Interstate 40 (from west) (New Mexico, Texas)
Sayre, Oklahoma Historic town along Route 66. Cool little town with a Beckham County Courthouse that found fame in the book and the movie, The Grapes of Wrath.
El Reno, Oklahoma GAMSA town along Route 66. Known for its onion-fried burgers. Lots of spots right downtown.
Stockyards City (Oklahoma City area), Oklahoma A cluster of western clothing and supplies. Great Cattlemen’s Café and Stockyards City Café for that last stop just before you get downtown to the conference site.
Border towns not right on Interstate 40 (especially if you are cutting up through southwest Oklahoma):
Altus, Oklahoma Great downtown with lots of shops. Head north towards Quartz Mountain for a scenic drive.
Mangum, Oklahoma Super small town. Eat at the Hamburger Inn, a classic little place on the east side of the square. Head east for a scenic drive to Quartz Mountain.
Hobart, Okahoma Super small town with great shops. A number of restaurants downtown if you need a place to stop. Be sure to see the General Tommy Franks Museum.
Interstate 40 (from east) (Arkansas)
Prague, Oklahoma A short detour north of I-35 will let you have a pilgrimage to the National Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague. Learn about this town’s Czech heritage. Great kolache bakery downtown as well as a restaurant or two.
Shawnee, Oklahoma This is a larger town 40 miles east of Oklahoma City. Downtown is a couple miles south of the interstate. Bypass all the typical cloverleaf places and head downtown to Van’s Pig Stand for barbeque, Benton’s Cafe for great diner food and pies, or Hamburger King for an old-fashioned treat.
Border towns not right on Interstate 40:
Poteau, Oklahoma: Just 20 minutes from Fort Smith, Arkansas, this may be a detour worthwhile. Super small shops throughout downtown. Have lunch at Warehouse Willy’s. It’s worth the stop.
Interstate 35 (from north) (Kansas)
Perry, Oklahoma Sixty miles north of Oklahoma City is a classic, courthouse square of a town. Great shops. Visit the Kumback Lunch on the north side of the square. Everything on the menu is worth a try!
Border towns not right on Interstate 40:
Newkirk, Oklahoma Seventeen miles west of I-40 is this great little town all built of local limestone. Great shops, local restaurants. This is a GAMSA town.
Ponca City, Oklahoma Just 14 miles south of Newkirk is a Roarin’ ‘20’s town full of Spanish Revival architecture, oil mansions, and beautiful civic landmarks. There are plenty of restaurants along Grand Avenue to meet any road food craving.
Cherokee, Oklahoma If you are coming into Oklahoma from south central Kansas, this is a small town stop that may make your day. Plan to dig for crystals at a state park just outside of town as well as bird watch in a wildlife refuge. Nice, peaceful break from the car.
Enid, Oklahoma This is a larger town with a huge courthouse square. Lining the square are super stores and many restaurants, most having sidewalk dining. This is a GAMSA town.
Interstate 35 (from south) (Texas)
Ardmore, Oklahoma Accessible by I-40 or Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer from Fort Worth to Oklahoma City, this town has a nice Main Street with some interesting restaurants and stores. Stop at The Main Street Wine Depot for all your wine-making supplies.
Sulphur, Oklahoma Just about a 15 minute detour east of I-35 is the small early 20th century resort town of Sulphur. Take a relaxing drive through the Chickasaw National Recreation Area and then head downtown to shop.
Pauls Valley, Oklahoma This is stop on Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer route from Fort Worth to Oklahoma City. Traveling with kids? Unload them at the Toy and Action Figure Museum. It’s your childhood bedroom on steroids. Everyone can dress up and become a Super Main Street Manager.
Interstate 44 (from northeast) (Missouri, southeast Kansas, northwest Arkansas)
Miami, Oklahoma Classic Route 66 town with great stores. Check out all the diners, Mexican restaurants, and small cafes along the Main Street.
Claremore, Oklahoma Home to Will Rogers, this Route 66 town has lots of shops right downtown. Stop at the Pink House for lunch or the Hammett House for lunch—or just pie. Visit the Will Rogers Memorial or the whimsical Belvidere Mansion.
RedFork District (Tulsa), Oklahoma Ollie’s Restaurant is a whistle stop you will not want to miss. Eat classic Route 66 road food while model trains circle past.
Sapulpa, Oklahoma This is a Route 66 town with great shops and small cafes still right downtown. Stop by famous Frankoma Pottery for getting a piece of Oklahoma to go with you.
Towns just off I-44:
Collinsville, Oklahoma Just north of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and due west of Claremore, Oklahoma, is a fast-growing little town of Collinsville. Stop to see their new streetscape. Have lunch at the Silver Dollar Café right downtown.
Interstate 44 (from southwest) (Texas)
Medicine Park, Oklahoma While there are no Oklahoma Main Street towns right on I-44 coming in from Wichita Falls, Texas, one may want to detour to Medicine Park. This is a 1920’s resort town built along a major creek. All the buildings are of cobblestone, built at the base of the Wichita Mountains.
Towns not right on I-44:
Duncan, Oklahoma With an early detour in Oklahoma, from Lawton head 60 miles east to Duncan, an original Oklahoma Main Street town with rich oil heritage. A study of Recent Past (modern) storefront design is the focus for this town. Head north for 45 miles to get back onto I-44.
Northwest Passage (from northwest through Oklahoma Panhandle) (Colorado, southwest Kansas, northeast New Mexico)
Guymon, Oklahoma In the middle of No Man’s Land, stop here for a refreshing break. The original brick Main Street leads one to interesting stores. Ask locals for the best Mexican restaurant—there are many great ones!
Laverne, Oklahoma Stop at this tiny town and have lunch at the Main Street Soda Fountain. As the local UPS man works the cash register during lunch, you can drop off a package at the same time.
Woodward, Oklahoma The largest town along this route offers great stores downtown of all types. Stretch your legs and shop along Main Street.
Watonga, Oklahoma If it’s meal time, head to the Noble House Restaurant, a former stagecoach stop. You won’t be sorry!
Border towns not right on the Northwest Passage:
Shattuck, Oklahoma Just inside the state is a tiny little town with a couple of great restaurants and treat shops right downtown. Be sure to head south on Main and build in some time to visit the Shattuck Windmill Museum, a collection of restored, antique windmills!
Indian Nations Turnpike (from southeast) (Northeast Texas, Louisiana, southwest Arkansas):
McAlester, Oklahoma Head down to Choctaw Avenue. Find refreshments at the Whispering Meadows Vineyards and Winery store. Then stroll around to see other interesting stores.
Just good ole’ detour towns:
Who says you have to travel by interstate or turnpike? Just take a two-lane highway and see the sights. Here are some other Oklahoma Main Street towns. As these towns are sprinkled throughout the state, we’ll let you Google them to see if they’d make for a great detour for you.
Ada, Oklahoma Large downtown with lots of shopping. Stop at the Curiosity Shoppe. The antique fixtures beautifully display a wide variety of merchandise.
Atoka, Oklahoma Want Italian food? There is a wonderful place right downtown.
Durant, Oklahoma Right on the border of Texas is a wonderful town with a great downtown. Stop at Roma’s for real Italian food.
Muskogee, Oklahoma Downtown has interesting shops. The Five Civilized Tribes Museum makes for a great cultural detour. Ride through Honor Heights Park, known for its Azalea Festival.
Okmulgee, Oklahoma Located 45 miles south of I-44 or 20 miles north of I-40 is a GAMSA town with a restored Creek Council House Museum as the centerpiece.
Tahlequah, Oklahoma Detour off I-44 or I-40 to learn the heritage of the Cherokee Nation. While in town, stop in downtown Tahlequah. With a college just up the street, this town has cool little restaurants and bars. A favorite is Vidalia’s.
Talihina and Wilburton, Oklahoma Take the scenic Talimena Drive from Mena, Arkansas, through the Ouachita National Forest and the Winding Stair Mountains. After such scenery, stop at Treats and Treasures in downtown Talihina for a real, old-fashioned shake or malt. Then head to Wilburton, a town with a rich mining history. Stretch your legs at the Goldberg and Joseph Heritage Park, dedicated to the early Jewish merchant families in town.