With Route 66 running right through the heart of the state and western heritage bursting at its seams, it is no wonder so many people travel to Oklahoma each year.
When you are not out exploring a classic Route 66 attraction or admiring the beautiful nature, you can go searching for wild bison and learn about how the state thrived due to the oil industry.
There really is no shortage of things to do but with popular cities like Tulsa and Oklahoma City overflowing with attractions, it may feel unnecessary to venture out anywhere else in the state.
But a day’s excursion to one of Oklahoma’s small towns will treat you to an adventure you won’t find anywhere else, and you’ll get to see the state in a whole new light.
It is here where you will get to experience true Oklahoma hospitality, visit a variety of quirky roadside attractions, and enjoy a home-cooked meal that just isn’t possible in the city.
And since there are so many small towns in the state to choose from, check out this list of the eighteen most beautiful small towns in Oklahoma to make the most out of your trip.
Table of Contents
1. Medicine Park
Located along a peaceful stretch of Medicine Creek, Medicine Park has been labeled one of the most beautiful small towns in Oklahoma, and with good reason.
People from far and wide come to this resort town to escape the troubles of everyday life and spend some time roaming its picturesque, cobblestone streets.
There are endless ways to enjoy your time here whether it be exploring some of its outdoor adventures or trying out some of the local activities.
At the heart of Medicine Park, you’ll find Bath Lake where locals and tourists alike love to spend time hanging out, fishing, and swimming on hot summer days.
The lake has waterfalls and an abundance of access points that make every visit a breeze but make sure to grab a swimmer wristband for three dollars if you are interested in taking a dip.
Another lake that offers outdoor recreation opportunities is Lake Lawtonka which stretches out more than two miles and boasts a whopping twenty miles of shoreline.
Along the edges of the lake, you’ll find picnic tables and camping sites, but the real fun happens out on the water.
Between the lake and towering mountain range lie six different hiking trails that vary in difficulty for hikers of all experience levels to enjoy.
On the outskirts of the town sits the iconic Wichita Mountains which is also home to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.
The refuge is made up of nearly sixty thousand acres and boasts more than one hundred different species of animals that are native to the area.
A visit to this refuge will give you a chance to see some beautiful wildlife like the rocky mountain elk, American bison, prairie dogs, and so much more.
Dating back to 1893, the historic town of Perry has been a significant part of Oklahoma for quite some time and is now one of the most popular small town tourist destinations in the state.
Whether you like to spend your time exploring the outdoors or checking out a bunch of local attractions, you can’t go wrong with a trip to this charming town.
Perry Lake is a great spot for outdoor enthusiasts to unwind, and since it is located in such a small town, it sees very little foot traffic.
Enjoy your time here by hiking around the perimeter of the lake, taking your boat out for a cruise, dabbling in a bit of fishing, and so much more.
The lake even offers primitive campsites so visitors can keep the good times rolling and wake up each morning to the sun rising above the water.
The town made a name for itself with the production of an underground construction company known as Ditch Witch and you’ll find its successor showcased all around.
Start your historic journey at the Ditch Witch Museum where you can learn more about how this one-of-a-kind establishment came to be and then head over to the Ditch Witch Factory Tour to check out the process of it all.
Another interesting attraction is the Perry Wrestling Monument Park where you can walk amongst towering statues that portray some of Oklahoma’s most iconic wrestlers.
Just make sure you save some time to do a bit of shopping because the downtown strip of Perry is filled with unique stores where you can find items unlike anything you’ve seen before.
Known as the original capital of the state, Guthrie has been associated with Oklahoma since back when it was still just an Indian Territory.
The second that you pass the Guthrie welcome sign, you’ll fall in love with its historic, Victorian architecture.
And although it is considered a small town, it boasts more than two thousand of these Victorian buildings to admire, so there is always something mesmerizing to look at.
Start your trip at the Oklahoma Territorial Museum and Carnegie Library where you can learn all about how Guthrie became the capital and also learn some overall background information on Oklahoma as a whole.
The Pollard Theatre has worn many hats before settling down into the grand performance hall you see today, so consider catching a live show in the same building that once thrived as a convenience store, a furniture shop, a funeral parlor, and more.
Interesting attractions that teach you about the ways of early medicine and its many faults are the Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum and the Apothecary Garden.
Oklahoma is extremely proud of its athletic endeavors, so it only makes sense that you will find the Territorial Capital Sports Museum here sporting all of the state’s greatest athletes.
A more surprising attraction is the Guthrie Scottish Rite because, even though it is located in such a small town, it is one of the largest temples of its kind around the globe.
And when you need a break from all of the unique local attractions, there are plenty of other ways to pass the time like partaking in some antiquing amongst its many downtown stores.
4. Broken Bow
When it comes to outdoor recreation, Broken Bow has you covered, and its small-town vibes are part of what Oklahoma is all about.
Nestled at the base of the Ouachita Mountains, Broken Bow is overflowing with natural beauty, and it is also home to the picturesque Broken Bow Lake.
The lake stretches out more than fourteen thousand acres and boasts nearly two hundred miles of untouched shoreline which allows for all kinds of waterfront fun.
You’ll find visitors exploring all different parts of the lake whether it be hiking along its wild edges, fishing for its award-winning smallmouth bass, taking the boat out to one of its small islands, or simply going for a swim on a hot summer day.
Don’t have a watercraft of your own? Head over to Beavers Bend Marina and take advantage of their boat and jet ski rentals to make the most of your time on the lake.
The town is also home to Beavers Bend State Park where outdoor enthusiasts will fall in love with the endless hiking and wildlife spotting opportunities.
Here you will find hiking trails suitable for all experience levels ranging from twelve-mile treks up the mountainside to peaceful nature walks on level terrain.
It is here that you will also find Mountain Fork River where locals and tourists come to enjoy a day of fishing or fly fishing amongst its breathtaking waters.
And if fishing is not your style, consider taking a kayak or a raft out on the river for an exciting afternoon paddling through Class II rapids.
Plus, when you are not enjoying some of Oklahoma’s many natural wonders, you can be exploring the downtown streets of Broken Bow enjoying things like wine tastings, brewery tours, shopping, and much more.
5. Paul’s Valley
The small town of Paul’s Valley has something for everyone to enjoy and despite its small size, it offers endless fun to keep the family entertained for days.
A fan favorite is the Lakeview Lavender Farm regardless of whether you are here for its stellar photo-ops or simply want to enjoy a peaceful walk amongst the flowers.
Established in the 1940s, Wacker Park has been a hit with the locals since it first opened with plenty of ways to enjoy its grounds including playing baseball on any of the fields, trying out a game of tennis at the courts, or even just walking amongst its relaxing rose garden.
Swing by the Santa Fe Depot to dive into some of Oklahoma’s rich history as you explore the railroad world of the early 20th century through photographs, memorabilia, and more.
You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy your time at the Toy & Action Figure Museum as this unique attraction provides both informative and exciting exhibits to entertain all guests.
Just make sure you save time to visit Field’s Pies, which dates back to 1925 and has been thriving ever since. The factory boasts the same award-winning recipe that put the company into business and there is even a Discount Pies Thrift Shop for anyone looking to save a few extra bucks.
Another Oklahoma town that is bursting with outdoor opportunities is Sulphur and you’d be surprised by just how many activities are available in such a small place.
You can’t go wrong with a visit to the Chickasaw Cultural Center where you can learn more about the native Chickasaw people and their culture while also admiring the 184-acre grounds.
As you walk around this unique cultural center, you will get to enjoy live reenactments and have the opportunity to walk amongst an actual living village.
Throw in the step-by-step guides for native crafts, informative yet exciting films, peaceful gardens, and a cafe boasting fry bread, and you may never want to leave!
You’ll find ranches scattered all around the area offering a fun afternoon on horseback but there is nothing quite like Arbuckle Trail Rides thanks to their breathtaking property and extremely friendly hosts.
Once considered to be a national park back in the early 1900s, Chickasaw National Recreation Area is a great place to enjoy some time outdoors and there is plenty of space to do it with a whopping ten thousand acres of exploration.
Although it has lost its title as a national park, it is still maintained by the park service and there are over twenty miles of hiking and biking trails to enjoy.
Within the park, you will also find what the locals refer to as Little Niagara, which is a collection of small waterfalls that drop into a swimming hole, but this location can get extremely crowded during the summer months.
Another great place to cool off when the weather gets hot is Lake of the Arbuckles and there is plenty of room for everyone given its 36-mile length.
On your way into Sulphur, make sure to make a detour off US Route 77 to visit the Bison Pasture Lookout & Trail where you can watch the herd go about their day.
Once you have had your fill of outdoor recreation, head back to downtown where you unwind with a tasting at the local Rusty Nail Winery Tasting Room.
Although Bartlesville is such a small town, it is home to some of the most unique forms of architecture in the country – and it doesn’t stop there.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you get into town is the Price Tower and it’s not just because this building stands at an impressive height of 221-feet in a place where skyscrapers don’t exist.
The famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, had originally built this structure with the intent of adding it to the many buildings that make up New York City, but after seeing how it stood out amongst the Oklahoma landscape, decided that it should stay here.
Now it is referred to as the “Tree That Escaped the Forest” and it can be seen from all parts of town.
But this tower isn’t just for show. Within it, you will find a charming boutique hotel and restaurant that will really take your stay in Bartlesville to the next level.
The town’s Johnstone Park isn’t just a place for you to sit on a bench and feed the birds. This unique park boasts a model of the first-ever oil well built within Oklahoma, a small child’s amusement park, and spectacular views of the Caney River around every turn.
You can’t pass up an opportunity to visit the Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve where you will get to enjoy the beauty of artwork and wildlife on the same grounds.
The preserve stretches out nearly four thousand acres with wildlife such as elk, deer, and bison roaming all about.
There are three hiking trails to enjoy around the property, an animal barn to hang out in with all of the small creatures, and a bunkhouse that is filled with an impressive collection of taxidermy.
While you’re at it, you should also check out the Tallgrass Prairie Reserve as it is considered to be the most extensive tallgrass prairie sanctuary in the entire world.
During your visit, you may be lucky enough to spot some of its many native animals such as bison, coyotes, deer, and an abundance of bird species.
You can opt to check out this preserve by driving the Bison Loop that takes you fifteen miles through the grounds for ideal wildlife sightings or by going on one of the short but scenic hiking trails available.
Located along the iconic Route 66, it comes as no surprise that the small town of Claremore has made a name for itself, but this doesn’t make its wide selection of attractions any less impressive.
One of the most talked-about attractions is the Belvidere Mansion because of the impressive stature of its three-story Victorian architecture and the ability to grab lunch inside the Pink House located on the first floor.
Just don’t miss an opportunity to take a group tour because there is nothing quite like the view overlooking the town from the top-floor ballroom.
Buy as much milk and cheese as your heart desires at Swan Brothers Dairy Farm and make sure to stay awhile to check out the milking process.
Spend some time outdoors at the 120-acre Rogers State University Conservation Education Reserve where the goal is to teach people how to make the most out of their natural resources.
The Oklahoma Military Academy Museum is a great place to learn a bit about the state’s military background and admire some of the memorabilia dating back to the early 1900s.
The town is also home to a variety of unique festivals, but the fan-favorite is Dickens on the Boulevard when everyone dresses in their best Victorian-style attire, themed shops set up along the street, and live reenactments are constantly in the works.
Eufaula is yet another one of Oklahoma’s greatest small towns for outdoor recreation and it’s not just because it is home to the state’s largest lake.
At the heart of town, you’ll find Lake Eufaula, which manages to be not only the largest lake in Oklahoma but also the most tranquil lake to hang out at.
The lake stretches out over one hundred thousand acres and boasts an impressive eight hundred miles of shoreline for visitors to enjoy.
Scattered around the lake you will find multiple marinas that make getting out on the water a breeze and there are plenty of boat ramps to use for visitors bringing their own watercraft.
Fishing is such a popular activity here that there are tournaments held all throughout the year, and some locals have even invested in heated docks so that wintertime doesn’t slow them down.
When you are not out exploring the water, you can be enjoying the endless miles of hiking trails scattered along its edges and the stellar wildlife sighting opportunities.
There is even an ATV trail that stretches out over three hundred acres and offers adventure seekers a thrilling way to explore the surrounding sand dunes.
If you happen to be visiting during the summer months, you have to check out the Eufaula Farmers Market where you will find a fine variety of local produce, artisan goods, and homemade crafts.
Perfectly located between the bustling cities of Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Chandler is a great getaway destination for a day trip filled with small-town fun.
A popular attraction here is the Chandler Route 66 Interpretive Center because it is constantly evolving to portray the changes of the famous road from past to present.
Another attraction dedicated to the famous Route 66 is the McJerry’s Route 66 Gallery where you can admire all the different ways artists expressed their love for this historic icon.
For something different, head over to the Painted Gait Farm for a quiet afternoon exploring the eighty acres of peaceful woodlands.
Here you can spend time with animals like cows, horses, and farm dogs in between relaxing strolls along the stream and around the pond.
The Lincoln County Museum isn’t your typical museum because it is made up of three historic buildings showcasing unique exhibits like silent movies and marionette plays.
If you prefer to spend your time outdoors, head over to Bell Cow Lake where you can enjoy a day of fishing or explore one of the equestrian trails on horseback.
Plus, once you are ready to call it a night, you can rest your head at any of the primitive campsites or RV hook-up sites that are located around the lake.
After a long day, head downtown to grab dinner at any of the tasty restaurants like Taco Mayo, Ken’s Pizza, and Boomerang Diner.
And rest easy knowing that Manvel Avenue Coffee Co will be ready to serve you up one of their locally brewed, unique flavored coffees or lattes each morning.
Located on the Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, Grove is the perfect small town to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life with enough attractions and outdoor recreation to keep you busy for weeks.
Take in the views of the lake while you explore the Har-Ber Village Museum where you can walk through historic buildings and get some insight into the life of the pioneers.
Dive even further into Oklahoma’s history with a visit to the Cayuga-Splitlog Mission Church which is listed as a Historic Place on the National Register and dates back to the late 1800s.
But if you prefer to learn about something that is more relevant to the United States as a whole, you should definitely check out the F-4 Phantom because it is considered to be one of the most significant aircrafts in the country’s history.
And of course, you can never go wrong with spending time on the Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees itself with plenty of services and marinas that make it easy to get out on the water.
If you don’t have a watercraft of your own, you can head over to the Honey Creek Landing Marina where pontoon boats to rent are in abundance and you can enjoy a meal at the restaurant before setting out on the lake.
There are also boat ramps available at the Honey Creek Area at Grand Lake State Park as well as other amenities like a swimming pool, campground, and picnic pavilions.
Home to some of the state’s greatest natural wonders, Davis is one of the best small towns in Oklahoma to visit if you enjoy spending time outdoors.
For starters, the town is known for having Turner Falls Park which houses the tallest waterfall in the state at a whopping 77 feet.
To make this park even more appealing, you should know that it is one of the oldest parks in the state and boasts a variety of other activities like hiking trails, beaches, and caves to explore.
Another fun way to spend some time outdoors is to participate in an exhilarating experience like zip-lining and you’ll find no shortage of it here with multiple businesses offering varying adventures.
Or you can always get your kicks at Cross Bar Ranch Offroad Park where you can take your vehicle exploring amongst more than six thousand acres of creeks, rocky terrain, muddy trails, and more.
And if that doesn’t sound appealing, you can take your vehicle through a safari park at Arbuckle Wilderness Park and enjoy getting up close and personal with animals like giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and plenty of others.
In between fun-filled activities, you can treat yourself to something sweet at Bedré Fine Chocolate where you can buy all the chocolate you can eat while also getting a glimpse at where the magic happens.
Just don’t forget about the downtown portion of Davis because there are plenty of other ways to pass the time here including antique shopping, endless delicious coffee spots, ice cream shops, and eating at any of the many local restaurants.
With the Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees just a stone’s throw away, Afton has become one of the best small towns in Oklahoma to explore and water recreation is just one of the perks it has to offer.
The town was originally established back in 1886 and its ideal location along Route 66 means that it is also a great place to check out some historic memorabilia.
And speaking of the open road, one of the most interesting attractions here is Darryl Starbird’s National Rod and Custom Car Hall of Fame because of its fine collection of vintage vehicles.
Within the museum, you will find up to fifty unique vehicles – each custom-built by famous car builders like Darryl Starbird himself – as well as a variety of different memorabilia like photographs and artwork.
For something that takes the excitement outdoors, check out Cherokee Spur Ranch where you can partake in guided hunting trips and enjoy the views of Grand Lake.
Plus, the ranch has a lodge that makes it easy to keep the good times rolling and offers amenities like an entertainment room stocked with games and a private patio with a hot tub.
But no one will blame you if you want to spend all your time on the water and the Thunder Bay Marina has everything you need to make that possible.
And if the lake is too busy for your liking, you can always head over to Harbors View Marina which is situated on Duck Creek for a more relaxing experience on the water.
Known primarily as the home of the Pioneer Woman, Pawhuska has evolved from a sleepy town to one of the best places to visit in Oklahoma.
When planning a trip to this charming, small town, it is important to give yourself a few days to explore because even though it is small, it definitely packs a punch.
You may know the Pioneer Woman as Ree Drummond, a famous cook on the Food Network, and much of the city has transformed with her rise to fame.
For instance, one of the most popular stops in town is the Pioneer Woman Mercantile and you can spend the entire day exploring its adorable gift shop and kitchen store in between meals from Drummond’s Deli.
Once you leave the Mercantile, you will find yourself in Downtown Pawhuska where the streets are lined with historic buildings, trendy restaurants, boutique shops, and so much more.
No two visits to the Osage Nation Museum are ever the same as they are constantly changing their exhibits to further demonstrate the life of the Osage people.
Similarly, the Osage County Historical Society Museum is housed in an ancient Santa Fe depot and provides visitors with insight into what life was like for pioneers during the early 1900s.
If you’d like to continue with a history theme, head over to the Ben Johnson Cowboy Museum where you can admire exhibits about all of the memorable cowboys that once called Osage County home.
Don’t forget to go for a stroll along the Swinging Bridge, which is a suspension bridge that stretches out more than one hundred feet across a creek, for a thrilling and scenic experience.
And after a long day, make your way over to Dollhouse Road Brewery for a fine selection of locally brewed, seasonal beers as well food trucks and games to keep you busy.
Although the pronunciation of the town name has changed over time, Prague will always be prideful of its Czech roots and it’s one of the many reasons people from all over the country visit each year.
Another reason people visit this historic town is that it is known for being the stomping grounds for Oklahoma’s famous athlete, Jim Thorpe, and there is even a street named after him.
Walk back in time as you stroll down Jim Thorpe Boulevard admiring the ancient architecture and maybe even take a moment to step inside of the Kolache Jail.
This strange attraction is a human-size cage that people love to stop and take photos in posing as though they are locked in a jail cell.
But what really makes things interesting is the fact that a Kolache is actually a Czech pastry, and the attraction is located outside of a bakery, so how the jail came about is a mystery.
If you happen to be lucky enough to visit during the Kolaches Festival, you will get to enjoy as many of these pastries as you’d like as well as live entertainment and a parade to keep you busy.
But luckily, the Prague Bakery is open year-round, so you never have to miss an opportunity to taste one of these delicious treats!
Known for being the heart of the Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah has earned itself the title as not only one of the best small towns in Oklahoma but in the entire country.
With that being said, one of the very first places you should visit is the Cherokee Heritage Center so you can learn about and appreciate the culture of the Cherokee people.
After you have gained some insight, head over to The Spider Gallery and Cherokee Arts Center where you can support the Cherokee people even further by purchasing some of their handmade items.
There are over one hundred vendors set up in the center boasting unique products like paintings, jewelry, woven items, photographs, and so much more.
The Illinois River cuts right through town and allows for a plentiful amount of outdoor recreation including hiking along its edges, fishing amongst its waters, and floating to your heart’s content.
All American Floats is one of the best companies in the area to rent a raft for large groups and at the end of every floating session you can enjoy games like go-karts and mini-golf.
Nestled high atop one of the world’s tallest hills, Poteau is a small town that offers wide, sweeping views showcasing some of Oklahoma’s most beautiful natural wonders.
With the Ouachita National Forest just a stone’s throw away, there are plenty of places around town overlooking its dense beauty and it is easily accessible for outdoor enthusiasts.
For people with less experience outdoors, the Old Frisco Trail is a perfect way to venture outside and offers many scenic viewpoints like that of Cavanal Lake.
Nothing gives small-town vibes like a farmer’s market, and it doesn’t get much better than the Poteau Farmers Market with its fine variety of local produce, artisan goods, and abundance of smiling faces.
While you are in Poteau, you have to walk to the very tip of Cavanal Hill simply so you can say that you have stood on the top of the largest hill in the entire world.
Plus, while you are up there you enjoy other features like a peaceful stroll, panoramic views of the river valley, a scenic picnic, a night of stargazing, and so much more.
Located smack dab in the center of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Stroud should be on everybody’s Oklahoma road trip itinerary and there is plenty to do despite how small the town is.
It is also nestled right along Route 66, so you can bet that there are plenty of places to check out memorabilia and get a feel for the road’s iconic history.
Start your trip off on the right foot with breakfast at a Route 66 classic, The Rock Cafe, where you can dine in the same booth as popular legends like Led Zeppelin and the creator of the Simpsons.
The restaurant has been around since the early 1900s but is still making an impact on the present-day world. For example, the current owner of the place is actually what inspired the creation of Sally in Pixar’s Cars movie.
After breakfast, head over to the Stroud True Value Hardware store where you can still find the unique roadside attraction known as the Route 66 Tool Tree.
Once you’ve had enough Route 66 fun, make your way over to the Tatanka Ranch where you can enjoy outdoor activities like horseback riding, kayaking, fishing, adventure climbing, and more.
Plus, the ranch offers comfortable lodging options that are equally beautiful and boast amenities like a wraparound porch, saltwater pool, and a recreation room jam-packed with things to do.
Not to mention the fact that the town is home to Stroud Municipal Lake which stretches out over six hundred acres and offers more than ten miles of shoreline for visitors to enjoy.
Boat ramps are scattered around the lake to make it easy for boaters to get out on the water and there is a public beach for people who rather just go for a swim.