Autumn Adventures: Girlfriend Getaway in Chickasaw Country
If you are looking for a weekend escape that involves gorgeous scenery, shopping, history, and a little relaxation, Chickasaw Country is the place to go. In the fall, the leaves start to change and there is a crisp chill in the air, making it not only a romantic destination, but one that’s perfect for a quick trip with friends. Here are some of the best things to do on a girlfriend getaway in Chickasaw Country.
1. Savoring the Flavors at Taste of Ada
The first stop has to be the Taste of Ada event hosted by Waddell Vineyards. Here you can sample local culinary delights while listening to live music in a stunning vineyard setting. The annual event is a fundraiser for the AAC (Ada Arts Council) with funds raised through a silent auction with works donated by local artists. Grab some grub, enjoy a glass of wine, and listen to some live music to get the weekend started.
2. Trekking in Chickasaw National Recreation Area
If you haven’t made the time to explore Chickasaw National Recreation Area, you are missing out. The area is close to 10,000 acres and spans from the Travertine Nature Center to Lake of the Arbuckles. There are several trail options perfect for a quick hike, but we would recommend the following:
- Veteran’s Trail - to see the resident bison herd
- Antelope Springs and Buffalo Springs - near the Travertine Nature Center, easy hikes with water features
- Little Niagara Falls - not quite the original, but a beautiful waterfall area for photos
- Pavilion Springs - be sure to bring water bottles so you can sample the water from natural springs
If you are looking for a great sunset spot, be sure to head to Bromide Hill just before sundown.
3. Immersive History at the Chickasaw Cultural Center
The Chickasaw Cultural Center needs to be at the top of your must-visit list. Covering 184 acres, this center provides an insightful journey into the rich history and traditions of the Chickasaw people. Plan on spending at least 2 to 3 hours here.
Start at the Chikasa Poya Exhibit Center which offers a movie with a brief overview of the tribe’s history, a Spirit Forest, cultural artifacts, and a somber Removal Corridor. It is extremely well done and worth the time.
Next, head outside to the Traditional Village which is an historical recreation of a Chickasaw village. The massive area includes a stickball field, gardens, a Council House, summer and winter houses, and a replica mound. You can find the stomp dance performance here if the weather is nice.
Don’t miss the views overlooking the village at the Aba' Aanowa' Sky Pavilion and allow time to walk to the lnkana' Bridge over the river (it connects with the Chickasaw National Recreation Area). If you get hungry, be sure to stop at the Aaimpa' Cafe which serves traditional Chickasaw dishes like pashofa, grape dumplings, and homemade fried bread.
4. Spend the day in Tishomingo
The town of Tishomingo has a little bit of everything. Be sure to include a stop in your weekend itinerary. Start with a treatment at Spa 211 in the heart of the downtown. Everyone in the group can choose their service and come away feeling relaxed and ready to tackle an afternoon of shopping.
However, we do recommend grabbing a bite to eat before you head out. Stop at The Old Red, a restaurant owned by country super star Blake Shelton. If anyone in the group is a fan, this is where to buy all the merchandise. The restaurant has live music, a fun country vibe, and some of the tastiest food in the area.
With full bellies it’s time to head out to the stores. Some of our favorites are Kedford Boutique, Home Decor and Cafe, and Junk Stars. If anyone needs a sweet treat, they make a tasty cookie at Home Decor and Cafe (just saying).
5. Harvest Fest at the Chickasaw White House
With a little bit of effort you can time your visit to coincide with Harvest Fest at the historical Chickasaw White House. This was the location for many important events in Chickasaw Country. Chickasaw Governor Douglas H. Johnston and his family made it their home from 1895 to the 1970s.
Today the Chickasaw White House represents the Chickasaw people and their history. If you visit during their annual Harvest Fest you can take a hayride around the property, try your hand at yard games and stickball, and enjoy live music.
6. Partake in some Paranormal Activity at Flower Bluff Manor in Sulphur
I’m not sure when this is available, but rumors have it Flower Bluff Manor in Sulphur has quite a bit of paranormal activity. If you have the opportunity, we highly recommend booking a ghost tour at Flower Bluff Manor. There were several questionable ghostly encounters, but the ambiance and fun made for one unforgettable evening.
7. Majestic Views from Tucker Tower
Head to Lake Murray State Park for more outdoor fun. This recreation area spans over 12,000 acres and is the site of year-round outdoor activities.
Don’t miss a stop at Tucker Tower in Lake Murray State Park. Inside the tower you will find historical insights about the construction of the park and tower, but the highlight is the panoramic views of the fall landscape surrounding the lake.
Where to Stay on Your Chickasaw Country Girlfriend Getaway
The Artesian Hotel, Casino, & Spa is the perfect accommodation for a girlfriend getaway. Rooms are spacious and comfortable and there are many amenities to enjoy.
The property is a reconstruction of the original building that sat on this site. Opened in the early 19th century, there was a fire in 1962 and the property was never the same. It was rebuilt and the new hotel opened in 2013.
Don’t miss a chance to enjoy the hotel’s pool and bathhouse, fitness center, casino, and spa. You can grab drinks at The Fountain Club, coffee and breakfast at Bedré Cafe, and dinner at the Springs at the Artesian which has lovely views of the town and surrounding countryside.
A fall weekend in Chickasaw Country with friends might just be one of the best trips you take all year. As you can see, it’s the perfect mix of nature, culture, shopping, and dining, which are all essential elements for any good getaway. This is one destination you will all be talking about for years to come.