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Oklahoma has a wide variety of attractions for the adventurous traveler or the city slicker. From biking, birding, and B&Bs to music, museums, and live theater, the state caters to just about every interest.

Oklahoma's recorded history began in 1541 when Spanish explorer Francisco de Coronado traveled through the area looking for the "Lost City of Gold." Part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, Oklahoma got its name from the Choctaw phrase "okla homma," meaning "red people." Beginning in 1830, traveling over the "Trail of Tears," Native Americans were forced to move to the new Indian Territory that would become Oklahoma. Today, the ...

Oklahoma has a wide variety of attractions for the adventurous traveler or the city slicker. From biking, birding, and B&Bs to music, museums, and live theater, the state caters to just about every interest.

Oklahoma's recorded history began in 1541 when Spanish explorer Francisco de Coronado traveled through the area looking for the "Lost City of Gold." Part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, Oklahoma got its name from the Choctaw phrase "okla homma," meaning "red people." Beginning in 1830, traveling over the "Trail of Tears," Native Americans were forced to move to the new Indian Territory that would become Oklahoma. Today, the state has one of the largest Native American populations in the nation. The heritage of the 37 tribes represented in Oklahoma is proudly honored in powwows, festivals and tribal museums.

Cowboys also left their boot prints on the state, traveling the famed Chisholm Trail through Oklahoma to the Kansas rail yards. The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City is a good place to learn about those pioneers. When oil was discovered in Bartlesville in 1897, Oklahoma quickly became the place to strike it rich.

Once known as "The Oil Capital of the World," Tulsa honors its oil heritage with Art Deco skyscrapers and other well-preserved architectural treasures. While it was not yet a state, Indian Territory became the birthplace of one of America's most beloved humorists. Will Rogers was born in 1879 in Oologah. In the 1920s, an Oklahoma man named Cyrus Avery envisioned a 2,400-mile-long road that would connect Chicago and Los Angeles — Route 66. Today, Oklahoma has more miles of the original highway than any other state and motorists still enjoy getting their kicks on the beloved "Mother Road."

Jackie Finch
About the Expert

Jackie Sheckler Finch has written several guidebooks, including The Unofficial Guide to Campgrounds in the Great Lakes States, and four times she was named Travel Writer of the Year by Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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Jackie Finch for Triporati

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