Oklahoma Travel Guide

Located in the south central part of the US, Oklahoma conjures images of the movie Annie Get Your Gun and the Great Plains. With an inviting southern mentality, Oklahomans are laidback and easy-going people. Bordered by Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Colorado and a sliver of New Mexico, Oklahoma offers plenty of attractions for the outdoor buff.

For those interested in American history, Oklahoma offers great attractions. The state has a rich Native American history, with many of the cities today bearing Indian names including Oklahoma, which means ‘red people’. Even today, 39 tribes call Oklahoma home. Oklahoma was the final stop of the tragic Trail of Tears, where thousands of Cherokee Indians were marched and relocated from their homelands, many dying on the way. To get a glimpse of Oklahoma’s history, visitors should seek out the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum.

Oklahoma’s capital and largest city is Oklahoma City, which became infamous with the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. There is a memorial there to commemorate those who lost their lives in the bombing. Located almost in the center of the state, Oklahoma City is part of the so-called ‘Frontier Country’ region. Outside of the city, visitors will see tall grass and prairies dominating the natural surroundings. In the city, visitors should not miss the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the Omniplex Science Museum and Myriad Botanical Gardens.

For gamblers and casino-lovers Oklahoma is a great destination, primarily due to the number of Indian-run casinos that can be found throughout the state. There are currently 20 casinos in Oklahoma, most located on Indian reservations. Even if you are not a gambling buff, visiting a casino can be an interesting experience.

Outside of the urban areas Oklahoma boasts some wonderful outdoor attractions. The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is an important area for local wildlife and visitors can see numerous birds, mammals and other animals in their natural habitat. Other parks include the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Santa Fe National Historic Trail and Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. If traveling by car, visitors should not miss the Talimena Drive from Talihina (Oklahoma) to Mena (Arkansas). This 54 mile drive along the Ouachita Mountains and national forest is just breathtaking.

Transportation is excellent and Oklahoma is well linked into the US interstate highway system. The junction between I44, I40 and I35 is, in fact, one of the most important intersections in the US. The largest airport in Oklahoma is the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, but the international airport is located in Tulsa, the Tulsa International Airport.