Ponca City is full of surprises and stories with sizzle that'll leave you talking long after your visit.
Continue reading below
Morning - Start your Ponca City trip off with opulent surroundings and juicy historical gossip at the legendary home of oil baron E.W. Marland, the Marland Mansion. Called the “Palace on the Prairie,” the title does little to convey the elegance and beauty of this Oklahoma treasure. Modeled after the Davanzati Palace in Florence, Italy, expect to gaze at Waterford crystal chandeliers, hand-painted and gold-leaf ceilings and extravagance down to the smallest detail. The estate originally featured five lakes, a boathouse, stables, gatehouses, an art gallery, polo grounds, an Olympic-size swimming pool and elaborate gardens cared for by 85 gardeners, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You'll hear Marland history, like the story of the how the Marland Oil Company came to be known as Conoco. But the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction story about the questionable pairing of Mr. Marland and his second wife, Lydie - who was his first wife's niece and later became his adopted daughter before marrying him - will have your gang talking for the rest of the trip.
Afternoon - Discuss your Marland Mansion tour over lunch at the hottest jalapeno on the runway, Enrique's Restaurant. Then head to the Pioneer Woman Statue and Museum where you'll marvel at the intestinal fortitude that Oklahoma's women have displayed since settling Indian Territory. In front of the museum stands the 30-foot-tall Pioneer Woman statue donated to Ponca City by E. W. Marland. An appropriate pit stop for any gal getaway, the statue was erected in gratitude to the women who played an instrumental role in the settling of the area. The Pioneer Woman Museum honors women who have pioneered in various fields throughout Oklahoma history. You'll certainly be grateful for your modern conveniences after a peek at pioneer life.
Evening - When hunger creeps around, make a beeline for the Rusty Barrell Supper Club. With a speakeasy feel, this isn't your typical restaurant. You'll have to enter through the alley and ring the doorbell to gain admittance. But once inside, you'll be greeted by the aroma of steaks sizzling on the grill in the middle of the dining room.
Morning - Awake to a full, hot breakfast served either alfresco or delivered to your room. Refreshed and refueled, it's time for a little shop hopping in search of antiques, gifts, boutique fashions and accessories.
Evening - Enjoy an evening at the Poncan Theatre. When it opened in 1927, the Poncan Theatre was a grandiose addition to downtown Ponca City and today, the legendary showplace is an excellent opportunity to please your feminine flock. The Poncan has been restored to its original glory in Art Deco, Classical Roman and Medieval architecture, and has been enhanced with state-of-the-art sound and lighting. Call the box office to book your tickets for the venue’s current features and expect anything from ballet and orchestra to country music and community theater. Or, get your game on at the Osage Casino with 6,000 square feet of bright lights, big times and gaming fun.