There is nothing more American than a red dirt road trip on the open highway, jamming out to your favorite songs with the windows rolled down and a cooler full of goodies in the backseat. So, buckle up, road warriors, because we're taking you for a ride down the rockin' country roads of Waurika, Oklahoma. This Chickasaw Country town is revving with character around every corner, from glorified diners that would stoke even Guy Fieri to a charming candle-making shop to the riveting Rattlesnake Festival.
The Rock Island Depot is a beautiful historic building that houses Waurika's public library. At the 1912 Depot, guests can expect to see features like Italian marble floors, an original ticket office and an original model of a railroad car. The Depot also houses an artifact room with railroad memorabilia and a pictorial collection showcasing the history of Waurika. The facility also houses a public library with a multi-purpose center for the community.
Head to Waurika Lake for fun in the sun and play on the water. Located on Beaver Creek, a tributary of the Red River, this US Corp of Engineer Lake offers visitors an array of outdoor recreational opportunities from fishing and hunting to boating, skiing and swimming. Anglers can expect to catch everything from channel, flathead and bullhead catfish to largemouth bass, crappie and sunfish. Hunters can enjoy a wide variety of game, including whitetail deer, quail, mourning dove, cottontail rabbit, wild turkey and numerous waterfowl.
For a shopping excursion, check out Country Closet Resale. You can't miss the big red barn where it's housed! This veteran-owned consignment and resale shop is popular with the locals. Inside you will find anything from groceries and home goods to cowboy boots and tons of clothes. Junkin’ Jinks Gypsy is a little shop hidden in Waurika, offering an abundance of items, from home décor to jewelry. The shop has a collection of new and used items, along with things you can't find anywhere else! For the best-smelling store in Waurika, go to Small Town Creations for specialty scents and one-of-a-kind gift items. Owner, Tracy Woods, spent years developing her exclusive line of hand-poured scented candles. Made with the highest quality, Tracy's candles are known for their long-lasting scent and fresh aroma after every light with more than 100 scents available including Fresh Cut Roses and Juniper Breeze to Crème Brûlée and Hot Apple Pie,
When you visit Stuart Ranch Outfitters, you'll be amazed at the wide open spaces. This ranch offers package hunts on its 46,000 privately-owned acres. There are many different terrains, from vast tall grass prairies to rolling rocky hills covered with thick hardwoods. The habitats of the two divisions offer a hunter an excellent opportunity to harvest a trophy whitetail, fill half of the North American turkey Grand Slam, a bag limit of waterfowl and plenty of shots at feral hogs.
There is also beautiful lodging, which includes six bedrooms with private baths to accommodate up to 12 people. There's also an onsite chef to prepare guests' meals upon request. The guide service provides transportation on the ranch, cleaning and cold storage.
Arguably the most popular attraction in Waurika is the annual Waurika Rattlesnake Hunt. Every spring, folks come in for the foot, the flea market, the kids' activities and of course the thriller of hunting Diamondback rattlesnakes. This event is a must-see if you are visiting Waurika in the spring!
Save the date for the annual Ranch Rodeo every July, a pre-qualifying event for the World Championship Ranch Rodeo.
Waurika is a small country town with family-owned restaurants, including Bill's Fish House. Established in 1962, Bill's Fish House has earned a longstanding reputation for serving some of the best catfish in Oklahoma! The restaurant is conveniently situated just half a mile north of the Red River Bridge in Waurika, with a sister branch in Lone Grove, Oklahoma. While the food is sure to impress, don't expect to get any of the restaurant's secret recipes - they're closely guarded family secrets!
Circle D Cafe is a family-owned and operated diner situated in the heart of downtown Waurika, Oklahoma. The restaurant prides itself on its collection of secret family recipes passed down from generation to generation. Open for breakfast and lunch, Circle D offers generously sized portions at affordable prices. The menu boasts a wide variety of options, ranging from traditional country-style dishes and juicy burgers to delectable Tex-Mex cuisine and beyond. In addition to its regular menu, Circle D also offers daily homemade specials and delicious desserts.
There is nothing much more American than a red dirt roadtrip on the open highway, jamming out to your favorite songs with the windows rolled down and a cooler full of goodies in the backseat. So, buckle up all you road warriors because we’re taking you for a ride down the rockin’ country roads of Waurika, Oklahoma. From glorified diners that would stoke even Guy Fieri to a charming candle-making shop to the riveting Rattlesnake Festival, this Chickasaw Country town is revving with character around every corner.
From the outside looking in, we do our best to give you a fresh perspective of places. But in all reality, no one truly knows a town better than its locals! Thanks to our travel pal and long-time Waurikan, Jessica Henderson, this month we have the pleasure of giving you the inside scoop of our featured town from the view of a lovely local. As the Executive Director at Great Plains Country, Jessica knows what travelers are looking for and is more than happy to fill you in on the local limelight of her hometown - Waurika, OK!
"Waurika, OK - The Local Limelight"
By Jessica Henderson, Executive Director of Great Plains Country
“There is just something special about small-town Oklahoma. Mom-and-pop businesses, the slower-paced lifestyle, the friendly people – that is what people can expect to find here in Waurika. Our historic brick Main Street is lined with local businesses like Small Town Creations that sell everything from specialty hand-poured candles to unique furniture, jewelry, local goods and home décor.
There are a handful of great places to eat around town. Waurika is perhaps best known for Bill's Fish House on Highway 79, which serves some of the BEST farm-raised fried catfish you'll ever find.
We are well known for our annual Rattlesnake Hunt, which takes place every April. If you’ve never attended this event, it certainly needs to be added to your to-do list! It’s a fun event, complete with a carnival, vendors, flea markets, thrill shows and more. Not to mention, fried rattlesnake for the adventurous foodie!
There is also an annual Ranch Rodeo every July, which acts as the pre-qualifying event for the World Championship Ranch Rodeo. This weekend of rodeo excitement is held at the Rex Dunn Coyote Hills Arena, a local arena owned and operated by the family of the late Rex Dunn - the national bull-fighting and rodeo clown legend! If watching cowboys go head to head in thrilling competitions like Bronc Riding, Cow Milking and Wild Cow Riding stirs your excitement, this is definitely a rodeo you won’t want to miss.
The Rock Island Depot, which was restored in the early 1990s and sits on the 98th Meridian, is a beautiful historic building that houses our town’s public library. There is also a great bit of history found inside; photos and relics from Jefferson County’s history are placed throughout, including a photo of Jefferson County native Chuck Norris!
Both Waurika Lake and the Red River are great spots during the summer months. Waurika Lake is great for boating, fishing, camping and swimming, and the land surrounding the Red River is lined with ATV trails.
Recently, we relocated the office for Great Plains Country to Waurika, and it has been great to be able to work in my hometown. I enjoy promoting tourism in Southwest Oklahoma, and being able to do so with a view of the brick Main Street that I grew up on is an absolute pleasure every day."
Thanks Jessica! Your friends in Chickasaw Country can’t wait to come visit your home sweet home of Waurika, Oklahoma!