Diversity probably isn’t the first word that comes to mind when someone mentions Oklahoma. If you’re like most people, it’s more likely to conjure images of vast plains with tall wheatgrass dancing in the wind or miles upon miles of corn fields (and maybe cows). While the Oklahoma you portray in your mind does have plenty of flat land and cornfield, it’s also quite diverse, especially in the south-central part of the state. In fact, many resorts and hotels call this place home, and you’re just as likely to find a hotel within walking distance as you are a resort with posh, upscale accommodations in the same neighborhood. Traveling with kids? There’s a great selection of comfortable, family-friendly hotels as well.
Chickasaw cultural center by Phoebe – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Oklahoma boasts many attractions for visitors of all ages. Some of the most popular and unique attractions are conveniently situated in Chickasaw Country. Experience the thrill and excitement of a combination horse racing venue and casino at Remington Park, the state’s premiere major league horse racing venue. With 750 state-of-the-art gaming machines, it’s also easy to spend hours in the casino. Fort Washita, a historic site and museum originally constructed in 1842 to protect the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes from the plains Indians, gives you a detailed look at what life was like before and during the Civil War. While you’re in town, stretch your legs with a tour of the Chickasaw National Capitol building, an 8,000 square foot gothic-style structure that remained Chickasaw nation’s capitol until Oklahoma became a state in 1907. The building was added to the list of the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 for its historic significance and unique architecture.
Military Road Marker US 64 Marion AR by DavGreg – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
With all the sightseeing you’re bound to do, it’s a good idea to get a feel for accommodations in the area. You’ll probably want budget-friendly options that don’t skimp on amenities or features, making many Oklahoma resorts a great choice. Seeking a getaway that will leave you refreshed and pampered? Head to the Echo Canyon Spa Resort, a modern resort in Sulphur. Here you’ll find everything from award-winning bed and breakfast to a selection of mansion and manor suites along with quaint private cottages and guests houses. Amenities include a full-service spa facility, outdoor pool, elegant lounge area, and an onsite steakhouse restaurant. Head to the Falconhead Resort and Country Club in Burneyville, which eases the mind and body with peaceful water views while ensuring you have access to just about everything, from an onsite restaurant to tennis courts, a swimming pool, and an 18 hole golf course. Both the motel rooms and cabins offer large, comfortable spacing.
Brush up on the area’s history before you arrive. Once known as “Spartans of the Lower Mississippi Valley,” the Chickasaws excelled in creating a vastly developed ruling system with unique laws and religion. After helping the Confederacy in the Civil War, the Chickasaws ultimately became successful farmers and ranchers, constructing some of the first banks, schools, and businesses in the Indian Territory. Much of their hard work and dedication is preserved in the state’s history and attractions today.