeal of an Americana road trip meets the amenities of the city.
There are hundreds of fascinating places to go in Oklahoma, but Green Country has a unique flavor of its own. Tumbling rivers, expansive lakes, and tallgrass prairie are the hallmarks of the region, rich in culture and verdant grandeur. Tulsa’s city lights offer the ultimate in metro exploring, while trekking Route 66 takes you into the heart of the definitive road trip experience. A winning combination of outdoor life and charming communities, Green Country is a bold adventure you’ll never forget.
Connect with O.K.