10 Best Small Towns In Oklahoma For A Weekend Escape

When looking to get away for the weekend in Oklahoma, these small towns offer a respite to relax, along with a myriad of entertainment options and activities in the outdoors. From immersing in nature to exploring the historically rich hearts of these towns and relaxing at one of the hotspots, one will have the most memorable weekend spent. 

Arcadia

Route 66 Famous Round Barn in Arcadia, Oklahoma
Route 66 Famous Round Barn in Arcadia, Oklahoma. 

Arcadia comprises a perfect weekend getaway for those seeking unusual and rewarding experiences with lasting memories. Set centrally near Oklahoma City, many make the drive down Route 66 to the destination just for the postcard-perfect Round Barn. Erected in 1898, the historic circular site is the only one of its kind in the whole nation. Organic berry-picking at the Crestview Farms is a special bonding and delicious experience that families and couples love. In-town, the Pops country store serves 600 flavors of soda for all the reasons to come back, along with a cool 66-foot-tall soda bottle at the front. Arcadia's back-roads offer to explore wondrous natural sights around and set a picnic in Oklahoma's countryside upon having stocked up on some fresh finds at the farmer's market in town.

Broken Bow

A warm afternoon at Broken Bow Lake in Oklahoma
A warm afternoon at Broken Bow Lake in Oklahoma. 

Set in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, Broken Bow is the perfect getaway that keeps on giving. Originally owned by the Choctaw Tribe, the area was later converted into a lumber town, then turned into a popular destination for a relaxing weekend. One’s itinerary into nature must include the Broken Bow Lake, the Beavers Bend Resort Park, the Mountain Fork and Glover Rivers, and the Ouachita National Forest. With over 50 inches of rain, the forests are vividly green, while the streams, rivers, and lakes are full and clear. The many trails offer endless hikes in the fresh air, while the water-bound activities include canoeing, boating, fishing, and scuba-diving. The “Deer capital of the world” is a treasure cove for hunters, while the history fans enjoy the artifacts at the Gardner Mansion and Museum of Native Americans. For more nature, there’s the Hochatown State Park and the unique Broken Bow Coves set on the water.

Claremore

The tomb of American entertainer and writer Will Rogers at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma
The tomb of American entertainer and writer Will Rogers at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma. Editorial credit: BD Images / Shutterstock.com

The true Oklahoma town overflows with fascinating historic sites, agricultural attractions, and museums for a perfectly cultural weekend spent. The foodies will appreciate the many restaurants serving locally-sourced creations, including the Sawn Bros. Dairy with delicious fresh cheese. There’s the J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum, the Belvidere Mansion, and the Will Rogers Memorial Museum. The latter comes with exciting and intriguing facts about the celebrity and “Oklahoma’s favorite son,” Will Rogers, along with artifacts from what was found on him in the fateful airplane crash that killed him and his friend, Wiley Post. The historic downtown area is great for wandering around, as well as shopping and dining in places set in old buildings. For entertainment-seekers, there’s the Will Rogers Raceway and the Cherokee Casino, among myriad more ways to spend a fun weekend in Claremore.

Davis

Aerial view of the breathtaking Turner Falls on a bright summer sunny day in Davis, Oklahoma
Aerial view of the breathtaking Turner Falls on a bright summer sunny day in Davis, Oklahoma. 

Originally a bustling cotton farming settlement, Davis was named after the settler Samuel H. Davis, who opened a store in the locale. Today, nature fans set base in-town to escape into the scenic heart of the state’s oldest, Turner Falls Park. Set in the Arbuckle Mountains with a lovely waterfall, it will make one’s wildest outdoor adventure dreams come to life. For resort activities, there’s swimming, cave exploration, hiking, and trout-fishing, while the culture-seekers will find a thrill in visiting the literary castle of writer Ellsworth Collings. The largest-in-Oklahoma waterfall at 77 feet high comes with natural swimming areas around for relaxing to the soothing sound of waters, and set camp overnight to truly feel in-one with nature. For an extended weekend, the nearby Lake Murray offers another excellent recreation area with more natural pursuits and regions to explore.

El Reno

Historic Fort Reno in El Reno, Oklahoma
Historic Fort Reno in El Reno, Oklahoma. 

The town of El Reno was founded in the late 19th century and named after Fort Reno, located a few minutes away. Home to the region-famous, vast Lucky Star Casino, entertainment-seekers gather from around the area to gamble the weekend away in a small-town respite from the bustle. The cultured love visiting for the year-round line-up of local, national, and international performances at the Centre Theatre. The foodies rejoice in tasting the town’s famous fried onion burger, with the most determined coming in time for the Fried Onion Burger Day Festival in May for the fun, food, and games.

Eufaula

Lake Eufaula in eastern Oklahoma
Lake Eufaula in eastern Oklahoma. 

Nestled on the most tranquil and largest in Oklahoma, namesake lake Eufaula offers a water fun-filled getaway with a prevalent arts and entertainment scene. Known for its rich native heritage, the community was named after the Eufaula tribe, a part of the Muscogee Creek Nation that moved from the southeast. The town was established following the railroad as a former frontier, whose legacy remains on the Main Street. The 20-block downtown listed on the National Register of Historic Places calls for a wondrous stroll-through, as well as shopping and eating in some of the oldest buildings in the state. Tourists must visit Our Favorite Place, explore the Hoepfner Kiwi Farm, and relax over lunch at Treasures by the Lake.

Guthrie

Sunny view of the Oklahoma Territorial Museum
Sunny view of the Oklahoma Territorial Museum. Editorial credit: Kit Leong / Shutterstock.com

Set south in the state, Guthrie is a small power engine of a town whose culture, history, and economic growth can rival a big city's. Known as Oklahoma's Bed and Breakfast Capital, along with the proximate Clauren Ridge Vineyard, the town offers a perfect romantic escape for the weekend. The Guthrie Lake and Liberty Lake comprise popular park destinations for endless boating and fishing, among other wet and dry recreations. The museums let one discover various sides of the region, including the Oklahoma Territorial Museum, the Oklahoma Frontier Drug Store Museum, and the Oklahoma Sports Museum. The Guthrie Scottish Rite Masonic Temple is "the rite of passage" for the cultured. Thousands come to stay and marvel at the exquisite historic downtown district, comprising a National Historic Landmark and a vibrant residential neighborhood with apartments, B&Bs, and downtown businesses. One must stroll through the tree-lined streets of the landscaped neighborhoods before diving into the treasure cove of local golf courses and lakes in the vicinity.

Medicine Park

Medicine Park in fall
Medicine Park in the fall. 

Upon purchasing a piece of land in 1908 in the Wichita Mountains, Elmer Thomas, an Oklahoma State Senate member, quickly turned it into a thriving resort town. Complete with a swimming hole, the cobblestone community remains the chosen spot in the state for a small-town weekend escape into a natural paradise. Medicine Park is the getaway into the nearby Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, landscaped with beautiful gardens, trees, and many walking trails. The Medicine Creek offers prime fishing and kayaking, along with the waterfalls in the area to set a picnic under. Mrs. Chadwick’s Bakery and Coffee gives that perfect kick-start to the stay while returning to stay at the homey Stardust Inn Bed & Breakfast will ensure a recharging rest for another day of adventures in the great outdoors. 

Pauls Valley

Front view of the Amtrak train station and ticket office in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Front view of the Amtrak train station and ticket office in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. Editorial credit: RaksyBH / Shutterstock.com

Known as one of the earliest European settlements in the Indian Territory, the town was founded by a man from North Carolina, Smith Paul, who married a Chickasaw woman. Pauls Valley thrived through agriculture and oil production, soon to become a popular tourist trap with streets bountiful in local history. One can explore the valley via the Heartland Flyer train that runs from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth in Texas, with a stop in-town each morning. Families love visiting the Santa Fe Depot Museum and Plaza for some railroading history and the 1902 steam engine exhibit. There is also the Toy and Action Figure Museum, which is home to the unique Oklahoma Cartoonists Hall of Fame. Other attractions include the Jet Stream Casino and the popular Punkin’s Catfish Barbecue for great southern grub, while the Pauls Valley Bed and Breakfast is known for best rest. 

Sulphur

A waterfall at Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur, Oklahoma
A waterfall at Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur, Oklahoma. 

The settlement was built first as a ranch around the sulphurous springs in the rolling prairie of cross-timber country. Today, Sulphur is the natural getaway into the beautiful Chickasaw National Recreation Area, just east of town. There's a park and the Veteran's Lake for natural outings around town, while the Arbuckle Mountain range to the southwest comes with many hiking and other recreational opportunities. The sulphur springs are a must-see as an integral part of the town's history, once thought to cure malaises, but have purely prophylactic properties for digestive health. For more history about the unique area and culture, there's the Chickasaw Cultural Center, while the epicurean-focused Artesian Hotel Casino offers a spa, rest, and entertainment.

These towns are nation-renowned as the best small towns in Oklahoma to get away for a weekend, inclusive of cultural and historical sights, family-friendly activities, entertainment, and romantic time spent for couples. Speckled throughout the state in the vicinities of major cities, one’s next perfect weekend is just a breezy ride away. 

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