Experience History and Culture in Chickasaw Country
Discover the culture and heritage of Chickasaw Country with this two-day itinerary. No matter the time of year, visitors will be in awe at the Western and First American history these 7,648 square miles hold. The northwest region of Chickasaw Country brings a wealth of Western culture with the famed Chisholm Trail's history, the Marlow brothers' dark past and the pioneer life of the 1800s. The Southeast region of Chickasaw Country gives a comprehensive account of the Chickasaw people and their forced removal and subsequent migration in the mid-1800s to south-central Oklahoma.
Day 1 - Western Culture
Giddy Up at The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center - Located in Duncan, this museum is dedicated to the history of the historic Chisholm Trail that led cattle from south Texas to northern states. It played a significant role in the development of the American West, driving millions of cattle through Oklahoma between 1867 to 1877. Check out the highly regarded Garis Gallery of the American West and learn about the Western lifestyle in interactive exhibits.
Visit the “Jewel” of Duncan at Foreman Prairie House Historic Site - Built by W.T. Foreman, this architecturally and historically significant 1918 brick home offers a look into the early Oklahoma lifestyle with period decor and historical information throughout. Located in Duncan, this house is one of the earliest examples of Prairie Style School of Architecture, made famous by architect Frank Lloyd Wright and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Step Back To Pioneer Life at The Stephens County Historical Museum - Also in Duncan, this museum offers authentic room vignettes filled with treasured antiques, memorabilia, early-day photography, music, crafts, Indian lore, farming machines and many more artifacts depicting a simpler time. The extensive First American heritage display features an original habitat setting with an exceptional arrowhead collection.
Eat Like An Italian In Marlow at Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant - Take a short 17-minute drive to eat lunch at Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant. This family-owned and operated restaurant is located in the historic 1911 State National Bank building. They serve all of the Italian classics like manicotti, lasagna, ravioli and authentic Italian bakes. Save room for one of their delicious desserts like the tiramisu or Reese’s peanut butter cheesecake.
Live Like An Outlaw in Marlow: Home of the Marlow Outlaw Brothers - Head 10 miles north of Duncan to Marlow, a quaint city with a lot of history. Once the hideout of the legendary outlaw Marlow brothers, there’s information about them all over the town, including the cave where they hid from law enforcement. Learn more about the brothers at the Marlow Area Museum and see murals throughout Marlow.
Day 2 - First American History
Immerse Yourself in First American Art at The ARTesian Gallery & Studios - Located in downtown Sulphur (A seven-minute drive from the Chickasaw Cultural Center), this space is designed to assist and promote Chickasaw and other First American artists. The gallery area provides an excellent venue for artists to display and market their work, and visitors can shop for supplies for creating all types of art, from high-quality paintbrushes and watercolors to crayons and coloring books. Traditional and contemporary jewelry, books, music and more created by Chickasaw and First American artists are also available in the retail shop.
Learn About the Chickasaw people at The Renowned Chickasaw Cultural Center - For a lesson on the history and heritage of the Chickasaw Nation, visit the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur. Watch the story of the Chickasaw people unfold before your eyes through powerful performances, demonstrations, collections and exhibits at one of the largest and most comprehensive tribal cultural centers in the United States.
Eat A Traditional Chickasaw Dish at Aaimpa’ Cafe - You don’t even have to leave the Chickasaw Cultural Center to enjoy a nice lunch. The newly renovated cafe serves traditional First American food like fry bread, buffalo burgers, venison stew, Indian tacos, salmon, pulled pork stacks, pashofa, a traditional Chickasaw corn soup and grape dumplings.
Visit a Historic House Inside a Museum at The Chickasaw Council House Museum - Make your way to Tishomingo to visit the rich First American past at the first Chickasaw Council House built in Indian Territory. This building is preserved inside the museum along with a beautiful collection of pottery, jewelry, beadwork, artifacts, Chickasaw artwork and archives. The Chickasaw Council House Museum is located on Capitol Square in Tishomingo next to the Chickasaw National Capitol.
Get a History Lesson at The Chickasaw Nation Capitol - Right next door to the Chickasaw Council House Museum is the 8,000 square foot Chickasaw Nation Capitol, built utilizing Victorian, gothic style architecture. Built in 1898, this Capitol building served as the seat of the Chickasaw government until Oklahoma statehood in 1906. Today, the capitol building is a museum and a reminder that the Chickasaw people fought for their tribal identity and independence.
Discover a Former U.S. Military Post at Fort Washita Historic Site & Museum in Durant- Created to protect the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes from the Plains Indians and was abandoned after the Civil War in 1865, Fort Washita holds great historical significance. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Fort Washita is popular for visitors and tour groups of all sizes to journey into the past through informational exhibits, Civil War reenactments, storytelling and more.
Places to Stay
Lindley House Garden Cottages in Duncan - This bed and breakfast type experience is a great country-style stay perfect for a romantic escape or special occasion getaway such as an anniversary or honeymoon or for the business traveler passing through for work. The three private cottages have kings beds, jacuzzi tubs, gourmet locally roasted coffee and pet-friendly accommodations. Enjoy a delicious home-cooked breakfast delivered right to your room.
Muscle Car Ranch in Chickasha- Set on a 100+-year-old dairy farm in Chickasha, the first 30 acres of the Muscle Car Ranch features a neon and porcelain sign museum with more than 100 signs on the property. It’s available for camping and fishing. There are also RV hookups available with showers and bathrooms.
Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center in Sulphur - Stay here for a panoramic view of rolling hills, sparkling blue waters and lush greenery. From standard rooms to executive suites, the retreat offers 43 rooms equipped with modern conveniences like flat-screen HDTV and complimentary high-speed internet access. There is also a large indoor pool and sauna, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a relaxing onsite spa and exquisite dining areas.
The Artesian Hotel, Casino & Spa in Sulphur - Another gem to Sulphur is this boutique hotel with 81 beautifully adorned guest rooms, on-site dining, gaming and shopping opportunities. Groups can spend time at the casino or treat themselves to a relaxing day at the hotel’s award-winning spa facilities. It holds a lot of history too. The 4-story hotel is built on the historic grounds of the original Artesian Hotel, constructed in 1906 and destroyed by a fire in 1962. It opened in 2013.
Cedar & Stone Bed and Breakfast in Tishomingo - This rustic-chic cabin is nestled among beautiful blackjack oaks & granite outcroppings near a rock pond. This secluded cabin features a huge porch with rocking chairs for a peaceful retreat. Guests can fish for trout at Blue River, rock climb, hike the trails at Harbert Ranch, pond fish and experience a guided tour of the ranch as well.
*Be sure to call ahead to your destination as hours may change.