By Amanda McCarty
After slogging through months of cold and darkness, we can’t help but anticipate the return of spring. Our bodies seem to be hypersensitive to the gradual transition as the days unfold their hours like petals of light, bringing with them the hint of warmth in the air that coaxes the trees to once again dress themselves in green.
Yes, it is February. But I think now is the perfect time to bring our cabin-fever fantasies to life and start planning our escape. In keeping with the Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared.”
This Spring Break, I’m preparing to escape to the open road. There’s nothing quite as freeing as the wind in my hair, the gentle warmth of the early spring sun on my cheeks and my favorite road-trip playlist cranked to max volume.
You may (or may not) be surprised to find the keys to a memorable road trip along the asphalt corridors snaking their way throughout Choctaw Country. The winding tarmac beckons us to make our own adventures . . . to find our own happiness.
Here are a few destinations worthy of being added to your route:
1. Choctaw Cultural Center | Durant
If museums aren’t typically your thing, hear me out – because you’d be remiss to leave this amazing destination off your travel route. This isn’t your average, sterile hallway full of relics. It’s a fully immersive way to experience the story of the Choctaw people, and all the senses are invited to the party.
2. Robbers Cave State Park | Wilburton
Ever heard of Jesse James? Of course you have. But did you know one of his favorite hideaways was in the stony crevices of the Oklahoma wilderness? The infamous cave he often called home is still there, just on the other side of a steep climb, along with many other caverns and trails just waiting for those brave enough to discover their secrets.
3. Talimena National Scenic Byway | Talihina
What would a road trip be without gorgeous scenery? Full of serpentine curves, lush foliage and stunning views of the Winding Stair Mountains, it’s no wonder this byway has been ranked #1 in Oklahoma. Peppered with historic towns and scenic turnouts, this is a part of the trip where you won’t be able to put down the camera.
4. Heavener Runestone Park | Heavener
You don’t have to travel overseas to explore an authentic glimpse into Viking history. No one is quite sure how or why, but somehow the legendary men of the northern seas found their boots on Oklahoma soil. The evidence of their passage – eight runes deliberately carved into sandstone – is worth seeing with your own eyes.
5. The Hochatown Experience | Hochatown
You’ll often hear people gushing over all the fun they had in “Broken Bow,” but what they’re usually referring to is Hochatown – a buzzing, picturesque town along the shores of Broken Bow Lake. Sample a perfectly crafted flight at Mountain Fork Brewery, “spill the tea” with your bestie at Girls Gone Wine, grab a slice and jam out to live music at Grateful Head or make your way through The Maze at Hochatown. It’s a one-stop shop for fun and entertainment.