I am always so flattered when people stop me when I’m out and about, whether at the grocery store, at a restaurant or even church, and ask me for advice about places to go, or things to do or about my favorite places to eat in Oklahoma.
Many times, I’m asked questions like, “Where’s the best barbecue you’ve had in the state?” or “My family is planning a weekend getaway, where would you suggest we go?” And I am more than happy to give them some ideas. I absolutely love it.
Many times, I will also suggest they go to the official website of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, travelok.com, to get even more ideas, given what they are wanting to do, specifically where they are wanting to travel and so on. Travelok.com has a tremendous amount of available information, as well as numerous articles such as “Oklahoma’s Waterscapes, Falls & Cascades” or “Roadside Oddities along Route 66.” The writers for the website do a fantastic job, and they have one article I’ve been recommending to people quite a bit lately. It’s called “50 Ways to Celebrate Summer in Oklahoma.”
The article is self-explanatory, of course, but I wanted to throw in some other ideas on top of the ones mentioned in the article. Now, some of the individual categories include “Take a Sunset Cruise,” “Float the Illinois,” “Enjoy Camping with the Family” and “See a Fireworks Show.” And under each category, you will get some wonderful, specific ideas or suggestions.
Here are a few of my own ideas under some of the categories. “Feel the Rush of Zip Lining.” Two of my favorite places to go zip lining are Air Donkey Zip Line in Davis and Rugaru Adventures in Broken Bow.
One of the distinctive elements of zip lining at Air Donkey is you get an incredible bird’s-eye view of the Arbuckle Mountains. At Rugaru Adventures, you are surrounded by the beauty of the Beavers Bend area, and in fact, you zip line across part of Broken Bow Lake on one of its lines. It’s quite spectacular.
No. 47 on the list of “50 Ways to Celebrate Summer in Oklahoma” is “Hit the Open Road.” This summer, especially when it’s hot, visit the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton and the National Route 66 and Transportation Museum in Elk City.
There’s always been a certain mystique about Route 66. From the time it opened in 1926, it was already a celebrity of sorts. Both museums are quite informative, and they make for fun places to visit as you hit the open road.
No. 16 is “Catch a Fly Ball.” To many people, summer means baseball so you can always head to the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and cheer on the Oklahoma City Dodgers.
No. 26 is “Participate in a Berry Harvest.” You can go to travelok.com or the Oklahoma Department of Agritourism website to find all the different places and farms where you can pick your own berries.
One such location is the Buffalo Creek Berry Farm in Mustang. There is just something special about picking your own vegetables and/or berries. At Buffalo Creek, you can pick fresh produce, along with strawberries, blackberries or whatever is available at the time.
I did a story for Discover Oklahoma last June on the Sandy Creek Blackberry Farm in Sulphur. And while doing that story, I loved how the owners, the Keenan’s, encouraged everyone who was there to occasionally sample as they picked the different kinds of blackberries.
No. 38 is “Jump on a water trampoline.” And you can do that at Lake Murray Water Sports in Ardmore. This is a destination that’s the definition of fun in the sun. It’s the kind of place that has a little bit of something for everyone.
No matter what you want to do this summer, take the time to check out travelok.com for various ideas on all the ways to celebrate summer in Oklahoma.
Dino Lalli is the producer, co-host and one of the reporters for the travel program DISCOVER OKLAHOMA.