Oklahoma is home to many outstanding lakes and rivers. All of the large lakes are man made, as are many of the small ones. Lake Grand, Texaoma, and Lake Tenkiller are the large lakes that are popular tourist destinations with golf courses, camping, swimming parks, and other water activities. They are filled with party houses, party coves, and party yachts. Most of the medium sized towns have a small lake that frequently have decent bass fishing. Oklahoma also has numerous hidden that provide more of a wilderness experience. The Lakes of Oklahoma await your arrival.
Location: North East – Just outside of Tulsa.
Grand Lake is the one of the three large resort lakes in Oklahoma and has it all. It’s a party lake with many bars and a coves full of party boats. “Dripping Springs” is the main destination spot. Several of the bars have slips for restaurants and late night party goers. The crowd can be a bit college heavy. The fishing is good as well, although the water can get rough with all the big boats. There is a nice hotel with a golf course and convention center, making it unique for Oklahoma lakes.
Location: South Central Oklahoma – On the Texas/Oklahoma border
On the red river, ½ of Texoma is in Texas, and the other half is in Oklahoma. There is an OK resort, with a golf course, airport, a fun-park and nice tent camping. The fishing in Texoma is legendary. The Stripper fishing is some of the best around. There are numerous fishing guides that make trips most times of the year.
Location: East Central Oklahoma – Outside of Muskogee
Tenkilller is more low-key than Grand Lake, has better fishing, but not too much of a bar scene. Many locals have nice houses and the parties at this lake can be a blast. If some Okie offers to take you here, fun could be just around the corner.
Location: Central Oklahoma – Just Northwest of Oklahoma City
Lake Hefner features a golf course with spectacular views of the lake on almost every hole. Only about 15 miles from downtown Oklahoma City, this lake can get busy. With playgrounds, picnic tables, and various jogging and bike trails, there IS something to do for every member of the family. There is a spa center only 4 miles away from the lake, and baseball and soccer fields on the premises.
Location: Central Oklahoma – Just Northeast of Oklahoma City
With over 1,800 acres and 26 miles of shoreline, Arcadia Lake is nice getaway located just outside of Okc. Opportunities for picnicking, camping, swimming, fishing, water skiing, boating and hiking are all provided by the City of Edmond. The wildlife in Arcadia is booming, with animals from white-tailed deer to shrews. There are terrapins in the woodlands, and shrews in the fields. Constructed by the City of Edmond and the U.S. Army Core of Engineers, with the dam closed, the lake has a surface area of 3,820 acres.
LAKE STANLEY DRAPER
Location: Central Oklahoma – Just Southeast of Oklahoma City
Lake Draper has primitive campsites near the southwest corner of the lake, horse riding, over 900 acres of motorcycle and ATV trails, hiking trails, fishing, boating, and water skiing. The marina carries all the bait items you will need, is open 7 days a week, and also has public boat ramps and covered or uncovered fishing piers.
LAKE OF THE ARBUCKLES
Location: South Central Oklahoma – About 100 miles Southeast of Oklahoma City
A quaint fishing lake tucked in the morticians. The facilities feature hot showers in the campgrounds, playgrounds for children, beeches for swimmers and large public boat ramps catering to the fisherman. Campsites are available with full RV hook-ups.
Considered the Oklahoma Lake with cleanest water, Lake Murray is located near the Oklahoma Texas Boarder just off of I-35 drive and has a large state park with one of the better places to swim in the state without a boat. The park has a golf course, camping, and is great for both boating and fishing. It’s smaller that the big party lakes and great choice for a kid friendly or relaxing trip.
BROKEN BOW LAKE
A little off the beat path, Broken Bow is a very beautiful small lake in the Easter part of Oklahoma. It’s one of our favorite places to go fishing. There are typically not very many ski boats and plenty of hungry bass.
“Dirty Bird” as it’s know to the locals is just a few miles from Norman and one of the closest lake to downtown OKC where you can water ski. We spent many of days on Dirty Bird as we could go water skiing after school sometimes. The nickname comes from the fact the water is very red from the clay in the area.
A large lake east of OKC the crossed I-40. It’s a cool lake, but we don’t spend too much time there as we typically are going to Ten Killer instead.
STANLEY DRAPER LAKE
A lake inside of OKC. There are a few places the kids like take over with 4×4’s and boats. It’s probably a place best left for the locals and home to our first video published on the the Internet.
Lakes of Oklahoma on our short list to visit
- Lake Hudson
- Oologah Lake
- Skiatook Lake
- Kaw Lake
- Pauls Valley Lake
- Medicine Park
- Lake Elsworth
- Tom Steed Reservoir
Swimming Holes of Oklahoma
Location: South Central Oklahoma – 100 Miles South of Oklahoma City
This isn’t a lake, but a very cool swimming hole. With natural swimming pools, springs, cave formations, and the tallest waterfall in Oklahoma, measuring 77 feet, Turner Falls is perfect for those sweltering summer days. The falls are found on Honey Creek in the heart of the Arbuckle Mountains, and the Turner Falls Park offers campsites, cabins, screened-in shelters, and 24-hour police patrols, for any campers in need.