More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

We enjoyed our opportunity to visit many restaurants, museums, and attractions in the Oklahoma City area during our three-month visit. I had no idea there were so many fine attractions within such close reach. Please read here about more adventures in and near Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City

Automobile Alley

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

Automobile Alley is a twenty-block area north of the Oklahoma City central business district. Its main street is Broadway Avenue and in the early 1900s was home to luxurious automobile dealers.

Today Automobile Alley is a vibrant part of Oklahoma City. Multiple restaurants, banks, tailors, clothing stores, gift shops, apartments, lofts, and businesses call this district of Oklahoma City their home.

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

We, however, drove here in early December specifically to see the gorgeous holiday lights on display on Broadway. Buildings along this street are draped from top to bottom with brightly colored lights, a beautiful sight to see.

Myriad Botanical Gardens

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

The reason for our visit to Myriad Botanical Gardens was to take Lilly and Tank to the dog park. We hadn’t been able to give them much run and playtime at the RV in a while, and it was great to let them run free for an hour or so off-leash.

Myriad is much more than a dog park though. I cannot imagine why we had never visited this wonderful green space before.

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

There is no fee to enter or enjoy these Gardens that cover 15-acres in the middle of downtown Oklahoma City. Our visit was in December, but the ornamental gardens were still beautiful, although not so many blooming plants.

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

We discovered an ice-skating rink, a separate garden, and a playground area for children, including a carousel! Water features are situated throughout the park as well. Myriad Gardens is a perfect location for weddings, and community festivals and events are held here throughout the year.

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

The Crystal Bridge Conservatory at the Myriad Botanical Gardens houses thousands of tropical plants but is currently being renovated and is expected to reopen in the fall of 2022.

This is a perfect place to take a family picnic!

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Culture Center

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

After almost ten years of research and building, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Cultural Center opened in July 2021. My sisters and I decided to go on a bit of a road trip one morning and drove the two and a half hours from Oklahoma City to check out this place.

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

We were pretty impressed with the size of the Center. The 100,000 square foot building sits on 22 acres of land and is full of creative and interactive exhibits. These exhibits showcase the Choctaw Nation’s history as well as its culture.

A 200-seat theater, stellar gift shop, and café that serves authentic Choctaw foods are also located inside the Cultural Center. We spent several fun hours here, enjoying an authentic Choctaw meal and shopping in the gift shop; however, the exhibits on display were the highlight.

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

The Choctaw Nation’s headquarters and Choctaw Casino are less than five minutes away from the Cultural Center.

What a terrific road trip. We learned so much historical and cultural information about the Choctaw Nation, a tribe we are members of.

Central State Park

When we were no longer able to park our RV at Mercy Hospital, we had a bit of a difficult time finding a new RV space. RV parks in the area either had no spots available or were closed for the winter. Steve performed an amazing miracle and found this great state park, right on Lake Arcadia.

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

The Whatley traveling home – all decorated for Christmas.

RV camping here is very affordable and the park has RV hookups, a fishing dock, boat ramp, pavilions, playground, hiking trails, and is surrounded by trees and nature. It is also right on Lake Arcadia. We had a great few days here and are looking forward to returning during warmer weather.

Central State Park is located a few miles north of Oklahoma City in Edmond.


Just down the road a few miles from our campsite is the small town of Arcadia, a town founded very soon after the 1889 Land Run. William Odor and Benjamin Newkirk donated parts of their land to establish the township of Arcadia in 1903.

Arcadia’s claim to fame is its location – on the famed Route 66. Route 66 was constructed right through downtown Arcadia in 1926. Mother Road travelers continue to make their way here as part of their Route 66 experiences.

Incidentally, there are two towns named Arcadia on Route 66. The other Arcadia is in Southern California near Los Angeles.

Round Barn

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

This beautiful and enormous red barn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built by William H. Odor in 1898. The barn was restored in 1992 and today is enjoying new life as a museum, tourist attraction, entertainment venue, and gift shop.

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

Second floor of round barn

Today Arcadia’s round barn is one of the most photographed sights on Route 66. This barn was initially used to house livestock. The method used to build this circular barn was to soak green oak boards until they were pliable enough to be forced into curves.

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

We visited another round barn, the Fromme-Birney Round Barn in Kiowa County, Kansas, making Arcadia’s round barn our second round barn encounter.

Pops 66

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

Just down the road, about half a mile from the Round Barn, is Pops 66. Pops is a relatively new attraction in Arcadia along Route 66 as it was built in 2007. You cannot miss seeing its 66-foot tall neon pop bottle as you drive along.

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

Pops is a gas station, a diner, and a great place to stop for a good burger and a shake. This architectural wonder has a modern design with an entire glass front. Bottles filled with over 700 different types of soda line the angled front glass wall from floor to ceiling. It is a marvel to see.

Our visit was during the day, so we missed the spectacular sight of the pink neon pop bottle lit up at night. Great Route 66 souvenirs are for sale here.

Old Route 66 Filling Station

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

This skeletal building, most likely built in the early 1920s, was once a gas station and is just a short drive from Pop’s on the north side of Route 66. Local folklore says this gas station was once home to a small-time counterfeiting business. I love these stories we encounter as we travel around.

Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell traveled along Route 66 in 2008 as part of his 66th birthday celebration. They were driving a 1989 Ford Bronco! McCartney stopped to ask resident Toby Thompson if he was indeed on the Old Route 66. A sign along the road commemorates this encounter.

Gower Memorial Cemetery

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

We also learned about this interesting little cemetery during our visit to the Round Barn. The cemetery was established in 1889 by John and Ophelia Gower when they donated this portion of their 160-acre land rush homestead to create the cemetery.

This cemetery was included in the National Register of Historic Places on November 18, 1991, and is remembered as an area in Oklahoma that was primarily settled by African Americans before Oklahoma became a state.

More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

November 1896 is the earliest record of burial in the Gower Cemetery. Many African American homesteaders and family members were buried here during the following years. The cemetery is still maintained by members of the Gower family.

We definitely enjoyed all the sites we were fortunate enough to visit during our extended stay in Oklahoma City. Now we are ready for new adventures in a new location. I can’t wait to find out where that is going to be! Any suggestions?

More adventures in and near Oklahoma CityMore adventures in and near Oklahoma CityMore adventures in and near Oklahoma City

4 thoughts on “More adventures in and near Oklahoma City

  1. Very interesting!!! Really enjoyed photos and traveling details!! Got to add to my bucket list!!

    1. Thank you Earney. There is so much to see in Oklahoma City. Who knew?

  2. The round barn photos are great. I plan to visit there. Also, the Gower Cemetery is a site, now that I know of it, I want to visit. Thanks for the pointing out these places.

    1. The round barn was a pretty neat attraction to see; lots of history inside too. I was kind of fascinated by the cemetery story and had to go take a look at it. Seeing these things made for a fun excursion day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *