Oklahoma is a great summer getaway destination perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and city slickers alike. The landscape of the state ranges from forested hills to flat plains, with large lakes and meandering rivers added into the mix. If cowboys, art museums, roaming bison, and lakeside beaches sound like the ideal summer vacation, then look no further than Oklahoma. Book a stay at one of many Oklahoma vacation rentals for your upcoming summer getaway. Take a look at the top cities and towns in the state.

1. Oklahoma City

With its impressive Greco-Roman architecture, 650 rooms, and more than 100 acres of land, the capitol building of Oklahoma City is a highlight of this bustling seat of state government. Attractions go beyond politics, however. Riversport Adventure Park is a great place to get wet outdoors, with tubing, kayaking, and even whitewater rafting making for an exciting getaway.

You will also want to venture to the city’s museums. Museums range from the diverse collections of American and international paintings at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art to more focused specimens at the American Banjo Museum. Given the city’s large population, restaurants of all types are only minutes away from your Oklahoma City vacation rental.

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2. Tulsa

Oklahoma’s other large city, Tulsa offers summer outdoor adventures at the beloved Tulsa Zoo. In addition to housing numerous exotic species, the zoo also takes an active part in conservation efforts, so it is well worth a visit. Summer also means outdoor concerts under the open sky with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra.

As for cuisine, Tulsa offers fine food from across the globe. American, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Chinese are among the many ethnic food options at your doorstep. Also keep your eyes open for Wild Al’s Food Truck, where locally crafted sandwiches and wraps provide a quick, yet tasty treat.

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3. Ardmore

Source: Flickr / Adam Moss

Outdoor attractions abound in this small Oklahoma town. The 5,700-acre Lake Murray is a water-lover’s paradise, and tourists love to take their water jets and paddle boats out onto the lake. Beaches around the lake offer the chance for swimming and relaxing by the water with family and friends. For quality food with a beautiful view of the lake, stop by Blue Heron Restaurant.

Enjoy a true Great Plains experience at Hardy Murphy Coliseum. Horse and livestock shows take place here, as well as a host of special events.

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4. Lawton

Source: Flickr / Larry Smith

A vacation rental in Great Plains offers more than initially meets the eye, and Lawton’s Museum of the Great Plains is the place to be to unlock the treasures of the heartland. Exhibits here take visitors through the rich history of the region, from geological formations through the Native American inhabitants and the early settlers. A historic trading post and schoolhouse let you experience life on the plains in the 19th and early 20th centuries. To go more in depth about Native American life in the area, stop by Lawton’s Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center.

Wildlife watchers can head over to nearby Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Bison, elk, and prairie dogs are among the many fascinating creatures that await you here.

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5. Enid

Source: Flickr / Joanna Poe

Enid is a great stop for wine lovers, as the city is close to both Indian Creek Village Winery and Plain View Winery. While adults enjoy their wine, kids can venture to Leonardo’s Children’s Museum/Adventure Quest to explore age-appropriate science and technology exhibits and play on the gigantic playground.

There is always plenty to do in downtime Enid. As the city’s art and entertainment district, you can find live music, art studios, and places to shop.

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6. Broken Arrow

Source: Flickr / Benson Kua

Summer means ice cream, and in Broken Arrow you can not only taste delicious Blue Bell ice cream, but also tour the company’s creamery facility located in this Tulsa suburb. Broken Arrow is also home to a Bass Pro Shop, and you may want to begin your summer vacation here with a bit of shopping, as nearby parks in the area offer ample opportunity for outdoor recreation. Perhaps the most unique among these is Willis Guide Service, which takes you on a guided paddlefish fishing trip.

Open only during late spring through the summer, Thunderbird Berry Farm is a family-friendly establishment which lets visitors pick their own blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Throw on top of that a shopping excursion to Persimmon Hollow Village, a recreated 19th-century Western frontier town with stores, period craftsmen, and music.

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7. Bartlesville

Source: Flickr / Phil Baker

If you want a vacation rental “where the buffalo roam”, then Bartlesville is for you. Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve is home to the American bison, elk, and other native and exotic creatures. The accompanying museum houses a firearms collection, cowboy gear, and other historic items. The Phillips Petroleum Company Museum looks at the history of the now global company, and is worth the visit. Company founder Frank Phillips’s home still stands in Bartlesville today.

Art galleries, gift shops, jewelry stores, and antique shops make for a busy day of shopping. For a unique dining experience, head to Copper Bar and Restaurant, which offers an amazing 15th-floor view of the city within a building built by the great Frank Lloyd Wright.

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8. Norman

Source: Wikimedia Commons

If you love art, then consider Norman for your next vacation rental getaway. Numerous art museums call this city home. The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art houses works from Asia and Europe, among other parts of the globe, and it also has an interesting collection of old photographs. As its name suggests, the Jacobson House Native Art Center focuses on the work of native peoples, while the Firehouse Art Center includes everything from furniture to glass to pottery.

If the summer sun beckons you outdoors, then grab your boat and hiking boots and head on over to Lake Thunderbird State Park. Take some time to walk around the beautiful campus of the University of Oklahoma, and also be sure to visit the beautiful Legacy Park, where fountains provide a romantic backdrop to an evening walk or picnic with your significant other.

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9. Tahlequah

Source: Flickr / Thomas & Dianne Jones

Located at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, Tahlequah sits in a scenic landscape with forests, lakes, and waterways. Be sure to bring your canoe or kayak to your vacation rental, as the miles of waterways beckon water enthusiasts from all over. The large Lake Tenkiller features sunny beaches for swimming, family picnics, and simply enjoying the sun. The water is full of many types of game fish, so you may also want to bring a fishing pole.

Head into town to experience Tahlequah’s tasty restaurants. Craving Cajun? Go to Linney Breaux’s. El Molcajete is the place to go for sizzling Mexican dishes. Katfish Kitchen offers catfish, seafood, and even frog legs for the more adventurous eater.

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10. Fairview

Source: Flickr / Greg Willis

Nearby Gloss Mountain State Park is a highlight of any trip to Fairview. Climb the park’s so-called “Glass Mountains” for stunning views of the surrounding landscape, and hike the many trails through the park to view local flora and fauna. The Sand Creek Heritage Center and Museum educates visitors about the history of the area with its preserved buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries. For some tasty organic beef to take back to your vacation rental, stop by John’s Farm.

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