While it isn’t usually what pops into your head when considering travel destinations, Oklahoma is an amazing place to visit. From awesome historic sites and beautiful natural areas to super fun museums and delicious food, this state has a little bit of everything, and we could easily spend weeks exploring it all.
This is why we highly recommend making an Oklahoma bucket list before you take a trip to the Sooner State.
Of course, if you’ve never been to Oklahoma before, you may have no idea how to begin making a travel list for the state. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve put together an Oklahoma bucket list of our own. Use some of our bucket list ideas, gather new ones to add to them, and create the perfect travel bucket list for you and your travel party.
What is a Bucket List?
Wondering what a bucket list is? Not to worry, we’re happy to explain. A bucket list is a collection of places to visit, people to see, things to do, and foods to eat before you die. If it’s something you want to experience in your lifetime, it should go on your bucket list.
Some bucket lists are very long and include everything a person wants to do before they die. For the sake of organization, we much prefer to keep several smaller bucket lists, and because we travel often, it makes sense to separate these lists based on location. This leaves us with travel bucket lists for each state.
The Oklahoma bucket list below is an excellent example of this, and a great place to get inspiration for such a list of your own.
— Bucket List Vacations: Oklahoma’s National Parks —
The parks and other areas run by our country’s National Park Service are fantastic. They are always great additions to any bucket list, and the NPS sites in Oklahoma are definitely no exception.
Here are some great options:
Chickasaw National Recreation Area
An absolutely gorgeous place, the Chickasaw Recreation Area features springs, streams, and lakes. It is the ideal place to get outside and enjoy some of Oklahoma’s beauty, no matter the season.
Fort Smith National Historic Site
For nearly 80 years, Fort Smith stood strong on the edge of the frontier. Learn about the people who passed through this place through the stories of soldiers, scandals, outlaws, and lawmen at the Fort Smith National Historic Site.
Oklahoma City National Memorial
The Oklahoma City National Memorial is an outdoor sanctuary of quiet reflection. It is a place to remember those who died and those whose lives were changed forever by the tragic bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19th, 1995.
Washita Battlefield National Historic Site
In the fall of 1868, an attack on a Cheyenne village was led by Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer. This attack was just one example of the horrible clash of cultures that occurred during this time on the Great Plains, and the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site serves as a place of remembrance and reflection for all who visit.
National Historic Trails
A couple of amazing historic trails also wind their way through Oklahoma. Both have stories to share, and both are well worth visiting, especially if you can make it to a visitor center.
- Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
- Santa Fe National Historic Trail
— More Oklahoma Bucket List Experiences —
Of course, NPS sites aren’t the only awesome things you’ll want to add to your Oklahoma bucket list. In fact, there are countless other cool attractions in the state that you should consider.
Here are some of our favorites:
Drive the Talimena National Scenic Byway
Oklahoma is a beautiful state. Why not take the time to see some of the most beautiful parts of the state by taking a drive? The Talimena National Scenic Byway is an excellent option that provides plenty of lovely scenery.
Admire Art at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Want another way to check out some beautiful things? The Oklahoma City Art Museum is home to tons of incredible artwork. One of the most beautiful things in the museum is the Dale Chihuly glass piece. This alone makes a visit to the museum worthwhile.
Check Out the Poteau Balloon Festival
Hot air balloons are always an awesome sight to see, especially when they are gathered in groups. The Poteau Balloon Festival gives you an opportunity to see a group of balloons go up together, and because it’s a smaller festival, it is a lovely, intimate experience.
Explore the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
The Wichita Mountains are far from the tallest mountains in the country. Nevertheless, they are absolutely stunning, and the bison that call this refuge home are equally amazing. Be sure to drive to the top of Mount Scott for some amazing views, and check out the visitor center to learn more about the bison and the refuge.
Attend a Pow Wow
Oklahoma is home to an enormous number of Native Americans. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that there are many pow wow events that take place in the state throughout the year. Make a point of attending one of these events in order to immerse yourself in the culture of the area.
Ride the Bricktown Canal
Want to learn more about Oklahoma City? One great way to learn something new while having fun is to hop on a boat ride through the Bricktown Canal. Boat rides on the Bricktown Water Taxi include interesting and funny narration, as well as plenty of fun sights.
See Sharks at the Oklahoma Aquarium
Another super fun Oklahoma attraction is the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. This awesome place features all kinds of water animals, including otters and jellyfish. If you’re extra brave, you can even choose to sleep with the sharks!
Visit Alabaster Caverns
Prefer cave animals over sea creatures? Alabaster Caverns State Park is the place for you. Exploring the caves at this park is super fun, and the many bats that live inside of the caves are an exciting find for people of all ages.
Dig for Crystals at the Great Salt Plains
Have you ever had the opportunity to dig for crystals? If not, you simply must visit the Great Salt Plains in Oklahoma. This amazing spot is essentially just a wide open piece of land where guests can put their shovels to work. Just beneath the surface of this bit of land, you’ll find hundreds of salt crystals, which you are allowed to collect and take home with you.
Get Hands-on at the Oklahoma Science Museum
If you’re looking for a place to learn about science in a fun and exciting way, the Oklahoma Science Museum is the place for you. This museum has all kinds of awesome exhibits that kids and adults can enjoy together. Some of our favorites include the incredible climbing structure, the shadow wall that allows you to freeze your shadow, and the theater where you can watch science demonstrations.
Stroll the Oklahoma City Zoo
Right next door to the Oklahoma Science Museum you will find the Oklahoma City Zoo. Believe it or not, this is one of our favorite zoos in the whole country. We love the enormous elephant exhibit in the back of the park, as well as the awesome great ape section. Meanwhile, kids thoroughly enjoy the awesome playgrounds and carousel.
Play All Day at The Gathering Place
Speaking of playgrounds, those looking for an amazing place to climb and play should pay a visit to The Gathering Place in Tulsa. This is easily the best park we’ve ever seen and it is a must-see for anyone visiting Oklahoma. The park features walking paths, sports courts, a skate park, and so many playgrounds you won’t even know where to begin.
Cool Off at Turner Falls
There’s no denying the fact that Oklahoma is extremely hot in the summertime. Why not head to Turner Falls to cool off? Turner Falls is the highest waterfall in the state. The park that it’s in features a swimming hole and plenty of other great opportunities to play in the water. Awesome hiking is available as well for the cooler evening hours.
Grab Ice Cream from Braum’s
Another great way to cool off during those hot Oklahoma summers is to head to Braum’s. This local ice cream shop and fast food restaurant has some seriously good ice cream. We adore the chocolate chip cookie dough flavor, but any flavor you choose is sure to be fantastic.
Dine on Steak at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse
Need something more substantial than ice cream? How about a juicy, delicious steak? Cattlemen’s is the place to go for steak when you’re in the Sooner State. Make sure to try the house dressing, as well as the incredible homemade rolls.
Learn Something at the National Cowboy and Western Museum
Cowboys and the West go hand in hand. Therefore, it only makes sense to visit the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum while in Oklahoma. This museum has all kinds of information on cowboys and the Old West, as well as some amazing artwork inspired by and made in the western United States.
Drive the Longest Stretch of Route 66
Every road trip is made better by a drive on Route 66, and Oklahoma is home to the longest stretch of Route 66 out there. Along this 426-mile stretch you will find three museums and a number of other points of interest.
Have Fried Chicken at Eischen’s Bar
Eischen’s is the oldest bar in the state of Oklahoma. That said, its age isn’t the only thing that makes it stand out from the pack. In fact, most people know this little dive bar for its incredible fried chicken recipe. Make sure to make the trip out to Okarche to give it a try!
Take In the Views from Black Mesa
At nearly 5,000 feet, the Black Mesa is Oklahoma’s highest point. From this height, you can see all around you and there are some pretty amazing views of the panhandle from up there.
Race through the Oklahoma Sand Dunes
Little Sahara State Park is an excellent place to spend a day. This park features some surprisingly large sand dunes, offering the perfect chance to ride a dune buggy for some sandy fun you won’t soon forget.
Enjoy a Burger at Meers Store
Back in the early 1900s, Meers Store served a small but bustling town in the Wichita Mountains. Meers burgers were served up by the dozens every day, and people loved them. These days, the store and restaurant is one of the only remaining pieces of the town. That said, the Texas Longhorn burgers are just as big and delicious as ever, and it is well worth the drive to get one.
See a World Premier at deadCENTER Film Festival
Named one of the top 20 coolest festivals by MovieMaker Magazine, deadCENTER Film Festival is an enormous event that every movie lover should attend at least once. Here, you will see all kinds of brand new films before the rest of the world has a chance to catch a glimpse.
Clearly, Oklahoma has a lot to offer, and building an Oklahoma bucket list shouldn’t be a problem at all. What might be a problem is finding places to stay in every part of Oklahoma as you check things off your bucket list. This is where an Oklahoma rental RV can come into play.
By renting an RV for your Oklahoma trip, you give yourself the freedom to hop from one place to another and stay in comfort no matter where you roam. On top of that, we have a huge number of amazing Oklahoma RV rentals available, meaning you can choose the amenities that work best for you. Why not book your rental today?