Wednesday, November 2, 2011

OKLAHOMA

GENERAL
Sights & Sites
Great Plains Trail of Oklahoma – wildlifedepartment.com/greatplains/wildlifetrails.htm; from prairie chickens to “horny” toads, scissor-tail flycatchers to elk; covers 2K miles & includes 33 counties; 13 highway-based, driving loops that span state’s entire western portion; each loop guides travelers through areas with best viewing opportunities re wildlife.



CHOCTAW COUNTY
Boswell
Restaurants
Janet’s BBQ – 300 Hunter Avenue (US Highway 70); 580-317-4113; janetsbbq.com; forget BBQ portion of name; amazingly clean and friendly, old-fashioned burger joint; absolutely must stop here.



LE FLORE COUNTY
Talihina
Sights & Sites
Talimena Scenic National Byway – from Oklahoma Highway 271 to Mena, Arkansas (54 miles); talimenascenicdrive.com; spectacular views and incredible scenery on highway stretch across Ouachita Mountains in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas.



McCURTAIN COUNTY
Broken Bow (includes Watson)
Hotels
Rivers Edge Cottages – Rivers Edge Road (Watson); 580-244-7296; riversedgecottages.com; private, luxury cabins overlooking Mountain Fork River; short drive south of Talimena Scenic Drive; king-size beds, wood-burning fireplaces, private decks and Jacuzzis.



NOBLE COUNTY
Perry
Restaurants
Kumback Lunch – 625 Delaware Street; 580-336-4646; oldest café in Oklahoma.



OSAGE COUNTY
Pawhuska
Sights & Sites
Tallgrass Prairie Preserve – 15316 County Road 4201; 918-287-3623; travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.7647; largest protected tallgrass prairie remnant on earth; originally spanning 14 states from Texas to Minnesota, less than 10% remains; 2.5K free-roaming bison.



PUSHMATAHA COUNTY
Clayton
Hotels
Clayton Country Inn & Kitchen – US Highway 271; 918-569-4165; claytoncountryinn.blogspot.com; 9 large, comfortable guest rooms & duplex guest cottage (2 complete apartments, each with living room, bedroom, equipped kitchenette & fireplace); great room has high, log-beamed ceiling, natural rock fireplace, easy chairs and big sofas, television, & wide windows with mountains-river view.
Restaurants
Clayton Country Inn & Kitchen – US Highway 271; 918-569-4165; claytoncountryinn.blogspot.com; knotty pine & fireplace theme; steaks, chicken.
Mama’s Kitchen – US Highway 271; 918-569-4786.
Sights & Sites
Clayton Lake State Park – US Highway 271; 918-569-7981; travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.1601; features 500 acres boating, fishing, hiking & lodging.



TULSA COUNTY
Tulsa
Bars & Nightclubs
Valkyrie – 13 East Brady Street; 918-295-2160; valkyrietulsa.com; best bar in town; try “El Grito.”
Restaurants
White River Fish Market – 1708 North Sheridan Road; 918-835-1910; whiteriverfishmarket.com; excellent fresh seafood in cafeteria-style dining room that lacks ambience.



WOODS COUNTY
Freedom
Sights & Sites
Alabaster Caverns State Park – 217036 State Highway 50A; 580-621-3381; travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.110; 200-acre state park, home to world’s largest natural gypsum cave (that is open to public); gypsum is mostly in alabaster form, of several types (pink, white, and black (black alabaster only in 3 veins worldwide, 1 each in China, Italy, and Oklahoma); also, many beautiful selenite crystal formations; daily cave tours led by state park naturalists.

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