Turner Falls, Oklahoma

Dallas To Oklahoma City Road Trip – Best Stops Along The I-35 Corridor

If you’ve got a road trip planned between Dallas and Oklahoma City and looking for the best places to stop along the way, this driving itinerary will show you some fun and beautiful places to visit. The drive is not an incredibly spectacular one and doesn’t really get interesting until you get over the state border into Oklahoma and closer to the Arbuckle Mountains region.

Dallas To Oklahoma City Driving Itinerary

Your road trip begins in Dallas, Texas. You will need to get on the I-35 northbound and this is the only interstate road you will need to be travelling on. The complete drive is 206 miles and only takes a little over three hours without stops.

This road trip can be completed in one day with more than enough time at each of the stops and attractions. If you did want to turn it into a weekend away or longer adventure, we recommend camping or getting a cabin near Turner Falls or in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

Winstar World Casino (Dallas to Thackerville – 84 miles)

First stop on this Dallas to Oklahoma City road trip is the Winstar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville. The drive will take about one hour and fifteen minutes. Take exit three to Rogers road.

This casino owned by the Chickasaw nation is the largest casino in the United States based on floor space. It has over 8000 electronic games, a poker room, keno and bingo. It also has an entertainment center which has hosted performances by Adam Lambert, Weezer, and ZZ Top.

The reason we stopped was to check out the buildings exterior which was very elaborate and detailed. The facade of the casino was designed to replicate London’s Parliament Building, Rome’s Coliseum and the Arc de Triomphe from Paris. It was designed by the same person who did The Venetian and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahama’s. It did remind us very much of all the buildings and casino’s in Las Vegas.

If you don’t have much time you can stop by briefly to view the exterior of the building and continue on with this road trip unless of course you enjoy gambling in which case you could always make time to stay a little longer. If you are hungry the casino does have a large buffet restaurant called the Gran Via Buffet along with other cafes and restaurants onsite.

If you are coming from somewhere further away than Dallas and looking for somewhere to spend the night, the Casino does have a hotel with a resort-style pool you could stay at along with an RV park which has a 24 hour shuttle service to the casino.

Turner Falls (Thackerville to Davis – 50 miles)

Turner Falls was one of the best stops on this road trip and should not be missed! After driving a mostly tree-less flat drive out of Dallas it was such a surprise to see this beautiful location.

Turner Falls is located in Turner Falls Park and we were lucky enough to be here in the fall. Whoever said fall doesn’t happen in the Mid-West was wrong!

Best Things To See Between Dallas and Oklahoma City

The colors of the leaves here were so pretty in contrast to the crystal clear emerald hue’s of the pool below the falls. Visiting at this time of year was a very peaceful experience as there was hardly anyone else here.

If you are visiting in the summer it will most likely be a very different experience as this place is a popular summer destination for locals.

You can take a short stroll along the perimeter of the pool or take a longer hike into the mountains. There is also a castle made out of stone you can explore and some really cool caves. You can learn more about visiting Turner Falls here.

Arbuckle Mountain Pies

This is another must stop if you’re heading to Oklahoma City along the I-35 corridor. The shop is located right off the I-35 exit on US-77 so you will not miss it.

Arbuckle Mountain Pies specialize in fried pies and holy moly… these were mind blowing good! If you’ve never had a fried pie before like us, you will be wondering where they have been your whole life.

The dough was so incredibly buttery and the end result was soft and perfectly crisp. I can’t explain how good it is in words so be sure to try one yourself and see what I mean.

There are a variety of flavors to choose from including sweet fruit pies like cherry, peach, pineapple, and coconut cream to savory options like bacon and egg or pepperoni pizza. We tried the apricot pie and the Tex-Mex pie and they did not disappoint.

The pies are made fresh especially for you so it does take a couple of minutes to prepare. There is a large seating area inside the store where you can sit and wait. They also have frozen pies that are a little cheaper if you’d like to take some with you to go and pop in the microwave later.

This particular store in Davis is the original store and the shops home base however they now have a few other locations operating in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas.

Chickasaw Cultural Center (Davis to Sulphur – 9 miles)

The Chickasaw Cultural Center is a place you can learn about Native American history through exhibits, collections, demonstrations and performances.

Dallas To Oklahoma City Road Trip

Things to do here include exploring the grounds and seeing the Chikasha Inchokka’ Traditional Village which is a historically accurate replica of a real Chickasaw Village. It is made up of two summer houses, two winter houses, a corn crib, ceremonial mound and traditional stockade fence.

You can also participate in a Chickasaw Stomp Dance and then refuel with a traditonal Chickasaw meal at the Aaimpa’ Cafe. There is also a large 350 seat theater where you can watch films about the Chickasaw people and their culture. Admission is seven dollars.

More Things To Do In Sulphur:

Travertine Nature Center The nature center contains exhibits, live reptiles, amphibians, birds of prey, as well as an interactive learning area for visitors of all ages.

River Bottom Tubing Rent a tube and float down the Washita River. Meet at the River Bottom Campground where you can rent tubes for $20 which includes life jackets and transport.

Lake Of The Arbuckles The Lake of the Arbuckles is one of the best fishing lakes in Oklahoma for catfish, perch, bass, and crappie. Facilities include boat docks, picnic area’s and campgrounds. 

Extending Your Trip In Sulphur:

If you’d like to extend your trip in Sulphur and explore the Chickasaw National Recreation Area further, there are a few options for lodging nearby. See the best options below.

Arbuckle RV Resort – Situated on 20 acres and surrounded by the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, this RV resort has full hook-ups, free wifi, and a swimming pool.

Rock Creek Campground – Open year round and close to Veterans Lake. It is ideal for fishing, hiking and mineral springs.

Chickasaw Retreat & Conference Center – This luxury retreat is surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and has an indoor pool and sauna. It is conveniently located to all of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area attractions. 

Oklahoma City (Sulphur to Oklahoma City – 88 miles)

Oklahoma City is one of the largest cities in the U.S. in terms of land area so even with their metro population of 1.25 million residents it still seems very small town. We barely encountered any traffic except for in the outer lying suburbs during peak hour but the downtown area was a breeze to get around by car and easy to find (paid) street parking too.

Things To See On I-35 Between Dallas and Oklahoma City
Dallas To Oklahoma City Road Trip

Most of the cities major attractions can be found in the popular downtown area known as Bricktown so it is a good place to base yourself if you plan to do some sightseeing in Oklahoma City.

In Bricktown, be sure to stroll along the Bricktown Canal and stop in at any restaurants or bars that take your fancy, ride the water taxi, and visit the Myriad Botanical Garden.

Other area’s of interest include the Midtown district which has plenty of nice restaurants and trendy clothing stores, the Wheeler district for Ferris Wheeler Park with its giant OKC sign and the Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel (which was bought on ebay), and historic Stockyards City. The latter maintains a working stockyard including live auctions which take place every Monday and Tuesday. There is also a host of stores specializing in all things western here.

If you enjoy the outdoors head to Lake Hefner where there are over nine miles of scenic trails around the lake. If you have a fishing license you can fish here (there is even a heated dock) or rent kayaks and go for a paddle.

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  1. “Whoever said fall doesn’t happen in the Mid-West was wrong!” *The South, not the Midwest. You can research that in the US Census. Thank you:-)

  2. You failed to mention smokin’ joes bbq just across the interstate from the fried pies. Hands down the best smoked rib eye you will ever find.

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