As a reader of The Better Life blog, you should be getting the most of Oklahoma City. But this week, we’re taking you on a tour of places and interesting things to see and do outside OKC.
There are short road trips and some that are a little farther away. These trips can match all kinds of hobbies – whether you’re into the outdoors, shopping, scenery or unique Oklahoma history.
Today, don’t miss some things to do around Edmond, so close to Oklahoma City to the north that when you reach one city limit, you’re already in the other one.
We’ll start in a community called Arcadia to the north and east of Edmond and work our way south. To use a popular cliché, you can truly get your kicks on Route 66 here, starting with POPS, 660 W Highway 66, a restaurant and gas station celebrating the original interstate highway – U.S. Route 66 – and all its history as the “Main Street of America” or the “Mother Road.” You can’t miss POPS because of the 66-foot-tall soda bottle and straw that at night lights up in a dazzling show of different colors. POPS is part future, with a bold architectural design, and part past.
Just down the road from POPS is another can’t-miss landmark, the Arcadia Round Barn, which is literally a round red barn that was built in 1898 and restored in 1992. It was used as a barn for livestock and hay storage and for dances around the turn-of-the-century, and today the 45-foot-tall barn again hosts community events.
Also in far north Edmond is another architectural marvel, the Armstrong Auditorium, 14400 S Bryant Road, #B (285-1010). It is a luxury venue that hosts premier concerts and performing arts, ranging from the Russian National Ballet to classical, jazz or even bluegrass music, depending on the season. The Armstrong International Cultural Foundation 2014-15 season begins on Sept. 15 with Broadway stars Kelli O’Hara, an Oklahoma native, and Ted Sperling performing “Broadway’s Classic Hits.”
If you’re still in the mood for music, enjoy some soul music at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Jazz Lab. Call 405.359.7989 to buy tickets. Each week, the Jazz Lab features live entertainment, and visitors can order food and drinks from Hideaway Pizza next door. During the week, across the street, you can learn about Edmond’s history at the Edmond Historical Society and Museum.
Want to spend time outdoors? Edmond offers ways to do that, too, especially with several parks.
You can go to Arcadia Lake, which offers trails for bicycling, motorcycles and hiking/running, boat rentals and horseback riding, among other things. Edmond has a range of other parks, as well, but two big ones with lots of trails are Mitch Park and Hafer Park. Or you can check out two water parks: The Edmond Y Water Park and Pelican Bay Aquatic Center.
[Image courtesy of The Arcadia Round Barn]