The Getaway
Small Town Marvels to Visit in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is one of the most geographically diverse states in the USA, with wetlands, great plains, prairies, and mountains to explore. From the Ozark and Wichita Mountain regions to the semi-arid plains and traversed by Route 66, there's a lot to experience here. You'll find an excellent music scene that goes beyond the Rodgers and Hammerstein song, wildlife, and interesting towns all over Oklahoma. Frequently overlooked, Oklahoma is somewhere to pause and enjoy the outdoors and the hospitable small towns.


01 Check out the geology in Freedom

Located in northwest Oklahoma, Freedom is famous for its geological features. The town is home to the largest natural gypsum cave in the world that is accessible to the public. It is located in nearby Alabaster Caverns State Park, where daily tours include the cave. The state park is also home to Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area, where over a million Mexican free-tailed bats can be seen each summer.

02 Learn about history in Hennessey

Hennessey is a small town with delightful independent stores and places to eat. Check out Prairie Quilt for some stunning patchwork designs, or shop for gifts at Turkey Mercantile. Hennessey is on the famous Chisholm Trail and is full of history about the historic drovers and settlers. The Sam and Burla Snyder Memorial History Center is a great place to learn about the town's past.

03 Go to the rodeo in Guymon

Guymon is known as the "Saddle Bronc Capital of the World" and is also home to the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo, so if you want to see good horsemanship, this is the place to be. There are lots of horseback riding vacation options here, and you can also venture out to see longhorn cattle, buffalo, and elk in the Guymon Game Preserve.

04 Taste the soda in Kingfisher

There's a lot of history in Kingfisher, and you can learn about the pioneers at the Chisholm Trail Museum and also the Governor Seay Mansion. The museum also has a frontier village to explore. However, most people visit Kingfisher for the famous soda fountain at Medic Pharmacy in town. They serve the orangeade and other flavors in the traditional way, making it a popular place to satisfy your thirst.

05 See a circus in Hugo

Hugo was named after the French writer Victor Hugo and was once a large railway hub. However, its main attraction is that it is the winter home of several circuses, so when you're in Hugo, you can usually get to see a circus performance. You can also spend an entertaining evening at the Choctaw Casino. Looking for somewhere to eat? Try Angie's Circus City Diner or the Pit Stop.

06 Relax in Medicine Park

cobble stones overlooking lake raksyBH / Getty Images

Medicine Park has welcomed people for over 100 years and was once a popular resort, thanks to its natural hot springs. The town is surrounded by the Wichita Mountains, and the cobblestones in the center are a natural geological phenomenon. Today, you can enjoy a swim in Bath Lake or go fishing for trout. The area is also popular with hikers, and it's common to spot elk and prairie dogs in the surrounding open spaces.


07 Appreciate arts and culture in Stillwater

Stillwater is home to Oklahoma State University and has a popular arts and culture scene. There are concerts in the Tumbleweed Dancehall and Concert Venue, and the Red Dirt Music Scene is popular here. Stillwater is famous for its hospitality and welcomes visitors with several good places to stay. The town is centered on Tornado Alley, so it's also perfect for storm chasers.

Library at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater Julian J Rossig / Getty Images

08 Go fishing in Tishomingo

Black Birds roaming around in Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma Cheri Alguire / Getty Images

Tishomingo is the center of the Chickasaw Nation and one of the best places to learn about and appreciate the culture. Spend time in the Chickasaw National Capitol Building and the Chickasaw Council House Museum, where there are fascinating exhibits. The Blue River and its fishing is another major attraction in Tishomingo. Trout fishing is especially popular. Back in town, there are some fantastic places to eat, including Nacho Mama's Casa.


09 Head to the National Sand Bass Festival in Madill

Madill is home to several concerts and festivals, including the National Sand Bass Festival in June. You'll find car shows, exhibitions, live music, and more during this event. Madill is a popular place to shop, with places like Amazing Grace Boutique selling eclectic items. If you want something unusual to do, head to nearby Lake Texoma and Water Wings, where you can take a hydro flight using a water jet pack.


10 Relax in the spa in Broken Arrow

Broken Arrow is popular with vacationers. You'll find several golf courses here, as well as a range of spas. After a busy day, why not relax with a hot stone massage in the Stone Creek Spa or chill out with a swim in the pool? Outdoor enthusiasts will love the Bass Pro Shop, while chocoholics can enjoy Nouveau Atelier de Chocolat on Main Street. Broken Arrow also has a large saltwater aquarium and trout stream with waterfalls.

11 Shop for antiques in Drumright

Drumright was once an oil boom town, but today it's a quieter place to explore. It is particularly well-known for its antique shops. You'll find several quirky places to shop for vintage items all over town, including the Sugar Plum Tea Room and Antiques. Drumright is close to some of Oklahoma's best wine-growing areas, so a visit to Tidewater Winery is an excellent place to taste local produce.

vintage necklaces and jewelry for sale in the antique shop ChiccoDodiFC / Getty Images

12 Learn about pioneer history in Marietta

Marietta is one of the best places in Oklahoma to learn about the history and heritage of the pioneers. Begin by exploring the Love County Historical Society Pioneer Museum to get a feel for local history here. Norton's Indian Territory Museum is also in Marietta and has several interesting exhibits, including a display of over 500 soda bottles from across Oklahoma. If you want to taste good local cuisine, McGehee's Catfish Restaurant is popular.

13 Immerse yourself in Native American culture in Anadarko

Anadarko is rich in Native American culture and is the self-proclaimed "Indian Capital of the Nation." Learn about the arts, crafts, and weaponry of the Comanche, Kiowa-Apache, Wichita, Southern Arapaho, and other tribes at the Southern Plains Indian Museum. Shopping for Native American art at the Oklahoma Indian Arts and Crafts Cooperative is a must. And don't forget to check out the annual Kiowa Black Leggings Warrior Society Ceremonial, held in the summer.

Navajo Wedding Basket stock photo grandriver / Getty Images

14 Celebrate Route 66 in Clinton

Clinton might be a small town, but it is a big stop on Route 66. The town is home to the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum, where you can find out all the history and culture of this famous journey across America. The museum includes antique cars and replica 1950-style diners, so you can recreate the atmosphere even if you are not on the route itself. To cool off, head to the Water-Zoo Indoor Water Park, where you can swim and splash all year round.

route 66 sign Antoine Rouleau / Getty Images

15 Enjoy the lights in Chickasha

For most of the year, Chickasha is a typical Oklahoma small town with public murals and the excellent Grady County Farmers Market. However, from Thanksgiving to the New Year, Chickasha transforms itself into one of the most amazing light displays in the USA. The Annual Festival of Light involves 3.5 million twinkling lights in and around Shannon Springs Park and is a joyful experience.


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