Seeing Oklahoma from the water is one of the best ways to relax. No boat of your own? No problem! Here’s a quick look at four top boat tours to help you enjoy the water from uncrowded rural lakes to Oklahoma City.
Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees is one of Oklahoma’s most popular lakes, and the Grand Lakeside Riverboats may be one of the reasons why. Two stately vessels – the 67-foot, double-decker Grand Princess (which holds 100 people), and the 108-foot Grand Belle (which accommodates up to 275 passengers) are reminiscent of the Victorian-era paddleboats that once traveled the waters of the Mississippi and other large rivers.
Offering daily sightseeing cruises; dinner, dance and holiday cruises; and private charters, the Grand Belle and Princess transport visitors around Grand Lake in climate-controlled comfort in any weather. These cruises are available from May 1 through October, and embark from the base of the Sailboat Bridge off Highway 59 N in Grove.
Oklahoma River Cruises run a seven-mile stretch of the Oklahoma River (formerly the North Canadian River) between downtown Oklahoma City and the Meridian Avenue hotel corridor. The cruises are family-friendly, lasting approximately 1.5 hours and allowing passengers to enjoy beverages and snacks while viewing Oklahoma City.
The 35-passenger riverboats depart daily from Regatta Park Landing at 701 S. Lincoln Blvd., and from Meridian Landing at S.W. 15th Street, just east of Meridian Avenue. Online ticket purchase is recommended as public cruises sell out quickly (a limited number of walk-up tickets are available at each boarding area). Private and themed cruises are also offered.
Oklahoma Water Taxi advertises itself as “more than just a boat ride,” and that’s correct. Offering everything from narrated canal tours and private cruises to dinner and cocktail cruises, the water taxi ferries passengers through the heart of the Bricktown Entertainment District.
Each water taxi features an “ambassador” who narrates points of interest along the Bricktown Canal. From April to October, water taxis depart every 10 – 15 minutes from the landing on the Bricktown Riverwalk. Off-season tours are weather dependent, so it’s best to check the water taxi’s website for scheduling. Tickets are available online, or at the ticket booth located across from the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Mickey Mantle Boulevard.
Steve Evans, naturalist at Greenleaf State Park, conducts boat tours of scenic Greenleaf Lake from May to October. These free tours are limited to 15 passengers and run every Saturday. During the tour, Evans educates his passengers about the lake and its many points of interest. He also talks about area history and the flora and fauna of the surrounding Ozark hills.
Greenleaf Lake is only about 3.5 miles long and it averages just 20 feet or so in depth, but because personal watercraft and skiing are prohibited here, it is one of Oklahoma’s most peaceful lakes and most enjoyable to tour.