Choctaw Country - Southeast Oklahoma

Day One

Morning – We begin our time in Choctaw Country at Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center. These mounds were used by Caddoan speaking Indians between 850 and 1450 AD. Learn about the area and see artifacts with a guided tour of the site (allow 1 hour).

Afternoon – Lunch is included at the Kerr Conference Center  & Museum which was the former home of U.S. Senator Robert S Kerr. The center offers a beautiful view as it sits on a ridge overlooking the foothills of the Kiamichi Mountains. After lunch visit the Kerr Museum to for more information about Senator Kerr and eastern Oklahoma (allow 2 hours). Next we travel to Robbers Cave State Park in the woodlands of the San Bois Mountains. The park is most noted for the cave and the legend it holds as being a hideout for outlaws including Belle Star and Jesse James (allow 1 hour). Coal mining has been an important part in southeast Oklahoma development and the small community of Krebs was developed by Italian immigrants that worked the coal mines. We will stop at Lovera’s Grocery that has a variety of imported Italian foods and enjoy samples of Lovera’s handmade Italian cheeses and sausages (allow 45 minutes). The Krebs Heritage Museum contains artifacts from the mining industry, early day tools, and a rare collection of musical instruments (allow 45 minutes).

Evening – Enjoy dinner at one of Krebs' Italian restaurants before checking into our hotel in McAlester for the evening.

Day Two

Morning - This morning we depart McAlester for Fort Washita Historic Site which was built in 1842 to protect the Chickasaw and Choctaw Tribes from the Southern Plains Indians (allow 45 minutes).

Afternoon – Enjoy some free time for lunch and gaming at the Choctaw Casino Resort (allow 2-3 hours) before heading east to Hugo which is the winter home of many circuses. The Hugo Frisco Depot Museum contains memorabilia from “Circus City, USA” and a miniature circus display (allow 1 hour). We will visit the Showman’s Rest area of Mount Olivet Cemetery to see unique headstones and gravesites of circus performers and owners (allow 1 hour).

Evening – Dinner and our overnight will be in Idabel.

Day Three

Morning – After breakfast at the hotel, we depart for the Museum of the Red River. The museum introduces us to the cultural heritage of the North, Central, and South Americans. See the reconstructed skeleton of a dinosaur which was found 12 miles from the museum. The Garner Museum and Mansion was the home of Chief of the Choctaws and holds a large collection of Indian artifacts and fossils (allow 1 hour).

Afternoon – After lunch in Broken Bow we will enjoy some wine tasting at Girls Gone Wine (allow 45 minutes). Select from 16 varieties of wine and visit the gift shop before heading to Beavers Bend State Park. The forests of southeast Oklahoma are the number one industry in the area with over 60 million cubic feet of lumber harvested each year. We will visit the Forest Heritage Center where 14 dioramas tell stories of the forestry industry. The center also gives honor to forest firefighters with an eight foot bronze of Jim Burnett the first forest firefighter from Oklahoma to lose his life fighting forest fires (allow 1 hour).

Evening - Tonight is at Lakeview Lodge in Beavers Bend State Park on Broken Bow Lake.

Day Four

Morning – Today we travel to Talihina where we begin our drive across the Talimena National Scenic Byway. Built specifically for its view that winds atop the ridges of the Ouachita National Forest and known for its beauty in the fall as well as spectacular scenery any time of the year. There are many pull out areas along the 54 mile byway for panoramic views and photo opportunities (allow 2-3 hours for the byway drive with scenic stops).

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