West Siloam Springs, OK to Stigler, OK
“Situated in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, the Cherokee Hills Byway is a showcase of eastern Oklahoma’s tremendous diversity. From lush scenery and breathtaking natural beauty to a rich cultural and historical background, the Cherokee Hills Byway is a traveler’s oasis inspiring visitors to delve deeper into the theme and countless opportunities available along the byway.
Partake of the culture and history of the Cherokee people as you relive the past of the tragic Trail of Tears, known to the Cherokees as “the trail where they cried.” This historical preview is a picture of the Cherokee culture as it was and is today. See remnants of the proud Cherokee heritage in architecture, museums, and other cultural venues and events, or tour the Cherokee Nation of today and observe how the ancient traditions live on in day-to-day life. This is where the story begins after the Trail of Tears.
The story of the Cherokee people can be heard throughout the byway. It is a story of tragedy and triumph, setbacks and successes. See the beauty of the area with the crystal clear waters of the Scenic Illinois River. Learn why this gorgeous body of water was so important to the lives of the Cherokees as they inhabited their new homeland. The rolling foothills of the Ozark Mountains gives the visitor a heightened visual sense and at the same time imagining how the Cherokees used these same hills, rivers and woodlands to hunt and gather to sustain a lifestyle.
Today, the Cherokee people can be found preserving the history and culture of a proud nation as well as creating a successful future for generations to come.” –US Dept. of Transportation – American’s Byways
“The 88-mile byway follows Highway 10 north of Interstate 40 to U.S. Highway 412 winding through Sequoyah, Cherokee, Adair and Delaware counties. Highlights of the drive include Lake Tenkiller and the Illinois River that are carved out by blue-grey flint stone, encased by towering bluffs and lined by some of the most picturesque foliage in Oklahoma.” —OnlyInYourState.com
Oklahoma Highway 10 North
Tahlequah, OK to Jay, OK
This 50 mile drive winds along the Illinois River north to Jay, OK near Lake Eucha Park.
Oklahoma Highway 10 South
Tahlequah, OK to Vian, OK
“Ideal for a leisurely morning or afternoon drive winding through verdant forests and along craggy bluffs, this route along Highway 10 should be savored and not rushed. Be sure to stop at the Fort Gibson Historic Site, which was once an army outpost in Indian Territory and preserves 29 buildings to this day. Once in Greenleaf State Park, enjoy one of many hiking trails or test your skills on the on-site, 18-hole golf course.” —www.YourMechanic.com
Oklahoma Highway 20
Collinsville, OK to Spavinaw, OK
“This winding road past lakes and across sweeping open lands is chock full of unusual stops and things to do. From the Will Rogers Memorial Museum in Claremore, honoring the Oklahoma native with a large assemblage of memorabilia, to learning how the small town of Hoot Owl gained its name by chatting up the locals, it’s a ride not soon to be forgotten. For more traditional entertainment, hit the turquoise water of Spavinaw Lake in Grand Lake State Park Oklahoma.” —www.YourMechanic.com
Oklahoma Route 33
Kingfisher, OK to Perkins, OK
Travelers along this way may feel transported back in time on this route through the state’s central frontier country. In Guthrie, be sure to peek at the Santa Fe Depot, which was the heart of the town’s operations in the 1900s, or fuel up for the trip at Stable’s Café with a Western theme and killer steaks. Once in Perkins, tour the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza, an open-air museum with several restored buildings, including an 1800s one-room schoolhouse and a 1901 log cabin. —www.YourMechanic.com
Arcadia, Oklahoma to Quawpaw, OK
This stretch of Route 66 passes by Pop’s and the Round Barn in Arcadia, OK, the Rock Cafe in Stroud, the Cyrus Avery Bridge in Tulsa, the Blue Whale in Catoosa, and a whole host of other Route 66 attractions. This portion is in much better condition than Route 66 west of Oklahoma City.
“The charm, the history, and the atmosphere that make up ‘The Mother Road’ bring travelers from all over the world to experience America the way it should be experienced – down a stretch of highway where ‘anything goes’ is literal.” US Dept. of Transportation – America’s Byways.
“Although Route 66 is not intact the way it once was, the portion that once lay in Oklahoma lies chiefly on Highway 44 and is still full of iconic charm and roadside attractions. Motorcycle enthusiasts may enjoy a tour of the Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum in Miami, known for its collection of Evel Knievel memorabilia. Along this stretch across the state, there are tons of tiny cafes with down-home cooking, and learn more about the history of this drive at the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton.” —YourMechanic.com
Oolagah Lake/Highway 88
Nowata, OK to Clarmore, OK
Before making your way south along Highway 88, tour the birthplace of Will Rogers, the famous Cherokee humorist and film star, at Oologah’s Dog Iron Ranch. Wander the grounds of this 400-acre living history ranch, pet farm animals and view vintage movies starring America’s favorite son. Travel south to Claremore to explore the twelve-gallery Will Rogers Memorial Museum, or visit the impressive JM Davis Arms & Historical Museum for over 50,000 antique firearms on display.
Plan your fall foliage trek along Highway 88 in mid-October and be rewarded with a visit to Claremore’s Route 66 Nut House, a charming stop along the historic Mother Road. Homemade apple butter, fiery jalapeno jam and velvety fudge await visitors to this sweet treat haven, so plan to stop on your Oklahoma fall adventure and spend a delightful autumn afternoon along Highway 88 and Route 66.” —TravelOK.com
OK Highway 123
Barnsdall, OK to Bartlesville, OK
“Hit the open road on your motorcycle in northeast Oklahoma on Highway 123, which spans roughly 20 miles to connect Barnsdall and Bartlesville. Begin in Barnsdall, once known as Bigheart, and see the only main street oil well in the country. Though not operational, the oil well is a great starting point for the trip ahead.
Perfect for beginners, the smooth, flat road stretches out for miles, offering clear views of nature. Midway between Barnsdall and Bartlesville is the Woolaroc Ranch, Museum and Wildlife Preserve. Established in 1925 by oilman Frank Phillips, founder of Phillips Petroleum Company, Woolaroc has a world-class museum with 52,000 square feet of American Southwest history, featuring paintings, a bronze collection and Colt handguns on display. The 3,600 acre property surrounding the museum is home to herds of buffalo, elk, deer, longhorn steers and Scottish Highland cattle.
Continue along Highway 123 for another 13 miles to Bartlesville’s Price Tower. The tower, created by Frank Lloyd Wright, is considered one of the greatest buildings of the 20th century. Inside, visit the arts center which showcases collections and exhibitions of art, architecture and design, or take a guided tour of the tower.” —TravelOK.com
US Highway 60 Scenic Byway
Ponca City, OK to Bartlesville, OK
This route includes good scenery as well as a lot of available stops. Write up from TravelOK.com
Shawnee Trail – US Highway 69
Bartlesville, OK to Durant, OK
The Shawnee Trail was a cattle trail from Texas to Kansas and Missouri, also known as the Texas Road. It’s path is closely followed by US Highway 69. More information at TravelOK.com.
Lake Hudson Route
Locust Grove, OK to Chloeta, OK
Auto Week reccomends driving from Claremore to Chloeta, but most of that route is already covered by the Collinsville to Spavinaw route listed above. However, if you want to take their suggestion to extend the trip by driving the curvy roads around Lake Hudson, this is the way to go.