Hi friends! Kalli here.
The weather is getting warmer, the trees are budding and the smell of spring rainfall is in the air. In my book, that makes for the perfect time for a road trip. So, jump in your car and follow along as I make six stops in south-central Oklahoma to view unique murals. Are you ready? Roll your windows down, turn up the radio and start your GPS. My first stop is Marlow, Oklahoma.
Stop 1: Marlow
This small town has been home to some big events over the years and Marlow’s history and culture come to life in their downtown mural. Did you know the John Wayne movie, Sons of Katie Elder, was based on a story about the Marlow brothers? Look closely in the “W” at the end of the mural and you’ll find the Marlow brothers’ hideout! And while in Marlow, be sure to grab a slice of pizza from DiCintio’s Pizza Cucina or get your shopping fix at Touch of Bliss or the Marlow Mercantile.
Stop 2: Duncan
Cruise 20 minutes south lands you in Duncan, Oklahoma. Head down Main Street and peer around the east side of the Henderson Furniture building, and you’ll find the Rhythm and Roots Mural. Created in 2015 by the Palmer Studios, the mural is part of the Oklahoma Tourism Department’s Rhythm and Roots Music Trail, which highlights venues and artists in Oklahoma. The song lyrics painted at the top of this mural are my favorite part: “I’ve never been to Heaven, but I’ve been to Oklahoma.” After taking a few selfies in front of the mural, take some time and explore downtown Duncan. A few of my favorites are The Sumac Trading Co. and The 3 French Hens. They are truly wonderful places to shop.
Stop 3: Davis
After you leave Duncan, it’s time to take a drive east to Davis. Right on Main Street, sits a beautiful mural of Turner Falls. Taking a picture at this mural and at the actual Turner Falls outside of Davis would be a really cool photo! Curb your sweet tooth with handcrafted gourmet chocolate at Bedré Fine Chocolate and eat a fried pie (or two) at Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies.
Stop 4: Sulphur
Continue driving east out of Davis and in just 8 short miles you will come to Sulphur, home to the Chickasaw National Recreation Area! Take a drive through historic downtown and view the newly added colorful creation by Mahota Textiles. The mural was created by Chickasaw father-son duo, Me-Way-Seh Hunter and Brent Greenwood with depictions inspired by Mahota Textiles designers Margaret Roach Wheeler, Taloa Underwood and Joanna Underwood Blackburn and include motifs such as the woodpecker, sweet grass, sun circles and river. While in downtown, grab a glass of wine at the Rusty Nail Winery, shop at Bromide Mountain Co. and enjoy a mouth watering dinner at the 1924 mansion-turned-restaurant, Flower Bluff Manor.
Stop 5: Tishomingo
Your next stop is in the capital of the Chickasaw Nation itself: Tishomingo! Across the street from The Doghouse at the corner of Kemp and Main Street, you’ll find this equisite mural designed and executed by Chickasaw students under the tutelage of world famous Chickasaw muralist Karl Addison. Get your fill of home cooking at Blake Shelton’s restaurant, Ole Red, grab your favorite double scoop of Blue Bell Ice Cream at Nikole's Country Store and stop at the Chickasaw Nation Information Center to learn more about the area and its full history.
Stop 6: Ada
Your final stop to explore is Blake Shelton’s hometown of Ada. In the Art District, you’ll find this one-of-a-kind mural featuring local Oklahoma artists. After taking a picture by the mural, continue your adventure by taking in art and culture at the Chickasaw Nation Division of Arts and Humanities, or shop for unique gifts at Farm Girl Boutique. And don’t forget to spoil yourself a little and indulge in a cupcake or cookie at Amber’s Sweet Shoppe.
What a fun road trip! Thanks for exploring south-central Oklahoma with me! While you’re on your mural tour in Chickasaw Country, take pictures of your favorites and tag us with #VisitChickasaw.
Happy road tripping,
(Originally published on March 29, 2018. Updated on February 19, 2019.)