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Old 04-14-2013, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,190 posts, read 4,917,797 times
Reputation: 3845

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I did a search of the forum and found an old thread from a few years back similar to this, but I thought it would be nice to start one up again.

I rarely start a thread, but as some of you know from reading other posts of mine I recently returned to Oklahoma after nearly 8 years away. I am glad to be back "home."

We are settled for now in OKC and I'm not real fond of it. It's not all due to problems with OKC itself; I just prefer Tulsa and have more of a history there, but more than that, I think as I get older I'd prefer living in a smaller town or more rural environment.

So anyways, I'd love to hear about some of your favorite towns and areas of the state. I have lived in several parts of Oklahoma and certainly have my faves, but in some cases I haven't been to those towns/areas in quite a few years so I don't really know how they've changed.

Since I already mentioned I much prefer Tulsa for many reasons over OKC as far as larger metro areas go, my favorite smaller towns in the state are:

Chickasha and Grove.

I spent some time in younger years in Ponca City, Bartlesville, Stillwater, Pauls Valley and Ada and there are things I like about all those places as well. I also lived in Norman for several years and frequently went to Lexington/Purcell.

In general, I prefer the Eastern (especially NorthEastern) part of Oklahoma, primarily for the scenery, but there are some towns out West near the Wichitas I have really enjoyed.

So, please educate me good folks! I'd love to have a discussion about this and hear of your favorite little pockets of the state, hidden gems, areas of good outdoors activities, little towns where you've spent time, and so on.

The job I have will allow me to transfer to just about anywhere in the state and my wife an I are hoping to get to a nice small town somewhere, buy our first house and settle down for once an for all. We've both been on the move our whole lives an while it's been great to live all over the country, we're tired of moving!

I'm kind of hoping we could move to Chickasha or Grove or possibly Tahlequah in the future, but we're open to lots of possibilities.

I'd also like to ask if anyone has any opinions on Poteau. I haven't ever managed to make it there but I hear it is really pretty. Also intrigued and curious about Boise City. Haven't been that far out in the 'handle but I like the fact it's near Black Mesa and borders so many states. Not sure I could live with the wind out there though!

Thanks! I hope this makes for a nice, informative thread.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:24 AM
 
Location: plano
7,779 posts, read 9,961,054 times
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I'm a broken record in the Oklahoma forum by pushing Durant, my home town, as a great place to live in Ok. In a nutshell, its a big small town, its bigger than its population measures. The reasons are much of the population live outside the city proper, especially west and north west toward Lake Texoma.

Durant is hilly with good sized trees now as it sits on the edge of the eastern Ok hills.

Its economy is strong, its cost of living is pretty low and its education systems in both public schools and the SEOSU are pretty good. Its winning businesses over to the area which are now locating in Durant rather than Denison or Sherman Tx as they did for decades. Its less than an hour and a half to North Dallas if you need a city and close to DFW. It feels in some ways like Texas as Dallas area's economy and logistics systems influence Durant economically.

The casino is been a positive influence on Durant as well, with more restaurants than a typical town its size would have because the casino visitors support them. Its more open minded than most of SE Oklahoma, for instance you can find restaurants with great wine selections with dinner, which I would have bet against ever happening as a kid.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,190 posts, read 4,917,797 times
Reputation: 3845
My wife's people are from Durant. I haven't spent a great deal of time there, but I always enjoyed it and thought it was a real nice place.

Its proximity to Dallas is a big factor when people decide to move there (I imagine) not to say it doesn't have its own charms.

Really, I'm less familiar with the Southern part of Oklahoma. I've been to Durant, spent some time in Ardmore and Hugo, but I'd like to see and experience more of it.

I have kicked round the SouthEastern part of the state a bit...Broken Bow, Beaver's Bend, but I hope to be able to check it out more fully someday.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
13,590 posts, read 9,797,677 times
Reputation: 12841
Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffis View Post
I did a search of the forum and found an old thread from a few years back similar to this, but I thought it would be nice to start one up again.

I rarely start a thread, but as some of you know from reading other posts of mine I recently returned to Oklahoma after nearly 8 years away. I am glad to be back "home."

We are settled for now in OKC and I'm not real fond of it. It's not all due to problems with OKC itself; I just prefer Tulsa and have more of a history there, but more than that, I think as I get older I'd prefer living in a smaller town or more rural environment.

So anyways, I'd love to hear about some of your favorite towns and areas of the state. I have lived in several parts of Oklahoma and certainly have my faves, but in some cases I haven't been to those towns/areas in quite a few years so I don't really know how they've changed.

Since I already mentioned I much prefer Tulsa for many reasons over OKC as far as larger metro areas go, my favorite smaller towns in the state are:

Chickasha and Grove.

I spent some time in younger years in Ponca City, Bartlesville, Stillwater, Pauls Valley and Ada and there are things I like about all those places as well. I also lived in Norman for several years and frequently went to Lexington/Purcell.

In general, I prefer the Eastern (especially NorthEastern) part of Oklahoma, primarily for the scenery, but there are some towns out West near the Wichitas I have really enjoyed.

So, please educate me good folks! I'd love to have a discussion about this and hear of your favorite little pockets of the state, hidden gems, areas of good outdoors activities, little towns where you've spent time, and so on.

The job I have will allow me to transfer to just about anywhere in the state and my wife an I are hoping to get to a nice small town somewhere, buy our first house and settle down for once an for all. We've both been on the move our whole lives an while it's been great to live all over the country, we're tired of moving!

I'm kind of hoping we could move to Chickasha or Grove or possibly Tahlequah in the future, but we're open to lots of possibilities.

I'd also like to ask if anyone has any opinions on Poteau. I haven't ever managed to make it there but I hear it is really pretty. Also intrigued and curious about Boise City. Haven't been that far out in the 'handle but I like the fact it's near Black Mesa and borders so many states. Not sure I could live with the wind out there though!

Thanks! I hope this makes for a nice, informative thread.
I've lived in Poteau. I'd say that Poteau, Talihina and Heavener are the prettiest spots in the state as far as settings. The actual town of Poteau is pretty dumpy and lacking any charm but they are trying to redevelop downtown to get it a little more touristy.

Poteau is basically suburb of Ft. Smith. It is very blue collar and is basically a serfdom of the Holton family. When I say this, Poteau doesn't actively try to be, but that's the only place with any jobs around there.

Poteau massively underachieves in terms of it's potential, but they pretty much want to stick to the blue collar huntin' and fishin' mentality.

I miss the scenery every day but I always felt like I lived in Arkansas when I was down there.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,190 posts, read 4,917,797 times
Reputation: 3845
Well, there's nothing wrong with Arkansas scenery for the most part.

I was counting on you to show up, Eddie. You area wealth of information about so many towns and regions of the state. I always enjoy reading your informed and informative posts about the many Oklahoma towns you know.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
13,590 posts, read 9,797,677 times
Reputation: 12841
Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffis View Post
Well, there's nothing wrong with Arkansas scenery for the most part.

I was counting on you to show up, Eddie. You area wealth of information about so many towns and regions of the state. I always enjoy reading your informed and informative posts about the many Oklahoma towns you know.
Arkansas scenery is great!! It's just that most of the media stuff came out of Arkansas back then.

Between travel for work and for pleasure there aren't many places in the state I haven't been. I think the only place I haven't at least driven through is that area around Wagner, Coweta and Pryor and up through there.

My observation about Oklahoma is that there aren't really any trendy tourist towns of any size but there aren't very many wretched hellhole dumps either. That being said, Oklahoma small towns aren't as clean and charming as what you might see in Iowa.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
27,891 posts, read 18,209,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie gein View Post

My observation about Oklahoma is that there aren't really any trendy tourist towns of any size but there aren't very many wretched hellhole dumps either. That being said, Oklahoma small towns aren't as clean and charming as what you might see in Iowa.
Yeah, the courthouses there are quite an ornate, fancy sight for the eye. I guess many Oklahoma towns didn't have enough money in their early history to put up such government buildings of elaborate design and architecture. For instance, Stillwater tried to make do with a couple of courthouses made of mere wood before a couple of bad fires convinced people to build a courthouse made of more substantial materials, which still stands today. But without a dome, it's not as attractive as other old courthouses elsewhere.

Last edited by StillwaterTownie; 04-14-2013 at 12:42 PM..
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
27,891 posts, read 18,209,164 times
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Stillwater is still doing OK. It has eight industries eying it. Its downtown isn't doing bad, despite competition from two super Wal-Marts and strip malls. Unlike some towns, like Poteau, it's history and location makes it pure Oklahoma oriented. Scenery isn't especially remarkable, but people traveling on I-35 through Kansas and northern Oklahoma have remarked how the scenery started looking better once they took the Stillwater exit onto Highway 51. Shown in a panorama is a view of a portion of OSU(Pickens Stadium and Gallagher-Iba Arena) and all of downtown. Since very few buildings are over two stories, not much of downtown can be seen through the trees. Behind downtown are industrial plants, which are occupied. Click picture for a bigger look.

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Old 04-14-2013, 02:57 PM
 
Location: plano
7,779 posts, read 9,961,054 times
Reputation: 7589
Another aspect of Durant I failed to mention is the healthcare facilities. The local Hospital has grown and share some specialists with Denison. So you can get good immediate health care in Durant and again Dallas is close by if something unusual or more complicated arises. The city growth has occurred on the outskirts, however downtown older buildings are experiencing a renaissance with a musuem, a art gallery and others such as banks etc renovating. Give it a look if you havent been there in a while
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
13,590 posts, read 9,797,677 times
Reputation: 12841
Quote:
Originally Posted by StillwaterTownie View Post
Yeah, the courthouses there are quite an ornate, fancy sight for the eye. I guess many Oklahoma towns didn't have enough money in their early history to put up such government buildings of elaborate design and architecture. For instance, Stillwater tried to make do with a couple of courthouses made of mere wood before a couple of bad fires convinced people to build a courthouse made of more substantial materials, which still stands today. But without a dome, it's not as attractive as other old courthouses elsewhere.
I think a lot of it has to do with when and how the state was settled. In land run towns like Stillwater, you had a bunch of people there over night. There really wasn't any money around especially for municipalities. They had to get all these public buildings built with not a lot of resources. Ornateness and charm were probably not real high priorities for the people.

Heck, our own state capitol didn't have a dome for 90 years because we ran out of money and nobody thought it was that important.
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