Big-sky country begins in central Oklahoma, where the Southern Plains start their majestic roll to the Pacific Ocean. Novelist Washington Irving rode across these prairies in 1828 in search of adventure -- and travelers find it still. Oklahoma City, the largest in the state, is an easy-going patchwork of city and country, both down-home and cosmopolitan. The 1889 Opening of the Unassigned Lands, better known as the Land Rush, brought farmers, entrepreneurs and dreamers from all over the world here to stake their claims to brand-new towns -- ones that grew from handfuls of railroad workers to towns of 100,000 overnight. The population was a heady mix, and still is today. Each year Oklahoma City hosts the Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival, the world's largest powwow, as well as Asian, Greek and Hispanic festivals filled with traditional music, food and dancing. Czech farmers planted wheat farms in Oklahoma Territory -- and inaugurated colorful festivals in Prague and Yukon, where Czech delicacies like kolaches and kielbasa sausage are celebrated.
Explore Frontier Country
The sixty-three room Hotel Love was constructed in 1895 and opened for business in March of 1896. The Purcell Register, a territorial newspaper, reported that the building was "by far the finest hotel in the Chickasaw Nation and has but one equal in the territory ... one at Muskogee."Purcell, OK Historic Hotels
Morning hours are the best time to view and listen for the many bird species around the lake. The woodlands which make up much of the parks are home to a wide variety of species. Listen for the drumming of the downy woodpecker or the "chickadee-dee-dee", OK Nature Trails