Summers were destined for Oklahoma adventure. But we all understand that road trips and kids don’t always go hand in hand. If you’d love to have a great road trip adventure that the kids will also love, Oklahoma is a perfect choice of destination as Oklahoma City is located conveniently at the center of Oklahoma State. So have a look at our sampling of best Oklahoma road trip destinations.
Also, most of the attractions are just a few miles distance from Oklahoma City. The state boasts of natural beauties and inspirational spots including waterfalls, scenic byways, forested hills, and ancient mountains.
With so much to select from, coming up with top destinations for an Oklahoma road trip can be daunting. Luckily, we’ve explored most of the places in the state and came up with the following top destinations which you and the family will love. Without further ado, let’s jump right into looking at each of them briefly.
But how about a quick summary of everything we have in store for you? Check out the slides below:
- 1 14 Flags Museum – From Spanish To The US Flag
- 2 Ames Astrobleme Museum – 450 Years Old Crater
- 3 Boise City Bomb Memorial – WWII Bombing Site
- 4 The Blue Whale of Catoosa – Best Oklahoma Road Trip Destinations for Kids
- 5 Sequoyah’s Cabin – Preserved In Its Original State Since 1829
- 6 Natural Falls State Park – 77 Feet, Rugged Trails, Basin Pool!
- 7 Black Mesa Area – Nature Preserve, Wildlife & More!
- 8 Totem Pole in Foyil – World’s Tallest Totem Pole
- 9 Viking Runestone in Heavener – Norse Inscription
- 10 Coleman Theatre – Home to 2000 Pound Chandelier & More!
14 Flags Museum – From Spanish To The US Flag
This is one of the top Oklahoma road trip attractions. The museum is located just a few hours drive from Oklahoma City in a small town called Sallisaw. You can get to 14 Flags Museum by following US-50 until you reach Cherokee Street, just a short distance past Wheeler Street.
The name of this museum comes from the fourteen different flags which have been flown over now Oklahoma including the Spanish flag hoisted in 1541 by Coronado to the present flag of the United States adopted in 1925.
The 14 Flags Museum is comprised of 4 buildings: a depot dedicated to the early trail travel in this area, 2 cabins documenting the life history of the early settlers in the region, and the Trail of Tears Interpretive Center.
You’ll also come across a Union Pacific wagon in the museum. The museum is open from 9 am till 5 pm daily and is open to the public for free. Tours are self-guided but brochures are made available to offer in-depth information about the artifacts and the building.
Ames Astrobleme Museum – 450 Years Old Crater
Ames is a rural town in southeastern Major County, and home to a crater that’s over 8 miles in width and whose formation dates back to over 450 million years back when a meteor landed in Oklahoma.
The astrobleme (a fancy term for crater) is buried by sediment about 9,000 feet, which rendered it unrecognizable until its discovery in 1991 and later on converted into an oilfield.
Head down to Ames Astrobleme Museum and get to learn more about the prized possessions found in this rural town. The museum has been open to the public and operational 24 hours since it was established in 2007.
Boise City Bomb Memorial – WWII Bombing Site
Did you know that Oklahoma is among the different places that were bombed during World War II? During a testing exercise on July 6, 1943, pilots flying a B-17 Flying Fortress Bomber dropped 6 practice bombs by mistake on Boise City of Oklahoma.
Luckily, at the time of the incident, the town square didn’t have anyone inside but a couple of buildings were wrecked. Today, a replica of the bomb is found at Boise City Memorial, situated in front of Red Chamber Caboose. It is one of the most-visited Oklahoma road trip destinations, so make sure you have it on your itinerary.
The Blue Whale of Catoosa – Best Oklahoma Road Trip Destinations for Kids
Despite Oklahoma State being prominent for its man made lakes, it has a blue whale measuring 20 by 80 feet aground on Route 66 roadside. The idea of The Blue Whale was an inspiration from Hugh S. Davis because his kids Dee Dee and Blaine loved playing in the family property’s pond in Catoosa.
After its construction, 2 years later, The Blue Whale was made accessible to the public in 1972. After David passed away in 1990, his children took over the responsibility of restoring The Blue Whale, which has grown to become a preferred watering hole for travelers on Route 66.
Sequoyah’s Cabin – Preserved In Its Original State Since 1829
Sequoyah’s Cabin is located just 15 minutes’ drive from the small town of Sallisaw in Oklahoma City. If you’ve spent quite some time around Oklahoma, you probably have heard that Sequoyah created the Cherokee syllabary, which was used by the local tribal members in communicating through writing for the very first time using their language.
Sequoyah’s birthplace is Tennessee, but later on, he moved to Arkansas before finally relocating to the Indian Territory where he built the cabin found on site in 1829. This is an actual cabin built by Sequoyah (not a replica or reproduction) and still lies on the same spot. After the acquisition of the cabin by Oklahoma Historical Society in the 1930s, a stone building that currently surrounds the cabin was constructed by Works Progress Administration.
In the cabin, there are various artifacts created during Sequoyah’s time and include possessions that were owned by his family. Viewing these artifacts is the trip’s highlight and you’re going to find them interesting.
Natural Falls State Park – 77 Feet, Rugged Trails, Basin Pool!
Anyone fascinated by beauty usually can’t conceal their amazement, and Natural Falls State Park is surely going to amaze you with its beauty.
Natural Falls State Park is located in the northeastern part of Oklahoma and is a quiet oasis to relieve the mind from the hassles of the busy city life. On entering the park, you’ll be welcomed by an inviting waterfall dropping water at a height of 77 feet. Near the waterfall lies rugged trails welcoming you for a hike, and a captivating basin pool close to where you can chill and relax your body. It is one of those secluded swim holes in the US surrounded by natural beauty.
At the foot of the waterfall, there’s a little valley with a clean water fountain to quench your thirst, then take a deep fresh breath of the air amid the native trees with beautiful flowers, such as luminous dogwood and redbud.
Hiking and camping are the park’s most favorite outdoor activities but you can opt to relax at the foot of the fall while catching up with a book on a summer afternoon. All the nature lovers will enjoy this as it is one of the most scenic and serene Oklahoma road trip attractions.
Black Mesa Area – Nature Preserve, Wildlife & More!
This panhandle area located in extreme northwest Oklahoma is an embodiment of the beauty of this place. The highest point in Oklahoma, Black Mesa plateau standing at 4,973 feet, offers hikers with stunning views of the tri-state expanse.
Nearby, there is Black Mesa State Park and Nature Preserve which features many amazing wildlife such as black bear, bighorn sheep, and golden eagle. In the stunning solitude of the Black Mesa scenic area, the open spaces featuring blue sage dots induce visions of prehistoric creatures and cowboys riding on horseback that were once native to the region.
Totem Pole in Foyil – World’s Tallest Totem Pole
This is the largest totem pole on the planet and is closely tied to the rich history of the Native Americans in Oklahoma. The 60-foot-tall structure was built by Ed Galloway, an art teacher in a span of 11 years starting from 1937 to 1948.
This totem gets a lot of views as one of the many attractions found along Route 66. Despite being 4 miles away from The Mother Road, this totem pole’s beauty makes road trippers add it to their road itinerary from Catoosa’s Blue Whale towards Tulsa’s Buck Atom Space Cowboy.
Galloway’s birthplace was Missouri, he, later on, opted to relocate to California. On the way to California with his family, Galloway became an art teacher in Foyil where he spent more than 20 years while teaching woodwork in an orphanage at Sand Springs. Later on, he retired in Foyil on a property he had purchased. He started working on the totem pole mostly alone in 1937 as a way to have something to do in retirement.
This is one of the most unique Oklahoma road trip destinations and is an eye-catching attraction.
Viking Runestone in Heavener – Norse Inscription
Heavener residents believe that Vikings at some point time roamed Oklahoma prairies for centuries long before Columbus went on board for the West Indies. And they claim that there’s an authentic artifact to attest to it.
Viking Runestone looks rather similar to the runestones which are claimed to been discovered in Shawnee and Poteau nearby. The Poteau and Heavener rune stones actually have similar inscriptions, “Valley of the Gnomes” in Norse. However, the Heavener runestone has been subjected to a lot of professional anthropological and archeological study and scrutiny.
A general consensus exists among professional archeologists that Viking Runestone in Heavener might have been a forgery. Despite that, the stone is available on display to the public and there is an educational tour with a guide available for visitors who’d like to know more about it.
If you are really into unique Oklahoma road trip destinations then you can’t miss this spot.
Coleman Theatre – Home to 2000 Pound Chandelier & More!
Coleman Theatre was once a Vaudeville Movie Theatre in 1929. This theatre in the city of Miami was built by George L. Coleman Sr which was later on donated to Miami by his family in 1989. The theatre’s interior does not match its façade but is stunningly beautiful as it’s been furnished with stained glass, gold leaf trim, 2000-pound chandelier, mahogany staircase plus a lot more sophisticated details reminiscent of the era of Louis XV.
The theatre is open for shows every day, except on Mondays when it is available for tours to the public. Make an effort to attend both the guided tour and art exhibition.
Wrapping up Oklahoma Road Trip Destinations
Oklahoma State is certainly one of the best road trip destinations, especially if bringing the kids along. There are plenty of attractions suitable for the family. You’ll get to see beautiful sceneries and take a deep dive into the past to learn about various attractions and the origin of the state of Oklahoma. Pack up your stuff and don’t forget to bring along your camera to capture those scenic beauties for lifetime memories. If you want to enjoy the state on a budget then check out our dedicated sampling of free and affordable things to do in Oklahoma.
Hope you have a wonderful vacation with our sampling of Oklahoma road trip destinations. Book your vacation rental now at Rental Trader and enjoy a perfect road trip. For any more information, fill our web form or feel free to give us a call, we’ll be happy to help you.