Oklahoma Staycation: Explore the State by Road

Oklahoma - Prague - Valentine in front of Prague Mural with the car
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It’s getting close to that time of year when many of us start getting spring fever and feel the urge to get out and see some sights. But with time and money being tight, maybe a long flight across the country just isn’t in the cards. Fortunately, Oklahomans are blessed with a state full of natural beauty, rich history, and lots of quality destinations right in their own backyard. If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to hopping a flight to a vacation destination, why not stay closer to home and check out what Oklahoma has to offer?

Why a Staycation Road Trip?

First, let’s look at some of the benefits of a staycation road trip. We’ve already talked about the affordability factor, but it’s worth mentioning again: making some short trips around and within Oklahoma are generally going to be significantly cheaper than going across the country. You’ll save money on accommodation, gas, dining, and more.

Another great reason to stay close to home is the opportunity to get some local insight. Exploring your state gives you a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the history, culture, and natural features that make Oklahoma unique.

Finally, it’s never a bad thing to support local economies, and that’s what you’ll be doing if you choose local eateries, motels, and other businesses while you’re driving around Oklahoma.

Road Trip Recommendations

So what kind of trips could you take for your Oklahoma road staycation? Here are just a few enticing possibilities:

  • A weekend getaway to a small town, such as Guthrie — a place known for its art scene, Victorian architecture, and boutique stores.
  • A nostalgic trip along Route 66, checking out the roadside attractions and historic landmarks along the way.
  • Taking a family road trip to a national park such as Beavers Bend State Park, which offers activities like fishing, hiking, and water activities.
  • Spending a weekend out in nature at places like the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, where you can take a camping or RV trip and soak in the gorgeous landscapes and diverse wildlife.
  • Travel to the highest point in all of Oklahoma — Black Mesa State Park — and get far away from the noise and bustle of everyday life.
See also
10 Fairytale Castles in Oklahoma You Can Visit in Real Life!

Important Safety Measures

A road trip can be an amazing adventure — but to keep it from being exciting for all the wrong reasons, there are a few safety measures you should consider first.

Start by making your vehicle road-ready. Schedule a tune-up and make sure it’s topped up with fuel, oil, wiper fluid, air in the tires, and so on.

Pack essential emergency items like food, snacks, a first-aid kit with medication, a flashlight, road flares, and more. It’s always better to be overprepared than under.

Also, be mindful of the law! Make sure you have all the proper documentation (license, registration, proof of insurance), and familiarize yourself with things like speed limits and other traffic regulations. Oklahoma traffic laws are no joke — on top of the fines you could receive, a speeding ticket for going 20+ mph over the limit could raise your car insurance rates by 28% or more. (Statistics courtesy of The Zebra’s Ross Martin.)

It’s also a great idea to make use of digital road trip apps to plan your trip route, find local attractions and amenities, and otherwise keep yourself from going off-track. Some of those apps can also be a great place to find local discounts for Oklahoma residents, and save even more money.

Places to Go

To wrap things up, here are a few more places you could go for an Oklahoma staycation:

Paseo Arts District (Oklahoma City)

The Paseo Arts District is home to over 20 studios and upwards of 80 working artists, and features an “art walk” on the first Friday of every month, featuring new works. Take a day trip to OKC to see new art and patronize some of the local businesses.

Cherokee Heritage Center (Tahlequah)

A great destination for history buffs, the Cherokee Heritage Center is a non-profit historical society dedicated to preserving vital elements of the Cherokee culture. It features an extensive collection of historical documents, artifacts, and more.

See also
24 Cities with Direct Flights from OKC: the Best Nonstop Flights from Oklahoma City

Gloss Mountains (northwest Oklahoma)

If you’re looking for natural splendor, consider traveling to the Gloss Mountains near Fairview and visit Gloss Mountain State Park, so named for the selenite-rich mountains that give off a glass-like appearance.

Chickasaw Cultural Center (Sulphur)

Another rewarding destination for those interested in history and culture, the Chickasaw Cultural Center not only features numerous events and fine arts, but also a traditional Chickasaw village for you to explore.

Frontier City Theme Park (Oklahoma City)

Finally, for those who are just out to have a great time, consider the Frontier City Theme Park in OKC, with its wide array of thrill rides, water rides, live shows, and fun dining.