SPRING BREAK DAY TRIPS IN OKLAHOMA
Written By Widha Gautam
Spring break is finally here and we know exactly the way to have a family adventure without needing to leave the state! These day trips will reacquaint you with Oklahoma and give you a chance to bond with the kids outside of your busy, daily life.
Chocolate and Castles in Southern Oklahoma
Turner Falls Park — Head south on I-35 from the metro and within a couple hours' drive you’ll stumble onto Oklahoma’s oldest nature park. The hike to the cascading 77-foot waterfall is easy enough that you won’t strain yourself or the kids. Plus the natural swimming pools are perfect for cooling off. There’s plenty to explore at the park, which is strewn with nature trails, picnic spots, caves and even a castle.
The Artesian Hotel, Casino and Spa — This gorgeous reinstatement of classic Oklahoman architecture is about 20 minutes from Turner Falls and the perfect way to round out your day trip.
The original Artesian, established in 1906, drew celebrities, politicians and trendy jet setters of the time until a fire in 1962 destroyed the building. Luckily, the hotel has been restored and is once again dazzling guests with a luxury spa, shopping and lively casino.
Don’t forget to drop into Bedré Cafe and indulge in their specialty fine chocolates while you’re there!
Culture and OMG! Burgers in the Southwest
Wichita Mountains — There’s no shortage of activities and attractions for your family to scope out at The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Resort. There are plenty of day hiking spots, with different levels of difficulty, across the park.
Take a short drive up the winding Mount Scott to get a clear view of the landscape around you, venture into eerie Parallel Forest and make sure to keep an eye out for Elk, Bison, Deer and Prairie Dogs in the area.
Meers Burgers — Make a detour to the nearby town of Meers to fuel up after your outdoor adventure. Meers Store and Restaurant boasts arguably the best burgers in Oklahoma, and with less cholesterol than chicken, thanks to the longhorns grazing nearby. The Meersburger is seven inches in diameter, served in a pie dish and something of an Oklahoma state attraction.
The Red Carpet Treatment in Northwest Oklahoma
Eischen’s Bar — Eischen's Bar is historic for being the oldest bar in Oklahoma but is famous for its chicken. In fact, Eischen’s chicken is so well-known that it’s basically wrought in Oklahoma legend. The bar pulls diners from all over the state. On busy days, you might even see lines wrapped around the building.
Sod House Museum — Follow up your iconic lunch with a stop at the Sod House Museum in Aline. The museum was created to preserve Oklahoma’s last sod house and study the lifestyle of pioneers. Walk around the house, absorb some history and play dress up for some #PrairieLife photos.
Great Salt Plains State Park — Keep driving north and your trip through Oklahoma’s red carpet country will take you to the Great Salt Plains State Park. The area is coated with a layer of salt deposited by an inland sea that existed long ago. Today, the park is a popular destination for biking and hiking, as well as water activities like swimming, fishing, canoeing and rafting.
Take Route 66 to Eastern Oklahoma
Pops on Arcadia — Chances are, if you’ve been living in the OKC metro for more than a few months, you’ve found your way to the soda bottle lined restaurant on Route 66. If not, it’s basically obligatory that you make a stop there and buy a soda to start off this trip.
Drive a few minutes east of Pops and you’ll see the Arcadia Round Barn, a perfectly circular barn by the side of the road that’s a favorite photo stop for Route 66 travelers.
The Blue Whale of Catoosa — Catoosa is about 30 minutes outside of Tulsa and home to the Blue Whale. The large blue structure was built by local Hugh Davis as an anniversary present to his wife in the 1970s. It has since become a road side attraction that's fully decked out with a picnic spot and park.
Miami, Oklahoma — The city of Miami sits in the northeast corner of Oklahoma and is laden with cultural history.
Miami houses Coleman Theatre, a vaudeville theatre that once embodied of the glitz and glamour of the roaring twenties. The building’s architecture is as intricate and star strewn as its history. Other local destinations like the Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum and the Dobson Museum will keep the kids mesmerized. As far as dining goes, Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger and fries are a must-try while you’re in Miami.