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It doesn’t matter whether you’ve lived here for a long time or just moved in House in Oklahoma Cityor maybe renting an apartment There are many exciting places to explore outside of the city in one of the many neighborhoods. From natural wonders to historical sites to outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone. In this article, we’ve rounded up 10 unique spots near Oklahoma City that are perfect for day trips and weekend getaways. So pack your bags and get ready for the wild west, because these destinations are not to be missed.
1. Spot wildlife and hike scenic trails at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
Located just an hour and a half southwest of Oklahoma City Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge offers a chance to escape the city and discover the natural beauty of Oklahoma. The sanctuary is home to over 50 species of mammals, including bison, moose and prairie dogs, as well as over 240 species of birds. Visitors can take scenic drives, hike over 15 miles of trails, and explore the stunning granite peaks that make up the refuge’s landscape. Be sure to check them out Medicine Park Historic Districta charming little town just outside the refuge that is worth visiting for its quaint shops, restaurants and architecture.
2. Take a refreshing swim in Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Located just 90 minutes south of Oklahoma City Chickasaw National Recreation Area is a natural oasis with crystal clear streams, natural springs and lakes perfect for swimming, boating and fishing. Visitors can take a dip in the mineral waters of Little Niagara and Big Vinn Lakes or hike the scenic trails that wind through the park’s wooded areas. There are also many areas to sit and eat, campgrounds and visitor centers to explore.
Fun Facts: The park’s springs are so clear you can see down to the bottom, making it a popular spot for underwater photography.
3. Discover Oklahoma’s hidden gem: Turner Falls
Located in Davis, about two hours south of Oklahoma City, Turner Falls Park is a 77-foot national park with natural waterfalls surrounded by natural pools and scenic cliffs. Visitors can take a dip in the clear, cool waters, hike through the lush forests, or explore the park’s many caves and rock formations. There are also plenty of picnic areas, campgrounds, and cabins for those looking to spend the night. Turner Falls is home to the Collared Lizard, a colorful reptile found only in Oklahoma and Texas.
4. Experience the tremendous beauty of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve
The hotel is located just under two hours north of Oklahoma City Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is a protected area encompassing over 39,000 hectares of tall grassland prairie, making it one of the largest remaining areas of its kind in the world. Visitors can explore the park’s hiking trails, spot wildlife like bison and prairie dogs, and learn about the area’s history at the park’s visitor center. The park offers guided tours and events year-round, including a fall bison hunt. The reserve’s tallgrass prairie ecosystem is one of the most vulnerable in the world, making it an important site for conservation efforts.
5. Escape to Lake Texoma for a day of boating and fishing
Located on the Oklahoma-Texas border, about two hours southeast of Oklahoma City, Lake Texoma is a popular destination for those who enjoy fishing, boating or just enjoying a day on the water. Lake Texoma is known for its rich population of striped bass, making it a popular destination for anglers from across the country. The lake covers 89,000 hectares and has over 600 miles of shoreline, making it a premier location for water sports and recreational activities. Visitors can also hike along the lake’s scenic trails, explore nearby parks, or even take a sunset cruise on a paddle wheel boat.
6. Experience the natural beauty and history of Roman Nose State Park
Located about an hour and a half northwest of Oklahoma City, Roman Nose State Park is a unique destination that offers a blend of natural beauty and history. The park offers stunning natural springs, hiking trails, and opportunities for fishing and golfing. Visitors can also learn about the park’s rich history, dating back to the 19th century when it served as a retreat for Cheyenne chief Henry Roman Nose. The park also offers accommodation options, including cabins and a lodge.
7. Discover the majestic Osage Hills State Park
Just over two hours northeast of Oklahoma City, Osage Hills State Park is a beautiful destination that offers a blend of natural beauty and outdoor recreation. The park offers rolling hills, hiking trails, and opportunities for fishing and boating on nearby lakes. Visitors can also explore the park’s historic buildings, which date back to the 1930s when the park was built as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park offers camping and lodging options, including cabins and yurts.
Fun Facts: The park is home to the largest outdoor swimming pool in the state park system.
8. Stargazing and hiking in Black Mesa State Park
Located in the Oklahoma Panhandle, approximately five hours west of Oklahoma City, Black Mesa State Park is a unique destination that offers visitors the opportunity to explore Oklahoma’s natural beauty and stargaze under some of the country’s darkest skies. The park is home to Black Mesa, the state’s highest point, and offers hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors can also participate in stargazing events and learn about astronomy at the park’s observatory. The park offers camping and lodging options, including yurts.
9. Enjoy breathtaking views and water sports at Quartz Mountain Nature Park
Located approximately two and a half hours southwest of Oklahoma City, Quartz Mountain Natural Park is a stunning destination that offers stunning mountain views, hiking trails, and opportunities for swimming and boating on Lake Altus-Lugert. Visitors can also enjoy golf, rock climbing, mountain biking and other outdoor activities. The park offers camping and lodging options, including cabins and lodges.
Worth knowing: The park is home to Quartz Mountain Resort, which hosts an annual arts and humanities conference that attracts artists, writers, and musicians from across the country.
10. Explore the beauty and history of Chickasha’s historic district
Located just one hour southwest of Oklahoma City, Chickasha’s historic district is a charming little town worth visiting for its quaint shops, restaurants and architecture. Visitors can explore historic downtown with over 100 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The city hosts events throughout the year, including the Chickasha Festival of Light, a festive light show that draws visitors from across the state. The city is home to the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, the state’s only public liberal arts college.