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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Lake Hefner love

Lake Hefner

Did you know that Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any other state? It's one of those weird-but-true facts, much like Oklahoma was once located near the equator. But we digress. One of OKC's favorite lakes of any provenance or location is Lake Hefner. Lake Hefner is not only a water source for a portion of the city, but also a great place for a variety of water-related activities. In addition to loads of fishing areas and docks (be sure to get a city permit in addition to a state fishing license), RIVERSPORT OKC now offers sailing lessons, kayak rentals and more on Lake Hefner. The lake is also a popular location for kitesurfing and wind boarding, and also hosts a terrific set of trails that surround the lake that are just waiting for you to run, walk or cycle. There’s even a park, a public golf course, a remote control aircraft field and picnic areas to enjoy. Afterward, take a reflective respite from all your activities at one of the East Wharf restaurants lakeside like Redrock Canyon Grill, Louie’s on the Lake, Mama Roja Mexican Kitchen, or Hefner Grill, perhaps with an outdoor cocktail and snack as you look out over the lake and lighthouse? Darn it, that sounds delightful, if we do say so ourselves - we'll see you there!

cycling, family-friendly, fishing, golf, Lake Hefner, outdoor recreation, restaurants, running, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Summertime in the 4-0-5

It’s here, it’s here! Summer, that is. Memorial Day marks the traditional start of summer and the end of the school year. With backyard BBQ’s, 9 p.m. – or later – sunsets and great weather to be outdoors, what’s not to like about summer? Summer is the time of infinite fun, where the day seems to last forever and the fun never stops!

Hold on now, you say. How will we keep the kids entertained, you say. How will we make it through endless days of “Mom, what can we do today?” or “Dad, will you drive us to the mall?” while fighting the urge to ship the family off to distant relatives (distant being the key word) so you don’t have to be the fountain of fresh ideas for family fun and frolic???

Here at Better Life HQ, we have a few suggestions that just might keep your family entertained, all while enjoying some amazing attractions that should be on your summer “to do” list!

One of our favorite OKC hot spots for splashing is just outside the Children's Garden area at Myriad Botanical Gardens. Thunder Fountain lures in kids of all ages with everything from light sprinkles to heavy downpours. Fitting the nature theme of the gardens, this splash pad simulates a real rainforest thunderstorm by going through storm cycles to the delight of everyone under the shaded fountain canopy. The City of Oklahoma City also has pools and splash pads all around town. You can find them here.

Summertime used to mean drive-in movie time, back in the day, and you can still find a few drive-ins around the metro. But there's just something special about watching a movie while sitting on a picnic blanket in the great outdoors. One of our favorite places to catch a flick is Myriad Gardens’ Great Lawn. On Wednesdays throughout the summer, the Great Lawn becomes the backdrop for a free summer flick.

Buy the kiddoes – and treat yourself, too – some peanuts and crackerjacks when you root, root, root for the OKC Dodgers at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, home to Oklahoma City's minor league baseball team. Tickets to these fun-filled and family-friendly games are more affordable than a game in the bigs, so you’ll have plenty of extra cash for snow cones and hot dogs. The ball yard is conveniently located in Bricktown so catching a game affords you a chance to see the scenic Bricktown Canal and views of downtown. Check out the Dodgers’ schedule to find when the home team is playing.

Anyone who grew up fishing during the summer knows just how much fun it is to dip your hook, but it can be difficult for city dwellers to go to all the trouble to have their kids take up this summertime hobby. Grabbing a pole and bait and taking the time to get a fishing license and scope out a good spot to drop your line may not seem worth the effort. But don’t despair, OKC makes fishing easy by offering Free Fishing Days. You can fish without a city permit on the first Saturday of each month (but you still need your state license). Kids can also take weekly lessons at various Oklahoma City parks throughout the summer so there's no excuse not to share this iconic summer experience with the kiddoes! Who knows, you might even run into the Thunder’s PG13!

outdoor recreation, water sports, Bricktown, Dodgers, family-friendly, fishing, free, kids, movies, Myriad Botanical Gardens
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Land of a lot of lakes

Lake Hefner

Oklahoma City is one of the premier places for water sports in the country. There are more than 30 lakes within an hour’s drive of OKC. In fact, Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any state in the Union and more shoreline than the east and Gulf coasts combined. With so many lakes in Oklahoma it would take weeks to cover all you can do, so let’s just focus on what to do within OKC’s city limits.

  • Lake Hefner: features 2,500 surface acres, heated fishing docks, boat ramps, 9.1 miles of biking and jogging trails and is famous for sailboats and windsurfers. Hefner is also home to the Oklahoma City Boat Club.
  • Lake Draper: features 2,900 surface acres, four covered fishing piers, boat ramps, tending docks, handicap facilities and fish attractors. Picnicking, fishing, jet skiing, boating and sailing are all permitted. Skiing is allowed in open waters.
  • Lake Overholser: features 1,500 surface acres, covered fishing pier, boat ramps, tending docks, handicap facilities and fish attractors. Picnicking, fishing, sailing, boating and jet skiing are permitted. Lake Overholser is also attached to the wondrous Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge.
  • Arcadia Lake: features 1,820 surface acres, picnicking, camping, swimming, water skiing, boating, hiking, disc golf and an equestrian trail. A heated, covered dock is provided for year-round fishing.
water sports, cycling, equine, family-friendly, fishing, outdoor recreation, running
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 20, 2018

This land is our land

Bison at Wichita Mountains

Many outside of our state borders think of Oklahoma’s geography as uninspiring, to say the least. However, you don’t have to live here long to realize Oklahoma’s topography is diverse. From mountains to sweeping plains, sand dunes and mighty rivers, Oklahoma’s 32 state parks allow you to experience and discover all our great state has to offer.

From rappelling at Red Rock Canyon State Park to boulder hopping and climbing at Robbers Cave State Park, there’s an activity for everyone to enjoy. Bring your own dune buggy or rent an ATV and fly over the dunes at Little Sahara State Park or grab your wet suit and have a scuba adventure in Lake Tenkiller's dive park. The range of activities offered at state parks includes golfing, disc golf, hiking, horseback riding, swimming and even cave exploring (check out the Alabaster Caverns State Park near Freedom).

In addition to relaxing in the beautiful surroundings - lakes, mountains, sand dunes and forests - you can hike, bike, fish or participate in organized park activities. Then rest in a comfortable lodge or cabin, or camp in your own tent or RV.

Some areas of interest worth exploring that aren’t on the state parks’ list include the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service near Lawton, Quartz Mountain Nature Park in southwest Oklahoma and the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve operated by the Nature Conservancy.

cycling, day-trip, fishing, outdoor recreation, parks
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Down South

OU Campus in Norman

There is nothing like a college town, especially in the fall. Norman, home of the University of Oklahoma, makes a great day getaway from Oklahoma City. The state’s third-largest city channels both the bustle of a big city as well as the quaint charm of a college town. Be sure to check out the University of Oklahoma’s campus and catch a football game with 85,000 close friends.   

Looking to cool off from the hot Oklahoma heat? Continue your journey south to the one and only Lake Murray. Located inside the state park, Lake Murray has some of the clearest blue waters around. You can enjoy the day boating, fishing, swimming or stay the night in one of Lake Murray’s quaint cabins.

college, fishing, football, Norman, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Letís get campy

Camping by a lake

Need an outdoor escape to celebrate the start of summer? You don’t have to leave the metro area to get your camping fix.

Lake Arcadia
The area around this in-city-limits lake in northeast Oklahoma County has been preserved to keep the nature natural, and provides an easy escape to camping bliss. At Lake Arcadia you can fish, boat, swim, ride your mountain bike, play disc golf and more. Get more info on camping here.

Lake Thunderbird State Park
With two swim beaches and two marinas (and a plethora of boat ramps) there is plenty to do both on and off the water at this state park just east of Norman. Hear that sound? Playgrounds, horse riding stables and all 18.5 miles of the Clear Bay Recreation Area Trail System are calling you (either that or the battery in your smoke alarm needs to be changed).

Oklahoma City East KOA
Located in Choctaw, this campground offers a pool, a snack bar, a playground and even Wi-Fi(!). Tent sites with water and electricity are available, as well as those without hookups.

Around the state
Want to get a little further away? The Oklahoma State Park system offers plenty of diverse opportunities to spend time under the stars. Our friends at the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department are experts in exploring Oklahoma. Be sure to check out their tips for camping in the state and view a list of state parks.

camping, day-trip, equine, family-friendly, fishing, mountain biking, outdoor recreation, parks, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Great lakes

Lake Hefner Lighthouse

Oklahoma City is one of the premier places for water sports in the country. There are more than 30 lakes within an hour’s drive of OKC. In fact, Oklahoma has more man-made lakes than any state in the Union and more shoreline than the east and Gulf coasts combined. With so many lakes in Oklahoma it would take weeks to cover all you can do, so let’s just focus on what to do within OKC’s city limits.

  • Lake Hefner: features 2,500 surface acres, heated fishing docks, boat ramps, 9.1 miles of biking and jogging trails and is famous for sailboats and windsurfers. Hefner is also home to the Oklahoma City Boat Club.
  • Lake Draper: features 2,900 surface acres, four covered fishing piers, boat ramps, tending docks, handicap facilities and fish attractors. Picnicking, fishing, jet skiing, boating and sailing are all permitted. Skiing is allowed in open waters.
  • Lake Overholser: features 1,500 surface acres, covered fishing pier, boat ramps, tending docks, handicap facilities and fish attractors. Picnicking, fishing, sailing, boating and jet skiing are permitted. Lake Overholser is also attached to the wondrous Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge.
  • Arcadia Lake: features 1,820 surface acres, picnicking, camping, swimming, water skiing, boating, hiking, disc golf and an equestrian trail. A heated, covered dock is provided for year-round fishing.
camping, cycling, equine, fishing, Lake Hefner, outdoor recreation, running, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Operation: Exploration

Wichita Mountains

Spring break is the perfect time to make explore and make memories with family and friends. And, you don’t have to travel far to have an amazing adventure. Check out one of Oklahoma’s 32 diverse state parks. From rappelling at Red Rock Canyon State Park to boulder hopping and climbing at Robbers Cave State Park, there’s an activity for everyone to enjoy.  Bring your own dune buggy or rent an ATV and fly over the dunes at Little Sahara State Park or grab your wet suit and have a scuba adventure in Lake Tenkiller's dive park. The range of activities offered at state parks includes golfing, disc golf, hiking, horseback riding, swimming and even cave exploring (check out the Alabaster Caverns State Park near Freedom).

In addition to relaxing in the beautiful surroundings - lakes, mountains, sand dunes, and forests - you can hike, bike, fish or participate in organized park activities. Then rest in a comfortable lodge or cabin, or camp in your own tent or RV.

Some areas of interest worth exploring that aren’t on the state parks’ list include the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service near Lawton, Quartz Mountain Nature Park in southwest Oklahoma and the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve operated by the Nature Conservancy.

spring break, camping, cycling, day-trip, equine, family-friendly, fishing, golf, outdoor recreation, parks
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Camping: Itís in tents (get it?)

camping in tents

Did you know that Oklahoma offers some of the nation’s most diverse terrain? It is one of only four states with more than 10 ecoregions and has the most per mile in America according to the EPA. Lucky for us, our State Park system is just as diverse and sets you up for as much adventure as you can handle.

Whether you want to sleep in the forest, next to a lake or waterfall, on the sand dunes or near caves formerly used as hideouts for Jesse James and Belle Starr, our state’s park system delivers. Best of all, each state park comes with its own unique amenities including hiking, rappelling, golfing, fishing, bird watching, scuba diving and more.

What are you waiting for? Learn more about ways to explore this great state at TravelOK.com.

camping, family-friendly, fishing, golf, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Family fun in the sun

Lake Tenkiller

While we love exploring the outdoors OKC, and seriously there are new trails, adventures and activities to check out every day, every now and then we enjoy taking a road trip to explore other great parts of the state. Pack up the fam or a few friends and head east to enjoy a fun-filled adventure.

Our great state boasts the largest number of lakes created by dams of any state in the nation, with more than 200. In fact, whether your interests include adventures such as scuba diving and wakeboarding or sailing and swimming, you’re sure to find the perfect locale in eastern Oklahoma.

  • Lake Thunderbird: A short drive from the hustle and bustle of OKC, Lake Thunderbird offers outdoorsmen a variety of water activities and recreation. From swim beaches to primitive camp sites and playgrounds to archery ranges, Lake Thunderbird offers a close-to-home way to reconnect with ­nature.
  • Lake Eufala: Lake Eufaula, Oklahoma's largest lake, is located in southeastern Oklahoma, near I-40. With 600 miles of shoreline, Lake Eufaula offers something for everyone. Whether you prefer the relaxation of paddleboating or the adventure of wakeboarding, you’ll be right at home here. Campsites and cabin rentals are also available. 
  • Lake Tenkiller: Enjoy scuba diving, camping, hiking, fishing, golfing and water sports while surrounded with beautiful rock bluffs. And the spectacular sunsets here are hard to beat.

If your kids are looking for a wet and wild activity to beat the back to school blues, consider the Splash 'n Dash. The non-competitive biathlon-type event will consist of a fun run and swim for boys and girls ages 7-12.

day-trip, family-friendly, fishing, golf, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Hike in a park or take your children on shorter adventures, many of them free

If you don’t want that much structure or to pay so much for some spring break fun, it’s time to check out other places in the metro area. Here are some ideas:

  • The Oklahoma City Visitors Guide, produced by the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, has more ideas for kids of all ages. Get a digital or printed copy, and browse for ideas of all ages. By the time you finish it, you won’t have enough time over spring break to do them all.
fishing, kids, outdoor recreation, parks, spring break
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Red Rock Canyon State Park Rocks

Canyon wall and Gaillardia flower

[photo credit: Lisha Newman / OK Tourism]

Just an hour west of OKC and a little south of Hinton off Interstate 40 is Red Rock Canyon State Park. Nestled among fantastic red Rush Springs Sandstone canyon walls and native Caddo maple trees, the park is a favorite for rappellers, hikers, climbers and car campers. Historically, Red Rock Canyon was a preferred winter camp for Plains Indians, and was also a typical stop on the “California Trail” for pioneers headed west in the mid-19th century. In fact, you can still see wagon wheel ruts left by their covered wagons in the park! Besides hiking and climbing, there is a fishing pond, swimming pool and playground to enjoy. In the fall, it also makes a fantastic spot to see the native foliage embrace its colorful autumnal awesomeness. Red Rock Canyon State Park makes for an easy and fun quick escape and is ready to be explored by TBL readers, so get out there, campers, and be sure to let us know how it went in the comments section.

Red Rock Canyon SP sign

camping, day-trip, fishing, Oklahoma, outdoor recreation, parks
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

While forecasts for Oklahoma City still predict some rain this week, we are quickly moving into the season where it’s fun to be outside as much as possible. Oklahoma City has one of the sunniest climates around – around 65 percent of our days each year are sunny and perfect for outdoor activities.

If you’re stuck for ideas, here are a few to get you started exploring:

  • We’ve written about this before, but check out hiking, nature and wildlife at Martin Park Nature Center at 5000 W Memorial Road, an oasis of calm by the busy John Kilpatrick Turnpike.
  • Go to Lake Overholser on the city’s west side and check out the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, 1,000 acres featuring a hardwood forest, marshlands and animals. Hike or bike, or explore on water with kayaks or canoes. Find out more by searching “Stinchcomb” at www.travelok.com. Or call 405.297.3882.
  • Visit the Oklahoma City Zoo, and see if you can get a glimpse of the baby gorilla born in March.
  • Play at Oklahoma City’s two major amusement parks –  White Water Bay for pool fun and Frontier City if you like your rides with a Western feel.
  • Fish at any number of Oklahoma City’s lakes and ponds.
family-friendly, fishing, outdoor recreation, water sports, zoo
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



On and Around Lake Hefner

The beautiful sunset views at Lake Hefner aren’t the only reason to visit the reservoir in north Oklahoma City, which is basically bound by Lake Hefner Parkway on the east, MacArthur Boulevard on the west, the Northwest Expressway on the south and Hefner Road on the north.

Lake Hefner is one of three urban reservoirs that store Oklahoma City’s drinking water, but you can also fish in it and take boats out on it with proper permits. Get out on the lake through the Oklahoma City Boat Club Oklahoma City Boat Club, Sailorbrains or Sail Lake Hefner, LLC. You can also surf on a kiteboard through 405Kite or Lake Hefner Kiteboarding or ride a stand-up paddle board. Also check out Friends of Lake Hefner and Oklahoma Outdoors if you really want to explore.

Off the water, the Bert Cooper Trails, formerly known as the Lake Hefner Trails, surround the lake and are wide enough for bikers as well as joggers and pedestrians. Play golf on one of the two 18-hole courses at the Lake Hefner Golf Course, or enjoy a picnic lunch at Stars and Stripes Park off of Lakeshore Drive and North Portland Avenue.

cycling, family-friendly, fishing, golf, running, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A walk in the park

Did you know that Oklahoma City is home to more than 100 parks? Yep, you read that right – more than 100 parks in OKC. No matter how you prefer to get your recreation on, there’s sure to be something for you. Playgrounds, fishing, walking paths, spraygrounds and even a mountain bike trail are all just minutes away, no matter what part of the city you choose to call home. There are even special parks for thrillseekers including the Mat Hoffman Action Sports Park and the Route 66 Skate Court.

Oh, and did we mention that there are accommodations for every sport imaginable—soccer, baseball, basketball, football, tennis, disc golf and even cricket? And the offerings at OKC parks are only going to get better thanks to MAPS 3 projects which are currently in the works. We can hardly wait for the downtown park which will connect downtown with the Oklahoma River. We can only imagine the fun concerts, festivals and events that will be held at the 70-acre park.

bmx, family-friendly, fishing, kids, mountain biking, outdoor recreation, parks
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Edmond

Here at the Better Life we know Oklahoma City is a lot more than the OKC city limits. In fact, we like to think of it as Greater Oklahoma City. There are many great communities just outside of our city that help add entertainment and housing options to our region. Every once in a while we like to take a look at some of these communities. Today we will look up north beginning in Edmond.

Edmond is our neighbor to the north and is actually the state’s sixth largest city with a population of just over 81,000. Edmond is hard to beat for a suburb. We aren’t just blowing smoke as CNBC ranked it No. 1 on its “10 Perfect Suburbs” list.

Arcadia Lake is a great place to catch some outdoor fun. The fishing at Arcadia is great as you can catch bluegill, catfish and bass year around. Wait … year around? “Who wants to fish in the frigid temperatures of January?” you might be asking. Well, the lake has a heated, covered dock for just that type of occasion. Arcadia is one of the youngest lakes in Oklahoma, as it opened in 1987. You can also swim, boat, water ski and play disc golf. The lake also has some quality trails for hiking, biking and horse riding.

Are you into the performing arts? You can catch a variety of great shows in Edmond starting with an event at the Armstrong Auditorium.  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.

Edmond is also home to University of Central Oklahoma’s Jazz Lab. Every week the lab features live entertainment with food and drink of course. 

This is just a small taste of things to see and do in Edmond. What are some other can’t miss events or attractions in Edmond? Let us know in the comments.

water sports, ballet, concerts, cycling, Edmond, fishing, live music, mountain biking, music, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (1)



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Lakes and trails at the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge

Want to get closer to nature in Oklahoma City? Visit the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, located at the north end of Lake Overholser at NW 51 and Stinchcomb Ave.

The refuge is a pristine area of 1,000 acres that has remained unchanged since before statehood.

Hiking the area will put you in close contact to whitetail deer, beaver and egrets and beautiful views of lakes, bottomland forest and marshlands. The refuge is surrounded by a hardwood forest of oak and sycamore trees and swamps and marshes.

The refuge’s trails can accommodate bicyclists or hikers. You can also rent kayaks or canoes and explore the North Canadian River/Oklahoma River through the refuge, as well as fish. Enjoy Lake Overholser while there, too. Find out more by searching “Stinchcomb” at www.travelok.com, or call 405.297.3882.

cycling, family-friendly, fishing, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fishing for your heartís content

While we’re on the subject of outdoors, it’s a good time of year to grab your fishing pole and head to one of the area lakes and ponds.

The City of Oklahoma City requires a fishing permit if you’re 16 or older and younger than 61. The Oklahoma Wildlife Department has a good roundup of locations where you can fish close to home.

In Oklahoma City, start with the city’s three urban reservoirs, Lake Hefner, Lake Draper and Lake Overholser. The City of OKC also has designated other ponds as “Close to Home” fishing waters: Dolese Youth Park Pond, NW 50 and Meridian; Crystal Lake, 6625 SW 15;  Edwards Park Fishing Lake, 1515 N Bryant; Kids’ Lake, 3200 W Wilshire; Kitchen Lake, 5501 SE 119; Route 66 Park Bonds, 3350 W Overholser Drive; Southlakes Park Ponds, 4302 SW 119; waters within the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, NW 51 and Stinchcomb Road; Zook Lake, 2101 NE 50 and the Oklahoma River downstream from NW 10.

If you don’t know how, or if you want to branch out into fly fishing, stop by Oklahoma City’s Bass Pro Shop, 200 Bass Pro Drive, and ask about free fishing clinics the store offers at area lakes.

family-friendly, fishing, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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