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Jul 8, 2020

Off the Beaten Path

When branching out is worth it.

The 130 miles of Oklahoma highway that make up Adventure Road are home to hundreds of unique attractions. Many are visible as you cruise down I-35 while others require a slight deviation from the central corridor that weaves them all together. This list breaks down some of unexpected gems you’ll find when you branch off onto scenic state highways. Grab the snacks and get your road trip playlist ready, we’re taking you through nine destinations that are totally worth the drive.

Blue River (Tishomingo)

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Tishomingo is a haven for Oklahoma wildlife and natural beauty. Among the most serene areas to stop is along the Blue River, one of the state’s last free-flowing streams. The 141 miles of unbridled waters provide space for camping, canoeing, kayaking, rafting and fishing year-round. Save this one to your Favorites, it’s one you’ll want to keep returning to throughout the summer.

Riverstar Casino (Terral)

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Adventure Road Riverstar Casino

Riverstar Casino (Terral)

 

Nestled along the Red River just minutes from Ringgold, Texas, on Highway 81, is one of the area’s newest gaming centers. Riverstar Casino’s 24/7 gaming floor bustles with 600 electronic machines and six tables for 3-Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em and Blackjack. Stop by Kitchen 81 for a Smokehouse Burger or fried catfish and enjoy Happy Hour drink specials from 3-6 p.m. in The Port bar.

Chisholm Trail Heritage Center (Duncan)

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Adventure Road Chisholm Trail Heritage Center

Chisholm Trail Heritage Center (Duncan)

 

Branching out through the prairies of western Oklahoma along Highway 7 leads you to the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center. Marked by Paul Moore’s bronze “On the Chisholm Trail” sculpture (one of Oklahoma Magazine’s Top 20 Objects That Shape Oklahoma), this special attraction features interactive adventures and traveling national exhibits that celebrate the American West. Check out the exciting events planned this summer, like the National Day of the Cowboy Celebration on July 25. Plus, if you’re into gaming, the Chisholm Trail Casino is just a few miles north.

Waddell Vineyards (Ada)

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Sitting on seven picturesque acres just 10 minutes from downtown Ada, Waddell Vineyards provides a scenic backdrop for tastings, Sip & Swirl paint classes and special events. The boutique vineyard is known for its unique, award-winning wines and charming wedding chapel and reception barn. Stop by Thursday through Saturday from 1-5 p.m. and Sunday through Wednesday by appointment.

SaltCreek Casino (Pocasset)

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Adventure Road SaltCreek Casino

SaltCreek Casino (Pocasset)

 

Take the Riverwind Casino exit (Exit 106) just a little over 30 miles west of Norman to SaltCreek Casino. The 24/7 gaming floor greets you with 600 of the newest and most popular electronic and table games, plus the Fork Café. The Reflections gift shop also carries brands like Oakley, Brighton, Under Armour, Yeti and Vera Bradley. July Happy Hour specials at the Brook Bar run from 3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday!

SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology (OKC)

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Adventure Road SKELETONS Museum of Osteology

SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology (OKC)

 

On the southeastern edge of OKC, just minutes from Moore, is this 7,000-square-foot museum devoted to education and conservation of the natural world. The fascinating exhibits display more than 800 ethically sourced specimens – the largest privately held collection in the world. Kids and adults alike are welcome to indulge their curiosity through a variety of educational programs, just be sure to wear a mask!

Stockyards City (OKC)

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Adventure Road Stockyards City

Stockyards City (OKC)

 

When visiting Downtown OKC, don’t forget about the historic Stockyards City, just a few miles west! Back in the early 1900s, this area was bustling with ranchers earning their living driving herds of cattle to sale. That same energy is still alive today as many of its classic establishments – from Little Joe’s Boots and the National Saddlery to the Rodeo Opry and Cattlemen’s Steakhouse – continue to offer patrons the quintessential Western experience through food, custom-made gear and live entertainment.

Lake Overholser (OKC)

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Adventure Road Lake Overholser

Lake Overholser (OKC)

 

Built in 1919, Lake Overholser is OKC’s oldest urban reservoir offering stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, jet skiing, sailing and trails for running and cycling. Visit RIVERSPORT Adventure Park on the eastern shore just south of the historic Route 66 Bridge for lessons and coached programs, a stunt jump free fall, an extreme swing, a double zip line and more from March to October. Located about 15 miles west of I-35, this is a great spot for a scenic picnic and outdoor summer activities.

The Butcher BBQ Stand (Wellston)

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Adventure Road The Butcher BBQ Stand

The Butcher BBQ Stand (Wellston)

 

Hop off I-35 and head east on historic Route 66 for some award-winning Oklahoma BBQ. The iconic father-and-son operation has turned a generational passion into a nationally respected brand best known for its “meat candy” burnt ends and St. Louis ribs. Located 25 miles from the interstate, The Butcher BBQ Stand is a must-visit on the weekends, open Fridays-Sundays.

Hopefully this guide leads you to new and exciting experiences on courses you’ve yet to explore. When you head out, let us know! We’d love to hear about it.

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Which of these destinations inspire you to venture out?

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