11 Best Places and Things To Do in Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Tahlequah, Oklahoma is a charming city nestled in the heart of the beautiful Green Country region. Known as the capital of the Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah offers a rich history, stunning natural beauty, and a vibrant cultural scene. Whether you’re interested in exploring Native American heritage, enjoying outdoor adventures, or immersing yourself in arts and culture, Tahlequah has something for everyone. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Tahlequah:

1. Illinois River

Illinois River Oklahoma.jpg

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Tahlequah is blessed with the stunning Illinois River, a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Experience the thrill of floating down the river on a canoe, kayak, or raft while enjoying the picturesque surroundings. The river is also ideal for fishing, swimming, and picnicking along its banks.

2. Sparrow Hawk Camp

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Located just outside of Tahlequah, Sparrow Hawk Camp is a serene retreat where you can immerse yourself in nature. This campground offers various outdoor activities, including hiking trails, birdwatching, fishing, and camping. Enjoy the tranquility of the surrounding forest and take in breathtaking views of the countryside.

3. Tahlequah History Trail

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Embark on the Tahlequah History Trail, a self-guided walking tour that takes you through significant historical sites in the city. The trail highlights important landmarks and provides insights into Tahlequah’s past, including its Native American heritage and the Cherokee Nation’s impact on the area.

4. Spider Gallery

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Art enthusiasts should make a point to visit the Spider Gallery, located in downtown Tahlequah. This contemporary art space showcases the works of local and regional artists, providing a platform for diverse artistic expressions. Browse through the thought-provoking exhibits or attend one of the gallery’s engaging events.

5. Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum

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Delve deeper into Cherokee history by visiting the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum. Housed in a beautifully restored historic building, this museum provides insights into the Cherokee legal system and the tribe’s judicial history. Explore exhibits showcasing significant court cases and learn about the evolution of Cherokee law.

6. Tahlequah History Museum

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Dive deeper into Tahlequah’s rich history by visiting the Tahlequah History Museum. Located in a former Cherokee National Capitol building, this museum offers fascinating exhibits on local history, including the Cherokee Nation, the Trail of Tears, and the region’s pioneer era. Learn about the city’s transformation and the people who shaped its development.

7. Cherokee National Prison Museum

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“Cherokee National Prison Museum” in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The museum focuses on the history and significance of the Cherokee National Prison, which operated from 1875 to 1901. The Cherokee National Prison Museum offers visitors a glimpse into the past by exploring the prison’s role in Cherokee history and the criminal justice system of that era. The museum features exhibits showcasing artifacts, photographs, and documents related to the prison, including stories of prisoners and the guards who worked there.

8. Northeastern State University

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Northeastern State University (NSU) is a comprehensive public university located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Founded in 1851, it is the oldest institution of higher education in the state of Oklahoma. NSU offers a wide range of academic programs across various disciplines, including business, education, health sciences, humanities, and natural sciences.

9. St. Brigid Catholic Church

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St. Brigid Catholic Church is a Catholic parish located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The church serves as a spiritual center for the Catholic community in the area and offers various religious services and activities. St. Brigid Catholic Church holds regular Mass services for worship and spiritual nourishment. Masses are typically conducted throughout the week, including Sunday Masses, which are the primary worship services for Catholics. These services provide opportunities for the community to come together, pray, receive the sacraments, and participate in the liturgical traditions of the Catholic faith.

10.  Mr. Ed’s Grave

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Mr. Ed’s Grave is a notable attraction located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. It is the final resting place of the famous talking horse named Mr. Ed, who gained worldwide recognition through the television show “Mr. Ed” that aired from 1961 to 1966.

11. Cherokee National Peace Pavilion

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The Cherokee National Peace Pavilion is a notable landmark located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. It is a symbolic structure that represents the commitment to peace and harmony within the Cherokee Nation.

Tahlequah, Oklahoma is a treasure trove of history, natural wonders, and cultural experiences. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, immersing yourself in Native American heritage, or enjoying the local arts scene, this charming city has something to offer every visitor.