Explore the great state of Oklahoma from A to Z by following our insider recommendations for attractions, destinations and things to do, conveniently organized in a handy alphabetical list that highlights the state’s popular treasures.
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Oklahoma’s fun attractions, stunning state parks, delicious local cuisine and rich historical sites make it an exciting place to visit. We’ve taken top attractions from every corner of the state and organized it alphabetically. From exploring Western history at a world class museum to sampling one of Oklahoma’s famous fried onion burgers, these highlights all represent a unique part of this great state.
Oklahoma may lack oceanfront property, but it boasts one of the best aquariums in the country. The Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks welcomes visitors from all over who are eager to explore over 100 exhibits about life in the water. It includes information on Oklahoma’s lakes and rivers as well as an impressive walk-through shark tunnel featuring the world’s largest bull sharks in captivity.
Any time of year is the right time for a trip to Beavers Bend State Park in Broken Bow. Known as one of the Sooner State’s most beautiful areas, the park is home to Broken Bow Lake and a myriad of comfy cabins. Hiking, swimming, canoeing, fishing and horseback riding are just a few activities available at one of Oklahoma’s most popular vacation destinations.
Millions of people travel to Oklahoma City each year to take in the frontier history and Western art on display at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. You’ll see paintings, sculptures and other works from some of the genre’s best artists, as well as a variety of traveling exhibits. Kids will enjoy Prosperity Junction, a replica cattle town with everything from a railroad depot to a blacksmith shop.
Oklahoma’s stretch of Route 66 is lined with attractions full of 1950s nostalgia, quirky diners and roadside oddities. This exciting road trip wouldn’t be complete without kitschy photo-ops like the Round Barn and the Blue Whale. Stop at the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum or the National Route 66 & Transportation Museum to experience the history of Americana along the Mother Road in a new way.
Onion burgers are an Oklahoma tradition packed with flavor, and there’s no better place to sink your teeth into a juicy patty than a restaurant in El Reno. Robert’s Grill, Sid’s Diner and Johnnie’s Grill have all been serving them for decades. You can even try a piece of the World’s Largest Fried Onion Burger at the annual El Reno Fried Onion Burger Day Festival, which brings thousands of people to the town each spring.
Oklahoma cuisine isn’t complete without the delicious, hometown dishes that rely on the art of deep frying. From concocting the perfect blend of spices for a unique chicken fry to the cornmeal covered namesake of Catfish Cove, fry cooks here know how to do it right. Fried pies that ooze with the sweetness of fruit filling and other savory combinations are also an Oklahoma delicacy.
In northeastern Oklahoma, Grand Lake sits as an oasis for those seeking outdoor fun and water recreation. Surrounded by state parks that offer plenty of opportunities for hiking, fishing, jet skiing, camping and much more, this lake offers uncrowded waters and scenic views. Bring your boat to one of the lake’s many marinas and don’t forget your swim suit - over 40,000 surface acres of water are calling your name.
Take a trip out to No Man’s Land and stay at the Hoot Owl Ranch or the Hitching Post Lodging & Ranch in Kenton. Just minutes away from Black Mesa State Park in the panhandle, you can experience what the Old West was really like while reconnecting with nature in this quiet and secluded area. Hoot Owl Ranch has two cabins perfect for a getaway, while Hitching Post is housed in a charming, century-old building.
Often considered one of the best rivers for canoeing or kayaking in the state, the Illinois River in Tahlequah features over 60 miles of tree-lined shoreline and a gentle, Class II current perfect for beginners. Plan your trip and stay at one of the many resorts along the riverbanks or camp at Elephant Rock Nature Park.
Claremore’s JM Davis Arms & Historical Museum is the largest privately owned arms museum in the world. Much more than just a firearms collection, the museum features guns used by Old West outlaws, vintage movie posters, musical instruments, steins, artifacts, antiques and more. There’s something for everyone, from history lovers to gun enthusiasts, to admire at the JM Davis Museum.
Known as Oklahoma’s “Little Italy,” Krebs is home to some of the best Italian food in the state. Head to Pete’s Place, a combination microbrewery and restaurant, for authentic family-style platters of Italian classics like chicken parmesan and spaghetti with meatballs. Roseanna’s Italian Food and Isle of Capri also serve stand-out pasta dishes, while Lovera’s Italian Grocery has carried imported Italian treats since 1946.
Oklahoma’s lakes are famously uncrowded, so head out on the water to enjoy miles of scenic shoreline, as well as a variety of watersports and seasonal events that equal unrivaled opportunities for summertime fun. With hundreds of lakes both big and small, there is more shoreline in Oklahoma than the Gulf and Atlantic coasts combined. These bodies of water have it all from stand up paddle boarding at Lake Murray State Park to mini-golf on the shores of Lake Eufaula.
The cobblestone streets of Medicine Park lead to a variety quaint shops and adorable cabins that line Medicine Creek, the focal point of this former 1920s resort town. Located in southwestern Oklahoma, this area once attracted everyone from movie stars to politicians. Today, you can stay at the Romantic Mountain Cabin for a quiet retreat or rent the Bonnie & Clyde Cottage where the famous pair of outlaws once found refuge.
Dozens of American Indian tribes call Oklahoma home, making the state one of the richest places to experience their unique cultures. Come immerse yourself in the history of the Chickasaws at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur and get lost in a replica of a Cherokee village from 1710 at the Cherokee Heritage Center. Each year there are many powwows and festivals that honor Native American tradition and customs including Red Earth, one of the largest celebrations of its kind in the country.
Near downtown Oklahoma City, the Boathouse District on the shores of the Oklahoma River is a hot spot for sports and family fun. The area’s Olympic caliber training facilities and OKC Riversport Adventures, which features the world’s tallest adventure course, are sure to keep you busy. If relaxing on a boat is more your pace, Oklahoma River Cruises will sail you through the city providing food and entertainment along the way.
Located on Route 66 and home to over 600 flavors of soda, visitors to POPS in Arcadia are greeted by a 66-foot tall pop bottle sculpture made of LED lights. This combination gas station, restaurant and “soda ranch” opened in 2007 and immediately became a Mother Road icon. Check out the unique modern architecture, unmatched drink selection and great diner food for yourself to see why.
Smoking techniques, marinades and homemade sauces make barbecue in Oklahoma much more than simply a meal. Whether you’re headed to a festival centered on this Southern staple or want to hit up the best barbecue joints in the state, there’s sure to be a grill master claiming they know best when preparing your plate of ribs. Dig in to tender brisket, pulled pork and other fire-cured delicacies to see what you’ve been missing.
Get caught up in the fast paced action and excitement of a legendary Oklahoma rodeo at an arena like the Lazy E in Guthrie. Throughout the year, you can root for some of the world’s best cowboys and cowgirls as they take on barrel racing and bull riding at multiple officially sanctioned events. Rodeo queen pageants, shopping and chuck wagon cook-offs take Oklahoma rodeos from equestrian shows to full on festivals.
A history of cowboys and cattle trails that cut right through the state make grilling a ribeye or sirloin a time-honored Oklahoma tradition. Over 100 steakhouses from east to west are waiting to serve you a piece of their best beef cooked just the way you like it. Grab a table at the iconic Cattlemen’s Steakhouse in Historic Stockyards City and try what some call the best charbroiled meat in the state.
Russell Westbrook and the rest of the Thunder basketball players took Oklahoma City and the NBA by storm after their arrival in 2008. With successful seasons played at the Chesapeake Energy Arena every year, don’t miss the chance to cheer from Loud City and Thunder Up with the rest of OKC. Officially licensed merchandise is available at the Thunder Shop, just a short walk from the arena.
Pluck peaches straight from the branch and blueberries off the bush at u-pick farms across the state. These popular agritourism destinations welcome visitors to enjoy fruits and vegetables by the pound at their utmost freshest. Make cherished family memories with a trip to pick produce at a berry farm or an outing to an Oklahoma farmer’s market for fresh cut flowers, locally made goods and more.
From luxurious tasting rooms and gourmet restaurants to annual grape stomps and boutique bed and breakfasts, Oklahoma’s wineries have it all. A vineyard is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway or romantic retreat. Watch the sun go down with a glass of zinfandel from the patio of Plymouth Valley Cellars or enjoy the stunning view from the balcony at Tres Suenos Vineyards & Winery with friends.
Located near Lawton, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge encompasses nearly 60,000 acres in southwestern Oklahoma. Take a ride to the top of Mount Scott to see the breathtaking landscape as it unfurls below or explore the more remote parts of the refuge for glimpses of majestic American bison herds. Visitors also enjoy camping, hiking and rappelling in this large nature preserve.
Grab a gardening shovel, sunscreen and a pair of gloves and head to Salt Plains State Park. It’s one of the few places in the world to dig for selenite crystals. Usually forming in a unique hourglass shape, these naturally occurring crystals can grow to huge sizes. The digging area is located in the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge just north of Great Salt Plains Lake.
Honorable Mentions: X-treme Adventure in Oklahoma
For the ultimate family vacation, stay at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park located on the shores of gorgeous Lake Eufaula. Featuring RV camping sites and cabins with modern amenities, the park also includes a restaurant, swimming pool, putt-putt course, boat rentals, fishing pier, volleyball court, paddle boats and even a mini-water park. Kids love this inclusive resort that will keep them busy from morning to night.
Oklahoma’s two largest cities boast wonderful zoos with state-of-the-art exhibits featuring animals from around the world. Walk through the Great EscApe to see gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans at the Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Gardens before checking out the Asian elephants. At the Tulsa Zoo, take the Safari Train around the park and don’t forget to explore the Tropical American Rainforest exhibit and Sea Lion Cove.