Broken Bow is tucked away in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma, amidst the Ouachita National Forest in the greenest area of the state. The city is within driving distance of lakes, state parks, and recreational areas ready to be explored. Nestled in a rural wooded area, Broken Bow offers visitors spaciousness and seclusion to reconnect with family, friends, and nature. Book a stay at an unforgettable Broken Bow vacation rental today. Here are the most exciting places in and around Broken Bow to check out.

1. Broken Bow

Broken Bow sits happily between the McCurtain County Game Reserve and Hochatown State Park to the north, Red Slough Wildlife Management Area to the south, and Pine Creek State Park and Lake to the west. Find hiking and biking trails, areas for boating, and opportunities to fish all within a few minutes drive from the downtown area. Though not a big city, Broken Bow offers all the basics for a family vacation from eateries—try Papa Poblanos for tasty Mexican cuisine—to grocery stores and pharmacies.

2. Hochatown

Hochatown lies just 10 miles to the north of Broken Bow, nestled against Hochatown State Park and Broken Bow Lake. Opt for a vacation rental here within walking distance of the lake to take in the beautiful scene on foot. Keep your boat at the Beavers Bend Marina, or rent a number of water vessels from jet skis to pontoon boats, and spend long afternoons fishing in the lake or lounging on the beach. Take a picnic lunch to one of the many day-use areas, and enjoy the water. If you want a little more structured fun, head over the Beavers Bend State Resort Park. Play miniature golf or tube down the river with the kids.

3. Idabel

Head 12 miles to the south, and hit Idabel, a city slightly larger than Broken Bow. A vacation rental here puts you literally within minutes of the Red Slough Wildlife Management Area. Red Slough is rich in animals, including deer, armadillos, beavers, all sorts of fish, and birds. In fact, it’s a favorite place for bird watchers to congregate because of all the species—over 300—that nest and migrate through the area. Hike through Red Slough, and keep an eye out for the wildlife.

4. Eagletown

What Eagletown lacks in size, it more than makes up for in location. It lies between the southern tip of Hochatown Park and the northern border of Red Slough along Mountain Fork River. A short drive, 5 miles in either direction, puts you at one or the other of the wilderness areas. Hike along the river, or take a day and camp beneath the stars. Better yet, kayak down Mountain Fork River all the way to Little River, which forms the border of Red Slough.

5. Golden

Golden sits among a myriad of streams and rivers to the west of Broken Bow and Idabel. Not only does a short drive take you to either state park or wilderness area, but another short drive to the west take you to Pine Creek State Park and Lake. Take a family drive through the stunning countryside, and stop by for a picnic at Little River.

6. Haworth

Haworth lies within the Red Slough Wildlife Management Area, a great place to find a vacation rental if you want to walk out your back door into the woods. If your family enjoys hunting, Red Slough is known for its fowl hunting, or you can just take the kids birdwatching.

7. Ringold

Ringold is located on the banks of Pine Creek lake. The small town and semi-private location of the lake gives you plenty of privacy to cut back and relax in nature. Opt for a secluded house on the lake, and spend your time fishing and swimming with the family during the day, and enjoying campfire stories and s’mores at night. If you stay in town, you can launch your boat at one of the day use areas, or go hiking at the Pine Creek State Park.

8. Smithville

Smithville is just north of Broken Bow Lake and Hochatown State Park, and south of Ouachita National Forest. The National Forest contains numerous options for nature enthusiasts, from boating on Lake Ouachita, to hiking the forest, and climbing the hills. Explore nature in a new way by going horseback riding on the Winding Stair Equestrian Trails. Then stop at Old Military Road for a historic take on the area. Hike to Horsetheif Springs for a picnic lunch and cool break. If you really want to educate your children about nature, visit the Kerr Memorial Arboretum for a look at the environment and local ecosystem.

9. Bethel

Bethel’s another small town that conveniently lies next to Hochatown State Park and McCurtain County Wilderness Area and Game Preserve. The area is thick with white-tailed deer and eastern wild turkey, as well as a range of waterfowl. If you’re not into hunting, this area is a great place to spy out the rare bald eagle, which like to nest around Broken Bow Reservoir and Mountain Fork River.