Happy National Travel and Tourism Week (May 7-13 this year)! National Travel and Tourism Week highlights travel and tourism all over the country, including Indian Country.
Chickasaw Country, which encompasses 7,600 square miles and includes 13 counties in south-central Oklahoma, is rich in Chickasaw culture and history. Chickasaw Country is sprawling with fun things to see and do at every turn. You can spend days going through all of the family attractions, galleries, art markets, wineries, resorts, casinos, and eateries.
Here is our guide for traveling to and exploring the Chickasaw Nation this summer, broken down by where to stay, what to do, where to eat, and even family fun picks.
Where to Stay
Smack dab in the middle of Chickasaw Nation, the Chickasaw Retreat & Conference Center sits in between the beautiful Arbuckle Lake and the Arbuckle Mountains and is surrounded by a panorama of rolling hills, sparkling blue waters and lush greenery. The retreat is also located near major tourist destinations such as the Chickasaw Cultural Center, Bedré Fine Chocolate, Turner Falls Park and the Artesian Hotel, Casino and Spa, and more.
Bed & Breakfast: Shiloh Morning Inn
As a guest here, you can explore the great outdoors by taking a leisurely walk on the property’s trails, relaxing in a hammock, wildlife viewing or enjoying a picnic on one of the park benches. You will also be treated to a gourmet, 3-course breakfast featuring menu items like Chicken Ala King Crepes and Tropical Fruit Belgium Waffles. The inn is also conveniently located near local shops, restaurants and popular attractions like Lake Murray State Park. With so many thoughtful amenities and luxurious comforts, you’ll be amazed by the hospitality, convenience, and charm during your stay at the Shiloh Morning Inn.
What to Do
Chokma’si Gallery in Ada, Oklahoma is a Chickasaw Nation-owned art gallery that features authentic artwork by renowned Chickasaw artists. The gallery also features a fine retail area promoting unique handmade gifts like jewelry, pottery, sculptures, photography, prints and textiles. The gallery also teaches the gallery visitors about Chickasaw and Southeastern art.
Discover the culture and heritage of the Chickasaw people at the Chickasaw Cultural Center which sits on 184 acres of rolling hills and streams. The Chickasaw Cultural Center is dedicated to sharing and celebrating the Chickasaw history and culture through demonstrations and community outreach activities.
Where to Eat
At the Aaimpa’ (“a place to eat” in Chickasaw) Café, which is also located in the Chickasaw Cultural Center, you can taste Chickasaw cuisine such as pishofa, a traditional Chickasaw corn soup, and grape dumplings, a classic dessert. In addition to the Chickasaw staples are American Indian favorites such as fry bread, Indian tacos, buffalo burgers and chili. It’s also worth highlighting that the cafe prepares their food with fresh vegetables grown in the center’s Spiral Garden, so each dish is freshly made.
Chickasaw National Recreation Center is a vast destination, offering a huge park you can hike, camp, swim and fish at. You can also walk through a lush paradise of flora, fauna, and forest. You can swim in crystal clear water at the Lake of the Arbuckles or visit the interactive learning area at Travertine Creek & Travertine Nature Center.
The Chikasha Poya Exhibit Center at the Chickasaw Cultural Center features an array of interactive exhibits such as the Spirit Forest, which is alive with light, color and sound; or witness the stomp dance demonstration displayed in an interactive, 360-degree format. Each stop at this exhibit center showcases Chickasaw pride, passion, and culture with guests.
Plan out your trips, view itineraries and explore more places on the Chickasaw Nation on their tourism website here.