courtesy Visit Lawton
Published July 06, 2018
As the largest urban center in Southwestern Oklahoma, Lawton provides a perfect balance of outdoor recreation opportunities and modern city amenities, whether groups want to hike, boat and swim, or take advantage of city nightlife. It is also home to Fort Sill, an Army base that is the site of the grave of famous Apache chief Geronimo, an example of the region’s blend of Native American and military heritage.
Just 10 minutes outside Lawton, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge was founded to protect endangered wildlife and help restore native species. The stunning 59,020-acre natural grassland is home to bison, prairie dogs, wild turkeys, elk, otters and owls and features some of the most scenic hiking trails in Oklahoma. It is a popular destination for hiking, camping, swimming and fishing. For an interactive, educational experience, travelers of all ages will enjoy a trip to the Museum of the Great Plains, a state-of-the-art history museum that promotes learning through hands-on exhibits such as a tornado simulator, a “mammoth bone” dig and an 1830s replica Trading Post staffed by costumed actors. Groups can also learn about the rich local history and culture of the Comanche Nation at the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center.
Unique Group Experiences
It is not every day that travelers can step inside an active military installation. Fort Sill allows groups to acquire a guest pass and tour some of the base’s top-notch museums. These venues include the Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum, the U.S. Air Defense Artillery Museum and the U.S. Army Field Artillery Museum. This experience is wonderful for military reunion groups as well as those who enjoy learning about military history.
Festivals and Events
In late spring, Lawton hosts Arts for All, one of the largest outdoor cultural festivals in southeast Oklahoma. Now celebrating its 44th year, the three-day event draws artists from all over the country to showcase their expertise in painting, pottery, sculpting, woodwork, glasswork and more. During Labor Day weekend, local members of the community and the military join in town for the Armed Forces Day Parade, a public display of some of Fort Sill’s most impressive military vehicles. The celebration honors veterans and active military, but also serves to educate the public about military service.