17 Best Things to Do in Stillwater, OK

Stillwater, OK
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Considered the seat of Payne County, the north-central Oklahoma city of Stillwater attracts many tourists with its small, college city charm.

With Oklahoma State University making up a huge part of the city, its heritage is also built upon the culture brought about by this institution.

Many of the attractions here reflect that, and as visitors, you too can experience the city’s wonders and allure.

Here are some of the best things to do in Stillwater, OK:

Relax at The Botanic Gardens at Oklahoma State University

Gardens at Oklahoma State University
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Located within the campus of Oklahoma State University is this gorgeous botanic garden.

The garden spans 100 acres and serves as the home to many stunning species of plants.

The people from OSU intended the gardens to serve as a place for research and learning, both for university students and visitors coming over.

Gazebo at at Oklahoma State University
Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tourists can stroll through this fantastic garden or relax on one of the benches and take in the stunning sights provided by the ecosystem here.

Apart from learning about unique plants and how beautiful they can be, you can also treat this as a place to have a break from your busy tourist itinerary.

Visit The Botanic Gardens at OSU during your trip to Stillwater.

Encounter Exotic Animals at Lost Creek Safari

Start your holiday in Stillwater by heading to a destination the entire family will love.

At Lost Creek Safari, you and your family can get up close and personal with a lot of exotic animal species.

Here, you can find lemurs, kangaroos, and even camels.

You can go here and get a chance to learn more about many animals found around the world.

Additionally, you will surely get VIP treatment here as the owners aim to give you and your companions the best experience when you visit.

Head over to Lost Creek Safari and experience a unique and fun attraction everyone will love when in Stillwater.

Grab Breakfast From Granny’s Kitchen

The ideal place to head for breakfast in Stillwater is Granny’s Kitchen.

Locals and visitors love to visit this fantastic restaurant in the city.

The place dates back to the late 1948s when the Raines family acquired the property.


Since then, they have developed their menu and become one of the most popular eateries around.

If you want to try out some of their tasty dishes, you can find Granny’s Kitchen at Main St. in downtown Stillwater.

Appreciate the Outdoors at Lake Carl Blackwell

You can find Lake Carl Blackwell, a popular outdoor tourist attraction, in Stillwater, OK.

Locals and visitors go to this place to partake in fun outdoor activities with their families.

Here, you can find many great water-based activities, including fishing, boating, waterskiing, and swimming.

You can also go on a picnic, pitch a tent, and follow a hiking trail nearby for those who don’t want to get wet.

Opportunities for mountain biking and horseback riding are also found at Lake Carl Blackwell.

Apart from facilities for these fun activities, the site also has a store to shop at for your convenience.

Have fun outdoors with the entire family at Lake Carl Blackwell.

View Incredible Works of Art at OSU Museum of Art

You can find another amazing place where you can appreciate the arts in OSU.

Check out the OSU museum of art for a more diverse collection of art masterpieces.

It houses a collection that features paintings, photos, and sculptures.

It also has pieces of unique art gathered for many different places around the world.

This attraction aims to advance the community’s creativity, learning, and cultural engagement by hosting many exhibitions and events.

Both students and the public are welcome to witness the beauty of art and learn more about the pieces showcased at the museum.

Spend an afternoon browsing the many pieces featured in the OSU Museum of Art.

Check Out the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

A unique destination you can find in Stillwater, OK, is the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Here, you can learn more about the U.S.’s history in connection to amateur wrestling.

Many consider this as the country’s shrine for the said sport.


It aims to preserve the heritage of wrestling in the U.S. while encouraging the youth to strive to achieve their aspirations.

It also serves as a place that celebrates new achievements related to wrestling.

Here, you can find memorabilia and artifacts related to wrestling’s history in the country.

It’s a unique and exciting place to visit, and your entire family will surely enjoy learning about wrestling in the U.S.

Have Some Fun at Lake McMurtry

Natural trail to Lake McMurtry
LeslieDriskill / Shutterstock.com

Another outdoor destination you should visit is Lake McMurty.

Here, you can spend an entire day with your family in the waters of the lake.

While spending your time here, you can hire a kayak and go paddling on the lake.

You can also go swimming and fishing at Lake McMurty.

Additionally, for those who want to go on an adventure on foot, the area has 28 miles’ worth of multi-use trails that you can follow.

Lake McMurtry
Michelle Mahl / Shutterstock.com

There are trails perfect to breeze through on a mountain bike, while there are others best explored on foot.

Also, you can go on a picnic here and sit by a campfire.

You also get a breathtaking view of the sun setting on the horizon while you’re here.

Check this place out while you’re in the area.

Do Exciting Recreational Activities at Boomer Lake Park

If you want to do outdoor activities without having to stray far away from the city center, head over to Boomer Lake Park.

Many locals and visitors choose to hang out here for some outdoor fun.

Here, you can find numerous scenic walking trails that you can follow if you want to take a stroll.

Apart from that, the place also offers numerous facilities for recreational activities.

For water-based opportunities, you can go fishing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding on the lake.

If you just want to hang out with your companions, a picnic pavilion area is available, complete with tables and barbecue grills.

The park even has an 18-hole disc golf course that you can play in.

Check out Boomer Lake Park if you want to have some relaxing or exciting recreational fun.

Learn About OSU’s Sports Background at Heritage Hall Museum

Many know that Oklahoma State University has a long heritage of sports, and it continues to be developed until today.

OSU’s sports program started way back in 1891, and you can learn more about this heritage when you visit Heritage Hall Museum.

You can find souvenirs, collectibles, artifacts, and memorabilia related to the university’s rich sports-related history here.

It houses a collection made up of hundreds of photographs and of interesting items that reflect the sports heritage OSU has developed.

Discover this aspect of OSU’s history when you come here.

For those who want to get to know Stillwater’s art scene, head over to OSU’s Gardiner Art Gallery.

You can find this at the university’s historic Gardiner Hall (formerly known as the Women’s Building), which was built in 1910.

The gallery itself opened in 1965, and now, it has become a significant part of the university’s teaching environment.

Not only that, but it also serves as a place where everyone - students and visitors - can appreciate the beauty of visual arts.

Some of the exhibits shown here include those made by students and faculty.

You can also find pieces by artists from all over the U.S. and the world.

Its permanent collection features graphic prints gathered by Doel Reed, the founder of OSU’s art department.

Today, that collection boasts 300 beautiful pieces done by both local and international artists.

Witness how awe-inspiring art can be at the Gardiner Art Gallery.

Watch a Live Show at Town and Gown Theater

If you’re looking for entertainment that you can watch, head over to Town and Gown Theater.

John Woodsworth established this place back in 1951, and many recognize it as one of the state’s oldest community theaters.

Locals and visitors both love and laud this place as it hosts many stage performances everyone can enjoy.

Some of its shows include classics.

Additionally, many shows here have received standing ovations from their audience members.

If you want to witness just how good the local performers of Stillwater are, check out one of the fantastic performances staged at Town and Gown Theater.

Take Part in a Unique Pastime at Stilly Axe Pit

If trying out unique activities is your entertainment of choice, make sure to visit Stilly Axe Pit.

Here, you can try out the interesting pastime of axe throwing.

However, axes aren’t the only pointy things you can throw here, as you can also throw knives, throwing stars, and even cards.

New to this activity?

Stilly Axe Pit has all the safety facilities you will need to conduct this activity without any worry.

Additionally, it has a knowledgeable staff of coaches that can help you with your first axe through.

Add this to your Stillwater to-do list for your holiday.

Discover Stillwater’s Past at Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History

Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History
Fletcherspears, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learning about a new place you visit during your holiday is a fun activity to do.

So, don’t miss out on doing that, too, when you visit Stillwater, OK.

Head over to Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History, where you can find a collection of artifacts connected to this area’s past.

Here, you can find exhibits of photographs, items, collectibles, documents, and maps related to Stillwater’s history.

Apart from that, it also tells the history of Payne Country and features rotating exhibits.

The museum also hosts events and programs that you can take part in.

Discover this region’s past by visiting this place.

Visit St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church

Stillwater serves as the home of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, an incredible site located in the city’s Country Club Road.

The church building itself features an elegant brick facade, with a spacious area in front.

Inside, you get to see a gorgeous interior featuring interesting altarpieces featured.

You don’t have to be of the Catholic faith to enter this church and learn about its history and connection to Stillwater.

Tours of the interior are available, and it is your chance to learn more about this interesting site.

Explore the Famous Karsten Creek Golf Club

If you want to take part in a relaxing round of golf while in Stillwater, check out Karsten Creek Golf Club.

OSU considers this club as its home course, and a lot of people nationwide respect it as one of the best university golf courses in the country.

The golf course spans 7,400 yards, and it features a landscape design recognized by some of the best in the country.

The place has also been featured in magazines, so you will indeed have an awesome time playing here.

While in the area, don’t hesitate to check out Karsten Creek Golf Club.

Spend Time at White Barn Estates

If you’re looking for a place where you and your kids can have fun, check out White Barn Estates.

Here, you can find many exciting activities your kids would love.

Some of its amenities include a mini-golf course, stocked ponds where you can go fishing, and a beach volleyball court, among others.

The Barn also has an in-house restaurant where you can grab a bite to eat.

Spend an afternoon here, and make great memories with your kids during your holiday.

Learn About Pecans at Hoffman Pecan Farm

More unique outdoor attractions await you at Stillwater, OK.

While here, check out the Hoffman Pecan Farm.

Here, you will find an excellent opportunity to spend time with your family outdoors.

At the farm, you can learn more about tasty pecans by attending workshops about planting and taking care of them.

There is also a gift shop where you can pick up some of the best pecan-based products that you can get around the U.S.

From processed products like oils and sauces to a bag of pecans, you can get them here.

Visit this unique farm while you’re in the region.

Final Thoughts

This small university town has a big personality, and it is not afraid to show it.

Experience the rich heritage of Stillwater, OK, by making it your next holiday destination.