Boy swimming under water in The Artesian Hotel Pool
777 Zipline
Stand-up Paddleboarding at Lake Murray
Hiking at Lake Murray

Summer Trips in Chickasaw Country

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Can you feel it? Summer is right around the corner. If you’re ready for warm weather and the kiddos are anxious for the final school bell, read this blog for a guide to summer planning. Summer is the PERFECT time to explore south-central Oklahoma. From swimming at Turner Falls to exploring a local art gallery, the options for summertime fun are endless in Chickasaw Country.

Read below to find step-by-step guides to a fantastic summer vacation!

For the Naturalist 

If you are ready to take in the summer sun and explore the great outdoors, this trip is for you! This is a two or three-day trip in Davis and Sulphur, Oklahoma.

People gather at Turner Falls in Davis

  1. Start your trip by taking Exit 51 on I-35 to explore Oklahoma’s largest waterfall – Turner Falls. You can hike, picnic, swim and even camp. Don’t forget to explore the caves around the falls and Collings Castle. 
  2. While you’re exploring Turner Falls, don’t forget to see the waterfall from a different POV on the 777 Zipline. This is a perfect activity for all ages because of the easy accessibility to ride.
  3. After spending the day swimming and hiking, relax only a few miles away at the Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center. Enjoy a comfy bed, some TV time and breakfast in the morning. If you didn’t swim enough at Turner Falls, take a dive in the Olympic-sized pool. 
  4. End your trip with a day at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur. Take a hike up Bromide Hill, swim at the Little Niagara and take a picture of the bison herd at Bison Viewpoint. 

For the Culture Seeker 

Oklahoma is home to fascinating history and culture. Spend your summer exploring our state with a two-day stay in Sulphur and Tishomingo. These small towns are chock full of charm and history! 

Family on a summer day trip in Chickasaw Country

  1. The Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur is a world-class museum dedicated to the history and culture of the Chickasaw people. You can spend hours or even an entire day exploring the exhibits, visiting the Traditional Village, participating in a Chickasaw stomp dance and eating traditional Chickasaw food in the Aaimpa’ Café. 
  2. After spending the day at the cultural center, spend the night only a few miles away at the Artesian Hotel in downtown Sulphur. You can eat dinner in The Springs and relax in the bathhouse. 
  3. Spend the next day in Tishomingo (only 30 minutes from Sulphur) exploring the Chickasaw Nation Capitol and the Chickasaw Bank Museum. Both of these buildings were important pieces of history in the early 1900s and now serve as museums. 

For the Family Planner

Want to plan a summer trip perfect for the kids in your family? We’ve got you covered in Oklahoma’s Chickasaw Country! We think this one or two day-trip around Ardmore is just what you’re looking for. 

Oklahoma destination for family summer trips at Lake Murray

  1. Start your trip by playing in the water at Lake Murray Water Sports. This place has it all – waterslides, water trampolines, boats and paddle boards. Spend hours playing in the water and then head over to the snow cone stand only a few feet away!
  2. After spending the day outside, spend the night at the Lake Murray Lodge. The lodge is only a few feet from the water sports and has cozy rooms with beautiful views of the lake. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the Blue Heron Restaurant attached to the lodge. 
  3. After a relaxing evening at the lodge, drive into Ardmore (only about 10 minutes away) and let the kids run off their energy at Urban Air Adventure Park. They will love jumping on the trampolines!

For more information about Lake Murray State Park and Ardmore: /regions/southeast/ardmore.

For the Artsy Soul 

When the weather gets HOT, it’s ok to head indoors. A one or two-day trip to Ada is the perfect way to chill out!

Chokma'si Gallery exterior
  1. Interested in the gallery scene? Take a trip to the Chokma’si Gallery in Ada. This one-of-a-kind gallery features authentic works of art by Chickasaw artists. 
  2. Down the road from the Chokma’si Gallery is the Ada Arts and Heritage Center. This building was built in 1939 as the Ada Public Library, but now serves as a museum which many different art displays. 
  3. While you’re in Ada, don’t forget to check out the murals decorating buildings around town, including the one above in the Ada Arts District
  4. Take a break and relax at the Aldridge Coffee Shop downtown. This is a great place to grab a cup of joe and catch up on your summer reading list. 
  5. Spend your evening watching a show at the historical McSwain Theatre in downtown Ada. Built in 1920, the theater is a local, much-loved landmark home to many famous acts including Blake Shelton. 

For more information about Ada and places to stay around Ada: /regions/northeast/ada

Good luck planning! We hope you have a great time exploring Chickasaw Country this summer. Remember to use #VisitChickasaw to tag us in your photos.