Oklahoma is much more beautiful than people give it credit for. From one side of the state to the other, there are 11 different eco-regions that offer a wide range of beauty. Even though we don’t get out as often as we would like, these 11 staggeringly gorgeous places in the Sooner State will always be waiting for you.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Talimena National Scenic Byway - Oklahoma State Highway 1, Talihina
There’s nothing like a picture-perfect autumn drive to get you into the spirit of the season. Cool mountain air and fantastic foliage combine to make this 54-mile route one of the most gorgeous in the state.
2. Great Salt Plains State Park - 23280 South Spillway Drive, Jet
Great Salt Plains State Park is the only place in the world where you can dig for these hourglass-shaped crystals. Not only can you find these one-of-a-kind treasures, but you can also enjoy the only lake in Oklahoma that is half saltwater.
3. Chickasaw National Recreation Area - 901 West 1st Street, Sulphur
From its pristine waters to picturesque scenery, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in south-central Oklahoma is the perfect place to explore the great outdoors. This Oklahoma oasis is situated in the foothills of the Arbuckle Mountains and is made up of Veteran’s Lake, Lake of the Arbuckles, Travertine Creek, and Rock Creek.
4. Turner Falls Park - Hwy 77 South, Davis
Turner Falls State Park is one of Oklahoma’s most beautiful gems that lies nestled in the Arbuckle Mountains in southern Oklahoma. It's home to the largest waterfall in the state at 77 ft. and boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the Sooner State. It is a great place to go to view beautiful foliage.
5. Gloss Mountain State Park - Fairview
Gloss Mountains are some of Oklahoma’s most unique jewels and this hike takes you right to the rim of Cathedral Mountain, where you’ll get a view of some pretty awesome scenery. The selenite that's present here, makes the mountains glimmer and glisten.
6. Lake Tenkiller - OK-100, Vian
Nestled in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, Lake Tenkiller State Park is a gem in the woodlands of Oklahoma. The lake is a clear water paradise and is surrounded by beautiful thick foliage, rugged cliffs, rolling hills, and spectacular views. Lake Tenkiller State Park has become known as "Heaven in the Hills" and once you visit, you’ll see why it’s pure bliss.
7. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge and Mt. Scott - Indiahoma
Located in southwest Oklahoma, the Wichita Mountains are rocky promontories full of natural beauty and breathtaking views. These mountains are home to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge – 59,000 spectacular acres full of free-roaming wildlife. Mt. Scott, the second-highest mountain in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, stands at 2,264 ft. above sea level.
8. Natural Falls State Park - US Highway 412 West, Colcord
From gorgeous waterfalls to lush greenery to scenic forests, this park in Oklahoma may feel more like a scene from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe than the Sooner State. The star of the show is a 77 ft. waterfall that's just a short hike back from the parking lot.
9. Robbers Cave State Park - Hwy 2 North, Wilburton
Robbers Cave State Park offers lakes, outdoor recreation, cave exploring, mini-golf, and even overnight accommodations. There are plenty of places to go swimming and cool off in the park. With 189 combined lake acres between Lake Carlton, Lake Wayne Wallace, and Coon Creek, you'll have more than enough space to spread out and enjoy water activities.
10. Beavers Bend State Park - 4350 South Highway 259A, Broken Bow
Beavers Bend State Park is a gem in southeastern Oklahoma, comprised of 1,300 acres about 10 miles north of Broken Bow. The park boasts of a postcard-like setting and is an outdoor oasis waiting to be discovered.
11. Lower Mountain Fork River
The Mountain Fork River is 98 miles long and flows through parts of the Ouachita Mountains in southeastern Oklahoma. It has a 12-mile designated trout stream that is considered the best in the state. Part of it is located in Beavers Bend State Park, so you can visit both of them at the same time!
Wow…there is so much beauty in Oklahoma! Where do you think is the most beautiful place in the state? Share your vote in the comments section!