Oklahoma is known for its agriculture, energy industry, and rich Native American heritage, but the state has so much more to offer.
The state is rich in history, art, and culture, which you can see in its towns and cities.
One such city is Alva, a small city in the northwestern part of Woods County.
With a population of just under 5,000 residents, Alva isn't your typical bustling metropolis.
However, don't let its size fool you.
The city is full of things to do, see, and experience!
From its rich history depicted in the numerous murals around town to the interactive exhibits at the Cherokee Strip Museum, the City of Alva features art and history everywhere you look.
You can spend an entire day in Alva and never run out of things to do or see.
Get a headstart on your journey to this hidden Oklahoma gem with this list of the best things to do in Alva, Oklahoma.
See the Murals in Alva
Alva is home to over 20 murals, making it the perfect place for a mural tour!
Start your journey at the Alva Chamber of Commerce to grab a map of all the murals in town.
Some of the most notable murals around town include the Castle on the Hill Mural, Carles Share Mural, and the Alva Train Depot Mural.
Then, you can find the Starr Lumber Company Mural, The Supply Trail Mural, Statehood Day Mural, and the Battle of Turkey Springs Mural.
These murals are unique because they also tell a story that relates to the rich history of Alva.
For example, the Charles Share Mural depicts the history of one of the early settlers in Alva, Charles Share, who owned a large expanse of land in the area.
The Starr Lumber Company Mural tells the story of the lumber company that used to operate in Alva, a significant employer during the early 20th century.
Each mural has a different story, so read the plaques beneath each mural to get the full effect.
If you're up for the challenge, spend an afternoon learning about the history and culture of Alva through its murals!
Visit the Cherokee Strip Museum
The Cherokee Strip Museum is one of Alva's most popular tourist attractions.
The museum preserves the history and culture of the Cherokee Strip Land Run, a land lottery that allowed people to claim free plots of land in the Cherokee Outlet.
The Cherokee Strip Museum features interactive exhibits that tell the story of the land run and the history of Alva and the surrounding area.
You can take a guided tour or explore each exhibit at your own pace.
Either way, thanks to the friendly and accommodating museum staff, you should learn a lot about the history of Alva and the Cherokee Strip.
The museum is also home to a research library, which contains a wealth of information about the Cherokee Strip Land Run and the history of Alva.
If you're interested in the history of Oklahoma and Alva, visit the Cherokee Strip Museum.
Take Your Family on a Wildlife Adventure at the Menagerie - Bradt's Mammals & More
Oklahoma has rich wildlife you can easily explore at the Menagerie - Bradt's Mammals & More.
Located on Oklahoma Boulevard, the Menagerie - Bradt's Mammals & More is a family-friendly attraction with over 50 animals.
See camels, zebras, peacocks, llamas, horses, and more!
You can even pet and feed some animals, such as llamas and deer.
The Menagerie is a great place to take your family for an up-close and personal wildlife experience that you won't soon forget.
You can take a guided tour of the facility to learn about the different animals and their habitats.
Otherwise, you can explore the grounds independently.
Either way, you should have a blast at the Menagerie!
Apart from their Zoo, the Menagerie also offers other activities like the Hay Maze and Laser Tag!
Visit the Alva Regional Airport Museum
The Alva Regional Airport is the city's local airport and home to the Alva Regional Airport Museum.
The museum is dedicated to preserving the history of aviation in northwestern Oklahoma.
Likewise, the museum features a variety of exhibits that tell the story of the airport and its role in the development of Alva.
You can also learn about the different aircraft that used to fly in the area, and their former pilots.
The museum is excellent for learning about Alva's history and general aviation.
The museum is also home to a research library, which contains a wealth of information about aviation history in northwestern Oklahoma.
If you're interested in the history of Alva or aviation, check out the Alva Regional Airport Museum.
Learn More about Alva at the J. W. Martin Library
The J. W. Martin Library is the University Library of the Northwest Oklahoma State University in Alva.
The library is a great place to learn about the history and culture of Alva, as well as the surrounding area.
The library is home to a research collection that contains a wealth of information about the history of Alva and the surrounding area.
You can also tour the library to learn about its history and architecture.
The library offers a variety of facilities and services, including an on-site cafe and an event space.
If you're interested in learning about the history of Alva or the surrounding area, visit the J. W. Martin Library.
Experience Alva Nightlife at Nite Light
While it's not known for its nightlife scene, Alva offers a few bars and clubs for those looking to experience the city's nightlife.
One of the most popular bars in Alva is Nite Light, located in downtown Alva.
Nite Light is a great place to grab a drink, listen to live music, or dance the night away.
The atmosphere at Nite Light is always lively and fun, with welcoming and friendly staff.
This bar also prepares famous cocktails and serves a wide selection of beers.
There's also a karaoke night on selected days of the week, which is always a blast.
If you're looking for a place to have some fun and let loose, then go to Nite Light.
Enjoy Movie Night with Friends at Rialto Cinema Video
Rialto Cinema Video is a local movie theater in Alva that offers a great selection of movies for all ages.
This theater is a great place to catch up on the latest blockbuster hits and some classic favorites.
This movie theater also has comfortable seats, perfect for cuddling up with someone special or laughing it up with friends.
Rialto Cinema Video also offers a variety of concessions, including popcorn, candy, and soft drinks.
If you're looking for a place to relax and watch a good movie, Rialto Cinema Video is the perfect spot.
Relax and Have Fun at Cookie's Bowl & Cafe
It's always nice to have a place to relax and unwind after a day of touring and exploring the city.
If you want to relax with friends and family and enjoy some great food, check out Cookie's Bowl & Cafe.
This cafe offers a wide variety of food options, including pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, and salads.
You can also enjoy a refreshing cold drink or a delicious bowl of ice cream.
They also serve craft beer and wine.
Likewise, this cafe is unique because of its on-site bowling alley, which is perfect for a night of fun and games.
You can play a game or two with your loved ones and enjoy great food afterward!
If you're looking for a place to relax and bowl, then bring your friends or family to Cookie's Bowl & Cafe.
Appreciate Local Art at Graceful Arts Gallery and Studio
Besides its famous murals, Alva also has a few hidden art gems.
One of them is the Graceful Arts Gallery and Studio.
A husband and wife team who are passionate about art run the gallery.
The gallery features a variety of local artists as well as international artists.
Every exhibit features different genres of art, so there's something for everyone to enjoy.
In addition, you can tour the gallery by yourself while asking the friendly staff and even some local artists about their work.
The gallery also offers art classes for those who want to learn more about the creative process.
Alva's local art scene is worth checking out, and the Graceful Arts Gallery and Studio is the perfect place to start.
Rejuvenate Yourself at Spa Deco
The Spa Deco is the premier spa clinic in Alva, the perfect place to recharge your mind and body.
This spa offers various services, including massages, facials, manicures/pedicures, and even hair styling.
The staff is very professional and friendly, offering various treatments tailored to each client.
Likewise, the Spa Deco is a stylish and luxurious spa that offers the perfect environment for relaxation.
If you're looking to rejuvenate yourself on vacation, then go to the Spa Deco for some much-needed rest.
Try Alva's Signature Hot Wings at the Bull Smokehouse and Saloon
The Bull Smokehouse and Saloon is a local favorite for its delicious food and great drinks.
In addition, this restaurant is known for its famous hot wings, a must-try in Alva.
The Bull Smokehouse and Saloon has a cozy and relaxing atmosphere, perfect for a night out with friends.
In addition to their hot wings, they also serve various American classics, such as burgers, steaks, and ribs.
They also have a wide selection of beers and other drinks, so try one or two glasses.
If you're looking to catch a game, the Bull Smokehouse and Saloon is also a great place to watch the big game.
It's also a fun place to socialize with the friendly locals.
The Bull Smokehouse and Saloon is perfect for some good food and drinks.
Play Golf at the Alva Golf and Country Club
The Alva Golf and Country Club is one of the best places to play golf in Alva.
This course offers a unique and challenging experience for all skill levels.
The course sits on a beautiful rolling hill amid stunning views of the nearby countryside.
You can also enjoy various amenities, such as a pro shop, a clubhouse, and a restaurant.
If you want to get away from the city, tee off at the Alva Golf and Country Club.
Bring Your Family to the Alva Recreation Complex
Alva is a family-oriented city with many parks and recreation facilities for families to enjoy.
One of the best places to take your family is the Alva Recreation Complex, which has something for everyone.
This massive complex includes an indoor pool, a gymnasium, and a variety of sports fields.
Bring your buddies to the basketball courts, football, soccer, and baseball fields.
You and your family can watch a game or participate in the local sports leagues.
The Alva Recreation Complex is the perfect place to spend a day with your family and has a great time.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Visit the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge
The Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge is in Jet, Oklahoma, 32 minutes from Alva.
It is a must-visit for nature lovers.
This beautiful refuge is home to various animals, including bald eagles, bison, and waterfowl.
More than 200 species of birds also migrate through the refuge each year.
The best time to visit the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge is during the spring or fall when the migrating birds stop by.
During this time, the refuge offers a variety of ranger-led programs, such as bird-watching tours and nature walks.
Go on a Desert Adventure with Stewart SandSports
The nearby town of Waynoka, Kentucky, is home to Stewart SandSports, which offers desert adventures that are perfect for thrill-seekers.
You can find it 30 minutes from Alva.
Apart from ATV repairs, this shop offers ATV rentals and guided tours through the dunes.
If you've never been on an ATV before, don't worry.
The staff at Stewart SandSports will give you a crash course so you can safely enjoy your desert adventure.
Alva is a fun and exciting city, thanks to the numerous things you can do there.
This art-friendly city is perfect for history buffs, and it's also a great place to catch a game or play golf.
Families will also have a blast at its many recreation centers, and nature lovers will enjoy visiting the nearby Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge.
Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Alva!