Things to do in sulphur. ok

21 Best Things to Do in Sulphur, OK

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With family living near the Lake of the Arbuckles, we are constantly finding new things to do in Sulphur, OK. Why do we love the town so much? Besides its rich history and natural features, some of our children’s fondest memories over the years have taken place here, while exploring with cousins. 

Enveloped in the heart of Oklahoma, Sulphur stands as a hidden gem, teeming with natural beauty and a rich tapestry of cultural heritage that beckons travelers from near and far.

It’s a place where families, friends, and solo explorers can dive into everything from hiking and swimming spots to unique shopping destinations and delectable dining. Truly, the town of Sulphur is a traveler’s oasis in Oklahoma.

Best Things to Do in Sulphur, OK

There is a wide range of activities to keep you entertained in Sulphur. A lot of the activities we recommend reside within the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Here are some of our top spots to visit. 

Note: Most of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area is back open following the tornado damage from April 27, 2024. Check out the park’s most recent updates here. The Rusty Nail Winery is closed at this time. Updates to follow as reopenings begin.

1. Little Niagara Falls

Little Niagara Falls is a charming and picturesque waterfall located in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. This natural feature is a popular spot for visitors due to its serene beauty and the refreshing swimming hole it creates. The falls cascade over a series of small tiers, tumbling over rocks and forming an inviting, emerald-green pool below.

Despite its name, which might suggest grandeur, Little Niagara Falls is more quaint and intimate. But beware the spring-fed water is quite chilly! 

Little Niagara Falls things to do in sulphur ok

Pro-Tip: The Chickasaw National Recreation Area was Once known as Platt National Park, the 7th National Park created in the U.S. It merged with the Arbuckle Recreation Area in 1976, formally becoming the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

2. Travertine Creek

Exploring along Travertine Creek is one of our favorite things to do in Sulphur, OK. The creek is a notable feature of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. It is popular because of its clear and cool streams that flow through a lush landscape.

The creek is fed by natural springs, including Antelope and Buffalo Springs, contributing to its constant flow and providing a refreshing environment for visitors.

Buffalo Springs and Antelope Springs
Buffalo Springs

Travertine Creek’s name is derived from the presence of travertine, a type of limestone deposited by mineral springs. The creek meanders through the park’s Travertine district, historically known as Platt National Park. It offers a variety of picturesque spots perfect for picnicking, wading, and observing the local wildlife.

The area around the creek is well-maintained with trails like the Travertine Creek Trail. It allows visitors to enjoy a stroll alongside the water, taking in views of small waterfalls and the uniquely clear water. 

travertine creek swimming

Pro-Tip: As you travel down Perimeter Road inside of the park near the Travertine Center, be on the lookout for pullover parking spots. Then hike down the hill to the creek. These are my favorite spots for private swimming in the creek area. Unfortunately, Little Niagara is often crowded and busy during peak times of the year. 

3. Travertine Nature Center

The Travertine Nature Center is the main educational facility of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, located in Sulphur, Oklahoma. It serves as a focal point for visitors and an excellent starting place for exploring the park’s natural and cultural resources. 

Highlights of the Travertine Nature Center include:

  • Exhibits: The center houses a variety of exhibits that provide information about the local ecosystem, geology, and history of the area.
  • Live Animals: Visitors can see live reptiles, amphibians, and fish, offering an up-close look at some of the species native to the region. We once saw an adorable, one-eyed small owl while visiting.
  • Ranger Programs: Park rangers often conduct educational programs, videos, and guided walks, helping visitors to understand and appreciate the park’s natural and historical significance. Kids can become a Junior Ranger and complete a booklet as well!
  • Starting Point for Trails: The nature center is a great starting point for several hiking trails that allow exploration of the surrounding landscape, including the Travertine Creek and the many springs that feed it.

The Travertine Nature Center is an important resource for education and conservation. It highlights the unique features of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area and provides visitors with the knowledge to enjoy and respect the park’s diverse environments.

Pro-Tip: The park holds a Historic Candlelight Tour one weekend every October. It’s a self-guided tour with people dressed in costume, teaching about the park’s history as you meander through the park. The experience is a wonderful educational treat for all ages. 

hiking near travertine nature center

4. Chickasaw Cultural Center

The Chickasaw Cultural Center is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to preserving and sharing the history, culture, and traditions of the Chickasaw Nation. It is one of the largest and most comprehensive tribal cultural centers in the United States. The center offers a rich experience for visitors of all ages.

Key features and attractions of the Chickasaw Cultural Center include:

  • Exhibits: The center features numerous exhibits that showcase Chickasaw history, from ancient times to the present day, through interactive multimedia displays, artifacts, and storytelling.
  • Chikasha Inchokka’ Traditional Village: An outdoor living history village where visitors can experience the traditional life and surroundings of the Chickasaw people before European contact.
  • Holisso: A specialized library and archive focusing on the study and preservation of Chickasaw history and culture.
  • Anoli’ Theater: A large-format theater that presents films and live performances, including those about Chickasaw history and culture.
  • Sky Pavilion: An outdoor space where visitors can enjoy traditional stomp dances, storytelling, and other cultural demonstrations.
  • Spirit Forest: A peaceful outdoor area that represents the connection between nature and Chickasaw culture, ideal for reflection and learning.
  • Café and Gift Shop: The Aaimpa’ Café offers traditional Chickasaw cuisine, while the gift shop features a variety of Chickasaw art, crafts, and other cultural items. We tried their grape dumplings on our last visit!

The Chickasaw Cultural Center serves as a vibrant hub for cultural exchange and education, inviting visitors to engage with the living history and ongoing story of the Chickasaw people.

5. Veterans Lake

Veterans Lake, situated in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, is a tranquil lake whose name is meant to honor veterans of American wars. It is a destination that offers a variety of outdoor activities and scenic beauty.

The area features a three-mile trail that’s paved. You can follow a trail to the Chickasaw Cultural Center and enter the area by way of a large bridge, known as the Inkana Bridge.

The lake also provides opportunities for fishing from the shore or a boat. Visitors can use its boat ramp for small boats, kayaks, and canoes. 

wildlife in sulphur, ok

6. Hiking

Hiking in Sulphur, Oklahoma, offers a diverse range of trails that cater to outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels, from easy walks to more challenging hikes. The area is particularly known for the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, which provides a scenic backdrop for hikers with its lush forests, mineral and freshwater springs, and varied wildlife.

Some of the popular hiking trails in Sulphur include:

  • Bison Pasture Trail: This moderate trail is a favorite among visitors who wish to catch a glimpse of the bison herd that resides within the park. It offers a mix of prairie and wooded landscapes.
  • Buffalo and Antelope Springs Trail: An easy hike that is well-suited for families, this trail leads to beautiful springs and invites hikers to enjoy the serene environment.
  • Bromide Hill Trail: A 2.4-mile out-and-back moderate hike that rewards adventurers with panoramic views of the surrounding area and the town of Sulphur.
  • Veterans Lake Trail: This almost 3-mile loop trail encircles Veterans Lake and is considered an easy route, which makes it perfect for a leisurely hike with picturesque lake views.
  • Travertine Creek Trail: A trail that follows the creek, showcasing the beautiful travertine rock formations and offering chances to spot local wildlife such as deer, birds, or turkey.

Whether looking for a short nature walk or a more substantial hiking experience, Sulphur’s trails deliver a memorable outdoor adventure.

hiking near the travertine nature center

7. Bromide Hill

Bromide Hill in Sulphur, Oklahoma, is a notable landmark within the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. It offers visitors a moderately challenging hike and the opportunity to experience some of the most striking views in the park.

Key features of Bromide Hill include:

  • Hiking Trail: The Bromide Hill Trail is a 2.4-mile out-and-back route that is generally considered moderately challenging due to its elevation gain and rugged terrain. 

Pro-Tip: However, you can skip the long portion of the hike and just park at the base of the hill and hike up to the overlook if you want the view without the hike.

  • Scenic Overlook: Hikers are rewarded with a panoramic overlook at the top of the hill.
  • Geological Interest: The hill gets its name from the mineral springs in the area that were once thought to contain bromide. The region’s unique geology is of interest to both hikers and geologists.
  • Wildlife: The area is home to various species of wildlife, and visitors may have the opportunity to observe animals in their natural habitat.
  • Historical Significance: Bromide Hill and the surrounding springs have a history of being a health destination due to the mineral-rich waters. This adds a layer of cultural heritage to the hiking experience.

Bromide Hill provides a chance to connect with the history and geology of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. It’s a must-visit destination for hikers and nature lovers visiting Sulphur, Oklahoma.

bromide hill view

8. Lake of the Arbuckles

The Lake of the Arbuckles is a prominent feature of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area near Sulphur, Oklahoma. Built by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1966, it has become a popular destination for outdoor recreation.

We take a boat out on the lake at least 2-3 times during warmer months. Our family enjoys swimming, water skiing, and fishing and has camped on the edge of the lake as well. 

The Lake of the Arbuckles offers a haven for outdoor enthusiasts looking to fish, hike, camp, or simply enjoy the peaceful landscape of southern Oklahoma. The lake has 36 miles of shoreline and 2,350 acres of open water.

Lake of the Arbuckles

9. Bison Pasture

The Bison Pasture is a designated observation area where visitors can safely watch the park’s bison herd. Bison Viewpoint is located off Highway 177.

Bison Pasture
Check out the baby bison! Image taken along Veterans Trail about a month after the April 2024 storm damage.

10. Vendome Well & Flower Park

Vendome Well is an artesian well known for its substantial outflow. Flower Park is a beautifully landscaped pedestrian park that surrounds it.

Key features of Vendome Well and Flower Park include:

  • Vendome Well: Drilled in 1922, the well was created to provide a reliable water source. It quickly became a popular spot due to its impressive flow rate, which was reported to be around 2,500 gallons per minute. The well taps into the Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer. The mineral waters that feed the well have drawn visitors for their supposed health benefits. Beware that sometimes it smells strongly of sulfur!
  • Flower Park: The Flower Park was created in the early 1900s by the Civilian Conservation Corp. Its rustic, natural quality was popular during its era of creation. The goal was to leave as much of the area preserved and naturally aesthetic as possible. The stream that runs between the two areas is lined with stones and wood.
Vendome Well a month after storm damage of April 2024
Vendome Well about a month after the April 2024 storm damage

11. Chickasaw Visitor Center

The Chickasaw Visitor Center in downtown Sulphur serves as an information hub. Learn and gather resources about the many attractions and cultural sites of Chickasaw Country.

12. Artesian Spa

The Artesian Spa is a luxury spa located within The Artesian Hotel in Sulphur, Oklahoma. It offers a world-class oasis of relaxation and rejuvenation to guests in the heart of Chickasaw Country.

13. Oka’ Chokmasi

Oka’ Chokmasi is a park located in Sulphur. The park’s name translates to “beautiful water” in the Chickasaw language. It reflects the park’s design and the cultural significance of water to the Chickasaw people.

Image taken about a month after the April 2024 storm damage.

14. Arbuckle Trail Rides

Arbuckle Trail Rides is an equestrian service offering guided horseback riding experiences through the scenic landscape of the Arbuckle Mountains. This family-owned and operated ranch caters to riders of all skill levels, from beginners to experienced equestrians.

15. Rusty Nail Winery 

***currently closed due to tornado damage***

The Rusty Nail Winery is a boutique winery located in Sulphur, Oklahoma. It is a family-owned business that offers a unique wine experience in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

The winery is situated in the heart of Chickasaw Country. It has become a popular destination for both tourists and locals. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings, a small bistro menu, and a gift shop in this historic building.

16. Shopping

Many of the downtown shopping boutiques we frequented were damaged by the tornado in April 2024, but there is shopping still available in the area. We stopped by some of the shops underneath the Artesian and around the corner on our last trip. We hope that businesses that experienced devastating losses are able to reopen down the road!

17. Dining

You’ve got to stop and eat while you’re finding all of these amazing things to do in Sulphur, OK right? 

Sulphur has a variety of quick bites, restaurants, and fine dining.

Quick Bites: Bedre Cafe & Subway

Fine Dining: Springs at the Artesian

Sit-down Restaurants: Potrillos Mexican Restaurant & Boomarang Diner

Things to Do Near Sulphur, OK 

These attractions are about 20-30 minutes away from the heart of downtown Sulphur, OK. However, they can easily be on your itinerary while visiting.

18. Bedre Fine Chocolate Factory

The Bedré Fine Chocolate Factory is technically in Davis, near Sulphur. It is a destination for chocolate lovers and those interested in the chocolate-making process. Owned by the Chickasaw Nation, Bedré Chocolates represents a commitment to quality and a celebration of Oklahoma-made products.

19. Turner Falls Park

Turner Falls Park is one of the state’s most famous recreational areas, nestled in the heart of the Arbuckle Mountains. The falls drops 77 feet into the clear, cool water below.

Visitors can swim in some areas, hike trails, picnic, and rent sites to camp in or stay in a cabin. Explore the historic Collings Castle as you hike the area as well.

Turner Falls Park is a family-friendly destination. It offers a variety of outdoor activities and experiences for visitors of all ages. The park provides a serene and enjoyable environment for outdoor recreation and relaxation. 

20. Arbuckle Wilderness

Arbuckle Wilderness is a drive-through wildlife park located in the Arbuckle Mountains area of south-central Oklahoma, near Davis. The park offers a safari-like experience where visitors can observe and interact with exotic animals from their vehicles.

21. Turner Falls Zipline

The Turner Falls Zipline is an adventure attraction located near Turner Falls Park in Davis, Oklahoma. This zipline experience offers visitors a thrilling ride with a spectacular view of the 77-foot Turner Falls.

Best Places to Stay in Sulphur, OK

Fortunately, you’ve got options when it comes to finding the best places to stay in Sulphur. Depending on your accommodation needs, we’ve got a great list of suggestions ready for you.

Arbuckle RV Resort

Bring your RV or rent one on-site! Arbuckle RV Resort is family and kid-friendly. Visitors can enjoy the resort’s pool, fishing ponds, and zipline, and play volleyball and basketball. Additionally, check out their salamander sluice!

Echo Canyon Spa Resort

Looking for a couples getaway? We stayed at the Echo Canyon Spa Resort immediately after our wedding. Our cottage was the perfect romantic location, and their breakfast dining experience was simply amazing.

The Artesian Hotel, Casino, & Spa

The Artesian Hotel is a luxury hotel that offers a blend of modern amenities and historic charm. It provides guests with beautiful views of the surrounding natural beauty.


Campers can choose from several campgrounds in the area, including Buckhorn Campground. It’s situated next to the Lake of the Arbuckles and offers a family-friendly environment with convenient access to water activities.


Check out some of the local cabin rental companies in the area or look at VRBO as well.

book cabins
camping at lake of the arbuckles
Camping at Lake of the Arbuckles

Wrap-Up: Best Things to Do in Sulphur, OK

In conclusion, there are so many wonderful things to do in Sulphur, Oklahoma. It is a destination rich with natural beauty and cultural significance, offering a variety of activities that cater to outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, and those seeking relaxation. 

We’ve spent years watching the town grow in popularity, but maintain its quintessential small-town charm. Sulphur is a place where memories are made. Each attraction contributes to the appeal of this unique area, making Sulphur, OK, an excellent choice for a getaway filled with adventure, learning, and leisure. 


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