Known as the second-largest city in Oklahoma, it’s no surprise the area is booming with life.
There is an abundance of attractions here as well as highly acclaimed restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
When you need a break from the hustle and bustle of city living, there are so many unique places to visit just a day’s trip away.
Table of Contents
- 1. Turner Falls Park
- 2. Oklahoma City
- 3. Red Rock Canyon Adventure Park
- 4. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
- 5. Pawhuska
- 6. Eureka Springs
- 7. Claremore
- 8. Crystal Bridges Museum of Art
- 9. Keystone State Park
- 10. Marland Mansion
- 11. Muskogee War Memorial Park
- 12. Great Salt Plains State park
- 13. Alabaster Caverns State Park
- 14. Robbers Cave State Park
- 15. Neosho National Fish Hatchery
1. Turner Falls Park
Named after Mazeppa Thomas Turner, this park is the oldest of its kind in the state of Oklahoma.
Turner Falls is known for its iconic, 77 ft waterfall but there is so much more that this park has to offer.
The main trail is 3.5 miles long but there are a lot of areas that branch off to locations like the waterfall and some secluded sea caves.
The swimming hole at the falls is a popular spot so don’t forget your bathing suit.
Built-in 1930, Collings castle still stands within the park and hikers can walk through to admire the ruins.
There is a plentiful amount of sleeping options from cabin rentals to primitive camping.
Keep your furry friends at home and be ready to pay an admissions fee that ranges depending on your plans for the day.
2. Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City, the capital of Oklahoma, is home to a large variety of museums and attractions to explore.
Pay your respects at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum as you learn the shocking details of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
Channel your inner cowboy at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
Admire one of the finest collections of Dale Chihuly glass in the world at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
Get your heart racing at Frontier City as you drop seven stories on the park’s famous roller coaster, the brain drain.
Visit in June for The Blues and BBQ Festival to enjoy live blues music any night and an abundance of bbq to eat.
Take a stroll down Bricktown’s riverwalk and choose between the many restaurants for dinner with a view.
The list could go on forever!
3. Red Rock Canyon Adventure Park
Founded in 1956, the park was previously named Kiwanis Canyon Park before being donated to the state.
With over 300 acres to explore, this is a popular spot for hiking and camping of all sorts.
Red Rock Canyon Trail is a 4 mile, moderate hike that takes you along the canyon walls and features a lake. There are also lots of options to branch off from the main trail to start your own adventure.
Rough Horsetail Nature Trail is less than a mile long for those looking for a shorter hike with the same great views. You may even see an armadillo!
Wildlife is thriving in this environment and it is recommended that you make a trip during the fall season for the stunning foliage.
In 2018 this park became private land but it is still accessible with a park admissions fee.
4. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
This wonderful refuge was created in 1901 to protect and preserve a large variety of endangered species.
Since then it has become home to over 50 species of mammals, 240 species of birds, and 100 different species of reptiles, amphibians, and birds.
Most famous for its vast population of American bison, you are bound to see one of these huge animals roaming around.
There are 16 different trails to choose from totaling out over 30 miles of exploration.
Take the 6 mile Bison Trail for a chance to see a variety of wildlife as you pass by many lakes and rivers. Pay close attention to the trail as trail markers are few and far between in some areas.
Plan your hike around sunrise or sunset for the best opportunity to see wildlife in action.
Be sure to save some time to drive up to Mount Snow where you can get out and enjoy breathtaking views of the wilderness nearly 2,500 ft above sea level.
First known as Deep Ford when it was established in 1872, this Oklahoma city is famous for its Native American heritage.
There is something to do here for nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and shopaholics alike.
The Pioneer Woman Mercantile has gained praise for its deli and general store combo deal. Grab a delicious breakfast sandwich and browse through the keepsakes.
Visit Downtown Pawhuska to take in the architectural history as you check out the local stores and grab a bite to eat.
The Osage Nation Museum is the perfect place to dive deeper into the culture of the Osage people that once called Pawhuska home.
Stop by Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, the largest of its kind in North America, to take in the wildlife and appreciate nature.
If your trip happens to fall on July 17th, you’ll be completely immersed in the Cavalcade Street Dance for a town-wide party.
6. Eureka Springs
Head over to Arkansas to visit this historic city located in the Ozark Mountains.
You can easily spend your entire day Downtown alone.
There are over fifty shops to venture through, all of which are completely unique to the city.
Many dining options make it easy to grab a spot for a quick lunch or a fancy dinner but you may have trouble picking amongst the bunch!
Nightlife is booming with more than twenty bars to hop around to.
The month of May is dedicated to the Festival of Arts where art-based festivities happen every day!
For something different visit the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge to learn more about big cats like lions, tigers, leopards, and cougars.
This Refuge was created to provide a home for big cats that were abused and wouldn’t survive in the wild.
It may be hard to leave after admiring the beauty of these exotic animals. The good news is that there is actually a lodge on-site and all profits go directly to the care of the cats!
Famously known as the location for Oklahoma! The musical, Claremore is a unique little town with a lot to offer.
Plan a visit to J.M. Davis Arms & Historic Museum to see guns, from around the world, up close and personal.
Enjoy a picnic by the water at Claremore Lake after a day of venturing amongst this 1,200-acre park.
Dairy lovers must stop by Swan Bros. Dairy for delicious, creamy cheeses made fresh on site.
Rumor has it that the Belvidere Mansion located in town is haunted by previous owner John Bayless and his family.
Hammett House Restaurant is a landmark in Claremore and is known as one of the best places to get comfort food in the United States.
8. Crystal Bridges Museum of Art
Open to the public as of 2011, architect Moshe Safdie made sure the design of this building alone was a piece of art.
Spend your day walking around more than 50,000 square feet of unique galleries.
The museum was created to bring the beauty of man-made art and nature together as one.
Massive windows line the walls and look out onto acres of forested area, sculpture gardens, and bodies of water.
View diverse collections of American art from traditional to contemporary, and everything in between.
Get outside for some fresh air and walk one of the 8 trails on the complex’s grounds.
Check out one of the artistic programs like the yoga and art class or figure drawing from the nude model.
9. Keystone State Park
Located on Keystone Lake, there are over 700 acres worth of fun to explore.
Turn your day trip into a weekend with a stay at one of the stunning, luxury lake view cabins or camp at one of the 82 sites available.
Rent a boat and get out onto the water for a relaxing day in the sun or bring your fishing rod for some awesome fishing opportunities.
Stop by the marina at Pier 51 for any water equipment and grab a bite to eat at the restaurant when it’s open for the season.
This is also a great location for off-road enthusiasts with many ATV trails located down by the dam.
10. Marland Mansion
Established as a national monument in 1973, the E.W. Marland Mansion is 43,561 square feet of beautiful Mediterranean architecture.
Once home to the founder of Marland oil, it is no surprise that every bit of this building screams luxury.
Unlike any structure in the state of Oklahoma, the mansion was designed and furnished by Europeans who used Florence as their inspiration.
There are tours available to admire the art and learn about the history of Marland and his unusual life.
Many private events have been held in this breathtaking place. Imagine the grand wedding you could have here.
11. Muskogee War Memorial Park
Hop on the World War II famous USS Batfish at the Muskogee War Memorial Park.
Schedule a tour of the submarine for a look into the ship’s rich history or explore on your own for a personalized experience.
There is also plenty to learn at the museum where many of the artifacts of the USS Batfish can be found.
Imagine what it was like to be a sailor during the war with an overnight stay in the quarters.
You can even rent out the USS Batfish for events. Talk about a one-of-a-kind event!
12. Great Salt Plains State park
Dating back to prehistoric times, the park’s geological features are a remnant of the ocean that once was Oklahoma.
The dominantly white color of the shoreline is thanks to centuries of salt build-up and the one shallow lake located in the park is almost just as salty as the ocean!
Hike, bike, or go on horseback around the park before taking a dip in the mineral-rich waters.
From April to October, you can partake in crystal digging along the lake for a chance to find Selenite crystals in all different sizes.
13. Alabaster Caverns State Park
Alabaster Cavern is the focal point of this 200-acre state park but there is so much more to discover.
Alabaster is a scarce variation of gypsum which makes the cavern one of the biggest of its kind in all of the world.
Because of its rarity, it is important to book a tour of the cave weeks in advance as it draws crowds in from all over.
There are many small caves to explore at your own risk but this is only recommended for experienced spelunkers.
There are a bunch of trails to choose from if you’d like to stay above ground.
Visit during a weekend in July to enjoy the Selman Bat Watch as the sunsets.
14. Robbers Cave State Park
Hidden away in the mountains of Sans Bois, the park gets its name from the famous robbers Jesse James and Belle Starr that once used the cave to hide from the law.
Amongst sandstone hills of all shapes and sizes lies the famous Robbers Cave.
The park covers 8,246 acres of land and has hikes varying in length and experience level.
The Mountain Trail to Lake Carlton and Lake Wayne is a great and rewarding challenge if you are up for the 7-mile hike.
Unique lodging accommodations can be made here including a yurt.
There is 250 acres worth of ATV trails to get your heart pumping.
15. Neosho National Fish Hatchery
Known as the oldest federal fish hatchery still in operation, Neosho has housed more than 130 different kinds of fish.
As of lately, the hatchery leans mostly towards rainbow trout, Topeka shiners, and pallid sturgeon.
This hatchery releases fish into the Missouri River and Branson’s Lake to better fishing opportunities and to help endangered species to grow.
Explore the visitor center, walk through the exhibits, feed the fish in the ponds with free fish food.
For a more personalized experience book a tour with a biologist and get VIP access to the endangered sturgeon building.