WELCOME TO THE HEART OF AMERICA…
The Sooner State
The Sooner State – Oklahoma’s original settlers evidently knew fine, fertile land when they saw it, and forewarned of the coming government ‘Land Run’ of 1889, they hid out on the land they wanted, so that they would be first to stake a claim. That earned them the tag ‘Sooners’, and the soon-to-be State of Oklahoma adopted the name increasingly over the years. ‘Oklahoma’ is a combination of Choctaw American Indian words meaning ‘red people’ – significant, in that the state is home to no fewer than 39 Native American nations today. Proud peoples who hail from all over the North American continent. Chisholm Trail traverses the state on its way from Fort Worth, TX up to Dodge City, KS, and Oklahoma City’s Stockyards are home to the largest regular working cattle auction in North America – a ‘must visit’ and on our escorted tour itineraries.
Crossroads of Native America Following the migrating buffalo, or driven along the Trail of Tears, the ‘first nations’ arrived in Oklahoma from all over the continent. Today, the 39 tribes headquartered in the state are autonomous and thriving and recounting their stories in fascinating cultural centres, living history villages and museums. Among them are the Chickasaw and Osage peoples – whose homelands are on our escorted tour routes.
Cowboy life – alive and kickin’ Think longhorn cattle ranching, trail-drives, rodeos and cook-outs – not just for
entertainment, but as a way of life. Cowboy life (and music, of course) is alive and kicking throughout Oklahoma. In fact, the famous – and infamous – old
Food for body and soul Live music and hearty food are life essentials in Oklahoma. On our featured tours we’ll learn about the amazing music artists who hail from the state such as Country’s Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith and Blake Shelton, and R&R’s Leon Russell, JJ Cale and many more…We will also sample delicious down home cooking and local beers & wines as prime barbeque, fried chicken and home-baked pie are now joined by a growing ‘farm-to-fork’ and food truck culture and a growing band of micro- breweries and wineries.
Five Fun Facts about Oklahoma!
1. Home to the original & longest driveable stretch of Route 66 at 400+ miles
2. This stretch of the Mother Road includes 2 great cities – Oklahoma City & Tulsa
3. Headquarters of 39 vibrant Native American nations
4. Cowboy life is alive and kickin’ in Oklahoma, from cattle ranches to rodeos
5. Music of all genres & down-home Food are big news in today’s Oklahoma
The mother of all road trips!
● Arcadia Unique Round Barn & POPS diner and soda ranch (700+ flavours)
● Warwick Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum (100+ bikes and vintage toys)
● Chandler Route 66 Interpretive Center (quirky exhibits & historic videos)
● Stroud Legendary ‘Rock Cafe’ (for fans of the ‘Cars’ movies)
● Tulsa Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza (honouring the ‘father of Route 66’)
● Claremore Will Rogers Memorial Museum (the cowboy philosopher & icon)
OKC – full of surprises! Truly a city of interwoven districts, Oklahoma City is full of surprises. Downtown, Bricktown, Midtown and the Riverside districts are connected by a new tram service and offer a huge variety of music, dining, shopping and cultural experiences. You can even ‘shoot the rapids’ in the Boathouse district, or sit in on a longhorn cattle auction at Stockyards City. Western history, art and life are brilliantly exhibited in OKC’s world-class National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. The city’s heroic recovery from the trauma of the 1995 bombing is poignantly commemorated in its downtown National Memorial & Museum.
Coming Attraction: Planned to open Autumn ‘21 – FAM – First Americans Museum at the Oklahoma River downtown is a stunning complex featuring the 39 OK-based tribes
Tulsa rocks! Tulsa’s music pedigree grows by the day, as you would expect from the home of JJ Cale, Leon
Russell and a galaxy of music stars of all genres. This eminently walkable city, with its central Arts District – home to legendary Cain’s Ballroom, and the Woody Guthrie Center – hosts regular concerts at Guthrie Green. It has an eclectic mix of contemporary art galleries, cafes, micro-breweries, upscale restaurants and a growing food-truck culture. Coming Attractions: Planned to open Autumn ‘21 – Bob Dylan Center (archive); OK POP (Museum of popular music); Church Studios (originally owned by Leon Russell)
Pawhuska – the Pioneer story brought to life Located north of Tulsa, Pawhuska’s history exemplifies the pioneer spirit. Set in the largest expanse of unsullied tallgrass prairie on earth; home to one of America’s largest bison herds, and headquarters of the Osage Native American tribe, this vibrant, friendly, fascinating town is also home to television’s ‘Pioneer Woman’ – rancher, blogger, food presenter and entrepreneur Ree Drummond. Ree’s ‘Mercantile’ and eating places draw visitors from around the world, including Travelling
Time’s escorted tour guests!
Tishomingo – home of a Country Legend A lively and historic southern Oklahoma country town, named for a Chickasaw Nation chief of old, Tishomingo today is a ‘country town’ in a whole new way. It’s the home of Country music legend Blake Shelton, whose vision of attracting new musical talent there led him to open the first of his ‘Ole Red’ live music and food venues right on ‘Main Street’. The community has never looked back, and it’s now a ‘must visit’ for road trippers exploring Chickasaw country, in search of a genuine Western vibe… and an ‘open mic’ session or two.
Sulphur and the Chickasaw Nation Of the 39 Native American tribes in Oklahoma, arguably none have poured more heart, soul and ingenuity into telling their story in the most accessible way than the Chickasaw Nation. The fascinating and poignant Chickasaw Cultural Center, with its living history village; National Recreation Area and a host of associated Museums and sights, clustered around Sulphur, Tishomingo and Duncan in south-central Oklahoma, are more than memorable – as our road trip guests will discover.
Route 66 – the Mother Road An idea born in Tulsa, to visionary businessman Cyrus Avery in the 1920’s – Oklahoma’s stretch of Route 66 is rich with iconic and quirky attractions and mementos; more than 90
worthy of a visit or a ‘selfie’. From original diners to vintage motels; quirky stores to intriguing museums, this 400+ miles is alive with history, sights and fun, and the old route runs right through Tulsa and Oklahoma City, so it’s easily accessible. The stretch between the two cities features in each of our five escorted music tours, and it’s an experience to remember!
Route 66 – born in Oklahoma It’s tough to single out even a few of the 90+ attractions to be encountered and relished on Oklahoma’s 400-plus miles of Route 66 – but here are some prime attractions for a possible visit when you’re ‘on the road’ with Travelling Time:
● Elk City National Route 66 Museum & Old Town Complex
● Clinton Oklahoma Route 66 Museum; Cherokee Trading Post & Boot Outlet
● Weatherford Lucille’s Roadhouse – Route 66 diner & the historic service station
● Oklahoma City American Banjo Museum (world’s largest display of banjos)