12 Best Day Trips From Oklahoma City

Are you in search of inspiration for fun day trips from Oklahoma City? You’re in luck because there are dozens of really cool destinations that are under two hours drive from OKC! Whether you’re an Oklahoma City resident looking to discover new places or on vacation and want to see more of Oklahoma, this list will show you all the best spots worthy of an Oklahoma City day trip.

Turner Falls Park, Oklahoma

The fact of the matter is that Oklahoma is full of incredible surprises. So much so, that when it comes to adventure it can be a challenge trying to decide just where to start because there is so much to see and do in the state.

Fortunately, many of the Sooner State’s natural attractions and hidden gems are within a short day trip from Oklahoma City. This is good news for visitors because you can spend a day or two exploring Oklahoma City first, then rent a car to see some of the countryside without wearing yourself out which is what seems to happen on long road trips.

The destinations listed below are in no particular order and include a mix of natural areas, charming small towns, and cities that can be fully explored within one day.

If you haven’t been to Oklahoma City before, be sure to check out this Oklahoma City bucket list for all the attractions you shouldn’t miss.

Here’s a guide to the best day trips from Oklahoma City. These are my favorite destinations in Oklahoma that you can easily reach and explore within one day!

If you are looking for fun day trips from Oklahoma City, these fascinating destinations are an easy two hours drive away!

1. Turner Falls Park

Turner Falls, Oklahoma

Turner Falls Park is one of the most popular places to visit on a day trip from Oklahoma City. Why? Because it’s one of the most impressive and beautiful places in Oklahoma.

The 1,500 acre park which is located in the Arbuckle Mountains offers stunning scenery, unique geology, and plenty of outdoor adventure! You can swim, hike, explore caves, go camping, and take a thrilling zipline ride across the park!!

The star attraction at the park is Turner Falls. This 77-foot tall waterfall is actually the tallest waterfall in Oklahoma! Since waterfalls are few and far between in Oklahoma, especially one of this size, it’s kind of a big deal in the Sooner State.

It drops into a big, blue pool that visitors enjoy swimming in. And rightly so. Who wouldn’t want to swim next to a stunning waterfall?! There are other swimming holes inside the park too that are perfect for cooling off in the mid-summer heat.

Besides the waterfall, the other unique attraction inside the park are the ruins of a medieval castle. Yes, you heard that right! There is a castle inside Turner Falls Park! It is indeed one of the coolest attractions in Oklahoma!!!

Located in Davis, Turner Falls Park is a quick and easy drive from Oklahoma City via Interstate-35. Although it’s easy to visit the park on a day trip, you might want to consider spending the weekend here since there are lots of other fun things to do in the area.

Check out these very affordable riverside cabins in Davis that are perfect for a weekend getaway! Otherwise you can bring your RV or pitch a tent at a campground inside the park.

>Read: 7 Fun Things To Do At Turner Falls Park In Davis, Oklahoma

2. Winstar World Casino

Winstar World Casino In Oklahoma

Another fun day trip destination you can visit along Interstate-35 is Winstar World Casino. Believe it or not, this casino is the largest casino in the USA and sixth largest in the world!

When you visit this casino you’ll feel as though you have traveled abroad! All of the spaces inside the casino have been designed to represent nine different cities around the world. You can spend some time in Paris, London, Cairo, Rome, Madrid, New York, Vienna, Rio or Beijing.

So exactly how large is this casino? It is a whopping 400,000 square feet!!! There are over 10,000 slot machines, a 55-table poker room, a betting parlor, Bingo, Keno, and so much more!

Even if you don’t like to gamble, you are guaranteed to have fun here since there are multiple restaurants, bars, boutique stores, and an entertainment venue where you might get lucky and be able to watch a comedian such as Jerry Seinfeld or a top music artist like Luke Bryan or John Legend perform.

3. Lake Murray State Park

Lake Murray, Oklahoma
  • Miles From Oklahoma City: 107 miles
  • Drive Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • See hotels nearby

Lake Murray State Park is the largest state park in Oklahoma. At the center of the park is Lake Murray, a lake with clear Caribbean-blue water. This lake is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful lakes you will ever see!

Not only is the lake stunning, but it’s also massive with a surface area of 5,728 feet! It goes without saying then that you can enjoy all kinds of watersports here. If you do want to get out on the water stop by Lake Murray Water Sports where you can rent paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, wave runners, and even these really cool island cruisers that come with a slippery slide.

Be sure not to miss the hike up to Tucker Tower on your day trip. From the top of Tucker Tower are phenomenal views of the park and Lake Murray!

4. Chickasaw Cultural Center

Chickasaw Cultural Center In Oklahoma

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

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 traditional 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.

5. Tishomingo

Chickasaw National Capitol In Tishomingo, Oklahoma

Tishomingo is located in South-Central Oklahoma about 115 miles south of Oklahoma City. It’s the perfect place to take a day trip from Oklahoma City since the drive is only two hours.

This charming small town in Oklahoma is full of southern hospitality and an excellent destination for a relaxing escape because the town is so peaceful and walkable. It’s also a great place to enjoy a romantic weekend getaway as there are several boutique properties perfect for celebrating birthdays and anniversaries.

If you’re a Blake Shelton fan, you will absolutely love Tishomingo! The superstar owns a restaurant and live music venue here and if you’re fortunate enough, you may even catch him giving a surprise performance at the Doghouse.

Not only can you grab drinks and dinner from Blake’s bar in Tishomingo, but you can also visit a boutiqe store owned by Blake Shelton’s mother! Her store is filled from top to bottom with Blake memoribilia including his old guitars and furniture from his home. She also sells a huge variety of repurposed junk, recycled art, antique items, and other one-of-a-kind finds.

>Read: How To Spend One Day In Tishomingo, Oklahoma’s Most Charming Small Town

6. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Best Day Trips From Oklahoma City

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is the perfect place to visit for nature lovers and those who are looking for an adventurous day out.

The refuge covers 59,020 acres and consists of natural grasslands, a variety of native plants, and numerous animal species that include American bison, Rocky Mountain Elk, and White Tailed Deer.

Stop by the visitors center on your way in to learn more on the history of the refuge and pick up a map to help guide you to all the cool spots.

There are a variety of lakes, nature trails, wildlife viewing, and day use areas for visitors to take advantage of here.

Getting off the main road and doing some hiking comes highly recommended. One of the most popular trails in the refuge is the Bison Trail which is a 6.1 mile loop trip. Expect to see Bison and Elk among other wildlife on the trail.

If you would prefer a shorter hike, consider the Wichita Forty Foot Hole which is a 1.4 mile loop. There are terrific views of the canyon from along this trail and at certain times of the year you will be able to see the river flowing and a small waterfall too.

If you enjoy fishing you will be happy to know there are thirteen public use lakes with Largemouth bass, sunfish, crappie, and channel catfish.

Rock climbers are also in for a treat with high quality granite, multi-pitch routes making it one of the most popular climbing destinations in the southwest.

Camping is available for those looking to spend a night or more in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Doris campground which is located inside the refuge is a modern camping facility with individual and group sites which can be booked in advance.

Staying at the campground will definitely enhance your experience but if you prefer to head back to Oklahoma City it is less than two hours drive away.

7. Tulsa

Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Miles From Oklahoma City: 100 miles
  • Drive Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • See Hotels Nearby

Tulsa is a quick 1.5 hour drive from Oklahoma City. This city that sits on the Arkansas River was once known as the “oil capital of the world”. Art deco buildings tower over the city streets here and make Tulsa one of the most unique cities in the country.

There are endless activities and things to see throughout Tulsa but the following are some of the most popular things to do which include exploring the Gathering Place, visiting the botanic gardens, and seeing the Blue Dome District.

Gathering Place is a 100 acre waterfront park that offers activities for all to enjoy. It has an adventure playground, picnic grove, water mountain, boathouse with boat rentals, swing hill, sky garden, slide vale, great lawn, riverside swings, skatepark, sports courts, and reading tree.

The Tulsa Botanic Gardens are nothing short of spectacular containing over three acres of plants set in terraced beds that are perched on a hillside that overlooks the city. In the spring visitors can witness the Botanic Blooms which display over 100,000 bulbs that were planted in the fall. Admission to enter the garden is $8.

Blue Dome District is a popular Tulsa entertainment area that offers great nightlife and a good selection of restaurants. It definitely has the reputation as the go to place in Tulsa for locals and visitors.

8. Roman Nose State Park

Day Trips From Oklahoma City: Roman Nose State Park

Roman Nose State Park opened in 1937 and is named after a Cheyenne chief. This state park was once a resting place in the winter time for Southern Cheyenne, Arapaho, and other Plains Indians.

It is now a popular tourist destination that offers a beautiful natural landscape surrounded by gypsum rock cliffs, canyons, and natural springs. Recreational opportunities include mountain biking, hiking, camping, swimming, fishing, boating, horse riding, and even a ten hole golf course.

Different types of wildlife can be spotted throughout the park such as coyote, rattlesnakes, hawks, whitetail deer, wild turkeys, and several other bird species.

If you enjoy hiking, Inspiration Point is a 5.8 mile loop trail that offers nice views. Allow 2.5 hours to complete the hike.

The Roman Nose Lodge offers 22 rooms that were originally built in 1956 but have since been renovated, but still offer that mid-century design. There are also eleven cabins available to rent here. The campground offers full hookup sites, sites with water and electric hookups, as well as tent sites.

The park is open year round. It can get extremely cold here in winter and summers can see days in the nineties so remember to pack accordingly for your visit.

9. Great Salt Plains State Park

Day Trips From Oklahoma City: Great Salt Plains State Park
  • Miles From Oklahoma City: 125 miles
  • Drive Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • See Hotels Nearby

A unique landscape to say the least, Salt Plains State Park is comprised of salt left over from an ocean that covered Oklahoma back in prehistoric times. What remains of the present Great Salt Plains Lake is said to be half as salty as the ocean.

Not only are the salt plains and 41 miles of shoreline something you can marvel at, but there are lots of recreational activities on offer here too such as swimming, boating, fishing, camping, picnicking, hiking, biking, and general exploring. It is also an excellent spot for bird watching.

Adjacent to the state park is the National Salt Plains Wildlife Refuge which is the only place in the world where visitors can dig for hourglass selenite crystals. The digging season runs from April 1 to October 15.

The park does offer camping and RV sites for overnight adventurers with several amenities such as showers, shelters, swimming beach, a boat ramp and dock.

10. Gloss Mountain State Park

Gloss Mountain State Park In Oklahoma
  • Miles From Oklahoma City: 115 miles
  • Drive Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • See Hotels Nearby

Gloss Mountain State Park is in the northwest corner of Oklahoma and offers visitors the chance to view the state’s distinctive natural landscape. What you’ll see here is the classic Oklahoma scenery which is often depicted in travel brochures or films such as native red dirt and miles of prairie land.

These ‘glossy’ mountains are sometimes referred to as the Glass Mountains because they sparkle in the light. This is due to their high Selenite content which gives the appearance of glistening glass.

This destination is perfect for nature lovers, landscape photography enthusiasts, and hikers.

The most popular hiking trail in the park climbs from the valley floor to the top of Cathedral Mountain and across the mesa, providing sweeping views of the unique terrain. If you are visiting in the summer, be prepared for extreme heat on the trail and especially on top of the mesa. You are likely to come across rattlesnakes on the trail so be careful.

Park hours are sunrise to sunset and there are a number of picnic tables available for public use.

11. Medicine Park

Medicine Park In Oklahoma

Medicine Park was founded as Oklahoma’s first resort destination by John William Elmer Thomas who fell in love with the place. This town was such a popular vacation area in the 1920’s that even president Roosevelt spent his holidays here as well as famous outlaws such as Al Capone and Bonnie and Clyde.

Today, the historic town’s biggest drawcard is its original architecture which was constructed using cobblestones unique to the Wichita Mountains. It is guaranteed you won’t find buildings like these anywhere else in the United States!

There are surprisingly a lot of things to do in Medicine Park. Some of the highlights you should not miss are Bath Lake, Lake Lawtonka and the Medicine Park Aquarium. Bath Lake which is located in the center of downtown offers picturesque scenery and a place to cool off in the summer. Lake Lawtonka is another natural area to visit which offers more than 20 miles of shoreline to explore.

If you are traveling with kids, be sure to stop by the Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Sciences Center where they are sure to enjoy getting up close with a variety of interesting freshwater and marine species.

Medicine Park is located just outside of Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge so you can visit both places in one day or turn this day trip into a weekend getaway using Medicine Park as a base for exploring the refuge and other nearby attractions.

>Read: 10 Really Cool Things To Do In Medicine Park, Oklahoma

12. Robbers Cave State Park

Robbers Caves State Park In Oklahoma
Photo by Travel Oklahoma
  • Miles From Oklahoma City: 160 miles
  • Drive Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • See Hotels Nearby

Robbers Cave State Park is located in the scenic Sans Bois Mountains of southeast Oklahoma. The park was named Robbers Cave because the place was a hideout for outlaws Jesse James and Belle Starr.

The park is 8,246 acres and encompasses hilly woodlands, sandstone cliffs and three large lakes! It’s a fun destination for outdoor lovers with plenty of activities on offer such as hiking, rappelling, canoeing, fishing, and so much more.

You can even organize guided horseback rides with Robbers Cave Stables who are located in the north end of the park.

Even though this destination is more than two hours drive from Oklahoma City it couldn’t be left off this list because of the park’s natural beauty and fascinating history. You might want to consider turning your visit to Robbers Cave State Park into a weekend getaway from Oklahoma City.

Turner Falls, Oklahoma

Have you been to any of these destinations in Oklahoma? What did you think? Are there any other places near Oklahoma City that should be on this list? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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