Travel

The 10 Best Small Towns in Oklahoma

The 10 Best Small Towns in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has full of communities with unique characteristics that make them stand out as the greatest place to visit. The diverse range of activities and unrivaled scenic retreats provide the best time spent in the area as well as the most lasting impressions to take home.

1. Guthrie

Guthrie, which began as a train halt before 1889 and grew to 10,000 residents, also served as the territory’s and state’s capital for a short time. The interesting and adorable town keeps the status quo on the people by retaining much of its original architecture, as well as an abundance of unique history, art, and wildlife to explore. The peaceful, tree-lined alleys, which have maintained their Victorian character, have the most extensive collection of urban historic structures, while the downtown has been declared a National Historic Landmark for the importance and prevalence of its turn-of-the-century commercial buildings. The town’s outstanding architecture is surrounded by calm lakes for beautiful expeditions, while a bluegrass festival and a rodeo bring the otherwise serene ambiance to life.

2. Bartlesville

Bartlesville was founded in the 1870s as an old mill town on land that was once home to the Osage, Cherokee, and Delaware Native American tribes. After “strike gold” in the area’s oil, the town swiftly rose to prominence. Aside from the high-rises in the center, the number of green parks and grassy hills for an appropriate nature-scape outlook today would never guess its highly industrial background. One can enjoy a scenic walk around the historic downtown, which is rich with magnificent frontier architecture, and learn about the area’s history by visiting the museums. Modern extensions and a Frank Lloyd Wright structure may be seen in town, and a scavenger hunt for the painted buffalo around town is a popular activity for families. The Caney River runs straight through town, providing a simple escape into nature right outside one’s house.

3. Claremore

The French explorers named the town after mispronouncing the name of the local Osage Chief, Gra-Moi, and calling him Clairmont. Claremore is best visited for some good, old-fashioned fun, such as visiting museums and sampling fresh-from-the-farm food. Will Rogers’ Memorial Museum, which was once his home, explores the celebrity’s life, accomplishments, and valuables, including a saddle collection and what was discovered on him when he and his wife died in a plane crash. The J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum and the Belvidere Mansion are both worth visiting, as is a stop at the Sawn Bros Dairy for wonderful, fresh cheeses. The historic downtown area is also home to a variety of interesting shopping and dining options, as well as the Will Rogers Raceway and Cherokee Casino, which provide additional entertainment. Claremore Lake and Redbud Bay offer relaxation and water-based activities, such as fishing, for nature enthusiasts.

4. Davis

The town, which is split between two counties, was named for Samuel H. Davis, one of the region’s early significant settlers. He petitioned for a depot and a post office after operating a dry goods business in the region, and the town expanded around him, thriving off cotton growing. Turner Falls Park is a two-in-one prominent natural feature in Oklahoma since it is the state’s oldest park and home to the state’s tallest waterfall. The gorgeous falls, located in the Arbuckle Mountains, come with a water resort that includes cave excursions, stunning picnic spaces, nature trails, and geological wonders, as well as campsites. Unwind to the peaceful sounds of the waterfall or try the Air Donkey Zipline, which runs through the picturesque Arbuckle Mountains and across the river at an altitude of 80 feet with six stations. There’s also the novelist Ellsworth Collings’ castle to discover and contemplate, as well as the Bedre Chocolate Factory’s massive viewing glass into their workshop and eating their delicious chocolates.

5. El Reno

The community was founded in the late 1800s during a land rush in the area, near the crossroads of historic roadways Route 66 and the Chisholm Trail. It is part of an area that is pioneering in energy innovation and was once a railroad town that has been transformed into a festival town. Many people visit for its most famous attraction, the huge Lucky Star Casino, which features all imaginable gaming opportunities. It is named after Fort Reno, which is just a few minutes drive away. The Center Theatre also hosts a variety of local, national, and international performances regularly. The odd annual Fried Onion Burger Day Festival, held in May, honors the town’s signature dish, the famed fried onion burgers. With a wide selection of ancient buildings, the vintage express trolley route, and the Hotel El Reno, one would never guess that the town has been hit by major earthquakes and tornadoes in the last half-century.

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6. Eufaula

Eufaula is the greatest town for a break from the city, with nature, leisure events, treasure-seeking in shops and boutiques, as well as arts and entertainment. The town of Eufaula, named after the Eufaula tribe who relocated there from the southeast, expanded fast after the railroad brought residents to the area. The very walkable 20-block downtown, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and contains wonderful architecture as well as unique antique retail choices, is its lasting legacy. The real Oklahoma store “Our Favorite Place,” the Hoepfner Kiwi Farm, the restaurant “I Smell Bacon,” and the “Treasures by the Lake” are among the many odd places in town. The destination village, which has a rich native tradition, is nestled on the gorgeous banks of the state’s largest lake, Lake Eufaula, for a peaceful getaway.

7. Hugo

The town is known as “Circus City, USA,” and it is named after the famous French novelist Victor Hugo, who lived in the nineteenth century. It was founded in 1901 at the turn of the century and has swiftly become a wintering destination for the country’s traveling circus performers. Aside from hosting a dozen circuses, the town functioned as a railroad hub, which was exploited by innumerable showgirls and gunfighters, earning it the reputation of being a town where there was never a quiet moment. Historical structures, cemeteries, and museums bear witness to the legacy. Hugo Lake and the adjacent state park, which offer hiking, cycling, kayaking, and other outdoor activities, are the town’s most popular attractions today. The Choctaw County Historical Society, the Frisco Depot Museum, and the Endangered Ark Foundation with elephants are all worth visiting in this unique and vibrant community.

8. Kenton

Kenton, one of the state’s oldest settlements, was formed in the early 1800s and today serves as a little ideal village of barely 20 or so residents. For those seeking a unique trip experience of a natural getaway from the bustling urban holiday locations, the town is plenty of stunning panoramas. The adjacent Black Mesa State Park is the highest point in the area, with undisclosed raw nature, rocky terrain, and geological marvels for a healthy break from hiking, mountain climbing, beautiful scenery, and camping. The breathtaking, expansive landscape creates an unrivaled sense of enchanted seclusion. The town’s local cafes, historic landmarks, and independent businesses are ideal for recharging one’s thoughts. The history-themed Kenton Museum and the active Hitching Post Working Ranch, among numerous ancient buildings, wagons, and ranches, provide a shocking peek into the past.

9. Medicine Park

Medicine Park, one of Oklahoma’s most popular small towns, is a classic cobblestone resort town famous for its natural beauty situated in the Wichita Mountains. The historic resort, which opened in the early twentieth century, attracted celebrities, journalists, politicians, and gangsters. Cobblestone Row, a finalist for Budget Travel Magazine’s “America’s Coolest Small Town,” offers a true small-town Americana ambiance of charming retail, history, and architectural characteristics that give the town its distinct look. Around town, there are numerous nature trails and scenic activities, including fishing at Medicine Falls, picnicking along the creek, and visiting the nearby Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, which is home to an abundance of plants and animals species. Biking, enjoying strolls along Medicine Creek and Bath Lake, or relaxing in the stunning beauty of the neighboring Wichita Mountains are all excellent weekend activities.

10. Sulphur

Sulphur, situated on the rolling plains of the cross-timber country, serves as the eastern gateway to the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. The area’s mineral springs drew the first settlers, who were followed by more from the East Coast. The area’s mineral springs drew the first settlers, who were families of Chickasaw ranchers. The sulfurous springs, which have a distinct odor, were originally thought to cure illnesses and other medical disorders. The springs have an unpleasant odor, yet they taste like typical, delicious water and are gut-friendly. With the Chickasaw Cultural Center, a museum dedicated to the Chickasaw Nation, as well as the Artesian Hotel, Casino & Spa, one will undoubtedly find a way to appreciate the city’s rich natural landscape. A park may be found right on the doorstep of town, and the Arbuckle Mountain range to the southwest offers numerous hiking and recreational options in the beautiful outdoors.

The Author

Oladotun Olayemi

Dotun is a content enthusiast who specializes in first-in-class content, including finance, travel, crypto, blockchain, market, and business to educate and inform readers.