Day 1 – Arrive in Tulsa, OK
Begin your holiday with a three night stay in Tulsa. This city is a distinctive mix of influences – Southern charm, Eastern elegance and Western flair. You’ll experience Native American ancestors, Western culture, and the wealth from oil, discovered in the early 1900’s. It’s a hub of art deco and contemporary architecture; boasting an abundance of Western and European art, artefacts and archives, vibrant with live music, farm-to-table food and shops – from quirky to chic.
Day 2 – Tulsa area, approx. 110 miles
Explore Tulsa – the Brady Arts District, the Philbrook and Gilcrease Museums and Guthrie Green. Or strike out north to Bartlesville, where two brothers founded the Phillips Petroleum Company in 1917. Look for the art deco Price Tower – the only skyscraper built by Frank Lloyd Wright, preserved as a boutique hotel. Onwards to the tiny town of Dewey and the Tom Mix Museum to see a silent movie of the first ‘King of the Cowboys’.
Day 3 – Tulsa area, approx. 155 miles
Relax in Tulsa, or head off to Tahlequah - home to the Cherokee Heritage Centre; Fort Gibson – the first army post in the Indian Territory and Muskogee – the Ataloa Lodge Museum is one of the largest privately owned Native American collections. Here, you’ll also see the Five Civilized Tribes Museum and experience the heritage of the Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole tribes.
Day 4 – Tulsa to Oklahoma City, OK, approx. 105 miles
Journey along historic Route 66 and enjoy the eclectic towns of Sapulpa, Bristow, Stroud, Chandler and Arcadia. Stop for lunch at POPS, and choose from over 500 varieties of fizzy drinks. Oklahoma City is the largest city in the state and Bricktown – its renovated warehouse district – provides plenty of evening entertainment with over 30 canal-side restaurant and clubs. Settle in for three nights!
Day 5 – Oklahoma City
Visit the world class National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum with peerless classic and contemporary Western art. Other ‘must see’ attractions include the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, the Red Earth Museum, the Myriad Botanical Gardens, the American Banjo Museum, the fast growing Boatyard District and the Paseo Arts District.
Day 6 – Oklahoma City area, approx. 180 miles
Head south, today, to Sulphur and Davis. Stop at the breath-taking Chickasaw Cultural Centre – America’s largest tribal cultural centre – and visit the Travertine Ranger Station Visitor Centre. In Davis – don’t miss Turner Falls, and sample one of Nancy Fulton’s Fried Pies or lunch at Smokin’ Joe’s Rib Ranch before heading back to OKC.
Day 7 – Oklahoma City to Wichita, KS, approx. 195 miles
Stoke up with breakfast at the Cattleman’s Steakhouse in the heart of Stockyard City, famous for over 80 years with cattlemen. Head for Ponca City and visit the magnificent Marland Mansion – a 55-room ‘Palace on the Prairie’, and the Standing Bear Statue – a tribute to all Native Americans. Then, north across the state line to Wichita, KS, with its Old Town red-brick warehouse district. This is your base for the next three nights.
Day 8 – Wichita
The iconic ‘Keeper of the Plains’ is located at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers - a great place to start your exploration. Move on to Old Cowtown Living History Museum – a strong flavour of the Old West. The Museum of World Treasures is just that – an eclectic collection from ancient Egypt to modern America.
Day 9 – Wichita area, approx. 100 miles
Today visit Yoder and Hutchinson. The quaint Amish village of Yoder is home to the Mercantile Shoppe for handmade Amish crafts and quilts. Have lunch at the Carriage Crossing Restaurant. In Hutchinson, the Kansas Underground Salt Museum is a unique experience - 650 feet underground and a vast expanse carved from ancient salt deposits. Don’t miss the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Centre – a world-class space museum featuring a huge collection of US space artefacts.
Day 10 – Wichita to Cottonwood Falls, KS, approx. 80 miles
Discover where the West truly begins. The tallgrass prairie once covered 170 million acres of North America. Today less than 4% remains – mostly here in the Flint Hills. Visit The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, and end your day in the wonderful Cottonwood Falls. This is the place to enjoy a superb farm-to-table dinner and a stroll along Main Street USA.
Day 11 – Cottonwood Falls to Manhattan, KS, approx. 60 miles
Onwards to Council Grove for a self-guided walking tour of historical landmarks – the most popular being Hays House, the oldest continuously operated restaurant west of the Mississippi River. Then to Manhattan, home to Kansas State University and the superb Flint Hills Discovery Centre, perhaps some downtown shopping, dinner and a one night stay.
Day 12 – Manhattan to Lawrence, KS, approx. 85 miles
Head first for Topeka, and the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, where visitors gain an insight into the Civil Rights Movement. Lawrence, your base for the next two nights, is home to the University of Kansas and Haskell Indian Nations University. The downtown district is lined with eclectic boutiques, sidewalk cafes, antique shops, art galleries and studios. Live music plays every night of the week.
Day 13 – Lawrence area, approx. 60 miles
Explore the attractions of Lawrence, or strike out to nearby Olathe and learn about early pioneer life at the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site. Tonight why not try one of Lawrence’s craft breweries.
Day 14 – Lawrence to Kansas City, KS, approx. 40 miles
Kansas City’s nickname is ‘City of Fountains’. It is known for its dynamic art scene, public artworks, jazz music, abundance of museums, fantastic shopping, and, of course, BBQ. Kansas City is shared by both Missouri and Kansas with ‘State Line Road’ separating the two, and whatever you choose to do, it’s a wonderful place to spend your last night in Kansas and Oklahoma.
Day 15 – Depart from Kansas City