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Discover Central OK
Make plans to discover the colorful communities surrounding Oklahoma City, including everything from the college town fun of Stillwater to the urban charm of Moore and Midwest City.
Begin you journey in the cozy city of Stillwater, home of Oklahoma State University.
While it’s easy to get wrapped up in Stillwater's college sports – the Cowboys and Cowgirls are a pretty big deal here – there’s plenty more to discover during your stay.
For instance, the city wears its heritage proudly, and you’d be remiss by not exploring some of the insightful museums. The Oklahoma State University Museum of Art comes highly recommended, while the Heritage Hall Museum is great for sports fans.
For a slightly more artful experience check out the Gardiner Art Gallery at the Bartlett Center, and for the history buff in the group, the Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History offers a great sense of the city.
Ready for an only-in-Stillwater experience? Then get aquatinted with the Red Dirt music scene during your visit.
More a cultural experience than genre, the Red Dirt scene was born in the outskirts of Stillwater almost 40 years ago, and is carried out in venues all across town to this day.
Check out Eskimo Joe’s, Willie’s Saloon, and other live venues in Stillwater for some great local jams.
Get out and enjoy the Great Plains sunshine and wide open sky at Boomer Lake Park, perhaps the city’s most favored urban park and recreation area.
The park houses tons of great walking trails, boating, fishing docks, playgrounds, shaded picnic areas, and so much more.
Looking for a true Oklahoman adventure? If so, put on your brave face and check out Oklahoma Skydiving Center in Cushing, just about 30 minutes east of Stillwater along US-177 and OK-18. Hopefully you’ve brought your bucket list.
From Stillwater (or Cushing), head west along OK-33 to meet up with Interstate 35 and Guthrie, our next stop on the tour and home to one of the state’s most beloved US National Historic Landmarks.
When visiting Guthrie, it’s all about the Guthrie Historic District set in downtown, featuring over 2,000 historical buildings and dazzling landmarks, some dating back to the late 1800s.
You can easily kill an entire afternoon (or more) simply wandering the 30-acre district, gazing up at the Late Victorian and Romanesque buildings. But you’d be better off by seeing what unique offerings are inside.
Check Guthrie’s event calendar to see if any of the city’s beloved festivals are set to kick off during your stop over. There’s the 89er Days Celebration in April, the Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival in the fall, and the Timed Event Championship at Lazy E Arena, among many others.
Just south of Guthrie proper, Guthrie Lake offers nearly 300 acres of lakeside fun and recreation. Stop in for a quick dip, cast out from the docks, enjoy a shady picnic, or simply stretch your legs in the wide open space.
Your central OK journey continues south on I-35 into the city of Edmond, a collegiate city and home to both Oklahoma Christian University and University of Central Oklahoma.
One of the gems of Edmond, the Armstrong Auditorium is must-see for traveling music or theatre lovers. The auditorium is a sight to see in and of itself, featuring masterful architecture and design.
But that’s not even the best part; the auditorium hosts some of the state’s most prestigious classical concerts and performances. If you’re a fan, you already know. If you’re not, don’t miss out.
If you want to do as the locals do, hit up downtown during your Edmond furlough.
Head over the 1st Street and Broadway and hit the town; downtown Edmond features over 75 boutique shops and restaurants, a wealth of local events, and tons of charm.
If you’ll be in town during the summer, get a ‘taste’ of Edmond by visiting the Edmond farmers market, hosted at the Festival Market Place & Plaza each Saturday.
If it’s outdoor adventure you’re after, don’t look much further than Arcadia Lake, conveniently set just east of Edmond
The lake features roughly 26 miles of shoreline and over 1,800 surface acres. Needless to say there’s tons of space for aquatic activities and recreational fun.
Too, don’t a chance to explore the Arcadia Conservation Education Area, found along the lake’s shoreline.
Continue south along I-35 right into the heart of Oklahoma City, a bustling metro home to some of the state’s most well known sports, historic sites, and festivals.
But don’t stay too long; hop on I-40 and hit up OKC’s nearby, friendly suburb, of Midwest City.
Perhaps the favorite attraction in Midwest City is the Atkinson Heritage Center. This historic home takes a unique look into the life of Midwest City, founder, Bill Atkinson.
Moreover, Atkinson was an avid historian, and as such, his home is decked out in historical artifacts and pieces of Midwest City’s culture. Be sure and tour the mansion during your visit to get a true sense of the city.
Check out some local flare at the Town Center Plaza on 29th Street and Midwest Boulevard. There, you’ll find an abundance of shopping, dining, and a huge center park, complete with fountains, walking, paths, and tons of wide-open space.
Midwest City is no stranger to public parks. In fact, you’ll find a long list of cozy parks right in the heart of Midwest City; check out Kiwanis Park for its walking trail and Frisbee golf, Lake Stanley Draper for unmatched aquatic recreation, and Joe B. Barnes Regional Park, offering nearly 400 acres of parkland and a handful of ball fields.
If you’re making your OKC journey during the summer, make plans to travel west into Yukon and check out the Chisholm Trail RoundUp Crawfish Festival, an annual city-wide celebration of all things Cajun, featuring great food, entertainment, live music, kids’ fun, and more.
Get back on I-35 and make your way into Moore, home of the Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College and a top OKC suburb.
If you haven’t done much souvenir shopping yet, here’s your chance; the Showplace Market, found just off of I-35, is home to tons of uniquely Oklahoma gifts and goodies.
Showplace features everything from University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University gear, to homemade jewelry, to clothing and decorations.
Enjoy an indulgent evening in Moore by visiting the Yellow Rose Dinner Theatre, where you’ll be treated to both dinner and show. Shows vary from Motown revival to Rat Pack-inspire dot traditional comedies.
Mariners rejoice; Lake Thunderbird State Park offers two marinas, and some of the best boating and fishing in central OK. For the land-lovers out there, fear not; you’ll find plenty of excellent hiking, biking, and other soil-based activities on shore.