Skip to Content

Best Day Trips from Tulsa, Oklahoma: Destinations to Explore

Tulsa, Oklahoma, a bustling city with a rich history, offers countless opportunities for exploration and discovery. But, it’s also an ideal starting point for visitors seeking to experience the diverse attractions within a day’s journey from this energetic metropolis. The surrounding areas present many options that cater to numerous interests, from family-friendly activities to outdoor adventures and cultural experiences.

A few of the best day trips from Tulsa include destinations such as Oklahoma City, Jenks, and Catoosa, each offering a unique charm and attractions worth exploring.

Oklahoma City, the state’s capital, is home to an array of historic buildings, national museums, and a bustling nightlife scene. For those looking for a family-friendly excursion, Jenks is an excellent choice with its Oklahoma Aquarium, housing over 8,000 water inhabitants to fascinate the young and the young-at-heart.

Other must-do day trips from Tulsa feature outdoor activities like the Osage Prairie Trail, a scenic path that follows the former Midland Valley Rail bed, and captivating cultural destinations such as Pawhuska, which delves into Native American history.

With a wide range of attractions within driving distance of Tulsa, visitors can create unforgettable memories while wandering through the several paths that extend from this iconic city.

Top Weekend Getaways from Tulsa

Regarding weekend getaways from Tulsa, a few destinations promise a memorable experience for a short vacation. This section will cover three top destinations perfect for a weekend trip.

Destination 1: Oklahoma City

Aerial of shopping center and downtown of Oklahoma City
Nick / Adobe Stock

Oklahoma City, located just 106 miles away, is an ideal weekend getaway from Tulsa. This vibrant capital city is known for its rich historic buildings and bustling nightlife. Key attractions in the city include the Oklahoma State Capitol and numerous national museums, ensuring history buffs and entertainment seekers find plenty of excitement here.

Popular Oklahoma City landmarks worth visiting are:

  • Bricktown Entertainment District
  • Myriad Botanical Gardens
  • Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

Destination 2: Catoosa

Sunny view of the Blue Whale of Catoosa
Kit Leong / Adobe Stock

Located along the legendary Route 66, Catoosa is a mere 16 miles away from Tulsa, making it an excellent choice for a weekend getaway. The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Catoosa is a popular attraction, offering a range of entertainment and dining options. The 18-hole golf course on its premises is perfect for a relaxing weekend activity.

Beyond the casino, visitors can also explore:

  • The Blue Whale, a famous roadside attraction
  • Historic Route 66 landmarks and vintage gas stations
  • Local shopping and dining options

Destination 3: Eureka Springs

Tranquility at Eureka Springs
David / Adobe Stock

For those who want to venture further from Tulsa, Eureka Springs, a historic town in neighboring Arkansas, provides a picturesque and charming option. Filled with delightful Victorian architecture, this quaint town invites visitors to enjoy its spas, gardens, and art galleries, making it a perfect choice for a soothing weekend retreat.

Highlight attractions to explore in the small town of Eureka Springs include:

  • Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
  • Thorncrown Chapel
  • The Great Passion Play

Be it the urban excitement of Oklahoma City or the peaceful charm of Eureka Springs, these weekend getaways from Tulsa offer accommodate diverse desires.

See Related: Best Day Trips from Kansas City, Missouri

Scenic Drives and Road Trips

For those looking to explore the beauty surrounding Tulsa, Oklahoma, a range of scenic drives and road trips offer unforgettable experiences. This section will cover three stunning scenic drives perfect for a day trip from Tulsa.

Scenic Drive 1: Talimena National Scenic Byway

High angle view of Talimena National Scenic Byway
Kit Leong / Adobe Stock

The Talimena National Scenic Byway, which stretches through southeastern Oklahoma and southwestern Arkansas, offers an exceptional display of nature’s beauty. Known for its vibrant fall colors, the route passes through the Ouachita National Forest, providing year-round enjoyment. It’s advisable to be cautious of potential winter weather conditions when planning your trip.

Scenic Drive 2: Robbers Cave State Park

People seeing the nature autumn fall color of Robbers Cave State Park
Kit Leong / Adobe Stock

Located approximately 116 miles south of Tulsa, Robbers Cave State Park is an excellent choice for a road trip destination. Situated in the scenic Sans Bois Mountains in eastern Oklahoma, this state park offers awe-inspiring views and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. Plan a day trip, or extend your stay by camping in the garden to fully experience its awe-inspiring natural features.

See Related: Best Day Trips from Munich: Destinations to Explore

Scenic Drive 3: Wichita, Kansas

Bridge over Arkansas River, Wichita Kansas
David / Adobe Stock

Just 175.5 miles away from Tulsa, the city of Wichita in Kansas allows visitors to explore numerous 19th-century homes, museums, and an exploration place that showcases the entirety of Kansas through small structures. The exploration place also features a range of scientific exhibits, making it an ideal destination for a day trip to learn and enjoy the region’s beauty.

See Related: Best Day Trips from Zagreb, Croatia: Top Destinations

Family-Friendly Day Excursions

Searching for exciting day excursions near Tulsa for the entire family? Look no further. Here are three top attractions guaranteed to provide a fun and memorable experience for visitors of all ages.

Attraction 1: Turner Falls Park

Turner Falls waterfall in Oaklahoma
westtexasfish / Adobe Stock

Turner Falls Park is a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers, about two hours from Tulsa. The park boasts Oklahoma’s tallest waterfall at 77 feet, swimming areas, natural caves, and hiking trails.

The park offers picnic sites and playgrounds for families, making it an ideal spot to spend a day with outdoor activities. In addition, visitors can explore the Rock Castle, a unique historic site within the park.

Attraction 2: Oklahoma City

Elephant at Oaklahoma Zoo
Kit Leong / Adobe Stock

A short drive of around 1 hour and 45 minutes from Tulsa, Oklahoma City, is a fantastic option for a family-friendly day trip. The city has numerous attractions and activities for all interests and age groups.

Start your day by checking out the Oklahoma City Zoo, which houses over 1,900 animals across the globe. Next, check out the interactive exhibits at the Science Museum Oklahoma, perfect for engaging curious young minds. To add a touch of history to your trip, visit the Oklahoma History Center, where multi-generational exhibits meet Oklahoma’s past and present.

Attraction 3: Sequoyah State Park

Trees at Sequoyah State Park
Yuval Helfman / Adobe Stock

Located less than an hour from Tulsa, Sequoyah State Park is a beautiful outdoor escape along Fort Gibson Lake’s shores. With 225 miles of shoreline, the park is perfect for various water activities, such as outdoor recreation, swimming, boating, and fishing.

On land, families can enjoy hiking, camping, and picnicking, while taking in the picturesque views of the natural surroundings. Additionally, the park offers a range of recreational facilities, including playgrounds, a nature center, and even a golf course, ensuring it features a wide range of options to satisfy multiple desires in the family to enjoy.

See Related: Best Things to do in Glendale, Arizona

Best Sightseeing Destinations Near Tulsa

Tulsa, Oklahoma, offers plenty of opportunities for exciting day trips filled with sightseeing and adventure. Here are three top destinations for day trips near Tulsa:

Sight 1: Oklahoma City

Original bridge along Route 66 near Lake Overholser in Oklahoma City
Russell / Adobe Stock

Oklahoma City, located just 106 miles (170km) from Tulsa, features rich historic buildings and a dynamic nightlife. The city is home to the state capitol and numerous national museums, making it a perfect destination for a day of sightseeing. Some notable attractions include the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the Oklahoma City Zoo, and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

Sight 2: Woolaroc Wildlife Reserve

Towering trees at  Sequoyah State Park
MNStudio / Adobe Stock

Woolaroc Wildlife Reserve in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, is an excellent place for a day trip filled with both natural beauty and culture. The 3,700-acre wildlife preserve is home to a range of native and exotic animals and boasts an awe-inspiring landscape with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. The reserve also features a world-class museum with a vast collection of Western art, Native American relics, and personal memorabilia of the founder, oilman, and philanthropist Frank Phillips.

Sight 3: Sequoyah State Park

Located less than an hour from Tulsa, Sequoyah State Park is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. The picturesque park offers 225 miles of shoreline on Fort Gibson Lake, providing the perfect backdrop for a day filled with water activities, hiking, and birdwatching. While there, you can also explore the Sequoyah Lodge, a beautiful modern building that offers cabin rentals, a marina, and a restaurant with stunning lake views.

See Related: Best Day Trips from Lyon, France: Top Destinations & Tips

How far are popular destinations from Tulsa for day trips?

The approximate distances for some popular day trip destinations from Tulsa are:

DestinationDistance (miles)
Oklahoma City106
Turner Falls Park162
Eufaula Lake86
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge215
Sequoyah State Park49
Eureka Springs173


What are the best day trips to take from Tulsa, Oklahoma?

Some of the best day trips from Tulsa include:
– Oklahoma City
– Turner Falls Park
– Eufaula Lake
– Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
– Pawhuska
– Sequoyah State Park
– Eureka Springs

Are there any family-friendly day trip options from Tulsa?

Yes, there are several family-friendly day trip options from Tulsa, such as Sequoyah State Park, for outdoor recreational activities. Or visit Blue Whale in Catoosa, a quirky roadside attraction on Route 66 as well as the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art features interactive exhibits for families.

What are the best outdoor day trip destinations accessible from Tulsa?

The best outdoor day trip destinations near Tulsa include:
– Turner Falls Park, with waterfalls and swimming areas
– Eufaula Lake, for boating, fishing, and swimming
– Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, offering hiking and wildlife spotting
– Osage Prairie Trail for cycling and walking

Can I find day trips from Tulsa that cater to different interests, such as history, art, or nature?

Yes, there are day trips from Tulsa that cater to various interests:
– History: Visit Oklahoma City, Bartlesville, or Claremore to explore historic sites.
– Art: The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, is a perfect destination for art enthusiasts.
– Nature: Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy destinations such as Sequoyah State Park, Eureka Springs, or Natural Falls State Park.

Related Resources:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *