There is more to Oklahoma than just flat Prairie lands and oil fields. There is a whole treasure trove of hidden away gems nestled away in our very own state for travelers with a tank of gas in their vehicle to experience.
In information provided by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, during 2010, domestic travelers spent a total of $6.2 billion in Oklahoma. Of that total, $4.5 billion (73.2 percent) was spent by out-of-state travelers, while $1.7 billion (26.8 percent) was attributable to Oklahoma residents travel in the state.
Sandy Pantlik, public relations coordinator for the tourism department’s Travel Promotion Division, said many times Oklahomans believe they have to leave the state to take a vacation, but if they decided to plan a getaway in their state, they might be surprised.
” … We hear from Oklahomans all the time who have taken a leisure trip in the state and are amazed by the variety and quality of attractions in their home state and Oklahoma’s natural beauty,” Pantlik said. ” … you can literally travel to high plains and mesas in the northwest to the cypress swamps in the southeast corner.”
Here is a trio of suggestions for those in the metro area seeking to stay in-state for their vacation getaway this summer.
Featuring: architecture, museums and restaurants
Why you should go: Bartlesville boasts Frank Lloyd Wright’s only completed skyscraper, the Price Tower, which houses lodging, restaurants and an art gallery.
The Bartlesville area has a variety of sites to visit, including the Phillips Petroleum Company Museum and Woolaroc Ranch, Museum and Wildlife Preserve, the latter of which features the roaming buffalo, fine art and was the former country retreat of oil man Frank Phillips.
Featuring: music, museums and restaurants
Why you should go: Oklahoma’s second largest city, Tulsa features a variety of different museums, including the Gilcrease and Philbrook museums.
Tulsa features a variety of cultural experiences such as the Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Opera, Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and other programs of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.
Various musical artists come through Tulsa to play a gig at Cain’s Ballroom or the BOK Center while the Blue Dome Entertainment District is home to a variety of hip spots, restaurants and live entertainment events.
Featuring: bed and breakfasts, camping, fishing and hiking
Why you should go: Sitting on 59,000 national acres, Wichita Mountains Wildlife and Refuge Center is home to free-range buffalo, longhorn cattle and deer. Recreational opportunities for travelers include mountain biking, rock climbing and 15 miles of campsites, fishing, hiking trails and picnic areas.
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife and Refuge Center features a visitors center with features exhibits of the Wichita Mountains, interactive displays, artwork, films and a bookstore.
Medicine Park is located right outside near the entrance to the Refuge Center. Medicine Park features lodging, bed and breakfasts, food and shopping for travelers to take advantage of.
There are numerous other areas, including attractions in all directions. For travel tips and pointers to have lots of fun and minimum funds, go to KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/TRAVEL-TIPS.