Top 15 Day Trips From Tulsa To Visit The Cowboy Culture

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Tulsa is the second-largest city in Oklahoma and is ideally located very close to many interesting destinations that can make for great day trips. The city itself is home to many metropolitan marvels which visitors can explore.

Explore the easily accessible Route 66, restaurants and bars galore, or stop by at the Tulsa Performance Centre. The surrounding state of Oklahoma is home to many natural and cultural destinations, ranging from gorgeous state parks and waterfalls.

Let us explore some of the best day trips from Tulsa.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


Located around ninety minutes south-west of Tulsa, Oklahoma City makes for a great day trip. The city is full of cowboy culture and is also famous as the Horse Show Capital of the World.

Head to  Bricktown for some of the best entertainment in the city. There are numerous bars, restaurants and iconic clubs that can be visited.

If you want to have some of the cowboy fun, then there are many options for you like- you can buy an authentic cowboy hat or furnish an entire cattle ranch. 

Head to the acclaimed Science Museum Oklahoma for some family-friendly fun. Other attractions in the city include the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and the thrill-a-minute Riversport Adventures Park.

Distance: 1 hour and 37 minutes

Ideal for: Family fun

Red Rock Canyon Adventure Park, Oklahoma

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon Adventure Park welcomes many day-trippers from Tulsa. Here you can explore this beautiful outdoor recreation area surrounded by the steep red walls of a natural red rock canyon.

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking and bird watching, along with rock climbing and rappelling. The Red Rock Canyon Adventure Park is just two hours away from Tulsa and the hikes here are lovely.

Families with children can all explore the easy quarter-mile Rough Horsetail Nature Trail with offers interpretive signs. 

Distance: 2 hours and 29 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor enthusiasts

Witchita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma

Wichita Mountains

Witchita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is nestled in the scenic Wichita Mountains of southwestern Oklahoma. The refuge covers an astounding 59,000 acres and offers a lot of activities for nature and outdoor lovers.

Located three hours away from Tulsa, the refuge is dedicated to protecting endangered species of local animals and to re-introduce those species which have been driven out of the area. 

Other activities include fishing, rock-climbing, and picnicking.

Distance: 3 hours and 9 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor enthusiasts

Pawhuska, Oklahoma


Pawhuska is known as the foodie, cultural and historical center of Osage County and makes for a great day trip from Tulsa. This is also the place where you can explore Native American and Western culture.

Learn more about Osage County at the Osage Nation Museum. After that, you can try organic food at the Pioneer Woman Mercantile, which is also a store, restaurant, and bakery in one.

Do spend some time seeing Bison in the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve which is a truly amazing experience.

Distance: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Ideal for: Outdoor lovers

Grand Lake, Oklahoma

Grand Lake

Grand Lake is one of the most visited lakes in Oklahoma as there are many water-based activities that visitors can indulge in.

There is an enormous shoreline distance of 1,300-miles of water which makes this a great spot for a day trip. Plus the  Grand Lake Area boasts no less than five state parks along the shores of the lake, which offer great scope for outdoor fun.

You can indulge in canoeing, skiing or parasailing. Plus, there are many recreational areas and villages that dot the Grand Lake.

Explore the scenic Honey Creek area which is perfect for picnics or Har-Ber Village, complete with an interactive museum that depicts life in the mid-1800s.

Distance: 1 hour and 21 minutes

Ideal for: Water lovers

Blue Hole Park, Oklahoma

Blue Hole

Blue Hole Park is one of the best day trips from Tulsa. You can head to the South Fork of the San Gabriel River where Blue Hole Park is located.

It is centered on a large natural spring-fed swimming hole, which has cold but crystal-clear water that is simply too beautiful to resist. Naturally, this swimming hole attracts lots of families who want to cool down in the heat. 

Spend your time swimming, diving, and relaxing. For a small amount of fee, you can also find a good spot to set up your sun loungers and settle in for the day. The swimming hole is a great area for children, while adults can enjoy in other parts of the spring which are deep enough for snorkeling.

Distance: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Ideal for: Water lovers

Sequoyah State Park, Oklahoma

Sequoyah State Park

Just one hour south of Tulsa, Sequoyah State Park is located on the shores of  Fort Gibson Lake and can make for a fun day trip from Tulsa.

Since it’s on the shores of a lake, it is a have for all kinds of nature lovers. Enjoy the beaches, boating, and other water sports. 

You can also enjoy horseback riding and hiking. Families with children can head to the petting zoo and exhibit at the Three Forks Nature Center. 

Distance: 52 minutes

Ideal for: Families 

Eureka Springs, Oklahoma

Eureka Springs

Located in Arkansas, Eureka Springs is a paradise for people who love shopping and browsing various wares and trinkets. Get a download of the city’s history by doing a guided tram tour of the Historic District.

It is also known for its enticing natural springs and beautifully preserved, historic Victorian-style buildings. Visit the many local spas for a soak and massage. 

Other attractions include the Onyx Cave, the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge and the Beaver Dam.

Distance: 2 hours and 46 minutes

Ideal for: Fun getaway

Little Sahara State Park, Oklahoma

Little Sahara Desert

Though it may seem unlikely, there is actually a desert in the middle of Oklahoma. Inheriting its name from the real Sahara Desert, the Little Sahara State Park is a three-hour drive west of Tulsa.

Enjoy the towering dunes and set the scene for some unusual outdoor activities. The park protects a  large area of dunes, some of which reach really lofty heights of 75 feet.

There are over 1000 acres of dunes here and you can enjoy buggy and quad biking. Groceries and other facilities are also available here.

Distance: 3 hours and 5 minutes

Ideal for: Adventure enthusiasts

Turner Falls State Park, Oklahoma

Turner Falls

Head to  Davis where you will find the tallest waterfall in the Arbuckle Mountains of south-central Oklahoma. The Turner Falls State Park will reward you with a day of brilliant outdoor recreation.

The waterfalls cascade over a high ledge to drop 77-foot into a beautiful natural swimming hole which surely is a sight to see.

Enjoy the swimming holes, climbing spots, jumps, and hidden caves, which makes this the perfect place for some fun in the sun for families. 

Distance: 2 hours and 46 minutes

Ideal for: Family Fun

Eufaula Lake, Oklahoma

Eufaula Lake

Lake Eufaula is the largest lake in Oklahoma and is a prime hotspot for fishing thanks to the rich diversity of fish found here. The lake covers over 100,000 surface acres and boasts of 800 miles of picturesque shoreline.

A day trip to Eufaula Lake will be fun for the entire family as it offers a wide variety of outdoor activities for all ages. There are over 600 miles of shoreline which means that there are enough activities to keep everyone happy. 

Enjoy boating and motorized water sports like jet-skiing, water-skiing wakeboarding, or tubing.

Distance: 1 hour and 27 minutes

Ideal for: Water Enthusiasts

Bixby, Oklahoma


Located just 30 minutes from Tulsa is the small town of Bixby. If you want a small-town experience then head to Bixby.

Enjoy a walk around the Washington Irving Memorial Park and Arboretum where you can view various historic memorials surrounded by over 35 acres of landscaped gardens. 

If you fancy berry picking, then this is the town to do so. There are several farms including Joe’s Farm, Carmichael’s Produce, and Gibson’s Gardens, where visitors can go to pick berries. 

Distance: 1 hour and 27 minutes

Ideal for: Water Enthusiasts

Arcadia, Oklahoma


There are many interesting destinations along Route 66, one of them is Arcadia. Located fifteen miles north of Oklahoma City, it offers visitors a unique chance to view some great Route 66 memorabilia. 

Tourist attractions in this town include the Old Round Barn, The Route 66 John Hargrove’s Place, and the Oklahoma County Auto Trim and Mini Museum. 

Distance: 1 hour and 22 minutes

Ideal for: Fun getaway

Claremore, Oklahoma


Another interesting town located on Route 66 in Claremore. Located just 30 minutes away from Tulsa, it makes for a great day trip.

Start your day by visiting the quirky Route 66 Big Blue Whale roadside attraction which has been attracting visitors for over forty years. Enjoy a walk through the Historic Downtown where you can enjoy restaurants, coffee shops, and antique stores.

Distance: 33 minutes

Ideal for: Quirky getaway

Foyil, Oklahoma


Located just ten miles from Claremore, Foyil is also a Route 66 town. Its claim to fame is the fact that it is the home of The World’s Largest Totem Pole.

The Totem Pole resides at Nathan Edward Galloway’s property where you can climb up the internal ladder to the very top of the ninety-story structure. 

Distance: 44 minutes

Ideal for: Quirky getaway


Tulsa itself makes for an interesting getaway, however, there are lots of quirky day trips you can take from the city to satisfy your wanderlust.

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