Sometimes you just need to get away from home for a few days and relax. Visiting somewhere new, even if it’s closely, is invigorating. A quick trip can bring families closer together, create friends for life, and provide the perfect way to blow off some steam.
And you don’t have to go far to enjoy one! The best weekend getaways in Oklahoma don’t require much planning. Just pack a bag, make an online reservation, and hit the road!
Here are my favorite Oklahoma weekend trips, from great city escapes to fabulous lake trips to charming small towns.
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Oklahoma Cities for Weekend Getaways
While we may not have cities the size of NYC or LA, Oklahoma’s cities are perfect for exploring on a weekend away since you can cover some of the best sites in three days!
For Oklahomans that live outside of the OKC metro, a weekend getaway to Oklahoma City is probably the first idea that comes to mind. But I think it’s a great idea even for people who live close by! You don’t have to go far from your home to feel like you’re on vacation!
Try to create a theme for your OKC getaway. A sports weekend could include an OKC Thunder game and enjoying Bricktown’s nightlife. A shopping weekend could include the city’s best boutiques and even picking up a few kitschy Oklahoma souvenirs.
You can even have a quirky getaway and spend it entirely in one unique neighborhood like the Paseo. Or a cultural getaway with trips to Oklahoma City Museum of Art and an evening at Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park or a show at Lyric Theater.
The possibilities are endless! Just put together three or four activities on the same theme and pick out a hotel that’s located nearby so you can enjoy the city without doing much driving.
Tulsa is a great place for an Oklahoma weekend escape for anyone who doesn’t live in Northeastern Oklahoma.
You can enjoy major cultural institutions like special exhibits at the Philbrook and aHHA or performances at the Tulsa Opera. I mean, you won’t even feel like you’re in Oklahoma when you’re wandering the Italianate Philbrook.
Tulsa is also a great shopping destination! You can even visit the original showroom of Rustic Cuff while you’re there. They make for fabulous gifts!
If you’re an OU Sooners fan, why not put together a fabulous sports weekend? Enjoy a football or basketball game and then soak in the great university town vibes at Norman’s bookstores, cinema, and restaurants.
If you’re an alum, you can visit your old haunts, but if you’re just a fan you can discover some new places.
There’s nothing quite like a great college town to reinvigorate you!
Obviously, I’m not going to suggest an OSU Cowboys fan head to Norman. Instead you can run the same play with an OSU-centric sports weekend. (Pun intended).
Lakes and Nature Getaways in Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s natural beauty isn’t well-known outside of the state. A lot of Oklahomans don’t even know the full breadth of what you can see and do outdoors here! Each of these amazing natural wonders would make a great Oklahoma weekend trip!
The Wichita Mountains have so many beautiful hidden corners! You can visit the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge and see the hearts of bison and longhorns, you can go rock climbing, or you can visit the quirky Holy City of the Wichitas, a true Oklahoma hidden gem!
You can go camping or you can get a nearby hotel and relax in a cozy bed after you’ve been out hiking or driving.
I have so many fun memories of family vacations at Lake Murray growing up! This is one of the best places to go swimming in the state if you’re looking for a great Oklahoma beach.
There are also horse stables, ten miles of trails, opportunities for mountain biking, and the newly-opened Tucker Tower.
If you want to have an action packed weekend trip in Oklahoma, head to Little Sahara! Here you can rent ATVs and 4x4s and enjoy some adrenaline-boosting adventures on the sand dunes.
I’ve been to sixty-seven countries and territories, and Turner Falls’s beauty is world-class. There are lots of pretty waterfalls in the world, but not as many where you can actually enjoy swimming right in the water underneath them!
Beavers Bend is a great place to go if you want to get some water adventures under your belt. This is a great spot for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and bird watching.
Great Salt Plains
In the Great Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge, you can play in salt leftover from an ocean that covered Oklahoma in prehistoric times. If you go swimming, the saltwater lake in the park, Great Salt Plains Lake, is about half as salty as the ocean.
You can dig out salt crystals in the digging areas from April through October. Check with the park for specific opening and closing dates.
Stargazers will want to plan a getaway to Black Mesa State Park. This park, located in the Panhandle on the border of Colorado and New Mexico, is one of the best places in the country to get dark skies at night. This means that if you want to try your hand at astrophotography, you’re in luck!
The Gloss Mountains
While not technically mountains, the Gloss Mountains are gorgeous buttes and mesas that are sometimes referred to as the Glass Mountains because of their salty sheen.
The hike up Cathedral Mountain is one of the most famous (and the most beautiful) in the state. You can camp or stay nearby the park and rest your tired feet at the end of the day.
If you want to get out on the water, Grand Lake is a great place to rent a boat, go parasailing, or go wakeboarding. This lake in Oklahoma’s portion of the Ozarks’ foothills is closer than going to Missouri or Arkansas, but just as beautiful!
Best Small Towns Weekend Getaways in Oklahoma
If you want to enjoy a few days of small-town charm, these are great weekend escapes!
Oklahoma’s first resort town is a great place to enjoy the Wichita Mountains from, but it also is a beautiful town to explore for a weekend away on its own, complete with spas and great cuisine!
Oklahoma’s first capital has a charming old-school downtown, a lively theater scene, and untouched corners to explore. You can enjoy a trolley tour, visit a drugstore museum, and explore what is set to become the nation’s largest Historic Preservation District.
Yes, you should enjoy the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile shop and restaurant, but there’s a lot to do in Pawhuska once you’re done, including digging into Native American history at the Osage Nation Museum.
Ponca City is a little corner of Oklahoma history. You can enjoy a tour of the Italian-inspired Marland Mansion and enjoy an evening strolling the town’s center and take in a show at the historic Poncan Theatre.
A town of spa hotels and bison viewing spots, Sulphur offers a best-of-both-worlds for anyone who wants to have fancy evenings while exploring the outdoors during the day since it’s the door to the Chickasaw National Recreation Area which is one of the only areas of Oklahoma protected by the National Parks Service.
Talequah is a great small town to visit to learn about the history of the Cherokee in Oklahoma. The town is the capital of Cherokee Nation, and it was named on of the Top 100 Best Small Towns in America.
You can visit the historic town center and see Cherokee and English street signs, visit the Cherokee Heritage Center, and visit the reproduction of an ancient Cherokee Village called Tsa-La-Gi.
All modern Oklahomans live on Native land, and anything we can do to learn about what this means makes for a great Oklahoma weekend away!
Did you know that you can actually visit Oklahoma Amish Country? You don’t need to head all the way to Pennsylvania for this kind of experience. It’s right in your own backyard!
The town of Choteau is where most of the Amish-owned businesses in Oklahoma are centered. You can visit Amish restaurants and stores, and you can even buy some of their homemade baked goods to take home with you.
Oklahoma Weekend Trips on Route 66
Instead of picking a destination, why not just explore Oklahoma’s portion of Route 66? You can start at the nearest point to you and do Oklahoma’s portion in a loop. You can even add in Kansas’s thirteen miles of the route for good measure!
Highlights include the Catoosa Whale, the Arcadia Round Barn, and Lucille’s Diner, but there are so many great spots to explore. Many Route 66 enthusiasts believe that Oklahoma’s portion is the best for kitschy roadside attractions!