There’s nothing quite like that “wind-in-your-hair excitement” you feel when you head out on the open road for a trip through the American heartland, especially when you’re headed to a state where the “wind comes sweeping down the plains!” Ring a bell, anyone? It’s time to hit the road for Oklahoma! The sun’s not too hot and the road’s not too crowded–check out these road trip pointers for adding the great state of Oklahoma to your next itinerary and come be a fan of the state that’s shaped like a pan! (Warning: More state jokes to come.)
Home of the Sooners (and the Oklahoma State Cowboys as well), Oklahoma gives you a great taste of culture at the intersection of the east and the west, with a little southern hospitality mixed in. These four highlights make Oklahoma more than an OK pit stop on your next road trip (See? Told ya those jokes were coming!):
1. It’s easy to get to!
With Interstate Highway I-35 covering the north/south routes and I-40 in the east/west, you can easily get into Oklahoma, out of Oklahoma, and go anywhere in between. In fact, you can go virtually anywhere on these two highways, no matter where you start. As a bonus, Route 66 heads through Oklahoma, too.
2. BBQ is everywhere. YUM.
Craving the best pulled pork around? Though often overshadowed by Texas-style BBQ to the south and Kansas City-style BBQ to the north, Oklahoma BBQ is deeply rooted in Oklahoma’s history. According to Travel OK, Oklahoma BBQ is best known for what it isn’t: it’s not exclusive to one meat, not as vinegary as some, and not as saucy as others. Want a pro tip? Ask your server to bring out the burnt ends too!
3. There’s a strong Native American culture to explore.
Spend any time driving through Oklahoma and you’ll see–the state is rich with Native American influence. Cities with names like Ouachita, Shawnee, and Chickasha are common road signs sights and many cities offer Native American heritage centers where you can learn more about the area’s tribes.
4. Oklahoma City is a thriving sports city. #BoomerSooner!
In addition to being home of the OK Sooners, the city boasts an NBA team and a minor league baseball team, all within throwing distance of one another. And Bricktown, the major entertainment center in the city, also boasts a statue of Oklahoma’s favorite son, Mickey Mantle.
The plains of Oklahoma are a sight that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. Call it an American tradition! Add Oklahoma to your summer road trip itinerary and check out the state that’s been outrunning twisters since 1889. You won’t regret it (especially if you stop for BBQ)! For more information on the Sooner state, check out 5 Can’t Miss Oklahoma Sights, plus view our map of the best of Oklahoma!