Chickasha is a beautiful historic city booming with culture, entertainment and unique attractions. It's just a quick 40-minute drive from Oklahoma City and Norman! Imagine stumbling upon a charming little town that seems oddly perfect – friendly locals, breathtaking landscapes, historical character, phenomenal local food and unique places to see. There's just something so magical and rejuvenating about visiting a small town. Chickasaw Country is a treasure chest full of small-town gems nestled all over our native lands. Treat yourself to a refreshing trip in one of our most cherished small towns – Chickasha, Oklahoma!
What to Do
Stroll through the historic downtown and shop at one of the favorite local boutiques, such as Perrefitte, Wing T's, or Okie Mountain Trading Co., where most of the store products are made locally. Then, hit up an area attraction or activity of your liking. For the history buff, check out the Grady County Historical Society Museum. For the active traveler, visit the historic Shannon Springs Park. This spring-fed lake features ADA-accessible walking paths, an agility course, a splash pad, a public swimming pool, picnic pavilions and an amphitheater. Then, top your day with an entertaining evening performance by the Chickasha Community Theatre at the downtown Washita Theater or cruise to a drive-in movie at the nearby Chief Drive-In Theater. Muscle Car Ranch is an excellent stop for vintage car fans. The first 30 acres of the Muscle Car Ranch features a neon and porcelain sign museum. Other attractions include open-air displays of rare muscle cars and bikes, automotive folk art, and oil and gas memorabilia. The property consists of the Trailboss Amphitheater.
When meandering around town, don't forget to ask one of the locals about exciting events that may be going on in Chickasha during your visit! December is a wonderful time to be in Chickasha as the sparkling spirits of the community are dedicated to spreading holiday cheer to locals and travelers at their Annual Festival of Light award-winning lighting display. Spanning over 4 miles in Shannon Springs Park and showcasing over 4 million lights, this nationally recognized event brings approximately 300,000 people to the area during Christmas.
Don't forget to stop by the Chickasha Leg Lamp! A 50-foot-tall version of the iconic leg lamp featured in the classic film "A Christmas Story" is now displayed in the downtown area year-round. The statue boasts a black high heel and a fringed fiberglass lampshade atop a 10-foot crate marked "fragile."
In the spring, art lovers gather in Chickasha to celebrate the annual Montmartre Chalk Art Festival at The University of Science and Arts. These Oklahoma artists obviously do not confine their work to the walls – they take their creativity to the streets and sidewalks! For car enthusiasts, Chickasha hosts two annual Auto Swap Meets throughout the year, considered one of the world's largest swap meets. Looking for a fun fall activity? Visit in October for the Rock Island Arts Festival or the Oklahoma Food Truck Championship.
Where to Eat
Be sure to stop in and try several dining venues in Chickasha, as it is home to a paradise of local eateries and restaurants serving up heavenly entrees and signature sides – all with generous portions and great prices. Try fried green beans and mouthwatering barbecue at Jake's Rib, sizzling Tex-Mex at La Fiesta, or an old-fashioned fried onion burger at Paw Paw's Hamburgers.
Where to Stay
Complete your stay at one of the area's relaxing lodging accommodations or go rustic and camp in the great outdoors at Lake Chickasha or the Time Out RV Park.
With a deep connection to First American culture, Chickasha is the Choctaw word for Chickasaw. The locals of Chickasha take great pride in preserving their heritage and enriching the community through art and events highlighting the unique town.
The town site was founded on the rolling prairie lands of Oklahoma, originally inhabited by Indian Tribes and herds of stampeding buffalo. The name "Chickasha" allegedly derived from the Indian word meaning 'rebel' coined after the famous exclamation, "Hamonockma, ikia, ahhiska Chickasha!" meaning "Halt, follow them not, they are rebels," made by the principal chief during the separation of the Chickasaw/Choctaw brothers on the Trail of Tears. The land was originally allotted to a Chickasaw Indian named Annie and her husband, James L. Speed. The couple eventually sold their allotment to a town company, and the town of Chickasha was established in 1892 as a whistle-stop on the Rock Island Railroad for a couple of months. The arrival of other railroads and highway development set this small shack town up for pioneering success. In 1900, it had a population of over 6,000, three times larger than Tulsa and thus, became known as the "Queen of the Washita Valley." Since then, Chickasha has grown into a population of over 16,000 and, due to its prosperous development, sits deservingly as the county seat of Grady County.
The architecture alone is a great reason to visit the area. Several buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Grady County Courthouse, Griffin House, New Hope Baptist Church and the US Post Office and Federal Courthouse.