Travel Guide: Fall Break in Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Hey guys! You guys are all probably thinking, “Hasn’t she already done a Travel Guide for Broken Bow?” Well yeah, I did, back in the spring, whenever everything was green and it was warm enough to lay out by the waters. Well, this go around is a little different.

We managed to make our way back to the Hochatown to see the Ouachita Mountains in all their fall glory. Everyone we had talked to said that the Talimena Scenic Byway, a road passing through the Ouachita Mountains into Arkansas, was a must-see for those wanting to soak in all the colors of October! For those of you planning Fall Break, this should be on your list. Or even stop by this summer, the lake is great.

For us, Broken Bow plays the part of a retreat. We all know that Dallas Fort Worth can feel like a concrete jungle at times so we feel lucky that we found this oasis in the southeastern corner of the Sooner state. There is just so much to do.

You can go horseback riding, kayak down the Lower Mountain Fork, head to the Girls Gone Wine Boutique or the new, Beaver’s Bend Brewery or even try your hand at zip lining with Rugaru Adventures! We’ve hiked the trails at Beaver’s Bend State Park, toured their Historical Museum and even partaken in some Big Foot Hunting (totally joking though this is a thing). Whatever the rhyme or reason, I feel like you could custom design a trip to this part of the country to suite your needs. You have the option to rest and relax by the lake or take on a whole new kind of adventure. The options are endless.

brokenbow-6

Where and What to Eat:

  1. PIZZA at The Grateful Head! This is seriously some of the best pizza I have ever had. My favorite is the Tree Hugger. Those whole olives, spinach and cherry tomatoes make this a must-eat in Hochatown!
  2. Anything from the Moon Tower Bar and Grill. CHOPPED winner, Tabb Singleton has opened a bar and grill near Broken Bow Lake and this menu is worth drooling over. I snagged the  MTBG Loaded Fries, braised beef short rib, herbed potato fries, Wisconsin cheese curds and brown gravy. Imagine Poutine Fries topped with hearty short ribs…mouth watering. Russ snagged the Mountain Fork Burger, an 8 oz American Waygu Beef burger, small batch bacon, beer braised onions, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, sunny side up egg, choice of mayo or mustard or both on a brioche bun. Both were out of this world.
  3. The Turkey Bacon Avocado sandwich from Adam & Eve’s Coffee Shop. This was the perfect lunch stop. We snagged 2 of these bad boys and headed down to Paddle Beaver’s Bend to grab our kayaks. Halfway down the Mountain Fork, we busted these guys our for the perfect lunch on the water.
  4. Hochatown BBQ!! Just go ahead and order one of everything. The pork and brisket were sooooo good. Add some potato salad and few jalapeños and you’ve got yourself an excellent dinner for a great price.

PHOTOGRAPHERS:

For you photographers out there, Beaver’s Bend State Park plays the part of your dream back drop. I managed to sneak in a Senior Portrait Session with these two lovely ladies while I was visiting the area. We rented canoes, blew off a few smoke bombs and even made smores by the Lower Mountain Fork River. To see the Tucker Twins Senior Portraits, head here.

GOLF:

Cedar Creek Golf Course at Beaver’s Bend was most definitely the highlight of the trip for Russ. I kept joking that I was gonna start offering Golf Mini Sessions for guys who want to work on their swing. This course is beautiful, but I will admit that it was find to hard the ball. The foundation of the Ouachita Mountains consists of a lot of white shale so looking for a white ball in a bed of white rocks can be a little daunting though the scenic views down each fairway were worth every penny. The views of the lake are phenomenal and we saw our fair share of wild life, including a 12 point buck!

Traveling in Oklahoma in the Fall is somewhat magical. Just a short 3 hour drive from Fort Worth, this trip is worth taking. We love the outdoors. Having grown up in the lush greenery of Pennsylvania, this trip is my opportunity to bask in the autumn leaves and get all nostalgic about how much I love nature. The ever-changing weather also provides the most magical sun rises and sunsets. Our view from the deck at Lakeview Lodge is the perfect place to chow down on the complimentary breakfast and watch the deer run around the lake. I always make sure to snag a few extra muffins and cereal to pack in our bag for hiking snacks.

brokenbow-2

 HOW I GOT THE ITCH FOR TRAVEL JOURNALISM & WHERE ARE WE HEADED TO NEXT:

In the spring of 2016, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Carolyn Anderson, a landscape photographer based out of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania. After our chat, I made it a point to try my hand at capturing the highlights of our adventures. We traveled so much in 2016. Our East Coast Girl’s Trip was my first attempt at Travel Journalism and since then, we’ve traveled all around Colorado, through the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania and to Broken Bow, Oklahoma in the spring. This year, we have visited Reykjavik, Iceland and Edinburg, Scotland and recently, Yellowstone National Park, so keep your eyes out for the next Travel Guide!

brokenbow-18

IS THERE SOMEWHERE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE RUSTIE NAIL TRAVEL TO? LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS BELOW!

Travel Guide to Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Hey y’all!! We are back with our 2nd Edition of our Travel Guides on the Blog! You all loved our Girl’s Guide to an East Coast Trip so much that we decided to add another Guide to the series. A little over a month ago now, Tiffany,  of Wanderlust Floral Designs, and I made our way north of DFW to Broken Bow Lake in Oklahoma. This quaint town, located at the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains, is the perfect place for family vacations, peaceful retreats and even a little adventure. We had a blast exploring McCurtain County and I just wanted to share some tips on where to stay, what to eat and how to get the most out of a small getaway like this.

IC0A5793

 

Where to Stay: Lakeview Lodge at Beaver’s Bend State Park 

This state-owned facility is exactly what your family is looking for. Each room has a gorgeous view of the lake from your very own balcony. Continental breakfast is included and we managed to snag a Groupon for our stay which made it Uber affordable, around $50/night. For more information on how to stay here, give the front desk a call at (580) 494 6179 or head to TravelOK.com. Word to the Wise: Beware of Spring Break!

IC0A5818

 

Where to Stay: Rent a Cabin for the Week

Though we did not opt for a cabin, we were lucky enough to meet some locals and check out their digs during our stay. Jerry Isbell of Mountain Vista Luxury Cabins was nice enough to offer up some information on how to rent a cabin/cabins in the Broken Bow area. We encourage you to download their app and check out their Blog for more information on this versatile area.

Jerry & Sherri Isbell
Mountain Vista Luxury Cabin
http://www.BeaversBendVacations.com
info@beaversbendvacations.com
Where to Eat: Grateful Head
I will head back to this place every time I am in the area. This hippie shack, located about a mile from Lakeview Lodge, is the ultimate hangout for friends and family. The walls are decorated with Jerry Garcia and Grateful Dead memorabilia, as well as a few bobcats hanging from the ceiling. An outdoor patio with thousands of twinkly lights and space heaters makes it the ultimate oasis for anyone looking for a good beer and some really fantastic wood-fired pizza. Bands play out on the deck and the gift shop offers the absolute softest t-shirts around if you are in need of a souvenir. We recommend the Psychedelic Supremo or the Tree Hugger paired with one of the Beaver’s Bend Brews.
 grateful head
Where to Eat: The Blue Rooster
Located in the same parking lot as the Grateful Head, the Blue Rooster is chalk full of southern charm. The menu consists of everything southern fried; chicken, Gulf shrimp, catfish, green tomatoes. The service was great and the Bloody Mary’s were the ultimate way to start off our trip. Plan on spending your night out on their patio with one of the many Oklahoma craft brews that are available at the bar. We recommend the Fried Chicken dinner!
IMG_9067
Where to Eat: Abendigo’s
This place is definitely one of the fancier places to dine in Broken Bow. Tiffany and I rolled into this joint late one night to catch the end of the Rangers game and could not have been more pleased with our experience. Though most places shut down super early in this town, Abendigo’s proved to be the place to grab a late bite and a cold beer. Tiff had the Wood-Grilled Salmon and I had the Chicken Madeira. Both dishes were out-of-this world. We recommend both but highly suggest that you try the Fried Calamari with Dynamite Aioli and Pickled Jalapeno Relish!
What to Do: Beaver’s Bend State Park
This park has so much to offer. Whether you are away for a girl’s weekend, bachelor party or family vacation, this park has a mile-long list of activities to dive into. Head to visitmccurtaincounty.com for all the details.
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Kayaking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Carson’s Creek (great picnic area & marina)

 

 

What to Do: Beaver’s Bend River Floats

Near a swim beach in Beaver’s Bend, you can find this Rental Facility. For $12, Tiff and I had the pleasure of spending our day on the Lower Mountain Fork River. Though the kayak/canoe trip only takes about an hour, we managed to make it last all day. It was so much fun and the scenery can’t be beat. This was, hands down, our favorite part of the trip. To set it up, just give these guys a call at (580) 494 6070.

For a more adventurous ride, check out Wild Goose Canoe and Kayak. This company is located a little further out of town but worth the drive. They offer 2 trips, a 5 mile or 8 mile down the Mountain Fork River. One of the tours even has a Class 2 Rapids classification and a 3 foot waterfall, Presbyterian Falls.

conemaugh

 

What to Do: Girls Gone Wine 

This boutique style wine and gift shop is located near Beaver’s Bend State Park. When planning our trip, I was lucky enough to get in contact with a young woman named Katie who worked here. She proved to be indispensable when it came time to find models for our styled shoot but also blew us away with her knowledge of the wines they had available. She explained to us that the owners, Michelle and Terry, have all the juices for the wine shipped to them and then they actually ferment their own wine! So, of course, we had to have a tasting.

Each variety and blend is innovative and a few of their wines have proceeds that help out local charities. The B’Ark is a kiwi pear Sauvignon Blanc which proceeds benefit Animal Rescue and their Friends 4 Life is a rose, white merlot infused with ripe strawberries, that was created with a friend’s memory in mind. The owner’s friend, Cynthia Shawnee Hutchings passed away in 2008 after battling breast cancer and these friends wanted to help raise awareness for Breast Cancer Research and be able to provide scholarships for their friend’s children. Now that those guys have graduated, the tradition continues. It varies each year but now the proceeds go towards scholarships for seniors at Broken Bow High School, where their friend has previously taught.

We could all learn a thing or two from the girls at Girls Gone Wine. We love that they have embraced their community with open hearts and the Pinot Noir Slushie had me at hello! Stop in here and make sure to tell these girls we said Hello!

girlsgonewine

 

What to Do: Talimena Scenic Byway

This scenic drive panning over 54 miles of the Ouachita Mountains is the perfect opportunity to bust out that camera. For a lax day full of winding roads and sweeping views of the mountain vistas, head here during the fall. The changing colors of the fall foliage may force you to never leave.

talimena

 

Next time:

So, we didn’t have the time or availability to do everything we wanted while we were in Broken Bow and that means we will be back. Next time, we are hoping to check out the Moon Tower, a restaurant located slightly north of Broken Bow. Owned and operated by Tabb Singleton, a winner of the CHOPPED series on the Food Network, the locals raved about the food.

Another must see, the RUGARU Ziplines. They were not open yet in the beginning of May but we are eyeing them out for our next trip. And lastly, squatch sighting. Yes, we will be on the hunt for the infamous Big Foot, apparently a favorite pastime in this particular part of the country 🙂

IC0A5816

 

What we Loved: 

Tiff and I had been itching to get out of dodge, beat the concrete jungle that is DFW and set up a styled shoot. McCurtain County provided the perfect backdrop for our shoot and for a relaxing vacation. The drive from DFW was only 3 hours and the sides of the road were covered in Texas spring blooms, everything from blue bonnets to Indian paintbrushes. We jammed out to the likes of Trent Harmon, Chris Stapleton and Sublime as we chatted our way to Oklahoma. Overall, this trip was one for the books. We managed to work and play. It is a balance and war to find time to take care of yourself when building a brand and this trip proved to be exactly what we needed. We got a little break from the hustle, a little time to rest and more stars in the sky than we could have ever imagined.

So if you are in need of a getaway, check out this part of the country and we know you will end up leaving a fresh perspective on the world. For more information, head to TravelOk.com or follows these guys on IG: @hochatime (a lifestyle brand) or @mccurtainok (travel info) or @beaversbend (cabin rentals). Hope you all enjoyed this Guide and looking forward to sharing our next big trip with you guys.

Where would you like to see us head next?