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Rhythm and Routes in Oklahoma

Immerse your group in Oklahoma’s entertainment heritage at live music venues and historic sites honoring luminaries including Garth Brooks, Woody Guthrie and others.

 

Day 1

  • Arrive in Miami
  • Tour the Coleman Theatre
  • Depart for Bartlesville
  • Performance at OKM Music  Festival or Bartlesville  Community Center
  • Continue to Pawhuska
  • Dinner at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile
  • Continue to Ponca City for overnight

 The Pioneer Woman Mercantile — Pawhuska

The Pioneer Woman Mercantile is a restaurant, bakery and store established by Ree Drummond, the American television star and author affectionately known as “The Pioneer Woman.” Drummond opened the business in 2016 after renovating the historic building, which was built in 1903 as the Osage Mercantile. The Merc is known for its charm, hospitality and comfort food, all of which were imparted from the Pioneer Woman herself. Groups can stop here to shop for clothes, jewelry, kitchen gadgets, books and much more. The Merc serves up hearty country breakfasts, offering everything from pancakes to grits. The Cattleman’s Breakfast, featuring a 12-ounce ribeye, eggs, potatoes and a biscuit, is a tasty reminder of Oklahoma’s role in the beef industry. The restaurant is also well known for its lunch and dinner options such as chicken fried steak, and shrimp and grits. The building’s bakery is notorious for its cinnamon rolls, sticky buns and freshly baked pecan pie, which visitors can enjoy with a cup of coffee.

themercantile.com

Day 2

  • Roaring  ’20s theme breakfast at Marland Mansion and Estate
  • Depart for Stillwater
  • Photo op at Willie’s on the Strip
  • Lunch at Eskimo Joe’s
  • Tour and live music at The Farm
  • Depart for Oklahoma City
  • Dinner and tour at the American Banjo Museum
  • Overnight in Oklahoma City

Eskimo Joe’s — Stillwater

Located just a block away from Oklahoma State University’s campus, Eskimo Joe’s is a well-known hangout for college students, but it’s also become an Oklahoma tradition. Locally known as Stillwater’s “Jumpin’ Little Juke Joint,” Eskimo Joe’s was opened by two pals in 1975 as a bar and later turned into a full-service restaurant when the drinking age was raised to 21. The move from bar to bar and restaurant paid off, as it became a Stillwater staple for patrons of all ages. Eskimo Joe’s annual birthday bash is really a street party that attracts thousands of OSU alumni to Stillwater each year, but live music can be heard year round. Groups can enjoy a pint of ice-cold beer or an Arnold Palmer and some Eskimo Joe’s classics such as cheese fries, charbroiled burgers and chicken sandwiches famously known as “Fowl Things.” For dessert, old-fashioned milkshakes, floats and sundaes are popular options. 

eskimojoes.com

Day 3

  • Visit the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
  • Lunch at Toby Keith’s “I Love This Bar and Grill”
  • Photo op with Vince Gill statue at Northwest Classen High School
  • Dinner in Bricktown Entertainment District
  • Overnight in Oklahoma City

Bricktown — Oklahoma City

Dazzling lights, colorful murals and live music abound in Bricktown, one of Oklahoma City’s hubs for entertainment. This vibrant district is home to dozens of warehouses that have been converted into restaurants, shops and museums, giving it an industrial-chic look and urban feel. Groups can take a water taxi down the Bricktown Canal, which winds through the district, for a tour of one of the oldest neighborhoods in OKC. Groups can check out the American Banjo Museum, where they can learn all about America’s instrument and see the world’s largest collection of banjos. In addition to taking self-guided tours through the museum, groups can catch a banjo performance and lunch in a model banjo nightclub. Or, groups can stop by Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill, owned by the famous country singer. Its menu features everything from bar food to Southern classics like ribs and barbecued chicken.  

bricktownokc.com

Day 4

  • Depart for Duncan
  • Photo op at Rhythm and Routes Mural
  • Tour Stephens County Historical Museum
  • Depart for Ardmore
  • Lunch at Two Frogs Grill
  • Continue to Tishomingo
  • Dessert and live music at Blake Shelton’s Ole Red
  • Travel to Ada to visit the McSwain Theatre and Art Gallery
  • Depart for overnight in McAlester

Rhythm and Routes Mural — Duncan

In downtown Duncan, Oklahoma, on the side of the historic Henderson Furniture building, a mural was commissioned in 2015 to display Oklahoma’s passion for its musical roots. The mural features Hoyt Axton, a singer-songwriter known for penning songs such as “Joy to the World” and “Greenback Dollar,” playing his guitar. A line about Oklahoma from his song “Never Been to Spain” is painted above him. Axton’s mother, Mae Boren Axton, is also portrayed in the mural. She was a songwriter who co-wrote hits such as Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel.” Duncan was Hoyt Axton’s hometown, and he and his mother spent many years here. This artful display honors their legacy and their contributions to music and Oklahoma. Groups can stop at the mural for a photo op and then take their time exploring the antique shops, restaurants and historic buildings of downtown Duncan.  

visitduncan.org

Day 5

  • Depart for Rentiesville
  • Morning jam session at Down Home Blues Club and Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame
  • Continue to Muskogee
  • Photo op at the Ed Edmondson United States Courthouse
  • Visit the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Depart for Broken Arrow
  • Tour the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center
  • Continue to Tulsa
  • Visit the Woody Guthrie Center and the  Bob Dylan Center
  • Tour the Church Studio
  • Overnight in Tulsa

Bob Dylan Center — Tulsa

Honoring one of the most famous names in the music industry since the 1960s, the Bob Dylan Center opened to the public in May of 2022. Dylan, a talented folk singer in his own right, is perhaps best known for his songwriting. Some of his most famous songs were sung by other artists like Johnny Cash and Jimi Hendrix, and his poetic lyrics crop up in many genres even today. Dylan is also known for his political influence, as he supplied a soundtrack to important periods of American history such as the Civil Rights Movement. Though not from Oklahoma, he connected with the state’s down-to-earth culture, which explains why the center is located in the Tulsa Arts District. The 29,000-square-foot museum stems from a collection of personal artifacts provided by Dylan himself. The museum has over 100,000 items in its archive, from Dylan’s essays and poems to his personal correspondence, as well as multiple exhibits and a screening room that seats 55. Groups can tour the museum to check out its rotating exhibits and learn about Dylan’s life, career and extensive influence on the music industry.

bobdylancenter.com

Day 6

  • Depart for Claremore
  • Tour the Claremore Museum of History
  • Visit the Will Rogers Memorial Museum
  • Overnight in Claremore

You can find this itinerary along with more resources to plan your group’s trip to Oklahoma at travelok.com/group-tours/toolkits.

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