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Don’t you just LOVE a good road trip? There are some really amazing places that you can discover on Oklahoma road trips just a few minutes or hours from home.
I love exploring places near and far. There are some super cool places in the US that you can visit. My top recommendation everyone should see is the Grand Canyon. There’s nothing cooler than that, but there are some really amazing places right here too
Vacation is important to prevent burnout. It’s super important to take breaks so you can keep being your best self!
Oklahoma road trips
I love exploring places nearby because you don’t have to drive forever or take a plane to get there. Close road trips keep you from having to spend a ton of money on travel and lodging and if I only go for a day, I don’t have to worry about someone else taking care of my cats.
I love the simplicity of that. You can drive anywhere on road trips in Oklahoma in just a few hours, especially if you don’t go to the panhandle.
The panhandle has some cool places, but it’s really far from my house in eastern Oklahoma, so I don’t go there often. There is so much beauty in our state. I’m often blown away by the things I find to see here. I love being an Okie.
Weekend getaways in Oklahoma
I love all the state parks we have to visit on road trips in Oklahoma. There are tons of gorgeous outdoor places with dams, waterfalls, trees, wildlife and so much more. You can camp, fish, boat and hike to your heart’s desire in different places all over this wonderful state.
There are tons of places you can take road trips to, but here are some that I love:
Route 66 is the ultimate road-tripping highway and has a ton of really fun stops. It’s a quirky blast into the past. There is even a museum of Route 66 memorabilia or two. I would recommend taking a look.
Route 66 goes from California to Chicago and was the original highway across the country. From tip to tip in Oklahoma, the road is still there and usable for travel. We plan to do the tip of Oklahoma to California stretch someday. So far we have traveled it all from Chicago to the opposite tip of Oklahoma.
Things to do in Oklahoma
Click here to see all the must-see stops on Oklahoma’s Route 66 for road trips in Oklahoma.
Some of the things we enjoyed were the Giant Blue Whale in Catoosa, the giant milk bottle in OKC (it’s very near my husband’s families historic grocery store), the giant Tulsa Driller, Pop’s in Arcadia (a store full of every kind of soda you can imagine with a giant neon soda bottle in front), the Route 66 museum in Clinton, and the Round Barn in Arcadia.
Oklahoma City attractions
Oklahoma City has a ton of great fun. Some of my favorites include Bricktown. It’s full of fun with the canal and all kinds of restaurants and shops. It’s so beautiful. It even has a baseball field. There is something to do at any hour of the day or night.
Near Bricktown, there is the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. It’s a must see at least once. You’ll be moved!
Oklahoma road trips Tulsa
Tulsa has so many fun things to do. There is the admiral twin drive-in movie theatre. We went there for the 60th anniversary of the movie Outsiders which was filmed in Tulsa. That was super special.
We also have flown kites at the parks, eaten at some super yummy local restaurants such as Dilly Diner and El Guapo’s downtown. Tulsa just got a Hurts Donuts downtown as well. There is a giant Driller statue. Just about anything you can imagine is in Tulsa. There is an old hamburger joint that has had a ton of famous visitors called Hank’s. Super good burgers. It’s on Route 66 as well.
Tulsa has fun shops and interesting things to see. There are two really cool shops full of booths where you can find a ton of unique and beautiful wares. One is the Market at Walnut Creek in Tulsa Hills. The other one is River City Trading Post and it’s over a little way in Jenks.
A couple of really good places to eat in Jenks while you’re visiting the River City Market are Ron’s Hamburgers and Waterfront Grill. Both are family-owned small businesses that have amazing food!
If you take a drive a few miles over to Sand Springs, you can visit the Keystone Dam and Park. Gorgeous lake and tons of beautiful nature to explore. They have cabins and camping and all kinds of fun things to see. We have stayed there many many times. It’s one of our favorites.
Pawhuska is the home of the famous Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile. I went there for my birthday this year and had a super great time. I got to meet her and her husband, Ladd and daughter, Paige. They are the nicest people.
The thing that struck me the most about my experience at the Mercantile was how welcoming it is. The food is good and there are some fun wares you can buy, but this place feels like home. It feels like you are like family. I love that. I hope my daycare feels like that to people.
The Merc is set up in a really cool way. One side of the downstairs is a restaurant and deli and the other is shopping. On the shopping side, you can buy cookbooks, kitchen wares, work gloves and more things than you can imagine. They are all in Ree style and cute as a button. I love her taste.
The restaurant side has a place where you can order food to go as well as seating for a sit-down meal. The food is southern (obviously) food like she cooks on the show. There were several things on the menu that I have seen her cook such as her famous prune cake (I did not try it), chicken fried steak, and homemade potato chips. I am a big fan of her show and love watching her cook her yummy food.
Her daughter, Paige is a barista in the bakery upstairs. While we waited in line on that cold winter morning (my birthday is in January), they had outdoor heaters lined up to keep us warm and Paigey ran up and down the line taking orders for coffee and hot chocolate. It was an experience shrouded in southern hospitality. A super great memory.
While we were waiting for our food in the restaurant, Ladd came over to our table and talked to us for quite a while. It was a real treat to meet him in real life. He even gave me a hug and a selfie. I was pretty star struck. He’s a true gentleman.
He told me that he loves what Ree is doing there and supports her by coming in and helping out whenever he can. He’s pretty adorable. He talked to my mom for a while about ranching and our family’s farming. It was precious.
When Ree is available for autographs, she does them upstairs. On the show, they throw big parties upstairs for the community, so I loved being up there in their big room. I loved all the decorating Ree and Ladd’s mom have done.
They made the building look gorgeous. I love that they wanted to fix up an old downtown building and bring a lot of tourism to their community. The Drummonds seem like really good people.
The day we were there, she came in to sign books. My daughter waited in line with me. I had brought my Pioneer Woman casserole dish with me and I bought a cookbook with my birthday money and she signed both of them for me. She told me she loved meeting her fans. She was very gracious and sweet. I was pretty enamored with all of them.
I would encourage you to plan a trip to the Merc as soon as you can. It’s a lot of fun. Plan ahead to wait in line a lot, but it’s worth it. I love that it’s only a few hours away. What a great road trip!
Pawhuska also has a swinging bridge you can visit and walk across and the Tall Grass Prairie. They have some of the last tallgrass areas left in the country that are being preserved. It’s gorgeous. There are also lots of Bison. It’s a drive-through sort of thing, but also has a gift shop and some other historical things to see at the end.
Near Pawhuska is also the Osage State Park. It’s got the most gorgeous waterfall.
Lake Carl Blackwell is near Stillwater. It’s a fun lake to visit with plenty of water to boat on, swim in and fish in. There are small cabins for rent and plenty of wildlife. We usually see geese and deer when we visit at least. There are pavilions you can rent, as well as plenty of picnic tables and grills to cook on.
OSU has fun to offer on your road trip. You can visit Theta pond in the center of campus, which is gorgeous. The landscaping is award-winning on campus. There are fun sporting events to attend such as football, basketball, baseball, softball, wrestling, track and anything else you can imagine. The student union has great eats including Johnny Rockets and you can visit the stores for your supplies or OSU memorabilia.
In the fall, there is football Homecoming with a really fun walk around the night before to all the Greek houses and around campus. It’s a big celebration of OSU. Before the big game, you can see all the players walk to the field and give them a high five if you can get close enough. It’s all a lot of fun.
Stillwater has great eats. There is a brunch restaurant in town called Just Wafflin that I would totally recommend. They are only open the first part of the day though. You can get breakfast, brunch and lunch there. It closes at 2 and it’s not open on Sunday or Monday.
Boomer Lake in town has a great Fireworks show for the 4th of July. It’s a gorgeous lake to visit any time of year with great trails to run, walk or bike around the lake. There are pavilions for picnics and park equipment for the kids. It’s a great, pet-friendly, family place.
Stillwater also has a great food truck community. You can get all kinds of food from different trucks around town. Some of my favorites are the Vietnamese and a Mexican Truck that’s in town on occasion called Macarena’s Street Café.
You can check out their Facebook page here to see when they will be in town. Yummy Mexican food! On Friday nights, Stillwater has a food truck festival downtown some times of the year. So much fun!
OSU has a gorgeous Botanical Garden. It’s a must-see if you enjoy plants. They also have a wonderful plant nursery that is one of my favorites called Bustani plant farms run by a former host of the Oklahoma Gardening Show.
The Great Salt Plains is near Jet, Oklahoma. It’s a prehistoric ocean bed full of crystals you can dig. The crystals are unique to this area, there is no other place where they are found. They are brown and clear with an hour class type of shape. It’s super interesting to dig them and fun.
Natural Falls State Park is near Colcord. It’s just a short walk to some gorgeous waterfall and greenery. This area is near Tahlequah. This area is where the book, Where the Red Fern Grows was written. The park also has some beautiful gardens and gorgeous trails with lots of wildlife. The last time we visited, we watched a beaver building a den.
Tahlequah has gorgeous lake Tenkiller. The lake is really clear and many people scuba dive there because you can see so well. It has Soda Steve’s which serves super yummy burgers as well as Fin and Feather resort which has a really cool craft show every year.
The Arkansas river runs along Tahlequah as well. Floating down the river is a super fun summer activity. Something I have loved to do since I was a child. You can float in canoes or on rafts. It’s great family entertainment.
Tahlequah is some of the most gorgeous country in Oklahoma. If you haven’t visited, I suggest you check it out. You’ll be amazed there is so much beauty in Oklahoma.
One of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been is the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Vian. Wow, you’ve got to check it out for yourself. There is nothing like it.
Broken Bow, OK has gorgeous outdoor adventures – hiking, canoes, zip lines, fantastic fishing, breweries, wineries and great restaurants. The cabin rentals are incredible. They are secluded and luxurious. If you want to check out the top 25 things to do in Broken Bow, click here.
Chickashaw National Park is in Sulfur. It’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life, it’s a must-see. There are waterfalls and so much nature and beauty. I could spend days there. It’s enchanting.
Turner Falls is in Davis, only about 15 minutes from Sulphur. It’s a gorgeous waterfall surrounded by beauty and nature. Near Turner Falls you can get some great fried pies at Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies. They’re so good.
Davis has a chocolate factory that’s a great stop. You can see the Bedre Chocolate factory through a window and watch the chocolate being made, then buy gifts and treats before you go. So yummy.
They even have chocolate soda. Not my favorite drink, but fun to try it at least once. My favorite thing I got there was the salted caramels covered in dark chocolate. I need some more right now, really.
There is a gorgeous drive that runs from Talihina, Oklahoma to Mena, Arkansas. It’s beautiful at all times of the year. My favorite is fall with all of the colorful foliage in the tree canopy. It’s a must-see in Oklahoma.
While you’re down in the Talihina area, check out Beaver’s Bend. It’s a gorgeous state park as well. Some of the prettiest water I’ve ever seen!
Lake Ft. Gibson and the dam are super great places to fish, boat, and have all kinds of fun. At the dam, there are nests of eagles you can watch and tons of other birds and wildlife. The fishing is great there. The lake offers lots of water sport and other fun things to do including swimming.
Muskogee offers a great Christmas light display from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day at Honor Heights Park. In the spring, the park displays stunning azaleas with a festival in the first three weeks of April. That is usually the best time to see them. The park is always gorgeous, so go see it any time of year.
Right outside of town, there is a real submarine, the U.S.S. Batfish you can take a tour through. It also has a nice little museum with lots of war memorabilia.
Just outside of Muskogee you can get the world’s best peaches is Porter at Livesay’s Peach Barn. Peach season is usually from about June until September or October. You’ve never had a peach as good as these. My favorite are Red Havens.
Some of the best barbeque I’ve ever eaten was in Okmulgee at Smokehouse BBQ! You gotta taste it for yourself (and don’t forget to get some pie, it’s awesome)
Check out Lovera’s in Krebs. An authentic Italian grocery store full of delicious cheeses, meats, pastas and more. While you’re there run on over to Wilberton and visit Robber’s Cave. Climb the rocks and cliffs and see where bandits hid out.
There are so many cool things to do right here in our own state. I recommend you spend some time road tripping around and see them for yourself.
What would you add to the list?
Want some inspiration for some more travel fun? Check out 6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Vacation and these ways to save money on your road trip! For more cool Oklahoma activity inspiration from Green Oklahoma, click here.
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