The town of Stillwater, Oklahoma has been named as one of the “Friendliest College Town in America,” home to the famous Oklahoma State University. The welcoming spirit and friendly smiles make it fairly easy for anyone to understand why Stillwater is also one of the “Friendlies Cities in the South.”

The area has strong roots in agriculture and education, yet offers visitors with a variety of things to do for its size, including college sports games, animal parks, outdoor recreation, museums, delicious meals, a craft brewery, and much more.

1. Lost Creek Safari

Lost Creek Safari
© Lost Creek Safari

The Lost Creek Safari is a USDA-Certified animal park in the town of Stillwater where guests have a unique chance of an up-close and personal experience with some of the most exotic animals in the world. Visitors can feed grapes to playful lemur, cuddle baby kangaroos, and say hello to a camel. Owners Carla and Rusty strive to go the “extra mile,” making every visit feel as if it’s a VIP, behind-the-scenes animal encounter. The Lost Creek Safari is open on a seasonal basis from March to October, Monday to Friday by reservation, and no reservations needed for weekends.

1200 W. 80th St, Stillwater, OK 74074, Phone: 405-707-0403

2. Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University
© Oklahoma State University

Established on Christmas Day back in 1890, the Oklahoma State University has since grown into one of the premier land-grant universities in the United States. The university, in fact, is the only university to have a statewide presence in all of the seventy-seven counties of Oklahoma through its Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. Visitors and locals alike in Stillwater can find a wide variety of things to do at Oklahoma State University, even if they aren’t students there. The university hosts numerous sporting events, as well as other special events throughout the year, including NCAA Division 1 basketball.

Stillwater, OK 74078, Phone: 405-744-5000

3. The Botanic Garden at OSU

The Botanic Garden at OSU
© The Botanic Garden at OSU

Nestled between two charming oak groves is The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University. This 100-acre large garden is a treat to explore and meander through with its many peaceful trails and stunning fauna. At its core, however, The Botanic Garden as OSU is designed to inspire research and discovery for students and visitors alike, as it operates as a living laboratory utilized by various departments of the university. For visitors, however, there is nothing better than sitting at one of the garden’s benches and simply soaking up the sights, smells, and sounds that a thriving and diverse ecosystem provides. See gorgeously kept gardens as you stroll through the trails, and leave the Botanic Garden feeling refreshed and more connected with Mother Earth.

3300 W. 6th Street, Highway 51, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078, Phone: 405-744-5000

4. Boone Pickens Stadium

Boone Pickens Stadium
© jaflippo/

The state-of-the-art football stadium of Oklahoma State University, the Boone Pickens Stadium not only provides excellent facilities situated in extremely convenient proximities, but a one-of-a-kind game-day environment as well. Known formerly as Lewis Field, the Boone Pickens Stadium has been the home field of the Cowboys football team of Oklahoma State University in some form since the year 1913, becoming a complete football stadium in 1920. The stadium is also the oldest football stadium within the country’s Big 12 Conference. Visitors can also find pre-game activities at the stadium on game days, particularly the Fan Fest starting three hours before.

700 W Hall of Fame Ave, Stillwater, OK 74075, Phone: 405-744-3188

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5. Iron Monk Brewery

Iron Monk Brewery
© Iron Monk Brewery

The Iron Monk Brewery in downtown Stillwater, Oklahoma is the state’s premier craft brewery and tap room, providing a variety of beers and tours of the brewing facilities. The Tap Room offers year-round favorite brews, as well as a revolving selection of small-batch beers that can’t be found anywhere else. As for food to pair with the brews, the Iron Monk Brewery partners with several local food trucks. Brewery tours are offered at certain times on Saturdays and include an overview of the brewing process, samples of a choice of four different beers, a souvenir pint glass.

519 S. Husband St, Stillwater, OK 74074, Phone: 405-714-2585

6. Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History

Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History
© Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History

The Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History is dedicated to receiving and collecting the material culture associated with the town of Stillwater in Oklahoma, which date back to prehistoric times, but mostly from the 1800’s through present day, preserving them for future generation. Along with a number of permanent exhibits about Payne County and Stillwater, the history museum also showcases temporary exhibits that change every year, focusing on different themes or subjects. Admission to the Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History is by donation, with the museum open to the public on certain days.

702 S Duncan St, Stillwater, OK 74074, Phone: 405-377-0359

7. Lake Carl Blackwell, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Lake Carl Blackwell, Stillwater, Oklahoma
© Oleksii Sergieiev/

Established in 1937, Lake Carl Blackwell is a popular outdoor recreation destination in the area, located around eight miles just west of the town of Stillwater. Situated nearly in the middle of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, the lake is mostly used for recreational activities, with approximately eight hundred acres adjoining the lake itself, and is owned and managed by the Oklahoma State University. Activities at Lake Carl Blackwell include picnicking, fishing, hiking, duck hunting, boating, water skiing, swimming, mountain biking, horseback riding, and camping. The family-oriented lake also includes a lakeside convenience store, marina, and sand beaches.

11000 Oklahoma 51 West, Stillwater, OK 74074, Phone: 405-372-5157

8. National Wrestling Hall of Fame

National Wrestling Hall of Fame
© National Wrestling Hall of Fame

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma is the country’s hall of fame and museum for amateur wrestling. A shrine in the United State to the sport of wrestling, it’s a focal point for the preservation of the sport’s heritage, encouragement of youth to aspire to more lofty goals, and the celebration of new achievements. There are special hours on Oklahoma State home wrestling match days.

405 W Hall of Fame Ave, Stillwater, OK 74075, Phone: 405-377-5243

9. St. Francis Xavier

St. Francis Xavier
© St. Francis Xavier

The parish of St. Francis Xavier Church in Stillwater has a rich, long history. In the town’s beginnings, there was no diocese, no bishop. The area’s first priest was a missionary traveling priest from the Sacred Heart near Shawnee, a Benedictine Monastery. The St. Francis Xavier Parish was the first to be established in the town and the church has undergone many transformations since it was originally built back in 1899, starting out with rough planks as pews and an unplastered interior. The church got its first resident priest and was officially dedicated in December of 1901.

711 N Country Club Rd, Stillwater, OK 74075, Phone: 405-372-6886

10. Gallagher-Iba Arena

Gallagher-Iba Arena
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Known once as "The Madison Square Garden of the Plains” and "The Rowdiest Arena in the Country,” the Gallagher-Iba Arena is Oklahoma State University’s venue for wrestling and basketball. Originally built in 1938 as the 4-H Club and Student Activities Building, the name of the building was later changed to Gallagher Hall to honor Ed Gallagher, a wrestling coach at the university, before later being named the Gallagher-Iba Arena in 1987 to also honor Henry Iba, an innovator and longtime basketball coach. The first basketball game to be played in the arena took place on December 9th of 1938.

200 Athletic Center, Stillwater, OK 74078, Phone: 405-744-3188

11. The Hideaway

The Hideaway
© The Hideaway

The Hideaway in Stillwater, Oklahoma has been serving up perfect pizzas since the 1950’s. From the traditional meat lovers pizza to the Hideaway Special featuring different toppings on every slice, there’s something for any pizza lover at this local dining establishment. Established in 1957, The Hideaway was one of the state’s first pizza restaurants, originally named the Campus Hideaway, as it was situated just off the campus of Oklahoma State University. Richard, who now owns the Hideaway, started out as a delivery driver during his time as an OSU student and bought the pizzeria three years later.

230 S Knoblock St, Stillwater, OK 74074, Phone: 405-372-4777

12. Eskimo Joe's

Eskimo Joe's
© Eskimo Joe's

Eskimo Joe's started out as a bar in 1975 in the very same location where it exists today. The menu here includes the famous cheese fries, shakes, salads, burgers, and much more. Eskimo Joe's is also a popular place among local residents of Stillwater to “catch the game” or maybe just a bite to eat for both lunch and dinner. The restaurant is known for always being family-friendly and smoke-free, and transforms into a “Jumpin' Juke Joint” at night with live music. Eskimo Joe's is open seven days a week from 11:00am until 8:30pm.

501 W Elm Ave, Stillwater, OK 74074, Phone: 405-372-8896

13. Granny's Kitchen

Granny's Kitchen
© Granny's Kitchen

Granny's Kitchen is considered by both visitors and locals alike to be one of the best restaurants in Oklahoma for breakfast, if not the best in the college town of Stillwater. In addition to delicious food and above average service, the restaurant is home to quite a bit of history. While the restaurant’s name has changed several times over the years, the flavors, family, and location have all remained the same since the year 1945.

701 S Main St, Stillwater, OK 74074, Phone: 405-743-1299

14. The Ranchers Club

The Ranchers Club
© golubovy/

The Ranchers Club features a distinctive elegant, yet still unpretentious ambiance, incorporating the best of “Cowboy comforts,” such as historic ranch brands beneath original oil paintings of Texas and Oklahoma ranches, leather chairs, antler chandeliers, and rich wood. A popular steakhouse in Stillwater, Oklahoma and open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, The Ranchers Club offers Oklahoma meat and produce from several local suppliers, including NoName Ranch, Honey Hill Farm, and Clear Creek Monastery. Along with steaks, the restaurant’s menu also features classic salads and sides, poultry options, and fresh seafood, as well as vegetarian selections.

H103 Student Union, Stillwater, OK 74078, Phone: 405-744-2333

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15. Zannotti's Wine Bar

Zannotti's Wine Bar
© Zannotti's Wine Bar

Zannotti's Wine Bar is a peaceful and quaint hideaway in the town of Stillwater, Oklahoma, offering appetizers, specialty cocktails, craft beers, and high quality wines. The wine bar prides itself on carrying a diverse selection of beer and wine from numerous countries, including more than fifteen options for by the glass and eight beers on draft, as well as much more by the bottle. Drinks at Zannotti’s Wine Bar also include a menu of craft cocktails, flight options, and an extensive list of whiskey and scotch. There’s also an appetizer menu featuring both shareables and small plates.

113 W 7th Ave, Stillwater, OK 74074, Phone: 405-707-7037

16. Gardiner Art Gallery

Gardiner Art Gallery
© Gardiner Art Gallery

There is a treasure trove of sites to visit and tour at the Oklahoma State University, and one of them is the Gardiner Art Gallery. Originally known as the Women’s Building when the site was first built in 1910, it was later renamed Gardiner Hall to pay homage to Maud Gardiner, a pioneer of Home Economics at OSU. It is within the halls of this building that the Gardiner Art Gallery proudly displays stunning works of art in an assortment of mediums such as Sculpture, 3D, Ceramics, and Printmaking done by students and faculty of the university’s art department. Traveling exhibitions by national and international artists have also been held within the gallery, as well as short-term student and faculty curated shows.

108 Bartlett Center, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078, Phone: 405-744-6016

17. Heritage Hall Museum

Heritage Hall Museum
© Visit Stillwater

At the Oklahoma State University, sports are more than just a pastime, they’re practically a way of life – a living and breathing spirit that has been cultivated and honed since the university’s sports program first began in 1891. It is this “love for the game” and the wildly successful athletic program that the Heritage Hall Museum of OSU celebrates. Packed with mementos, artifacts, and sports memorabilia from the university’s action-packed history, visitors can see hundreds of photos and priceless items like the rifle that won Frank Eaton the Bedlam trophy, basketball bloomers, trophies, and more. Take in incredible moments of sporting history from 1890 to the present, and see athletic heroes in the Hall of Honor while you’re at it.

Gallagher Iba Arena, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74075, Phone: 405-774-5505

18. Hoffman Pecan Farm

Hoffman Pecan Farm
© Hoffman Pecan Farm

You don’t have to be a pecan addict to go nuts at the Hoffman Pecan Farm. This family-owned and operated farm makes a great weekend activity with the family and is a shining example of Stillwater’s agricultural tourism. It’s best to visit the farm during pecan season as this is when the farm hosts pecan grafting workshops and hosts a ton of other great activities to educate and teach about the way pecans are cultivated and harvested. The most popular part of the farm is undeniably its gift shop, which is chock full of fresh pecans as well as pecan-based products like pecan oil, and good old Oklahoma-style barbecue sauce and jams.

7104 E. 32nd Avenue, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074, Phone: 405-372-3583

19. Karsten Creek Golf Club

Karsten Creek Golf Club
© StefanoT/

Designed by the famed golf course architect, Tom Fazio, the Karsten Creek Golf Club is Oklahoma State University’s home course and is inarguably one of the country’s most respected college golf courses. There are over 7,400 yards to this course, throughout which wind zoysia fairways, and magnificent blackjack oak trees, over bent-grass greens. Many holes become quite the challenge thanks to the 110-acre Lake Louise and will test the mettle of many long-time golfers. If the powerful golf program of OSU isn’t enough to convince you to pay the course a visit, then listen to the many magazines and golf championships that have sung praises for the course like the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, and the Travel and Leisure Golf Magazine.

1800 S. Memorial Drive, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074, Phone: 405-743-1658

20. Lake McMurtry

Lake McMurtry
© Kathrine Andi/

Take your family on the ultimate getaway to Lake McMurtry, a dazzling recreation area situated a mere 10 miles from Stillwater. Spend your days out by the water, enjoying one unbelievable sunset after another, after a full day of kayaking, swimming, fishing, or boating. In addition to the great lake activities, the park also boasts 28 amazing miles of multi-use trails. Speed town dirt trails on a mountain bike, hike around the wooded grounds or test your endurance on a trail run. When the sun goes down, visitors can enjoy mouthwatering outdoor grills, and toasting up some smores by a campfire. Phone: 405-747-8085

21. Stilly Axe Pit

Stilly Axe Pit
© Stilly Axe Pit

Looking for a new pastime to try in Stillwater? Head on down to the Stilly Axe Pit and try your hand and chucking axes at bright orange targets. The Stilly Axe Pit is one of the best places to try out axe throwing as they are staffed with more world axe throwing coaches than any other place in Oklahoma. It is from these coaches that visitors will learn safety tips and the best techniques to get the most out of your throw. In addition to axe throwing, the Stilly Axe Pit also offers throwing stars, knife throwing, card, and saw blade throwing. Meanwhile, guests waiting for their turn at the targets can enjoy some darts, corn hole, and an old-fashioned jukebox at the sidelines.

1020 S Main Street, Stillwater, Oklahoma, Phone: 405-332-5463

22. Town and Gown Theatre

Town and Gown Theatre
© Town and Gown Theatre

Established in 1951 by John Woodworth, the Town and Gown Theatre is one of Oklahoma’s oldest and longest-running community theatres. Beloved by both residents and visitors, the Town and Gown Theatre has played host to numerous performances of celebrated classics like The Great Gatsby, Steel Magnolias, and To Kill A Mockingbird. The performances here have readily been met with standing ovations, and are a testament to the skill and talent of Stillwater’s local performers. Visitors can purchase tickets for individual shows, but the Town and Gown Theatre also offers season tickets for patrons who plan to watch more than just one show.

3524 S. Perkins Road, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074, Phone: 405-372-9122

23. Aspen Coffee Co.

Aspen Coffee Co.
© Nomad_Soul/

Sip on the perfect cup of handcrafted coffee at the Aspen Coffee Company. Aspen Coffee has been pouring every ounce of their passion into coffee since 1994 and is known for obsessing (in a good way!) about every single step in the coffee crafting process. Each cup of coffee that passes from the barista’s hands to the customer is roasted to order, which means that every single order is as fresh as it can possibly be. When it comes to the tools of their trade, Aspen Coffee Company takes pride in their manual espresso machines. Amongst the several fantastic coffee offerings on the menu, Aspen Coffee recommends ordering the Cortado, an espresso with a touch of steamed milk.

111 West 7th, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074, Phone: 405-377-5282

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