I am proud to call Oklahoma my home. As you know I am a travel blogger and I have traveled all over the Unites States as well as out of the country but there are so many great things to do right here in my own backyard. I was really excited when Adventure Road asked me if my family and I wanted to travel to Chickasaw National Recreation Area Oklahoma for a road trips because I already knew how amazing that area was.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area
My grandmother would take us on trips when we were little called “Destination Unknown” where she would call us up and yell Destination Unknown! We knew right then, that we didn’t know where we were going but if grandma was planning it, it was going to be amazing. One of the places she took us to was the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. We had so many fun memories going there with her that I called her and up and said ok grandma, now it’s my turn to take you.
The water is fed by a natural spring called Honey Creek and while the water is beautiful it’s really cold. It never gets above 60 degrees! That didn’t stop us from jumping in and having fun though. The kids had fun jumping off the falls, skipping rocks and exploring along the trails. If you go take time to explore, because there are so many hidden spots to enjoy here.
One of the things I love about this area is the Bison Viewpoint. You can catch these amazing creatures grazing towards the early evenings, at least that is where they were both times we drove by. We even got the chance to see a baby but he was to hard to get a photo of because he was hiding in the grass.
Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center
Retreat in Luxury at the Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. The Chickasaw Nation’s Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center provides the perfect getaway for groups looking for a secluded, pristine setting to host their next event or group getaway.
The Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center is tucked in between the Lake of the Arbuckles and the Arbuckle Mountains. It’s located close to many of the attractions we listed in our post. It offers a ton of amenities such as wireless internet, indoor pool, fitness center, sauna, spa and free continental breakfast. They do not have a restaurant so you will need to make sure you either pack food, or plan to eat out. Our room that you see above was the Executive King Suite. There was plenty of space and we loved the balcony sitting area. I love that it doesn’t look like a typical hotel but like an actual retreat as mentioned in it’s name. They also have a meeting room and space to do weddings.
The views from Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center are amazing but we just could not get a picture to do it justice. Make sure you bring your camera.
If you are looking to do some shopping while you are in Sulphur you should check out the shops at the Artisan which include unique shops, vintage stores and charming boutiques throughout the region. From southern chic apparel and crafty home decor to Made in Oklahoma goods and handcrafted Native American jewelry, you are sure to find something extraordinary to take home.
Sweet Swirlz –Frozen yogurt and every colorful topping you can dream of, Sweet Swirlz is a MUST when in Sulphur. This stop is located off the historic Muskogee Street at the Shops at the Artesian. We stopped in to cool off from the heat with some Dippin’ Dots and picked up some candy for the car ride home as well as a special treat to bring home to my daughter who was dog sitting.
LUXE –Luxe is a high-end clothing boutique located in the 11,000 square foot retail portion of the Artesian Hotel in Sulphur, OK. Luxe boasts top brand apparel, accessories, jewelry, footwear, golf gear and more. The store has everything you need to complete your style. Some of my favorite brands were Yeti and Fossil, but they also carry Michael Kors, Juicy, Betsey Johnson, Dooney & Bourke, True Religion, Rock Revival, Maui Jim and more.
Okie Twister –Okie Twister Co. is a rustic, Oklahoma-themed retail shop located inside the Artesian Hotel in Sulphur. Okie Twister Co. boasts an old western atmosphere with a vibrant twist of local art displayed throughout the store. The retail portion features a unique variety of Made in Oklahoma merchandise including clothing, home decor, skin care products, hand-crafted quilts, kitchen essentials and other specialty gift baskets and items. The store also carries an assortment of Oklahoma’s best, locally made food products such as Mema’s Salsa, Original Fried Pies, Field’s Pies, Texoma Peanut Inn flavored nuts and Trader Dave’s gourmet spices, rubs and pickled items. I really loved all the jewelry they had at this store as well as what I call farm life products. My home is done in a farmhouse theme and they had all kinds of fun things to add to my collection.
Cross Bar Ranch-
The activity my son was looking forward to the most was ATV riding at the Cross Bar Ranch. The Cross Bar Ranch use to be a working cattle ranch but now you can go and rent ATV’s or even campout there! They have 3 ATV trails to choose from, a novice area that is mainly grass, a 12 mile loop that has hills and small boulders to negotiate and a 15 mile rugged loop with rocky hills and creek creek crossings. They also have a camp ground with 28 sites, each has electric hookups, concrete pads, BBQ grills and picnic tables. They also have places for primitive camping also.
We decided on the 12 mile loop and even with no experience on ATV’s we were able to complete the course in a little over 2 hours. My 16yr old son rode ahead of us and had a great time! I don’t think we could wipe the smile off his face when he was done! I on the other hand was terrified but I did it! I would definitely make sure you wear a pair of jeans and some gloves, like some lawn and garden gloves, when you go riding. Also I would bring some bottled water with you when you come. You can take a bottle with you for the ride. It was hot when we went and I’m glad we did.
My son had so much we will coming back here for his birthday!
Smokin’ Joes Rib Ranch –
While visiting Turner Falls or the Arbuckle Wilderness, be sure to stop by the nearby Smokin’ Joes Rib Ranch. You can dine in or get your food to go and they even have catering services. It’s the food that draws people in and keeps them coming back.
Smokin’ Joes Rib Ranch is everything you want in an Oklahoma BBQ joint. It’s clean and the staff is super friendly! Oh and the food… the food IS AMAZING! I had a really hard time deciding what I was going to get but I went with the ribs, and I definitely was not disapointed. My husband decided to try the smoked sausage and brisket and my son really loved the smoked chicken. The portions were so big that we ended up taking home leftovers.
If you’re ready for the dessert you gotta try the Pecan Pie Cobbler. This is amazing. The Peach Cobbler and their strawberry dessert(forgot what it’s called) is a close second.
Bedré Fine Chocolate – Bedre’ Fine Chocolate is conveniently located at the southwest corner of Interstate-35 and State Highway 7 at Exit 55 in Davis, along with the Chickasaw Nation Welcome Center. The new factory in Davis serves to enhance the Bedré experience for visitors and expand the Bedré line.
Bedre has a large viewing window where you can actually watch the chocolate being sorted and wrapped. It’s kinda fun for the kids to actually see where the chocolate is coming from and where it’s made.
When you walk in, you are greeted with a smile and offered the sample of the day. Be careful though, one taste and you will be hooked. From chocolate coffee, meltaways, chocolate bars, chocolate covered chips and a whole lot more, you are sure to find something that tickles your fancy. Do you live out of town? Sign up for a Bedré Box subscription and you will receive a package every two months with something new and delicious to satisfy your cocoa cravings.
Want to learn more about the area? Check out Adventure Road.