It’s said in the Army when you are short of everything but enemy, you’re in combat. But in peacetime as well many young soldiers with families, as well as others need to get away, but also need to do so on a limited budget and can’t go too far. So an Oklahoma getaway or mini vacation might well be the answer, and here are a few that might get the job done.
• If you want to stay real close, try a couple of nights in the Bonnie and Clyde Cottage in Medicine Park, which got its name after 1930s outlaws Bonnie and Clyde who reportedly stayed at the cottage while on the run. Sleeps four and has all the amenities; two minutes from the swimming hole, shops and restaurants. Lawton to Medicine Park = 14 miles
• Rent a tepee at Roman Nose State Park in Watonga, Oklahoma. Roman Nose is one of the original seven state parks in Oklahoma. 18-hole golf course, rock cliff, three natural springs, trout fishing in season all increase the appeal. Lawton to Watonga = 101 miles
• Lake Murray. Try the floating vacation cabins at Lake Murray-living room with panoramic views of the lake and its coves, sleeping lofts upstairs, full kitchen with spacious closet. You can take, use, and moor your boat, jet ski or pontoon right at your doorstep. Lawton to Lake Murray = 116 miles
• Feeling like a dude? The Rebel Hill Guest Ranch near Antlers is a many generation working horse ranch with over 100 horses. Will wow the kids. 15 acre lake, 6 ponds and a swimming pool. Hike, fish, paddle boat and horseback riding are all on the menu and you can do as much or as little as you want. Lawton to Antlers = 190 miles
• If you yearn for a return to an earlier time, taken an excursion to the Happy Days Hotel. It’s a great 1950s themed, 61-room hotel in McAlester, Oklahoma. Angel’s Diner and The Great Ball of Fire Family Entertainment Center are both on site. Lawton to McAlester = 208 miles
• Try the Eufaula Treehouse Treesort. Not sure everyone has not dreamed of living in a tree house at least once! There are choices at the Treesort; the Hummingbird Treehouse, completely supported by two trees. There’s a microwave, refrigerator, fresh linens, fire pit and charcoal grill are among the amenities. The Choctaw Treehouse accommodates up to nine people – plenty of room – Lawton to Eufaula = 202 miles
• Little Sahara State Park is well named. A great example of Oklahoma’s very diverse terrain, the park has over 1,500 acres of sand dunes as high as 75 feet. RV sites available with water and electricity, tent sites, picnic area and showers. Biggest attraction is dune buggy and ATV riding across the dunes. It’s a mini desert atmosphere and only $10 to get on the sand. Lawton to Waynoka = 162 miles
• Robbers Cave State Park in the Sans Bois Mountains in Southeast Oklahoma in a real favorite place for rappelling, riding, hiking, and cliff climbing. Exciting is that the park was once a hideout for outlaw Jesse James, Belle Starr…and the famous outlaw cave was hidden in the 300- to 1,500-foot sandstone hills and cliffs.
So Oklahomans on whatever budget can enjoy a great getaway with the family, do so quickly, and learn more and more about this great state.
Lee Baxter is a former commanding general of Fort Sill.