Before I-40 spanned the nation, two-lane Route 66 was the east-west roadway of choice, taking travelers through desert and plain. Edmond, Oklahoma, the state’s 6th-biggest city, sits near the famed “Mother Road” and is a northern suburb of Oklahoma City. Edmond practically popped out of the prairie during the Oklahoma land grab, and “sooners” have settled here ever since. Boasting outdoor activities, local shopping and public art, Edmond is proof that you need not hit the big city to enjoy the best of Oklahoma.
Edmond attractions range from museums and parks to historic sites. Wranglers at heart will enjoy National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, a few minutes’ drive south of the city. Oklahoma Firefighters Museum, Science Museum of Oklahoma, and the University of Central Oklahoma museums and galleries provide additional opportunities for self-edification. You can catch a film at the science museum’s OmniDome theater.
Some of the most noticeable Edmond attractions are the numerous public art installations spread around the city. One of these is a bronze sculpture of Edmond native and Olympic gold-medal gymnast Shannon Miller, in the park named after her at First and Jackson Streets. A few blocks away, Downtown’s Main Street boasts the greatest concentration of statuary.
When browsing builds an appetite, those on a trip to Edmond will find plenty of restaurant options. The Garage is a classic burger-and-beer joint that serves up bison, beef and turkey burgers while the big game plays on TV or the kids play arcade games. Steak and Catfish Barn’s “Top Cat” challenge was featured on Food Network’s “Man vs. Food” in an attempt to break the record for most catfish eaten in a single sitting. More high-brow dining can be had at the Boulevard Steakhouse, known for oysters on the half shell and steak Florentine.
Shopping enthusiasts eager to take home souvenirs from their trip to Edmond can choose from antiques, collectibles and western apparel in downtown shops. If 10-gallon hats and giant belt buckles aren’t your style, the Kelly West Shopping Center has designer clothing at JoS. A. Bank and Lord & Taylor.
As the day winds down, head to a night spot like Vin Dolce, downtown on South Broadway. This modern wine bar features live jazz and cocktails in addition to wine varietals. The bar’s Napa Technology Wine Stations offer a range of wines by the glass. Try the pineapple mojito or jalapeño-infused tequila for a kick.
At the end of a full day in windswept Oklahoma, bed down at one of Edmond’s lodging choices, from chain hotels to a handful of bed and breakfasts. One example of the latter is Arcadian Inn. Opened in 1990, this 3-building, 8-guestroom lodge built in 1908 is known as a romantic getaway. Another B&B aimed at couples is Two Hearts Inn, where suite names like Tuscany, Venetian and Santa Fe explain the décor. The chains take you back to the “Mother Road”—Comfort Inn and Suites and Hampton Inn can be found off old Route 66.