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Top Tourist Attractions in Oklahoma

If you are planning your next road trip or vacation, we feel Oklahoma won’t be on your priority list of places to visit. But hear us out. There are so many iconic, historic, and hidden gems that lie in the state of Oklahoma.

In this article, we will show you and potentially convince you why Oklahoma should be on your list. From countless museums and national parks to historic sites and cultural attractions, Oklahoma is a place where you can learn a bit of history and experience amazing scenery.

Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Oklahoma

Chickasaw National Recreation Area

We kick things off with a location for outdoor lovers. Chickasaw National Recreation Area is a 9,900-acre land located in southern Oklahoma. The US Government first bought this area more than 100 years ago to protect the bodies of water, including the tiny creeks, lakes, and natural springs.

Today, besides enjoying the flora and fauna near the bodies of water, you can also take multiple hiking trails that span over 30 miles. In the area, you can also visit the Travertine Nature Center, which not only has numerous exhibits documenting the history of the Chickasaw National area, but also provides guided hikes and educational tours.

One of the largest bodies of water in the park is the Lake of the Arbuckles. Around the lake, you can find countless picnic and camping sites where you can relax, fish, and even take out boats into the lake.

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Sticking to the great outdoors, we now head to southwest Oklahoma, near the city of Lawton, where we will find the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The US Fish & Wildlife Service has preserved close to 60,000 acres.

This Wildlife Refuge is a heaven on earth for hikers, campers, wildlife photographers, bird watchers and rock climbers. While there are many rock-climbing routes, some of the more popular in the area include:

Besides the granite mountains and grass prairies, you can also visit 13 freshwater lakes, multiple creeks and rivers, great for fishing and kayaking. When it comes to wildlife, you will certainly get a glance at the herd of bison, rocky mountain elk, countless species of birds, armadillos, prairie dogs, otters, and common collared lizards.

Beavers Bend State Park in Oklahoma

Beavers Bend State Park

Another outdoor recommendation list entry is the Beavers Bend State Park. We think we saved the best for last because if you visit the park, you will be taken back by the picturesque scenery, crystal clear waters, towering timbers, and rugged terrain.

The Broken Bow Lake is the heart and soul of the park, where you can set up camp and enjoy the calming and relaxing scene right at the shores. The Mountain Fork River is also part of the area, where you can find numerous forest cabins, RV sites, and tent campsites to set up camp. If you are more on the adventure side, you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

Along the various bodies of water, you can experience canoeing, water skiing, boating, and fishing. When it comes to fishing, after you obtain a permit, there are two catch-and-release areas where you can fish for sunfish, trout, channel catfish, walleye, spotted bass, white bass, smallmouth and largemouth bass, and crappie.

At Beavers Bend State Park you can also visit the Forest Heritage Center, where you can check out interesting and unique wood art, antique tools, historical documents of the area, a stacked research library, and homestead memorabilia.

National Memorial & Museum and Remington Park Horse Casino in Oklahoma

Oklahoma City

While visiting the state, we cannot bypass the capital, Oklahoma City. Whether you are traveling alone or with friends and family, Oklahoma City has numerous destinations that you cannot miss.

One of the best family-friendly locations, without a doubt, is the Oklahoma City Zoo. The entire area spans 140 acres, and you can visit the 11 different animal zones, inhabiting more than 1900 animals. Besides roaming around, as a guest, you can pay extra for educational tours, animal feedings, and train and boat rides.

Those who want to take in Oklahoma's history and culture can visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. The Memorial and Museum pays respect and remembers the lost lives in the 1995 bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. If you visit the museum, you can take an interactive tour viewing the history and stories of the tragedy.

If you are a history buff, you cannot go wrong with visiting the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Everything from artwork, artifacts, tools, firearms, and interactive exhibits tell the story of the Old West. Throughout the year, multiple events, such as workshops, book clubs, and art sales, contribute to and teach visitors about the American Cowboy, the frontier military, and Native American culture.

Last but not least, if you are lucky and want a relaxing evening, look no further than the Remington Park Horse Casino. Besides the fine dining and live entertainment, you can try out your luck at more than 750 casino games. Some of the available casino games and forms of betting include slots, video poker, keno, horse race betting and simulcast horse race betting.

You can even sign up as a Club Remington member for free and enjoy various perks at the casino, racetrack, restaurants, and suits. The more points you rack up while playing at the casino and betting at the racetrack, the more you will get benefits and deals on food, beverages, and merchandise.

Oklahoma's vibrant and entertaining casino scene offers excitement for visitors from near and far. From flashing lights of slot machines to strategic allure of table games, Oklahoma's casino offers an unforgettable experience and something for every player's preference. Top10DesCasinos lists the best casinos in the USA where players can enjoy the ultimate blend of gaming and entertainment that the casino world offers.

Great Salt Plains State Park in Oklahoma

Great Salt Plains State Park

Heading back outside, we find ourselves in north Oklahoma, at the Great Salt Plains State Park. On one side of the park, we have the prehistoric remains of salt plains, which are all leftovers from an ocean that once covered Oklahoma. On the other side, we have the Great Salt Plains Lake, which is a saltwater lake where visitors can go canoeing, kayaking, swimming and fishing.

The lake is great for fishing enthusiasts who can fish along the shores or on various fishing docks. An abundance of fish inhabit the lake, from sand bass and catfish to hybrid striper and saugeye. As mentioned, you can also take out canoes and kayaks on the lake, and besides fishing and taking in the scenery, you can also spot numerous bird species that fly around the lake and inhabit the shoreline.

For those who want to spend a night or two, there are various areas around the park where you can book reservations for your RVs and set up tents and campsites. Cabins can also be booked at the park office or online.

Besides the beautiful views and the plethora of recreational activities available at the park, southwest of the lake, you can find the selenite crystal dig area. From April until mid-October, you can dig out hourglass-shaped selenite crystals, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Natural Falls State Park in Oklahoma

Natural Falls State Park

Staying north but heading more to the east, you can arrive at the Natural Falls State Park. First and foremost, the park's main attraction and primary visiting spot is the 77-foot waterfall, nestled in a narrow valley. Observation platforms and decks are set along and at the foot of the waterfall so you can take in all the natural beauty.

Along the trails, you will be surrounded by dense forest with white oaks, maples, chinquapin, and a wide variety of plants such as coral berry, dogwood, sassafras, ferns, moss, redbud, liverworts and spicebush.

Besides hiking and natural trails, you can shop at various picnic areas, where grills and other equipment are laid for hikers and visitors. If you want to stay a few days in the park, various camping areas, RV, and tent sites must be booked and reserved online.

You can also book nights at one of many yurts. There are five yurts in total, housing between 4 and 6 people. Every yurt has electrical outlets, AC/heat, a fridge, a microwave, and a dining table. Outside the yurts, you can cook on the charcoal grills, eat at the picking table, and relax at the fire ring. While pets are allowed at the yurts, you will need to pay an extra fee.

Other recreational activities include a gardening area, an 18-hold golf course, basketball and volleyball courts, playgrounds for children, and multiple catch-and-release fishing spots. Be aware that no swimming is allowed in the park, especially near the waterfall.

Author: Stephanie Craig