Oklahoma, from mountain ranges to prairie land, the Sooner State showcases some of America’s most remarkable landscapes. The state is a mixture of the south, west and midwest, making it stand as one of the most cultural and linguistically diverse areas in the country. Its towns, too, tell important tales about the country’s rich history. Here are the 10 most beautiful towns in the state.
An old mill town dating back to the 1870s, it has a rich history reaching back through Native Americans, with the Osage, Cherokee and Delaware tribes being resident in the area, to the colonial settlers, who found great prosperity in the area due to oil. Today, Bartlesville is a far cry from the industrial center that it used to be. There are a number of lush parks and hills to visit, learn about the state’s history in the numerous museums, or simply admire the architecture all around, notably the frontier architecture in the downtown district. Look out for the painted buffalo around town or visit the replica commercial oil well for a new old look at the town.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
During the land rush around 1889 on the intersection of the historic highways Route 66 and the Chisholm Trail, El Reno was built. This pioneer town has had a tumultuous history as a railroad town, the home of three land runs, and currently stands as a festival town as well as a leading area in energy innovation. The past is still present in El Reno, and visitors can get lost for days exploring the array of historical buildings, including Fort Reno, the heritage express trolley route, and Hotel El Reno. The town has been hit by strong earthquakes and tornadoes over the past half century, but has taken these disasters in their stride and have reinvented the town so that it now looks to the future, while still retaining its past.
The territorial and first state capital of Oklahoma. Oklahoma City’s loss can, however, be seen as being a big win for Guthrie. After losing its prominence as the state capital, the town has been able to maintain its Victorian character. As you wander down the quiet, tree lined streets you will be treated to seeing Oklahoma’s largest collection of urban historic buildings, with downtown being designated a National Historic Landmark due to the importance and prevalence of its turn of the century commercial buildings. Away from this impressive architecture, Guthrie boasts relaxing lakes, an enviable bluegrass festival, and a rip-roaring rodeo. With so much to do and see, it’s no wonder that it lays claim to being the state’s bed and breakfast capital.
You don’t gain a nickname like ‘Circus City, USA’ without having an interesting backstory. Named for the French novelist Victor Hugo, Hugo was founded in 1901 and has since been the winter home for many circus performers. In addition to housing over a dozen circuses, the town used to be a railroad hub, making it a hotbed of dance hall girls, hustlers and gunfighters. At the turn of the century, there was never a dull moment to be had in the area. Today the same can still be said, although for completely different reasons. In addition to the historical buildings, cemeteries and museums, Hugo Lake and its adjoining state park make the town as relaxing as it is exciting.
Dating back to the early 19th century, Kenton is one of Oklahoma’s oldest towns, though it is now really a land unto its own. It currently stands as a semi-ghost town with a total population of around 20 people. There is nonetheless great beauty in this old, empty town. The vast, open land surrounding it is quite stunning, and the buildings, wagons and ranches give a startling glimpse into the days gone by. It is located in Oklahoma’s panhandle, with visitors most commonly being drawn to the area to see the Black Mesa State Park, where they can hike the state’s highest point. Rugged terrain, geological marvels and outlaw history all make Kenton an Oklahoma escape in the purest sense of the word.
Medicine Park was originally founded as a resort town in the early 20th century. For over 100 years it has been welcoming visitors, including celebrities, journalists, and even politicians and gangsters during its heyday. Today it draws visitors in as a vintage cobblestone resort town, with many falling for its quaint charms and abundant attractions. The cobblestones are a natural geological occurrence in the area and, in addition to the streets, feature on many of the town’s buildings and structures to give it a distinctive look. From the center of the town you can take a lazy stroll along Medicine Creek and Bath Lake or admire the surrounding Wichita Mountains. An original resort town.
The place to be since 1893, a town that is proud of its agriculture, home-town values and progressive businesses, Perry currently thrives as a tourist-friendly town steeped in monuments and activities from old and new. The town was founded just before the great land run, and it spouted the Cherokee Strip Land Run, the biggest event of its kind in the world, with some 100,000 people trying to lay stake in land, and is still celebrated today. The historic downtown square and courthouse park offers exemplary turn-of-the-century architecture and has an abundance of antique shops and independent cafés and restaurants. You can take part in agro-tourism, with farmers, like the rest of the town, opening their doors to share their lifestyle with you.
As the home town of Oklahoma State University, Stillwater is one of the liveliest towns on our list, and indeed the state. The town has a thriving arts and culture scene as well as bustling nightlife and several annual festivals and events, most famously ‘America’s Greatest Homecoming Celebration’. It is located in Oklahoma’s Tornado Alley region, which boasts a humid, subtropical climate which allows for the town to be in bloom for most of the year. Its motto is, ‘where Oklahoma began’, and indeed there is plenty of history to be discovered within the town. Similarly, it shows where Oklahoma is going, with a vibrancy and lifestyle that keeps visitors and settlers coming year-round.
The largest city in Johnson County and the first capital of the Chickasaw Nation, quite the achievement for a town totalling just over 3000 with around half of the population coming from the Murray State College. With its rich history, sensational natural beauty and welcoming atmosphere. Tishimingo really lives up to its town motto of ‘progressive, growing, beautiful’. Large numbers of fishing fans come to the area to make the most of the Blue River. Even if you aren’t a fishing enthusiast, it is worth heading down to the river to take in the stunning views, and other scenic escapes in the town can be found at Pennington Creek and the adjoining National Wildlife Refuge. A green and blooming town.
For the past 122 years, Woodward has seen a lot of history and a lot of change. As with many of the most prominent Oklahoma towns, it has seen railroads and cattle drives, land rushes and gunfights, natural disasters and booming industry, and it still continues to stand strong and attract visitors. Walk to the edge of town to see the vast open spaces of the prairie land, or explore within and admire the frontier architecture and flowers in bloom. The Field Station Lake is the perfect destination to relax on a hot day, and hunters, fishers and nature lovers are drawn to the nearby North Canadian River and Boiling Springs State Park. A wild journey from a rough and tumble frontier town to the prairie’s shining jewel.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.