Looking for the best photography spots in Stillwater, Oklahoma? Check out these instantly Instagrammable places in Stillwater, including photography spots on the Oklahoma State campus and off, places that are popular for Stillwater engagement photos, high school senior pictures, vintage and retro photo spots, prom photos, and romantic photography spots.
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Where to Stay in Stillwater, OK
If you will be in town visiting, here are options for every budget category and an Airbnb option for someone looking for something more private.
Best Budget Option (Under $75 a Night)
If you’re looking for something that’s comfortable and convenient, check into the Holiday Inn Stillwater. Located three miles from the OSU campus, you save a bit of money by being further from campus, but you’ll still be within a few minutes’ drive from most of Stillwater’s best sites.
Check reviews and availability here.
Best Midrange Option ($75-125 a Night)
If you want a few more amenities like a pool, check out the Home2 Suites by Hilton. Less than a mile from the football stadium, this is a great place to stay if you’re planning on doing campus activities or sporting events during your trip.
Check reviews and availability here.
Best Budget Luxury Option (Under $100 a Night)
If you want to stay somewhere truly lovely, make reservations at the Atherton Hotel at OSU. With Instagrammable gardens and a restaurant on site, this is as close to true luxury as you’ll find in Stillwater.
Check reviews and availability here.
The Best Stillwater Photo Spots
In no particular order…
The Boomarang Diner Mural
I adore colorful murals, and this one downtown has a few extra things I love. First it celebrates a local business. Second, it’s in the shape of Oklahoma. And finally, it’s located low enough to the ground that you can take fabulous photos in front of it!
Location: 902 S Main St, Stillwater, OK 74074
Edmon Low Library
A quintessential photography spot at Oklahoma State, you really haven’t been to Stillwater until you’ve stared up at the clocktower of the library. While it dates to the 1950s, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at something much older.
Location: 216 Athletic Ave, Stillwater, OK 74078
One of the most beautiful places in Stillwater, this pond on campus is a popular spot for engagements, which means it’s a popular place for engagement photos in Stillwater.
Situated on the OSU campus, make time to walk through here and appreciate the beauty of the pond from every angle.
Location: the intersection of S Monroe St and W University Ave
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church
While this church is on the new side, I swear I felt like I was driving along pastoral roads towards an old church in the countryside-in Europe. The church is beautiful up close, but it’s even more lovely to see it rising in front of you above the tree tops.
Location: 711 N Country Club Rd, Stillwater, OK 74075
OSU Dairy Center
I love exploring the spaces of the ag school, and the OSU Dairy Center is a lovely little corner of the larger campus. It doesn’t get much more picturesque than historic agricultural buildings, barns, and fields of grazing cattle.
Location: the Intersection of Western and McElroy
The Bumblebee Transformer
This Full-Size Transformer: Bumblebee is over twenty feet tall. Towering over 6th Street, it’s hard to miss this bright yellow, gaudy, fabulous Stillwater roadside attraction. Don’t question it, just enjoy.
Location: 5104 W 6th Ave, Stillwater, OK 74074
Boone Pickens Stadium
In every college football town, there is a stadium. And at that stadium is where the magic happens. And when you’re there, you want to capture that magic.
Whether you find a unique way to photograph the entire stadium or you get a fabulous game day picture, don’t forget to enjoy the moment. College sports are one of the best things about living in the US and one of the things I missed the most when I was living in Europe.
The First Sonic Drive-In
If you’re not from Oklahoma, you might not understand our obsession with Sonic. This Oklahoma-grown company is beloved, and you’ll find them in every small town and along almost every major stretch of highway.
Well..while in Stillwater, you need to stop at the VERY. FIRST. SONIC. It’s practically Oklahoma’s answer to religious pilgrimage sites. Come. Pay homage. Leave with a bag of Ched R’ Bites.
Location: 215 N Main St., Stillwater, OK
This roadside motel gives off major cinematic vibes. If you are looking for something retro and quintessentially run-down, the 51 Motel meets that aesthetic perfectly. Think Breaking Bad or Schitt’s Creek.
You can photograph here if you stay here (obviously), but I loved snapping it from across the street since I wasn’t in town overnight this time.
OSU Equine Center
If you love living near farm animals, then Stillwater is a great place to live! You can see the horses at the Equine Center, just make sure to keep a respectful distance!
Location: 2601 W McElroy Rd, Stillwater, OK 74075
Marilyn Monroe Mural
There are many great Stillwater murals to photograph (and love), but there’s something perfect about the Marilyn Monroe mural, aka the Dennis the Jeweler mural, on a golden yellow that just begs to become a Stillwater photo op. So you must oblige.
Location: Downtown 10th & Main, Stillwater, OK 74074
OSU Student Union
Another important OSU photo spot is the student union. While the student union of any campus is important, the one in Stillwater is breathtaking and a popular photo spot for engagement photos in Stillwater.
Location: Student Union, 100 S Hester St, Stillwater, OK 74078
Historic Downtown Stillwater
While many parts of the Oklahoma State campus are beautiful, many parts are new. If you want to photograph historic Stillwater, head downtown!
You’ll find some of the earliest buildings in town, plus some of the oldest diners and restaurants, great street and public art, and great people watching. So basically the ingredients for a great Stillwater photo shoot!
The Old Stillwater Public Library Building
This beautiful 1920s-era library was made defunct in the 1990s when the city created a new public library, but the old building on Sixth Avenue (now a law firm) is gorgeous and the perfe vintage-themed photo spot in Stillwater. You can find a delightful (and heartbreaking) account of the building’s unique history here.
Location: 206 W. 6th Avenue
While you won’t find city skylines, the view from Stillwater’s roof bars do make perfect photography opportunities. One rule of photography is to alway get as much elevation as possible for your photo shoots, and at a nice roof bar or restaurant, the view can come with a drink – or fries!
The Oklahoma State University Campus
A campus as sprawling as OSU’s has many great photography locations to find. Just keep your eyes peeled, because you’ll find something interesting when you least expect it! I’ve listed four spots on here already, but there are so many more for you to discover on your own!
Dating back to 1894, Old Central is the oldest building on Stillwater’s campus, back when it was called Oklahoma A&M. Today it is home to the Honors College, but anyone can take a pic or two outside.
Location: 101 Old Central, Stillwater, OK 74078
That’s right, Stillwater doesn’t have one transformer statue. It has two! They are on opposite ends of 6th Street as you come into and exit town. They have different color schemes (so dress accordingly). And they are both magnificent.
This one might be the more famous, as it’s Optimus Prime, a character known by even non-Transformer fans.
Location: 2201 E 6th Ave, Stillwater, OK 74074
The Ghost Town of Ingalls
Located fifteen minutes away from Stillwater is Ingalls, Oklahoma, one of the state’s most famous ghost towns. You can read about how this town became famous and what to do here (plus its best photo spots) in my post on what to do in Ingalls.
Location: 12314-, 12398 E 19th Ave, Stillwater, OK 74074
The Jim Thorpe Home
Though it’s thirty minutes from Stillwater, if you’re already going to see Ingalls you might as well keep going to Yale. The Jim Thorpe Home is a great Stillwater area photography location, especially for anyone looking to go full cottage core.
Jim Thorpe, the World’s Greatest Athlete, owned a home in the tiny town of Yale, Oklahoma. The home is a beautiful museum, and it also is home to a small historic log cabin that’s part of the oldest homestead in Payne County.
Location: 706 E Boston Ave, Yale, OK 74085
I’m really sad to list this, and I mostly am adding it as a caution that I no longer would promote the restaurant. However, leaving the most famous restaurant in Stillwater off this list seems weird, so I decided to update this post and add it with an explanation.
You can read the details of the controversy here. Essentially, Native American groups are asking the restaurant to stop using a Native American as a mascot, stop using the term Eskimo which is considered a slur by many Indigenous Americans and Canadians, and to stop using exaggerated drawings of both Native Americans and Mexicans in their restaurant artwork. See below:
The restaurant considered changing its name and then issued a statement that they would not be making a change. On a personal level, I was really saddened to read this. One of my fondest childhood memories is eating at this restaurant with my Dad when we went up to OSU (his alma mater) for a football game.
I won’t be eating there again until the name is changed. The official statement reads:
“We received more than 30,000 heartfelt comments from our customers and the general public about our name and log,” a statement reads. “The overwhelming majority – more than 90% – encouraged us to keep our bracing of 45 years. They love Eskimo Joe and Buffy, who have always represented fun and excellent service while welcoming and respecting all people.”
As a company, we pride ourselves on giving our loyal customers what they want, so we currently plan to make no changes to our name or logo.”
To put online customer comments above real pain felt by Indigenous Americans seems insane to me, but we will see how long it takes them to change.
What to Wear in Stillwater
While you can buy as much Cowboy, Cowgirl, and Cowperson gear as you want once you get here, you might want to know how to dress before you arrive.
If you’re planning on having a girls’ trip, wear cute brunch clothes with a casual flair. Similarly, if you’re away for a couple’s trip, wear clothes that are comfortable yet stylish enough that you will enjoy looking at the photos for years to come.
Of course, if you’re here for a game or sporting event, wear your team gear!
The town itself is pretty casual, and you won’t feel underdressed if you show up in gameday clothes for a nice dinner.
Pro Tip: No matter what, wear comfortable shoes! The best parts of the town and the surrounding area are reached on foot!
Do You Need a Car for Your Trip?
It’s awfully hard to get around Oklahoma without a car. If you need to rent one, I use Discover Cars. You’ll be able to pick up a car at the airport or in your hometown.
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Stephanie Craig is a born-and-bred Oklahoma mom and travel expert who has been to over fifty countries. After traveling all over the world, Stephanie moved back to Oklahoma to explore more of her own backyard. Her favorite things to do in Oklahoma include visiting the Blue Whale of Catoosa, the Arcadia Round Barn, and the Talimena Scenic Byway.