Quick day trips for adventure seekers
Oklahoma always has been one of the most sought-after destinations for tourists and travelers who look for outdoor activities and adventures. Luckily, since you live in the center of the state, it’s easy to spend a day visiting some of the state’s noteworthy attractions, and still be able to sleep in your bed that night.
With various hills, lakes and plenty of hiking trails, Oklahoma offers all that adventure enthusiasts seek. Take a day and make long-lasting memories when you check out the things-to-do in these communities.
Jet (2:08, 139 miles)
If you’re looking for a fun outing with the family, then visit the Great Salt Plains State Park in Jet. Enjoy the unique opportunity to dig crystals out of the salty, sandy ground. Be sure to bring shovels, towels and umbrellas to protect you from the bright sunlight. There is no place to wash and clean up, so make sure you pack plenty of water (drinking and washing) to dust off your hands and to keep hydrated. It’s good clean fun for the family. (OK, not so clean but who’s complaining). Hard to believe there’s a more ideal location where you can socially distance from others and still have fun.
Bartlesville (2:16, 152 miles)
If you love Native American history, buffalo, natural prairies, the beauty of the outdoors, interesting artifacts and original art–Bartlesville is the place for you. Make certain to include Woolaroc Museum on the Frank Phillips Ranch as one of your stops in this robust city.
A visit to the Woolaroc Museum will send you through a wildlife preserve where you can see horses, deer, buffalo, water buffalo, ostrich, emu, and even a zebra. You could literally spend hours going through the amazing hidden treasures in the western art and artifact museum. It rivals any collection of western art anywhere in the world. If you’re taking little ones, make sure you go downstairs and see the amazing train room. It has many features the kids can work on their own. If you’re into Remington sculptures, landscape paintings, Native American art and artifacts, the old west – you’ll be in heaven.
While in town go see the Price Tower, one of America’s exceptional high-rise buildings. The 19-story building was designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It is one of only two vertical buildings designed by the famous architect. It opened to the public in February 1956.
Wright’s concept of the tower was like a tree; with one supporting, organizational system – the core – that fed into the rest of the floors. He nicknamed the building “the tree that escaped the crowded forest,” which was not only a play on his concept, but a reference to a high-rise building that Wright had designed for Manhattan, but never built.
Durant (2:27, 149 miles)
Looking to do something other than gamble your hard-earned money away at the Choctaw Casino and Resort? Try the Blue River Valley Winery hidden away just outside of Durant. Aside from the wine itself, the location has a lot of character with a magnificent view over the rolling fields, a local pond, even two burros and their offspring.
The tasting room is small but well-appointed as you listen to the friendly vintner joyfully describe the wine-making process.
Back in town, stroll the Main Street for one-of-a-kind gifts or take part in one of the Durant Main Street organization’s many activities downtown like the monthly Art Walk, an upcoming seasonal Farmer’s Market or a parade along this historic district. Durant’s charming Main Street features distinctive boutique shopping and delicious restaurants. Be sure to go snap a selfie in front of the statue that claims to be the world’s largest peanut statue, though it’s not actually true.
Altus (2:10, 139 miles)
Altus, home to high-flying planes at Altus Air Force Base, now is known for high-flying axes at JD’s Hideaway Axe Throwing and Golf Simulator. Highly recommended by this author’s rowdiest of friends, who now have a safe place to target throw with an ax.
Reserve a spot on weekends because walk-ins may not guarantee a spot. JD’s is family friendly and offers something for everyone to enjoy. They have a full bar with 16 beers on tap! They also have two pool tables, air hockey, Big Buck Hunter arcade game, foosball, shuffleboard, darts, a golf simulator and our axe-throwing lanes!
If you’re in the mood for a history lesson (and who isn’t) how about a lesson that begins 300 million years ago? Well, at the Museum of the Western Prairie, you can learn all about the fascinating story of southwest Oklahoma, from as far back as 300 million years ago when the Wichita Mountains were formed!
Did you know that the Wichita Mountains once towered above the landscape, and then were actually ISLANDS in an ancient sea - how amazing is that? Today, they are those modest hills we know so well as being connected to the state’s history.