By Christian Toews
From the Aug. 2021 Biskinik
Durant, Oklahoma, “The Magnolia Capital of Oklahoma,” has much more to offer than magnolia trees. Durant boasts a unique combination of small-town charm and luxurious amenities. Holding the title of the largest city in Choctaw Country, it is the home to Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the Headquarters of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. From outdoor activities, excellent food and shopping, the Choctaw Casino Resort, and the Choctaw Cultural Center, you are sure to find something great to eat, somewhere amazing to stay, and something fun to do.
Just 90 minutes north of Dallas, Texas, on highway 75, Durant sits close to the Red River, which feeds Lake Texoma. The lake is one of the largest in the state of Oklahoma and offers numerous recreational activities. From fishing, boat rentals, horse trails, kayaking, swimming, and restaurants on the water’s edge, Lake Texoma has something to offer for everyone. You can find out more information about what Lake Texoma State Park holds at www.laketexoma.com.
Choctaw Casino & Resort – Durant has plenty of ways to relax and recharge if you are craving a luxurious getaway. This world-class resort has a relaxing spa, Jacuzzis, pools with cabanas and swim-up bars, excellent restaurants and a concert venue that brings some of the biggest names in entertainment to Durant. Now is the perfect time to visit the newly expanded property, which features a new 21-story luxury Sky Tower Hotel, an expanded gaming experience, elevated amenities, restaurants, lounges, and entertainment options. If you want more information on what Choctaw Casino Resort has to offer, you can visit choctawcasinos.com.
The new 21-story Sky Tower features 1,000 luxury rooms (traditional king and double beds) and suites, plus hospitality suites. Guestrooms feature modern decor, lavish bedding and spa-like amenities.
There are many new and exciting things in Durant, and the Choctaw Cultural Center is no exception. With over 100,000 square feet of immersive exhibitions, a vast Living Village, classrooms, a theater, a café and retail, the Cultural Center is a fascinating experience. According to its website, the Choctaw Cultural Center is dedicated to exploring, preserving, and showcasing the culture and history of the Choctaw people. The exhibits are immersive and told from the Choctaw perspective – honoring the physical and spiritual journey of the Choctaw people. This makes it an excellent place for kids and adults to explore and learn about the Choctaw people. For more information about The Choctaw Cultural Center, you can visit choctawculturalcenter.com.
Durant has a robust and growing downtown with shopping, unique art, museums and more. Kara Byrd is the Executive Director of Imagine Durant. Byrd says that Durant has a lot to offer.
“There’s truly something for everyone. From the fascinating history to uncover at Fort Washita and Three Valley Museum to the great theatre to be discovered at the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival and Durant’s emerging South Ninth Avenue Arts District,” said Byrd.
According to Byrd, local artists have painted several of the murals around downtown. These photo-worthy locations are a unique addition to your time spent in Downtown Durant.
In addition to art and culture, downtown has unique restaurants and treats. Pick up some pastries and ice-cream at Caked Up, build-your-own pizza at Craft Pies or grab a drink at the Old Icehouse. All of these downtown destinations are conveniently located for visitors.
If it’s shopping you want, Durant has you covered with several boutique options to find that perfect outfit. Pink Door Boutique, Bliss Boutique, Cactus Gypsies and the Trippie Hippie Co. all have a unique and ever-changing selection of fashion.
Byrd invites everyone to come to visit the area.
“Durant is the best of both worlds! We offer the charm of small-town life, with the bright lights and amenities of a bigger city. There’s something for everyone in Durant,” explained Byrd.
With all that Durant offers, now is the time to plan your next trip to this unique Choctaw Country destination. If you would like more information on Durant and the surrounding area, visit www.discoverdurant.com.
With all the excitement from the new Sky Tower at Choctaw Casino & Resort – Durant and the Choctaw Cultural Center, take a break and stop in one of several breweries and wineries Bryan County has to offer! Below is a list of some of our favorite local spots for you to check out!
See What’s Brewing
Harbinger’s Craft Beer
Harbinger Beer Company brings the finest handcrafted beers to Southeast Oklahoma and North Texas! Stop in to try Opera House Coffee inspired Stout; a stout brew with unmodified cold brew coffee from Opera House Coffee in Durant, Okla., or Cat City Kolsch, a German Kolsch style ale brewed in Caddo, Okla.
Lost Street Brewing Company
Durant’s newest brewery, offers a rotating selection of small-batch brews, with a variety of flavors and styles that are sure to suit any palate. Try the Three Valley’s Pale Ale, inspired by the Red River Valley, Blue River Valley and Washita River Valley; all of which run through Bryan County.
Where to Wine Down
Blue River Valley Winery
Have a seat in their exclusive tasting room and receive a cheese plate to pair with your wine selection. Try locally made favorites – from chardonnay and white zinfandel to Rio Rosa sweet blackberry lemon, Bissa Sipokni elderberry and more!
Crystal Creek Winery
Did you know some wines are made from fruits other than grapes! Head to Crystal Creek Winery in Mead, Okla. for samples of locally made wines crafted from apricot, blackberry, elderberry and many more!
In Durant, Okla., there’s no shortage of things to do! Whether you’re looking for the hustle and bustle of the casino floor, the history and culture at the Cultural Center or just want to relax and enjoy a fantastic atmosphere while at a local brewery or winery, we’ve got you covered. Hurry up and Slow Down – there’s so much to do here, a weekend almost isn’t enough time to do it all!