Take a look back at the most popular website content featured on TravelOK.com during 2014. From attractions and articles, to social media posts and photos, what emerged on top may surprise you!
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Get a glimpse into what other TravelOK.com users are searching for with our handy 2014 year in review. Here you’ll find the most popular things to do, events, restaurants, articles, Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram photos and more, all based on total page views and social media “likes”!
And the winners are...
Visitors to Oklahoma love our beautiful state parks, and it definitely shows. State parks claimed all top five spots this year! Check out which ones made the cut:
1. Lake Murray State Park & Lodge – Located a stone’s throw from the Texas border and featuring miles of breathtaking shoreline along Lake Murray, it’s not hard to see what makes this state park our most popular. 267,488 page views.
2. Robbers Cave State Park – Hikers and outdoor lovers flock year round to this park’s scenic terrain located in the hilly woodlands of eastern Oklahoma’s San Bois Mountains. Fun fact: outlaws Jesse James and Belle Starr once used this park as a hideout. 180,596 page views.
3. Beavers Bend State Park – Featuring towering pine trees, horseback riding, float trips, an amazing nature center and plenty of cozy cabins, this family friendly park is a must-see. Visit in autumn for its renowned fall foliage. 164,275 page views.
4. Natural Falls State Park – The most popular feature of this park is the serene, 77-foot waterfall that cascades down mossy rock formations into a turquoise pool below. Hike to the waterfall’s base for a photo-op and enjoy a picnic amidst maple and oak trees. 144,485 page views.
5. Tenkiller State Park – Known as Oklahoma’s “heaven in the hills,” this lakeside park is popular with water enthusiasts. Hit the lake for swimming, water skiing, boating, fishing and even scuba diving. 77,738 page views.
From outdoor beauty to things that go bump in the night, our top five articles in 2014 ran the gamut of topics. Our two metro guides were a hit with our fans, and our list of 50 free things to do in Oklahoma proved that everyone likes to save a buck from time to time.
1. Ten Most Beautiful Places in Oklahoma - Oklahoma has a diverse array of outdoor hot spots that will take your breath away. Check out this article to find scenic byways, gentle rivers, picturesque rock formations, forested trails and much more. 500,525 page views.
2. 50 Free Things to Do in Oklahoma - Who isn’t on a budget these days? Stretch your dollar further in Oklahoma by taking a trip to any of these 50 fun and unique places. 337,718 page views.
3. Top 10 Things to Do in Oklahoma City - This Oklahoma City cheat sheet takes the guesswork out of planning a trip to our capital city. We highlight some of the top attractions including Bricktown, the National Cowboy Museum, our award-winning zoo and more. 276,299 page views.
4. Top 10 Things to Do in Tulsa - T-Town is bustling with great things to do year-round. Check out this popular top 10 list to get the inside scoop on favorites such as the increasingly hip Blue Dome District, art museums and local shopping meccas. 232,912 page views.
5. Most Haunted Places in Oklahoma - Our users died with excitement over these top tales of ghosts, spirits, poltergeists and more. From Civil War-era spirits that haunt historic forts to the famous lady in red at Cain’s Ballroom, these hauntings are truly spine-tingling! 98,114 page views.
Our Facebook account has really taken off this year! To celebrate our growing fan base, here are the top five posts that our users liked, shared and commented on:
1. October 5, 2014: “Take a scenic fall journey on the Talimena National Scenic Byway in southeastern Oklahoma and you’ll find magnificent vistas around each twist and turn. Drive right over the crests of the Ouachita Mountains for a memorable experience.” See the original post and photo. 8,245 likes, 594 comments, 3,936 shares.
2. October 20, 2014: “A full-blown autumn color explosion is just around the corner here in Oklahoma. Enjoy these photos of Beavers Bend State Park all decked out in autumn glory by Carolyn Fletcher, one of our favorite photographers. Then check out our fall foliage updates and recommendations for celebrating fall on TravelOK.” See the original post and photos. 7,525 likes, 327 comments, 2,573 shares.
3. October 16, 2014: "Some of Oklahoma’s most popular fall foliage areas are starting to show a little bit of color. Stay in the know by checking frequent foliage condition updates for 14 foliage routes on TravelOK.com.” See the original post and photos. 7,294 likes, 253 comments, 3,189 shares.
4. September 26, 2014: “Here’s a head scratcher for you. Magnetic Hill in Springer, OK is an unexpected phenomenon where cars roll uphill instead of downhill. Try it out for yourself just like in this video!” See the original post and video. 7,183 likes, 1,356 comments, 57,099 shares.
5. July 23, 2014: "Did you know scenes from the movie ‘Where the Red Fern Grows’ were filmed here? This magical place is Natural Falls State Park in eastern Oklahoma, and it’s picture perfect for a summer hike.” See the original post and photos. 6,052 likes, 672 comments, 4,429 shares.
Escape for a little rest and relaxation at these popular Oklahoma lodging properties. From tucked away cabins to a resort featuring breathtaking views of the Wichita Mountains, these places to stay had our users packing their bags and booking their vacations ASAP.
1. Lake Murray Floating Cabins - Gain direct access to the pristine waters of Lake Murray by simply stepping out onto your own private balcony with these unique, floating cabins. Featuring sweeping views of lakeside sunsets and all the amenities of home, these cabins are consistent favorites on TravelOK. 52,173 page views.
2. Broken Bow Sundown Cabin Rentals - Escape to the woods with a stay at these luxury cabins situated in one of the prettiest areas of the state. Book a stay and enjoy private hot tubs, covered porches, outdoor grills and fireplaces. 45,859 page views.
3. Rivers Edge Cottages - Choose from 12 log cottages at this luxury getaway and enjoy the serenity of a secluded, wooded setting along the tranquil banks of the Mountain Fork River. Jacuzzi tubs, private decks and upscale décor are standard fare here. 19,374 page views.
4. Quartz Mountain Resort - Situated in southwest Oklahoma’s Wichita Mountain range, this resort features over 100 guest rooms, gorgeous views of Lake Altus-Lugert and original art throughout. 18,564 page views.
5. Heartpine Hollow Cabins - Located only minutes away from Beavers Bend State Park and Broken Bow Lake, these cozy cabins have everything needed for a superb getaway including fire pits for marshmallow roasting and comfy beds perfect for relaxation after a day in the great outdoors. 13,794 page views.
Who doesn’t like looking at pretty pictures? We especially love them when they feature our home state! Oklahoma is a photographer’s paradise and we love sharing our best shots on our popular Instagram account. Check out these beauties that made the top five in 2014:
TravelOK’s online event calendar is consistently one of the most popular sections of the entire site. With over 1,300 individual events featured each year, these top five festivals had stiff competition:
1. Choctaw Nation Labor Day Festival & Powwow – This annual event tucked away in Tuskahoma features everything from carnival rides to native dance demonstrations. The belle of the ball remains the event’s free concert series, which attracts national stars and well-known performers. 20,010 page views.
2. Oklahoma State Fair – Over one million visitors each year flock to our state fair for live performances, high-flying rides, a car show, midway games and, of course, the food. Just the thought of turkey legs, giant cinnamon rolls and Indian tacos makes us hungry for the fair! 18,181 page views.
3. Tulsa State Fair - Not to be outshined, this Tulsa fair features free concerts, amazing carnival rides, countless exhibitions, exciting stage shows and mouthwatering fair food. Don’t forget to check out the fair’s Sugar Arts Show to see the most amazing wedding cakes in the country. 16,003 page views.
4. Rhema Christmas Lights – See one of the best Christmas light displays in the state with a trip to this popular holiday wonderland. Two million Christmas lights and over 100,000 shimmering bulbs have been attracting visitors since 1982. 15,882 page views.
5. Rush Springs Watermelon Festival – This much-loved summer festival, which has been a community staple since 1948, celebrates the local crop of ripe watermelons with arts and craft vendors, food, a parade and a seed-spitting contest. 15,649 page views.
We love engaging Oklahoma fans on Twitter through tweets and retweets! If you like giveaways, photo sharing and timely travel advice, head to our Twitter account for some amazing content, like the top five posts featured below:
Known for our variety of roadside diners and cafes serving up our state’s famous chicken fried steak and American comfort food, it’s no surprise that the restaurants below made the top five this year. We also noticed a running theme: every restaurant on this list sits along Oklahoma’s winding stretch of Route 66.
1. Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger in Miami – This historic fast food joint is famous for delicious burgers, crispy fries, refreshing ice cream cones and the original 1960s cuckoo bird that emerges from the front wall. Stop here for a hearty dose of good food and Route 66 kitsch. 5,388 page views.
2. Cheever’s Café in Oklahoma City – Visit Cheever’s Café for a contemporary approach to Oklahoma comfort food. You simply must try the chicken fried steak with jalapeno cream gravy and pecan crusted ice cream ball! 3,368 page views.
3. Ann’s Chicken Fry House in Oklahoma City – Located in a former gas station and instantly recognizable due to the Pepto Bismol-pink Cadillac that sits out front, this Route 66 diner features American classics like fried chicken, mashed potatoes and coconut cream pie. 3,131 page views.
4. The Rock Café in Stroud – Open for over 70 years, this roadside café has hosted celebrities, locals and international travelers for decades. Stop in for burgers, sandwiches, homemade chili and more. Fun fact: The owner, Dawn Welch, was the inspiration for Sally Carrera in the Pixar hit “Cars.” 2,884 page views.
5. Lucille’s Roadhouse in Weatherford – This popular Route 66 watering hole is known for its authentic 1950s diner décor and homestyle menu items. Look for classics such as meatloaf, reuben sandwiches, pork chops and burgers before heading further down the Mother Road. 2,529 page views.
We’ve become just as addicted to Pinterest as the rest of the nation. We love pinning our favorite photos and things to do in Oklahoma on our fun, specialized Pinterest boards. Check out our top five pins for some Oklahoma travel inspiration:
2. Natural Falls State Park – “Natural Falls State Park in eastern Oklahoma features a 77-foot waterfall and was the location for the movie ‘Where the Red Fern Grows.’” See the original pin. 2,065 pins.
3. Alabaster Caverns State Park – “Did you know that #Oklahoma is home to the largest natural gypsum cave that’s open to the public? See it for yourself at Alabaster Caverns State Park in Freedom.” See the original pin. 1,785 repins.
4. Best Bets for Oklahoma Fall Foliage – “The magical autumn season conjures visions of warm sweaters, crisp air and the vibrant hues of fall foliage. Discover six foliage drives in Oklahoma where you can watch the landscape explode with vivid autumn colors as you venture down winding roads chasing the breathtaking scenery beyond.” See the original pin. 1,526 pins.
We already know what you’re thinking – who’s actually on Google+ these days? Well, we are! We’re hoping our smallest social media account will turn into the “Little Engine That Could” one day, so check us out sometime for plenty of stunning photos, travel tips and more. Also, +1s and shares make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, so don’t be shy! Check out our top five posts that gained the most traction:
1. January 28, 2014: “What's your favorite outdoor activity? #Oklahoma has opportunities for mountain climbing, swimming, boating, hiking, biking and more. Discover how to connect with nature in the Sooner State.” See the original post and lake photo. +25 and 1 share.
5. February 13, 2014: “From herb festivals to birding conventions, there are endless ways to celebrate nature in #Oklahoma this spring. Start planning your trip to one of these amazing nature and agriculture events.” See the original post and bird photo. +21 and 1 share.