Ready for an off-the-beaten-path day trip or weekend getaway? Chickasha is the perfect place. Located less than 40 minutes from Oklahoma City and Norman, this beautiful historic town offers an exclusive array of attractions, shopping and dining experiences.
Imagine stumbling upon a charming little town that seems oddly perfect – friendly locals, breathtaking landscapes, historical character, phenomenal local food and unique places to see. There’s just something so magical and rejuvenating about visiting a small town. Chickasaw Country is a treasure chest full of small town gems nestled all over our native lands. Treat yourself to a refreshing trip in one of our most cherished small towns – Chickasha, Oklahoma!
The strong sense of community from the past to the present has molded this charming town into what it is today. History is paid full respect by the citizens of Chickasha, who take pride in the preserving the heritage of their beloved town. The town site was founded on the rolling prairie lands of Oklahoma, originally inhabited by Indian Tribes and herds of stampeding buffalo. The name “Chickasha” allegedly derived from the Indian word meaning ‘rebel’ coined after the famous exclamation, "Hamonockma, ikia, ahhiska Chickasha!” meaning “Halt, follow them not, they are rebels”, made by the principal chief during the separation of the Chickasaw/Choctaw brothers on the Trail of Tears. The land was originally allotted to a Chickasaw Indian named Annie and her husband, James L. Speed. The couple eventually sold their allotment to a town company and the town of Chickasha was established in 1892 as a whistle stop on the Rock Island Railroad for a couple months. The arrival of other railroads and highway development set this small shack town up for pioneering success. In 1900, it had a population of over 6,000, three times larger than Tulsa and thus, became known as the “Queen of the Washita Valley”. Since, Chickasha has grown into a population of over 16,000 and due to its prosperous development, sits deservingly as the county seat of Grady County.
Located on Highway 81 and Interstate 44, Chickasha is just 30 miles west of Norman and 37 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. The location of Chickasha makes it the perfect destination for travelers in search of an off-the-beaten-path day-trip or weekend getaway. With a genial town vibe, visitors to Chickasha are sure to get a delightful dose of southern hospitality here. Chickasha offers visitors an exclusive array of attractions, shopping and dining options to enjoy.
Take a leisurely stroll through the historic downtown and shop at one of the favorite local boutiques such as Maddiebugs or Southern Junktion, where most of the store products are made locally. Then, hit up an area attraction or activity of your liking. For the history buff, check out the Grady County Historical Society Museum. For the active traveler, visit the historic Shannon Springs Park – a spring-fed lake that features ADA accessible walking paths, an agility course, a splash pad, a public swimming pool, picnic pavilions and an amphitheater. Or, head over to the Cottonwood Creek Golf Club and play a leisurely round of golf, ending the game with a savory victory dinner at the onsite Yesteryears 50’s Diner.
Be sure to stop in and try several dining venues in Chickasha, as it is home to a paradise of local eateries and restaurants serving up heavenly entrees and signature sides – all with generous portions and great prices. Try some fried green beans and mouthwatering barbecue at Jake’s Rib or some sizzling Tex-Mex at La Fiesta or an old-fashioned fried onion burger at Paw Paw’s Hamburgers. Then, top of your day with an entertaining evening performance by the Chickasha Community Theatre at the downtown Washita Theater or cruise over to a drive-in movie at the nearby Chief Drive-In Theater. Complete your stay at one of the area’s relaxing lodging accommodations or go rustic and camp in the great outdoors at Lake Chickasha or the Time Out RV Park.
When meandering around town, don’t forget to ask one of the locals about exciting events that may be going on in Chickasha during your visit! The month of December is a wonderful time to be in Chickasha as the sparkling spirits of the community are dedicated to spreading holiday cheer to both locals and travelers at their Annual Festival of Light award-winning lighting display. Spanning over 4 miles in Shannon Springs Park and showcasing over 4 million lights, this nationally recognized event brings in approximately 300,000 people to the area during the Christmas season.
However, if you’re too swamped with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you should plan a visit to Chickasha during another time of the year. In the spring, art lovers gather in Chickasha to celebrate the annual Montmartre Chalk Art Festival at The University of Science and Arts. These Oklahoma artists obviously do not confine their work to the walls – they take their creativity to the streets and sidewalks! For car enthusiasts, Chickasha hosts two annual Auto Swap Meets throughout the year, which are considered to be some of the largest swap meets in the world. For outdoor adventurists looking for a fun fall activity, visit the Reding Farm and dare to jigsaw your way through the largest cornfield maze in the state. Beware, some of the mazes are haunted – we hope you make it out alive so you can enjoy the rest of your trip in Chickasha!
Chickasha welcomes and is waiting for you! Come experience the folksy fun, fabulous flavors and famed attractions that make this place one of Chickasaw Country’s favorite small town destinations!