Little girl petting an elephant

Choctaw Country Destinations

How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip

Let’s be real – our lives are busy. Between managing doctors’ appointments, the kids’ sporting events, household chores and the daily grind, it can be difficult to carve out time for an escape. Sometimes, all you have is a day.

We’re here to tell you any day can be more than just a day. As many people have said, “The day is what you make it.” And Choctaw Country is practically brimming with unique ways to make your day.

So, what makes the perfect day trip? First, it must be drivable within a day. Second, it should be affordable. And third, well, it has to be worth the trip.

These are the top three places in Choctaw Country that meet all of these qualifications … and then some.

1. Visit the Elephants

The Endangered Ark Foundation (EAF) in Hugo is a refuge for Asian elephants, a species who have been classified as endangered since the mid-80s. Operating since 1993, the EAF celebrates the beauty of these majestic creatures, offering public tours and private encounters where guests can learn more about the pachyderms, take an “elphie selfie” and even hand-feed an elephant! (Please note, all visits to the sanctuary must be scheduled in advance.)

If you’re searching for an incredible experience for the kiddos, be sure to sign them up for Kids Day Out on June 10. Open to kids ages 6-12, this immersive adventure involves hands-on education about elephants and conservation, team-building games and activities, and lots of summer fun!

2. Experience Choctaw Culture

Just over the Oklahoma/Texas border off Highway 75 lies the Choctaw Cultural Center, offering a unique way to experience the story of what it means to be Choctaw. Your visit will submerge you into Choctaw culture, and all of the senses are invited to participate: see the stunning artifacts, hear the poignant stories, touch certain displays to activate their information, smell the sweet grass wafting overhead and taste the remarkable food. You could even sign up for a class – like the Fry Bread Cooking Workshop or the Feather Mantle Masterclass – for a truly hands-on encounter.

While you’re here, whether you take a guided tour or make your own way through the exhibits, visiting Champuli Café for authentic Choctaw cuisine is a must. If you’ve never had an Indian taco, this is the place to try it.

3. Treat Yourself to a Spa Day

Nothing says “escape” like a spa day, and The Spa at Choctaw Casino & Resort – Durant was designed to make you forget everything you’ve left behind – at least for the day. Lose yourself under the tranquil waterfall in the mineral bath, revitalize your senses with an array of body treatments, luxuriate in the bliss of a soothing massage and rekindle your inner glow with a cleansing facial. You can even go for a complete makeover and get your hair and nails done at the full-service salon.

Even a day of peace and relaxation can work up an appetite. After your pampering, indulge in the amazing food at places like Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen + Bar or 1832 Steakhouse. Or unwind with some popcorn and a movie at The District.