Located on the east side of Oklahoma, Tahlequah is a quaint town full of outdoor recreation opportunities, riveting history, and small-town vibes that make it the perfect vacation destination year-round.
Using TripAdvisor rankings, tourist information requests, and social media trends, we have compiled a list of the top activities to do in Tahlequah. If you think we missed one, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!
Visit the Cherokee Prison Museum
At the Cherokee National Prison Museum, you will learn the history of Cherokee law and order. Situated in the middle of historic Tahlequah, the prison was built in 1875 to hold the most hardened criminals in Indian Territory.
Today the Prison Museum is an interactive experience showcasing the history of the prison and notable outlaws and criminals from Tahlequah's past.
Tour Downtown Tahlequah
Downtown Tahlequah is a mix of established family businesses alongside new and exciting companies looking to make Tahlequah a better place to visit.
Take a walk on the Tahlequah History Trail through town, or grab a coffee at one of the many coffee shops and stroll through boutiques, clothing and jewelry stores, and any of the various antique shops throughout town.
Float the Scenic Illinois River
The Scenic Illinois River is one of the most popular attractions of the area and for good reason. Visitors can take a drive along scenic Highway 10 or explore the many dirt roads around the river on the Green Country Oklahoma Adventure Tour.
Those seeking to see the river up close can rent kayaks from one of the many outfitters on the river or bring your own kayak or canoe and explore the river on your own.
Grab a Pint at Kroner and Baer Pub
Kroner & Baer is a modern industrial pub located in beautiful downtown Tahlequah. You will find a carefully curated variety of craft beer, and cocktails, wine, and ciders as well as an entertaining outdoor space with lawn games and oftentimes, live music. You will not find a more unique bar experience in Tahlequah.
Take in the View at the Top of Sparrow Hawk Mountain
One of the single most iconic viewpoints in Tahlequah is the view from Sparrow Hawk Mountain on the Illinois River. A short and manageable hike yields big payoffs as the entire river valley appears to unfold below you on the edge of a cliff.
Read about the Sparrow Hawk Mountain hike, trail length, difficulty, rules and regulations, and more on our blog!
Visit the Cherokee Heritage Center
Built on the original site of the Cherokee National Female Seminary, the Cherokee Heritage Center has been committed to telling the story of the Cherokee people since 1967.
Exhibits, cultural workshops and events are year-round and offer an unforgettable way to experience the full richness of the Cherokee Nation.
Rent a Boat on Lake Tenkiller
Lake Tenkiller is a boaters paradise with clear water, beautiful scenery, and plenty of amenities lake side to keep you coming back year after year.
Don't have a boat? Don't worry, the folks over at Burnt Cabin Marina will rent you a boat and get you and your family out on the water!
Take a Hike at JT Nickel Family Wildlife Preserve
Perhaps the best kept secret for outdoor recreation around Tahlequah is the abundance of nature available to explore at JT Nickel Family Wildlife Preserve.
Take a hike on one of the hiking trails available to the public. For more information about the hikes available at the Preserve, read our blog post on hiking at the Preserve.
Play a Round at Cherokee Springs Golf Course
The Cherokee Springs Golf Course in Tahlequah is an 18-hole course with driving range, putting green, pro shop and on-site restaurant. This course has water hazards coming into play on many holes. There is a beautiful panoramic view from atop the hill on hole 7. The signature hole is 6, a 650-yard, par 5, requiring an approach shot over the two ponds that come into play in front of the green.
Tour the Oldest Institution of Higher Education West of the Mississippi River
Northeastern State University is one of the oldest universities in the state and has some of the most striking architecture of any university in the region. Known for the Optometry and Teaching Colleges, NSU is a great place to attend or just visit for the day. Bring a lunch and picnic on the grounds or attend one of the many athletic and cultural events that happen year-round.
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