Adventures and Fun Await Travelers Within Day-Trip Distance of the OKC Metro
September 30, 2019
Although there’s always fun to be had in and around Oklahoma City, sometimes nothing sounds better than jumping in the car and hitting the open road. Luckily, there are many sights to see and adventures to enjoy within day-trip distance of the metro. That means you don’t even have to leave the Sooner state to enjoy a multitude of getaway options like . . . Pawhuska Less than two and half hours northeast of OKC, Pawhuska is home to the Osage Nation Museum, where photos, tribal objects and artwork trace the history of the area’s Osage people. Plus, the wood-planked Swinging Bridge hangs over Bird Creek. In addition, a trail connects fish-filled Bluestem Lake to scenic Bluestem Falls. And to the north, the vast Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is home to bison, deer and coyotes. But the biggest draw to the area for the last several years has been Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman Mercantile. Thousands have traveled and lined up outside the Merc waiting to shop and savor the famous Food Network star’s much-lauded comfort food in the restaurant and treats in the bakery. Tulsa A little over an hour southeast of Pawhuska and about an hour and a half northeast of Oklahoma City via the Turner Turnpike, Tulsa offers many opportunities for entertainment. This includes museums (Philbrook, Gilcrease), upscale shopping (Utica Square), performing arts (Tulsa Performing Arts Center), concert venues (Cain’s Ballroom, Brady Theatre), and a plethora of outdoor activities. One major draw that the Tulsa area offers for which there isn’t anything similar in the Oklahoma City area is the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. This fantastic facility showcases the underwater life found in both local bodies of water and the world’s oceans. Guthrie A quick 32-mile drive north of the metro along I-35 will bring you to Guthrie. Oklahoma’s first state capital, Guthrie is the perfect place to visit for anyone with an interest in history, especially state history. The Oklahoma Territorial Museum and Carnegie Library provides a glimpse into the land run, early life in Oklahoma Territory and its journey to statehood. Just down the street, the Territorial Capital Sports Museum houses a huge collection of sports artifacts and memorabilia. It is a great place to learn about Oklahoma’s athletes and teams, featuring football, baseball, golf, rodeo, Olympics, women’s athletics and more. At the corner of 2nd & Harrison you can catch the First Capital Trolley on Saturdays at noon or 2 p.m. on any other day for a 45-minute tour. Its recorded narrative about historic sites and buildings immerses visitors in the town’s history and colorful characters. Tuttle The Braum’s Family Farm is situated on more than 10,000 acres near Tuttle, which is just southwest of the metro. During free guided tours of the Braum’s Processing Plant and Bakery, located on the farm, visitors get to watch as ice cream, ice cream cones and cookies are made, some of which can be sampled. The tours are held at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., year-round on weekdays and last two hours. Reservations are required and space is limited, so potential visitors are encouraged to call 405-228-4604 well in advance to book their tours. Also just outside of Tuttle, you’ll find Tiger Safari, a non-profit zoological park that provides an opportunity to interact with and feed exotic animals. The many different experiences available here include movie nights and after-hours tours. The Great Salt Plains Perhaps the most environmentally surprising location in the state is the Great Salt Plains. Located about two and a half hours northwest of the metro, this 11,200 acre area has been described by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the "largest such saline flat in the central lowlands of North America." This state park offers just about every outdoor recreational activity imaginable. Visitors here can even mine for selenite crystals, which run as large as 38 pounds and come in unique hourglass shapes found nowhere else in the world.