We have all been there. Perhaps an unplanned three day weekend rolls around, or maybe your employer is demanding that you use those vacation hours—and it’s time to hit the road. Maybe you are really needing a getaway, but you’re a little low on cash. Have you ever looked for a vacation in your own home state? Oklahoma is home to unique tourist destinations not to be found anywhere else in this world. Over the next few months I will be visiting Oklahoma’s top travel locations while revealing tips and tricks along the way, giving you the best advice in lodging and dining services. In Oklahoma, we are blessed to get a gratifying getaway for pennies on the dollar; here, seventy five miles across the state may mean passing through two different climate zones.
Oklahoma is sectioned into to many different zones–we have desert, wetlands, mountains and waterfalls. According to TravelOk.com, Oklahoma is home to 35 national parks, over 200 lakes and a little over 55,000 miles of shoreline, and four primary mountain ranges.
Those who have never visited Medicine Park will find this tiny mountain town booming on the weekends, particularly during warm weather months. It is located just north of Lawton, Oklahoma, in Southwest Oklahoma. The town is inadvertently cute, now hopping with specialty shops and restaurants. The original cobblestone buildings that serve as a reminder of FDR and the work that the CCC did in the area are still occupied today, most of them serve as lodging for tourists or serve as homes to the residents of the area.
I took my first retreat in Medicine Park, Oklahoma, partially because I was already fairly familiar with the area. Medicine Park was founded in 1908 as Oklahoma’s first planned resort community, with a current population of a whopping 380 people. Stories of Jesse James, Bonnie and Clyde, and other Wild West outlaws float through the tiny town like an invisible ghosts rustling the trees on a light, windy day. I was born and raised within thirty miles of this quaint mountain town, I am a frequent visitor and avid hiker; I considered myself very well educated on the area until one night I needed lodging.
Like many would do, I asked a friend, “Where should I stay?” Being so close to my home, I had never considered renting a cabin and staying the weekend in this gorgeous mountain town. She referred me to Medicine Park Rentals, where anywhere from eight to thirteen properties can be rented.The majority of the cabins may be rented by the day, month, or week. Some offer extended stay options for monthly rentals, discounts for seniors, Active Duty Military Personnel and a business traveler discount for stays during the week. Prices range anywhere from $115-$170 a night. I booked a cottage on on a Friday afternoon for Saturday day and night. , there were three cabins available, and my significant other and I chose “The Enchanted Cabin”, a small cobblestone house atop a hill in medicine park.
Upon arrival, I met with the property manager and she led us to the cabin. Before I was even out of the car I began exclaiming loudly all of the features that I noticed right away. A west porch with lightly rusted metal furniture perfectly positioned to watch the sunset was the first thing that I noticed
Then an outdoor fireplace adorned with Native American decor and modern patio furniture immediately stole my attention.
My favorite feature: the option of solitude.
This particular cabin is atop a hill, about a quarter of a mile (or less depending on your destination) from Medicine Park’s unique shopping experience, the historic Old Plantation Restaurant and Inn, Medicine Park Music Hall, the recently built outdoor stage and great local bars like The Park Tavern. This particular bar has been open as long as I have been alive and for generations before. The locals, “Parkies” as they are sometimes called, love tourists; but you also better be ready to chat it up, tell them where you came from, and make some new friends. To quote Ali Harter, “Man, I wanna be a Parkie so bad.” She performs at The Park Tavern every now in then, if you’re lucky you might be able to catch her in her own element.
I don’t blame her. The people there are welcoming and so much fun to spend time with. Entertainment is their main game, and beautiful housing areas, such as Big Rock, are attracting a new demographic, but they all share the same heart felt Oklahoma values, and they understand the historic importance of the area.
The cottage was cozy, rustic yet modern, about 800 square feet with a front sitting room that opened into a studio style layout, furnished with a comfortable bed, energy efficient front loading washer and dryer-
A space saving kitchen and a beautiful, clean bathroom. The kitchen was fully stocked with dishware and offered complimentary coffee, and the bathroom was full of clean, white linens.
It had a fantasy feel, warm and inviting, like the whole cabin was put there just for us. For a day, we could pretend that we lived in a cool mountain town.
The front sitting room is surrounded with large pane windows that have reflective tint, offering you privacy with a view. Complete with a day bed and pull out trundle, the cabin could easily sleep four.
I spent most of my stay at the outdoor fireplace. There was sufficient shade during the day, and a crystal clear view of the stars above at night.
The sunsets here are like nowhere else.
It’s also a great time to take a shower.
If you are looking for outdoor recreation or just a relaxing weekend, this area will offer both. We spent the next day hiking in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, home to over 800 plant species, 240 species of birds, more than 30 fish, and over 60 reptiles and amphibians are present. The Wichitas are approximately 500 million years old, and cover over 22,000 acres. Bison, elk, Texas longhorns and prairie dogs are often sighted on a drive through the refuge—take a hike to get close to the lizards and amphibious reptiles that also inhabit the area.
I am anxiously awaiting my next stay in Medicine Park, though I am also ready to get out and see some parts of the state that I am not so familiar with. I plan on staying in the “Bonnie and Clyde” cabin next, it is rumored that the famous outlaw couple once lodged there on their way through the active mountain town.
Plan your own stay by visiting www.medicineparkrentals.com or by calling 580-284-3580.