So you're stopping by to Claremore in Oklahoma and wondering what exactly there is to do in this charming town. With its rich Native American history and culture, beautiful parks, and attractions, Claremore offers visitors plenty of ways to experience the best of eastern Oklahoma. In this blog post, were discussing some of the best things to do during your time in Claremore.
From exploring historic sites like the Will Rogers Memorial Museum to taking in the great outdoors at Claremore Lake, you're going to find exciting activities for the whole family. Stroll around antique shops on Route 66 or catch a show at the Will Rogers Memorial Center. Claremore has something for everyone, whether you like history, nature, or just taking things slow.
A Brief History of Claremore OK
Claremore, Oklahoma has a long and storied history. Located in Rogers County in northeastern Oklahoma, the city was established in the late 1800s. The area was once home to several Native American tribes such as the Osage, Quapaw, and Peoria.
In the early 1900s, Claremore became an important stop along Route 66. The historic Will Rogers Memorial Museum was built in 1938 to honor Claremore's most famous former resident, humorist Will Rogers. Today, the museum is the city's top tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the country.
Best Outdoor Activities in Claremore
Once the weather warms up, it’s time to go outside and enjoy all the natural beauty Claremore has to offer. Here're some of the best ways to soak in some sunny days.
Claremore Expo Center For Hiking And Biking.
This massive outdoor recreation area has over 15 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and trail running. Rent a bike to explore at your own pace or bring your own. The trails go around prairies, cross creeks, and lead to stunning views.
Go boating or fishing on Oologah Lake.
Just 15 minutes from Claremore, Lake Oologah is a boating and angler’s paradise. Rent kayaks, canoes or pontoon boats and spend the day paddling around the lake. Or drop a line and try to reel in bass, catfish, crappie, and bluegill.
Check Out The Sequoyah State Park.
Sequoyah Park, only a half-hour drive from Claremore, offers swimming, watersports, hiking, biking, golfing, and more with picturesque views. Rent boats and zip around the lake, or lounge on the beach. The park also offers picnic areas as well as campsites if you want to stay overnight under the stars.
Watch a Show at The JM Davis Arms & Historical Museum.
Every other Saturday evening in the summer, the JM Davis Museum hosts “Saturdays on the Prairie” with free live music, food trucks, and for activities families. Pack a nice picnic, spread out a blanket, and enjoy an evening of free entertainment surrounded by the museum’s historic buildings and gardens.
Best Museums & Historic Sites to Visit
Speaking of museums in Claremore -- here're some worth visiting:
Claremore Museum of History
This museum provides a glimpse into the history of Claremore and Rogers County. Exhibits feature artifacts, photographs, and documents spanning from the Osage Nation up to modern day. Learn about notable historical figures with ties to the area like Will Rogers, Wiley Post, and Frank Phillips. Admission to the museum is always free, so you have nothing to lose by stopping in to explore the local history.
Will Rogers Memorial Museum
No trip to Claremore is complete without visiting the Will Rogers Memorial Museum (not to be confused with the Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs). This National Historic Landmark is situated on the site of Will Rogers’ ranch and childhood home. The museum houses artifacts from Will Rogers’ life, career in entertainment, and time serving in the military. His custom-made saddles, lassos, photographs, letters, and clippings documenting his entertaining career are all on display. Outside, you can see the historic Dog Iron Ranch house where Will Rogers grew up, as well as his tomb. Admission tickets are very affordable.
J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum
Gun enthusiasts and history buffs alike will enjoy a visit to the J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum. This museum has one of the largest collections of firearms in the world, with over 50,000 guns and related artifacts on display. In addition to the gun collection, the museum also features vintage automobiles, Native American artifacts, World War I posters, and more. The museum was founded by Claremore native J.M. Davis, who collected the items over his lifetime before opening the museum to the public in 1969. Admission fees apply for this museum.
With so many opportunities to dive into local history and culture, museums in downtown Claremore should be a priority on your list of things to do during your visit. You’re sure to discover at each location.
Annual Events and Festivals to Experience
Claremore has some fantastic annual events and festivals that showcase the historic downtown area culture, history and community spirit. Check some of these out:
Experience a taste of Claremore’s western heritage at this annual rodeo and livestock show. Watch real bull riding, barrel racing, roping events and a parade. Enjoy food and rides at the carnival midway.
Route 66 Blowout Car Show
Explore hundreds of classic cars along Historic Route 66 during this massive car show. Everything from hot rods and muscle cars to vintage vehicles are on display. There are also live bands, vendor booths, a pin-up girl contest and drive-in movie. Cruise down memory lane at this iconic event.
Best Hotels in Claremore to Stay
Claremore has several highly-rated hotels for any budget. Here are some of the best options for your stay.
- The Hampton Inn & Suites Claremore is a popular choice located just off Historic Route 66. They offer comfortable rooms, free Wi-Fi, and a hot breakfast. The outdoor pool is perfect for relaxing on warm days. Rates start around $100/night.
- Want a unique stay? Book a cabin or tipi at the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch. You're situated on the actual historic ranch where Will Rogers was born. Accommodations include access to hiking and biking trails, as well as evening bonfires and stargazing. Rates are very affordable, starting at $75/night.
- If you're looking for luxury, the Seville Inn is a charming bed and breakfast in a historic Queen Anne mansion. Each room is uniquely decorated with antiques and artwork. A full gourmet breakfast is served each morning. Room rates start at $150/night.
- If you're on a budget -- The Econo Lodge Inn & Suites and Super 8 by Wyndham are two very affordable options, with rates as low as $60/night. While lacking some amenities of pricier hotels, they offer clean rooms, free Wi-Fi, and convenient access to attractions.
- For large groups or families, an extended stay suite at MainStay Suites or Candlewood Suites offers kitchenettes, living rooms, and separate bedrooms at reasonable rates around $100-150/night.
No matter your needs or budget, Claremore has lodging to suit any taste. Make sure to book in advance, especially if traveling in the busy summer season or around holidays and festivals. With scenic surroundings and proximity to attractions, you're going to want extra time to explore the city from your home base.
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