If you are planning a trip to the Sooner State, and are trying to figure out your itinerary, Chickasaw Country definitely deserves a spot. Covering 13 counties in the southeastern and south-central area of the state, there is no shortage of activities, with everything from golfing to hiking. If you love photography, a bounty of breathtaking sites awaits in this area of stunning natural beauty. Here is a sampling of what is on offer in one of the best tourist spots in Oklahoma.
Chickasaw Country Cultural Center
This area is rich in history, and this is a top attraction, particularly for history lovers. Here you can get a rich glimpse into the life of the Chickasaw people. Taking up 109 acres, it is the largest tribal cultural center in the country. You’ll find a range of exhibits, media stations and theatrical environments, educating you on the fascinating history of the area and its original inhabitants. A recreation of a typical village allows you to step back in time and get a taste of daily life.
Tourist sites dedicated to the region, such as ChickasawCountry.com, are a good resource to check for any upcoming events at the center, as well as the area in general.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Adjacent to the cultural center, the Chickasaw National Recreational Area is part of the National Parks Service system, and is awash in natural beauty, outdoor activities, and unique flora and fauna. There is something to do here no matter the time of the year, such as boating, hiking, camping, fishing and swimming. Here you will find Travertine Creek, Rock Creek, Veterans Lake and Lake of the Arbuckles.
The Arbuckle Mountains
If mountains are your thing, the Arbuckle Mountains will not disappoint. This ancient range stretches for 35 miles, and has plenty on offer, as far as stunning photo opportunities and outdoor activities go. Here you can find waterfalls, hiking trails and lakes.
The Blue River
If good fishing is an important part of your vacation, the Blue River is not to be missed. It is one of the best fishing spots in the area, abundant with black bass, small-mouth bass, crappie, blue catfish and trout. It is also a popular hunting ground. Kayaking is another popular activity here if you are feeling a bit adventurous. To indulge in all this area has to offer, however, you will need to get a Conservation Passport from the Oklahoma Wildlife Department as public access points are limited.
Turner Falls is the oldest park in the state, and is named after Mazeppa Thomas Turner, who discovered its gigantic waterfall—the largest in Oklahoma. It is located in the Arbuckle Mountains Region, and is one of the most popular destinations in the state, especially for families. It spans 1,500 acres and has been compared to other popular tourists such as the Grand Canyon and Black Hills because of its similarly interesting geological history. Here you’ll find beaches, camping grounds, picnic sites and a host of outdoor activities.
Foreman Prairie House Historic Site
If you would like a peek into the early lifestyle of Oklahoma, this historic site, which dates back to 1918, has plenty on offer. The gardens, grounds and collections combine to offer a host of entertaining, educational, tourism and artistic programs. It is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Chickasaw Council House Museum
The Chickasaw Council House Museum provides a fascinating look into the life of this fascinating tribe, with the largest collection of Chickasaw artifacts, archives and art. Here you’ll find books, music, language materials and jewelry, bead work, pottery and a host of other artwork by Chickasaw artisans. A day here will clearly illustrate why this tribe is known as ‘Unconquered and Unconquerable.’
This is just a small sampling of what is on offer in this region. There is plenty of more historical sites, and a variety of parks and other outdoor areas full of beautiful sights and activities. Many areas are virtually untouched and teeming with wildlife. With all to do and see, make sure you do your research and plan carefully so you can see the best on offer!