Take I-44 from one corner of the state of Oklahoma to the other, and see all the sights, hear all the sounds, and taste all the food the Sooner State has to offer.
Oklahoma is the birthplace and childhood home of tons of famous American icons, like Mickey Mantle. The baseball great learned how to bat and play catch in the yard of this humble house just off old Route 66. They're still in the process of restoring it to re-open it, but for now, it remains a quiet and humble little side-trip off a backroad in a quaint little Oklahoma town.
915 North Main Street, Miami, OK, US
Oklahoma means Route 66, and Route 66 means diners with great neon signage. Waylan's Kuku Burger is a total classic. It gets its name from this giant cuckoo bird on the sign, which stands over you as you enjoy crispy fries, grilled-to-perfection burger, soft serve ice cream, and a healthy dose of nostalgia.
1720 W Will Rogers Blvd, Claremore, OK, US
Another Oklahoma icon is Will Rogers. The cowboy comedian, writer, and vaudeville performer. Known for his razor sharp wit, he was one of the most beloved stars of the 1920s and 1930s. He died fairly young in a plane crash, but his memory hasn't faded from Oklahoma. There's a massive museum dedicated to him in Claremore, along with his final resting place.
1324 S Main St, Tulsa, OK, US
Oklahoma isn't all cowboys and kitsch, though. A stay at the Hotel Ambassador in Tulsa is proof! It's in a historic building, and each room (there are only 7 per floor) is slightly different... they all, of course, combine old-school opulence with modern convenience to perfection, though! Chalkboard, the onsite restaurant, is pretty stellar as well.
3313 S Peoria Ave, Tulsa, OK, US
But, of course, some of the best places in Oklahoma are the most unassuming. Take, for example, Brookside By Day. This casual eatery serves up killer breakfasts, delicious burgers and sandwiches, and drinks at the sports bar, where you mingle with the locals.
1521 Oklahoma 99, Stroud, OK, US
Oklahoma is also a great place to grow both cattle and grapes. Make the most of their two crops at Territory Cellars, a steakhouse surrounded by vineyards. The setting is serene, the wine selection is top notch, and the entrees, sides, and desserts are all excellent. Seriously, save room for bread pudding. You won't regret it.
2300 N Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK, US
While you're driving through Oklahoma City, make sure to stop by their stunning Capitol Building. Have a volunteer take you on a guided tour through, or just visit on your own and soak it all in.
3854 Hwy 81, Ninnekah, OK, US
Drive-in theaters are becoming more and more of a rarity across the country, but nostalgia is keeping many, like Chief Drive-In, not just alive, but thriving. Seriously, does anything sound more enchanting than a cheap double feature under a blanket of Oklahoma's stars?
437 Quanah Rd, Lawton, OK, US
Fort Sill was a stronghold for the US Army in the frontier land of Oklahoma from the 1830s until the 1920s. Today, a museum stands in the fort's place to commemorate all of the events that occurred here. Wagons, Native American grass houses, a replica trading post, and loads of exhibits and artifacts can be found here, and makes this a great place to spend an afternoon.
601 NW Ferris Ave, Lawton, OK, US
If you have kids, a stop at the Museum of the Great Plains is a must. Dedicated to the human history of the plains, you'll find art, artifacts, hands-on activities for kids, and even replica buildings like a trading post and a schoolhouse. Budget plenty of time to explore, or just snap a picture of the bison out front!
End your trip through Oklahoma by leaving the plains for the Wichita Mountains at this Wildlife Refuge. Scenic drives, hiking trails, and more can be explored here at the oldest managed wildlife facility in the country!
Wherever you decide to stop along I-44, Oklahoma offers plenty to see and do. Just because you're in the Great Plains doesn't mean the state is plain!