Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and a time to honor the country’s fallen military members. From Oklahoma City to Broken Bow, there are a host of patriotic and family-friendly activities and attractions to enjoy. Book a stay at an Oklahoma vacation rental for your upcoming Memorial Day weekend getaway. When you’re ready to start planning your holiday itinerary, check out the best cities and towns in Oklahoma.

1. Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City flags

Oklahoma City is a vibrant city with something for everyone in your family. Live entertainment, wagon rides, and rope making lessons are just a few of the fun things to do at the Annual Chuck Wagon Gathering at National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. See cars from past eras at the Bethany 66 Festival. This festival includes vendors, kids’ activities, and live music. In the evening, visit Bricktown in the downtown area. Hop on the Bricktown Water Taxi for a tour of the area, and enjoy dinner at Fuzzy’s Taco Shops or the Bricktown Brewery.

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2. Tulsa

downtown Tulsa Oklahoma

Tulsa is known for its unique art deco architecture in the historic district. Learn more about Native American art with a tour of the Philbrook Museum of Art, located in a massive villa. After your tour, enjoy the sunshine in the gardens on the property. Stroll around downtown and take in all the beautiful buildings with mild May temperatures surrounding you over Memorial Day weekend. The Boston Avenue Methodist Church is known as one of the finest ecclesiastical art deco churches.

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3. Broken Bow

Broken Bow Oklahoma

Relax and unwind in the small town of Broken Bow. Find a cabin tucked away in the woods close to the entrance of the Beavers Bend State Park. Hike along the trails that wind through the pine forest, and you might catch sight of a bald eagle or a black bear just waking up from a long winter. Rent a boat for a day on Broken Bow Lake from Beaver Bend Marina, and buy all the bait you need for a successful day of fishing to get in some rest and relaxation over the holiday weekend.

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4. Norman

Seed Sower statue
Source: Flickr/Majdan

As home to Oklahoma University, Norman offers a trendy vibe. Kids squeal in delight when they see the massive spider sculpture outside the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. Take a tour of the museum to learn more about the natural world and Oklahoma’s geology. Learn more about weather and what it takes to forecast it at the National Weather Center. At Andy Alligator’s Fun Park, race on the go-karts and battle on the bumper cars to launch the opening of the summer season. For dinner, Louie’s Grill and Bar offers a juicy burger, barbecue chicken pizza, and a massive chicken wrap.

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5. Stillwater

roadside shade Oklahoma
Source: Flickr/Jesse Wilson

Known as America’s friendliest college town, Stillwater welcomes your family for the Memorial Day weekend. Take a private tour of the Lost Creek Safari to feed a lemur and pet a camel. Take your kids to Boomer Lake Splash Pad to cool off. You can enjoy the covered seating area while your kids run and splash in the fountains. Stop and smell all the blooming flowers at the Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University. Cheese fries are a must when you have dinner at Eskimo Joe’s.

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6. Elk City

Elk City Oklahoma
Source: Flickr/Tomasz Dunn

In Elk City, learn more about historic Route 66, which was the only road to travel across the United States. Take a tour of the National Route 66 and Transportation Museum to see old cars, memorabilia, and photographs from a bygone era. Gather a picnic lunch before leaving your vacation rental on the way to Ackley Park. Take advantage of the picnic facilities while the kids ride the carousel. After eating, everyone can play a round of mini golf or walk around the paths.

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7. Arcadia

Round Barn Arcadia Oklahoma
Source: Flickr/openroads.com

Enjoy the simple life with a weekend away in Arcadia. To find your vacation rental, you drive on the historic Route 66. You must stop at Pops 66 Soda Ranch with its 66-foot soda bottle out front. This gas station has a diner serving burgers, milkshakes, and fries along with the largest selection of local, regional, national, and international sodas. Walk around the iconic Arcadia Round Barn, also on Route 66. After sightseeing, spend the rest of your weekend fishing from the banks of Arcadia Lake.

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8. Lawton

coreopsis Wichita Mountains
Source: Flickr/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters

Enjoy the beautiful weather and a low-key vacation in Lawton. Spend a day exploring the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge with its wide-open spaces and wildlife, including prairie dogs, bison, and elk. Learn more about the local area and its rich history at the Museum of the Great Plains. For this patriotic holiday, take a tour of Fort Sill to learn more about military life and service. Check the schedule and book tickets for a concert at the McMahon Memorial Auditorium.

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9. Ardmore

geese Ardmore Oklahoma
Source: Flickr/MAMA WARRIOR

Outdoor lovers flock to Ardmore for its easy access to the Lake Murray State Park. Bring your boat from your vacation home and launch it from one of the public ramps for a day of fishing, or rent a boat from the Lake Murray Marina. There’s a beach in the park, along with a mini-golf course. Head out on horseback by booking a trail ride through Johnson Performance Horses. Check the schedule to see an equestrian event at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum during your Memorial Day weekend getaway.

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