Having grown up in the great state of Oklahoma, I think I have explored every square inch of what Oklahoma has to offer. From Lake Broken Bow in southeast Oklahoma all the way to the vast plains of Guymon in the panhandle, our state has a lot of places to enjoy! One of the things I love most about Oklahoma is the vast change in landscape as you travel east to west. Some places have plains as far as the eye can see, while other areas have been carved out with beautiful canyons. We are so blessed to live in the middle of our state so most every place can be reached within a days drive.
I would love to share with you three of my family’s favorite Oklahoma places! These can be simple day trips for the next beautiful spring day, or any of them can be turned into overnight excursions where you delve deeper into what the areas have to offer. Either way, you won’t be disappointed from excursions to any of these beautiful and exciting adventures in our great state!
1. Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, Lawton
My family has taken many trips to the Wichita Mountains and hiked all over this beautiful piece of landscape. We have taken trips in each season and there is always something to enjoy. There are bison, elk, longhorn cattle, prairie dogs, wild turkey, and so many other plains animals to see while at the refuge. Amazingly enough, we have seen almost every kind of animal each time we have visited! There are many roads that traverse throughout the refuge so driving around to see the animals is a must.
For those who like to get out of the car to explore, there are numerous walking trails and biking trails that get you off the road and into nature. Mt. Scott sits at 2,464 feet above the landscape and offers breathtaking views of the southwest Oklahoma. Be sure to stop by the Visitor Center and see all the displays so you can learn more about your visit. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy your day in God’s creation!
2. Woolaroc Museum and WIldlife Preserve, Bartlesville
This place is amazing! I had not been here until a few years ago and cannot believe it took me this long. Woolaroc has a fascinating history as it was the home to Frank Phillips of Phillips Petroleum Company. The property has over 3,700 acres and a lot of it is still used as a working ranch. As you drive the two miles from the entrance to the main buildings, you will see a wide variety of native and exotic animals. In other words, getting there is half the fun!
Once you arrive at the main complex, you will have the opportunity to walk through the museum. The museum offers a wide variety of things to see, including Native American art, fine art paintings and sculptures, a large display of Colt firearms, and many other historical pieces of art. Take time to tour the Lodge as well. Woolaroc is a hidden gem that I’m sure your whole family will enjoy.
3. Chickasaw Cultural Center, Sulphur
I know the majority of us have been to the Turner Falls area many times in our lives thanks to the Falls Creek campground. We are so blessed to be able to attend a camp that is nestled in one of the most beautiful parts of our state! But, did you know that Sulphur also offers many family fun excursions? Begin your trek at the Chickasaw Cultural Center to get a feel of what to do while visiting the area. A visit to the Center will also help you understand what you will be seeing on your excursion.
Part of the Cultural Center is also the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. There are lots of places to have picnics and take nature hikes throughout the park. There are even some guided hikes (nighttime included) so check out the Ranger’s schedule as you are planning your trip!
And don’t forget to include Turner Falls on your trip. Families can swim and splash in Oklahoma’s tallest waterfall which is nestled in the Arbuckle Mountains. It really is a beautiful place!
Once you are exhausted from all the fun, grab dinner at Smokin’ Joes BBQ just up the road in Davis (3165 Jollyville Rd) and a fried pie from Arbuckle Fried Pies. It’s worth the trip for the food alone!
These are just three places in Oklahoma where we like to get out and enjoy nature. We truly have a magnificent state and if you haven’t explored these areas, pencil it in the calendar today. The memories will be priceless!
Meet the Author!
Kim Arnold has been a church member of Council Road Baptist Church for nearly 25 years. She teaches private piano lessons in her studio and at Mid-America Christian University. Her passion lies in training up the next generation of worship leaders. Kim and her husband Jason have been married for 17 years and have a 12-year old son, Nolan.