If this is your first time here – WELCOME! If not, welcome back!! As full-time RV’ers, we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Off The Beaten Path series where we explore the hidden treasures in every state. We love the big popular attractions like everyone else, however, there is just something incredible about discovering something unique and different. Our goals are to find the most unexplored places and take those roads less traveled. We certainly can’t explore them all, so we’d love you to share your own off-the-beaten-path stories with us. Each series will include at least one epic boondocking/free camping area, with GPS coordinates.
Have you seen the world’s largest peanut? Well, you can see that in Oklahoma if that’s your thing! But wait … there’s more!
Fun Fact: Oklahoma has a state rock. It’s actually a really strange, unique-looking rock, called Rose Rock. I found it very fascinating to look at!
Fort Washita – Durant
Fort Washita was built in the 1840s, and was staffed by regiments on “frontier duty.” During the Civil War, it was abandoned by Union troops and taken over by Confederate soldiers from Texas, who used it as a headquarters for the duration of the war.
After that, it was given to the Chickasaw, who preserved it until the Oklahoma Historical Society took over. Unfortunately, the recreated South Barracks building that housed many of the interpretive displays was lost to a fire, but you can still wander the grounds and sense the history here. According to locals, Fort Washita is also rumored to be haunted by Aunt Jane, a strong-willed woman who was murdered by thieves sometime before 1861 because she wouldn’t disclose the location of her buried money. Furthermore, the money was never found, and Aunt Jane was buried on the grounds of Fort Washita. Hmmm, makes you wonder where that money is huh?
Beavers Bend State Park – Broken Bow
This might not be a super-hidden gem in Southeast Oklahoma, but if you do a little exploring, you might come across some pretty special stuff. You can rent a yakanoe (it’s a combination of a canoe and a kayak) or bring your own, and head out to one of Broken Bow Lake’s many islands, tube down Mountain Fork River, see some one-of-a-kind wood art at the Forest Heritage Center, and learn about the native creatures of the park at the Beavers Bend Wildlife Museum.
Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum
You have to check this out if you’re traveling with kids! This children’s museum is like no other. It’s very “future job” driven, so they have so much fun! They can work on cars, and play with the magnet boards. Super fun day! But seriously be prepared for tears when you leave! The Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum has 42,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space and a large outdoor play area, complete with miniature houses and a riding train, the SuperSONIC Express. The museum offers children an opportunity to explore the world of work through many of our career-based exhibits. Young visitors can be a judge, doctors, artists, news anchors, meteorologists, actors/actresses, pilots, EMTs, firefighters, and much more. We even have a 13,500-gallon aquarium filled with Oklahoma aquatic life. The 12,000-square-foot Castle Maze provides exploratory experiences for those who like a physical challenge. Those who just like to look can observe from the elevated deck. All exhibits and experiences are “Hands-On”! It’s $10 for adults, kids under 2 are free. And if you’re active/retired military, they offer half price! Check out their website here!
Cloverleaf Store – Ardmore
2022 update: I have heard this place is temporarily closed. I hope it opens up soon again! Close your eyes! It really is this bright! Ha! Living in 40 feet, we aren’t much into shopping. But this place is just one of those quirky places you gotta at least drive by! Located in Ardmore, between Oklahoma City and Dallas, Cloverleaf is run by self-confessed “junker” Heidi Chapman. Outdoor decor ranges from old carnival rides to several dozen rainbow-colored bicycles. So, if you’re looking for unique shopping, this is your place.
Bowling Art Yard – Nowata
If you’re in the area of Nowata – I mean if you make a point to drive through! Ha! “Bowling Ball Man” Chris Barbee has been transforming his yard with retired bowling balls since 2006. They form a fence, cover a shed, and appear in assorted sculptures. The yard is open to the public during select hours and is located at Country Road 021 Nowata, OK 74048.
Heavener Runestone Park
Located in Heavener, OK this is one of the most unusual historic sites in the South that can be found on a mountainside in Oklahoma. Some believe that Vikings came here more than 1,000 years ago and left a sign of their passing carved on the face of a massive boulder. The huge rock, now called the Heavener Runestone, is the centerpiece of the park.
Turner Falls – Davis
Turner Falls is Oklahoma’s tallest waterfall at 77 ft. Visitors can swim near the falls, slide on the water slides or bask in the sun. During summer weekends this place can get busy, but if you time it right, you may be the only ones there! What an unbelievable area. Such a beautiful place to enjoy your day!
Located near the city of Lawton and Fort Sill. You have to make a complete day of this place. The scenery is just so relaxing and so beautiful! Medicine Park is a vintage cobblestone resort town in southwestern Oklahoma.
It has breathtaking water and waterfalls that run right through town. Besides enjoying its spectacular scenery, you will want to stroll the quaint Cobblestone Row which is filled with shopping, history, and small-town America. Grab some lunch at the historic Old Plantation Inn
Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge
Located in Indiahoma. The waterfalls inside Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge are amazing and worth the hike back to them. If you are just wanting to drive, don’t worry, you can still drive through the wildlife area and see some of Oklahoma’s breathtaking scenery. I believe there are about 15 hiking trails here. Furthermore, think all but 3 of them are under 3 miles. Our top pick is the 1-mile Post-Oak Falls trail is an easy, scenic, family-friendly hike in the Charon’s Garden portion of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. This hike gives epic views of the south side of Elk Mountain. The falls aren’t very big, but they create a scenic oasis in the middle of the granite landscape. Click the button below for a PDF of the map.
Boondocking in Oklahoma
- No Man’s Land Regional Park – Guymon. GPS: 36.67548, -101.467583 | Free dump, water, and great cell service here! This is a city park, and it is big rig friendly. The restrooms were clean. This is right behind the town’s information center.
- Sizemore Landing – GPS: 35.71882, -94.96363 – So this isn’t exactly free camping, but for $5 a night, you get a very well maintained paved road in, a beautiful view of the lake, and though a few websites say 35 feet max, a 40-foot rig will have no problems here. This is a COE park.
Thank you for visiting our corner of the internet. We hope you found value in our information and we hope you share your hidden gems with us! We’d love to hear from you!
Here are a few blogs we think you’ll enjoy too!
- RV Camping in Michigan
- Off the Beaten Path in Virginia. The Most Unique Hidden Gems in Virginia.
- Bisti Badlands ~ New Mexico’s Most Hidden Gem
- Off the Beaten Path in California. Our Top Hidden Gems You Just Have to See!
So – You’re shopping on Amazon? I mean who doesn’t, right? Please consider using our link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and it gives us a few extra pennies. Click below to use our link and then just shop like normal. Don’t forget ~ check out within 24 hours so we get credit! Thank you!! It really means a lot to us!
2 thoughts on “Off the Beaten Path in Oklahoma. Our Top Secret Finds!”
Thanks. This is really cool! I learned about a few things I didn’t even know about like Bowling Art Yard – Nowata, and Cloverleaf Store – Ardmore. Gives me a great excuse to head out there and check them out!
Awesome! Glad we were able to give you a few new things to look for. Safe travels and have fun!