The great state of Oklahoma is known for its many casino’s and tornadoes, but I want to reassure you that it has so much more to offer than it’s very shiny, very flashy gambling facilities and unthinkable weather.
Oklahoma is the home much of our countries Native America history, it has some of the most beautiful state parks, museums and festivals full of so much history and yes of course, those casino’s everyone is talking about. I want to make sure that I give you a glimpse of some of the parts of Oklahoma that are not common knowledge, some inside local advice if you will.
Fun Facts About Oklahoma!
Let’s start off with some fun facts, shall we?
- The world’s first installed parking meter was in Oklahoma City, on July 16, 1935
- Okmulgee owns the world record for largest pecan pie, pecan cookie, pecan brownie, and biggest ice cream and cookie party
- Garth Brooks was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He grew up in Yukon, Oklahoma.
- At around 200, Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any other state.
More than Casino’s and Tornadoes
Did you see that, Garth Brooks was born and raised in this amazing state. The rumor is Nashville the place to be, but in reality Oklahoma’s your best bet if you want to make as a country singer. Need more proof than the King of Country, well there is also Blake Shelton, Reba McEntire, Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood, Ronnie Dunn, and many more so hurry on over aspiring country singers were waiting for you! All joking aside I want to make sure that you understand how truly incredible Oklahoma really is.
How to Get Around
With a perfect combination of city and country, Oklahoma is a center spot to meet all personality types. Depending on which part of the state you choose to state can determine the transportation style you want to choose also. While, I highly recommend driving or renting a car while visiting Oklahoma because of the relaxed nature of the state, however there are some areas like Oklahoma City that have public transportation. Unlike some states, Oklahoma does not normally have a ton of traffic and we have plenty of parking, so that should not be a problem either.
If you have ever wanted to take a road trip, Route 66 is one of the most well known historical routes in the United States. Oklahoma is right in the heart of this beautiful history. So you can enjoy a great road trip see some historical town and follow the best of Route 66.
Oklahoma is home to many beautiful state parks, each with its very own unique charm that has a lasting affect on those who visit them. If you are looking for an unforgettable nature experience you can find an array of activities such as lodging, fishing, swimming, hiking, Kayaking and hunting at most if not all of the Oklahoma State Parks.
My families favorite Oklahoma state parks to visit is Beavers Bend.
Beavers Bend is a wonderful place for nature lovers of all ages and is located in the mountainous region of southeast Oklahoma along the shores of Broken Bow Lake and the Mountain Fork River. It is a wonderful place to slow down, unwind and enjoy the beauty and nature that Oklahoma has to offer. Whether you enjoy the luxurious glam-ping experience or the one with nature experiences, you can find it here.
Beavers bend offers many different options for luxury cabin rentals. These cabins are beautiful, spacious and modern. Most offer a extra amenities such as hot tubs on the balcony, playground equipment for the kids, and full kitchens, which makes our stay so much more relaxing. We have booked our cabins through several different cabin rentals in the past, but our favorite, hassle free choice is Beavers Bend Adventures.
Beavers Bend also provides tent/RV camping, along with many other activities and rental services. Some activities that you can participate in are:
- Various children’s Programs
- River Fishing
- Horseback Riding
- Tennis Court
- Watchable Wildlife
- Rock and Mineral finding
- And More
For more information on activities, camping information and prices visit the Beavers Bend State Park Information website.
Places To Eat Near Beavers Bend
When you visit this amazing state park, you can always cook yourself, but if you want to enjoy some great dining experiences here are two of my favorite places.
The Grateful Head
This groovy pizza joint is a neat change of scenery. Their menu is fully loaded with oddly creative recipes that are worth trying. I recommend the “tree hugger” or the “funky chicken,” both are amazing! For the not so adventurous type, you can make your own safe pizza.
This is my favorite place to eat, it is not only a fun place, but the food and service has always been great. The Blue Rooster serves fried anything you can think of, family style. We always walk away satisfied. Another thing I love is that it is a great place for kids, they roll out a piece of paper to cover the table and the kids (and adults) stay entertained until the food is served. This is a must try!
The Gathering Place
Not too long ago, Facebook went crazy about a place called the Gathering place in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The reviews were amazing, the captions read that it was equivalent to Disney World, but free. I want to tell you, it is a pretty amazing place. We recently went and our kids had an amazing time and I highly recommend it.
There is something to do for all ages, and I mean ALL ages. I found my husband in the play area’s, “testing” the safety of the slides several times.
We got to the park at 9 am and the park was relatively empty. We did not have to fight large crowds of people to enjoy any part of the park. We spent the day climbing ropes, playing in the sand, making tornadoes, climbing in sitting pods and swinging on zip lines, the possibilities were endless!
From a Mom’s Point of View
It was definitely the place to be full of fun and excitement for all member’s of the family. As as a mom I value some parts of the park that my kids or even my husband would never have thought about. There were several bathrooms throughout the park and the were so CLEAN. My children visit the bathrooms a lot, I am certain we went to them all and everyone of them were very well maintained.
The parking was plentiful! now it appeared to get a little busy when we were leaving in the afternoon. Even then though, there were many parking options, unlike some places that you visit. This is always a nice way to start off your trip.
The play area’s were themed and backed by education. I LOVE when my kids are learning while they play. There is an interactive part of the park where you can make tornadoes, learn about music, sounds and echos… We spent quite a bit of time in this area, just trying to figure it all out. The coolest part is that it was designed into a maze, so that alone kept my children busy.
The Thought Behind It
I was fascinated with the amount of thought that was put into creating such an amazing park. The toddler area was not only size appropriate, but the color schemes, the theme and deliberately placement so that parents can see their children was mind blowing and quite honestly, relieving. There was a sand are where toddlers could play and a soft padded ground area.
The bigger play areas had the same thought behind it. The themes were so uniquely interesting. It was not something you have seen over and over again. They put forth the effort to match the theme to the play. The crazy slides were located at the “inventors” play area, the green hanging pods where located in the tree play area, the maze was the theme of the arts and science play area… They put a lot of effort into making sure it was a great experience.
We spent most of our time in the play areas, but there were several other amenities as well. There was a skate park, kids activities and so much more.
They also have a couple eating options with plenty of healthy options that even the kids will love. They have an option to eat outside on the lawn, on picnic tables and inside in the cafe. The prices were a little higher than we normally like to pay, but for free entry they have to make money somewhere.
They do allow you to bring in coolers and outside food. We brought snacks and a small cooler full of drinks and a lunch for my dietary restricted daughter in to the park and had no issues.
Oklahoma is a great place to visit if you are looking for a slower pace relaxing visit. It is not only full of so much history, culture, nature and fun. I highly encourage Oklahoma as a place to visit for all ages.