Those of us traveling in Oklahoma summers prefer to be submerged in cool water at every given opportunity. Like animals of the African savannah, we move in herds to life-sustaining watering holes. Fortunately for us, though, the threat of predators is minimal, and Oklahoma State Parks offer affordable and accessible swim escapes. From metro-adjacent favorites like Lake Keystone and Lake Thunderbird to popular destinations like Lake Sequoyah or Lake Texoma, there’s no shortage of options. Here are six other state parks where you can beat the heat.Learn More
Watonga is home to gorgeous Roman Nose State Park. One of Oklahoma’s original seven state parks, Roman Nose State Park takes its name from a Cheyenne Chief and is set amidst a beautiful canyon with exceptional recreation activities. Amenities include an 18-hole golf course, swimming pools, hiking trails, two lakes, horse stables and even seasonal trout fishing.
Stay in one of the park’s cabins or head to the renovated lodge for exquisite guest rooms and an on-site restaurant. When you’re ready to venture out of the park, test out your luck at the Lucky Star Casino Watonga or explore local history at the T.B. Ferguson Home. Watonga is also home to Whirlwind Winery, which produces all of its wines from locally-grown grapes and fruit.
One of the city’s most popular festivals is the Watonga Cheese Festival. Held annually in mid-October, this two-day event offers a parade, art show, 5K run, carriage rides, vendors and, of course, plenty of wine and cheese tastings.