The seat of its namesake county, the city of Woodward holds all the elements for an exciting visit.
Historically, the Comanche, Kiowa, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes roamed the prairies of Woodward’s area in northwest Oklahoma.
The establishment of the Woodward settlement in 1887 rode on the tracks of the Southern Kansas Railway originating from Kiowa, Kansas.
Woodward soon became a vital shipping point for supplies and cattle, making it one of the “wildest and wooliest towns” of Oklahoma.
In the ensuing years, the energy industry played a major role in the development of Woodward, enhancing further its economic growth and regional influence.
Several hotels, restaurants, and banks, in more contemporary years, have built new facilities or expanded in the city.
Northwest Oklahoma State University has also established a new campus in Woodward as yet another driver for the points of interest in the city.
All these helped mold many exciting things to do in Woodward, several of which are fleshed out on the list below.
Visit the Plains Indians & Pioneers Museum
This museum on Williams Avenue offers immersive exhibits of artifacts, written and oral records, photos, and artworks.
Here, you will see the renditions of a typical Oklahoma frontier town, including its saloon, bank, jail, and newspaper office.
There are about a dozen permanent exhibits in the Plains Indians & Pioneers Museum which has earned the distinction as Oklahoma’s best local history museum.
One of these exhibits, “Northwest Passages,” takes its viewers on a journey from the 1893 opening of the Cherokee Outlet, the largest land run for settlement in US history.
“The Rotunda,” another permanent display in the museum, features murals showing the lifestyle of the Native Americans of Northwest Oklahoma.
Book a Tee Time at Boiling Springs Golf Club
This golf course is located west of its namesake state park and is also accessible via The Springs Road.
The Boiling Springs Golf Club is privately owned and operated.
It opened in 1979, and its 6,500-yard, par-71 course was extensively renovated in 2013.
The layout meanders across 120 acres of playfully undulating dunes, featuring changes in elevation that the North Canadian River etched over centuries past.
This course poses several dogleg fairways, water hazards, and sand traps.
Its signature hole is the 12th, a par 4, 440-yard challenge that calls for a tee shot up a dogleg, tree-lined fairway.
Native grasses, black walnuts, oak trees, elms, and mulberry trees flank the fairways in abundance.
This panorama isn’t the only highlight of the golfing experience at the Boiling Springs Golf Club.
Golfers here will also be in the company of a variety of charming local wildlife.
Immerse in the Joys of Crystal Beach Waterpark
This waterpark, located south of Temple Houston Drive, is adjacent west of the spring-fed Crystal Beach Lake.
Its visitors have plenty of recreational facilities to choose from, starting with a fun-filled aquatics center.
This centerpiece in the waterpark features two slides, a lap pool, and a climbable water toy with hands-on equipment for kids.
The nearby Crystal Beach Lake is stocked with trout for fishing which can also deliver Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, and Green sunfish.
The other facilities in the Crystal Beach Waterpark include a train ride around it, a mini-golf course, horseshoe pits, picnic and cookout areas, and playground equipment.
Concessions, showers, lockers, and changing areas are also onsite at the Crystal Beach Waterpark.
Play at the Woodward Municipal Golf Course
This 9-hole layout, which was built in 1953, spreads adjacent south of the Crystal Beach Waterpark.
The Woodward Municipal Golf Course stretches 3,163 yards over flat terrain, offering a par 35 play.
It has a pro shop that can provide rental carts and clubs to visiting golfers.
The designer of this public golf facility was the prolific Kansas City course architect Robert Dunning whose designs have landed on the golf community’s top 100 list.
Popular because of its convenient location for a short game, the Woodward Municipal Golf Course also offers practice at its driving range and putting green.
Watch Local Artists at the Woodward Arts Theatre
Check the events calendar of this historic, 1920s theater on Main Street.
The arts and cultural presentations at the Woodward Arts Theatre engage not only the talents in the city but also those in its neighboring rural areas.
The Woodward Arts and Theatre Council owns and operates this cultural facility and calendars many community events throughout the year.
These presentations include blues band music, children’s theatre, and artwork sales by local artists.
The council also runs the Josie Adams Cultural Centre adjacent to the Woodward Arts Theatre.
Open for public use, this center hosts art camps and art exhibits, among other cultural and social activities.
Keep Fit at the George Goetzinger Exercise Trail
This 3.7-kilometer trail loops around the area of Southern Great Plains Research Station on 18th Street.
The trail offers an easy, gentle route with an elevation gain of 14 meters and takes under an hour to complete.
Passing through some woodlands providing shade, the trail is ideal for walking, running, and biking.
Trail users with mobility equipment such as strollers or wheelchairs are also likely to be accommodated on this trail.
Built with asphalt and brick pavement, the trail is typically 6 feet wide on its stretch.
The trail has four designated access areas in the parking lot off of Downs Avenue at the trail’s east end.
Experience Nature at its Best at Boiling Springs State Park
This 820-acre park on The Springs Road was established in the 1930s, one of the first seven state parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
The name of the park was derived from the upswelling of its sandy-bottom springs, which appears as if the waters are boiling.
This phenomenon can be viewed from the Boiling Springs State Park’s interpretive center in a natural wooden shelter below the park office.
Visit this park for the delights of hiking, fishing, and swimming, as well as enjoying family picnics.
Boiling Springs State Park offers tent and RV campsites, plus more than 150 picnic tables and grills.
It also features three pavilions with electrical outlets, a water supply, and barbecue facilities.
The park likewise provides a swimming pool, and visitors can fish in its spring-fed, 7-acre Shaul Lake.
For hikers, a trail network in Boiling Springs State Park offers choices from five hiking trails and mountain paths of varying distances ideal for beginners.
Hunt Game at Hal & Fern Cooper Wildlife
This wildlife management area covers 16,080 acres and is located east of Highway 270 on the northwestern outskirts of Woodward.
Hunters have several game species of interest in this area, including a fair number of white-tailed deer.
Rio Grande wild turkeys are in good numbers in this wildlife management area, as well as bobwhite quail and doves.
The prized game in the Hal & Fern Cooper Wildlife Management Area is pheasant duck and waterfowl.
Hunters also go here for the cottontail rabbits, jackrabbits, and furbearers like raccoons, coyotes, and bobcats.
Tour the Anichini–Moore Ranch & Farm
Set an appointment for an agri-tourism ecological tour of this ranch and farm on South Country Road 200 on the southwestern side of Woodward.
Highly diversified, the Anichini-Moore Ranch & Farm devotes itself to sustainable farming practices.
You can see on this working farm unusual or endangered livestock, learn about Oklahoma’s natural farming practices, and get tips on growing herbs and produce.
Out here, you can also have photo opportunities and enjoy birdwatching, wildlife watching, as well as star-gazing in the evenings.
Various farm produce is available for purchase, including vegetables, fruits, grains, wool, and lamb products.
Shop in the Woodward Farmers Market
This seasonal outlet of local produce is held from April to November on 13th Street and Locust Avenue.
The fruits, vegetables, and other farm produce sold in the Woodward Farmers Market are grown using sustainable agriculture practices.
Besides fresh produce, the vendors in this market offer jams, jellies, and homemade bottled and canned food items.
In addition, you can also buy home décor items in the Woodward Farmers Markets, including potted plants, handmade wreaths, and leathercraft.
Enjoy the Extravaganza of the Woodward Elks Rodeo
Held since 1929 traditionally around the second week of June, this event draws national rodeo legends as it’s reputed to be Oklahoma’s toughest.
The Woodward County Fairgrounds on East 2ndStreet hosts this rodeo extravaganza typically on a three-day schedule.
The competitions that riders tackle during the rodeo include saddle bronc riding, bull riding, calf roping, and team roping.
The other side activities of the rodeo are stagecoach rides, a longhorn cattle drive through Woodward’s downtown, and a rodeo-inspired parade on Main Street.
There are also live concerts and evening dances after the rodeo activities.
Cheer in the Fuller Ballpark and Crystal Beach Sports Complex
Woodward boasts two large sports venues which host major youth baseball tournaments.
This pair—Fuller Park and Crystal Beach Sports Complex—are located adjacent to each other north of the Crystal Beach Waterpark on Temple Houston Drive.
Fuller Park is notably the home of the Woodward Travelers, the city’s youth baseball organization quite competitive in Oklahoma tournaments.
The Crystal Beach Sports Complex, on the other hand, hosts five Little League baseball fields designed for various age brackets.
Pick Ornamentals at JW's Nursery & Landscaping
A gardener’s delight, JW’s Nursery & Landscaping is located on 8th Street and offers more besides a diverse array of trees and flowers to plant.
It also sells the right garden tools, such as temperature gauges and clippers, to maintain a garden and its plants.
This specialty store likewise offers seasonal floral arrangements, including holiday-themed wreaths.
During the Yule season, tall artificial Christmas trees are available at JW’s Nursery & Landscaping.
Visit the Showroom of Covington's Customs
Located on Oklahoma Avenue, Covington's Customs welcomes visits, either by individuals or groups, to its unique motorcycle showroom.
The family-owned Covington's Customs was established in 1993 for the manufacture of handcrafted motorcycles.
Besides the shop’s world-class motorbikes, the showroom of Covington’s Customs also displays cars.
The showroom and shops of Covington Customs have been featured on Speed Channel and Discovery Channel.
Choose from the Dining Picks on Main Street
Main Street in downtown Woodward offers many choices for lunch or dinner, with many favoring PollyAnna’s Café.
Starting as a candy shop in the 1900s, it became a favorite for American food, such as ham and pancakes for breakfast and lunch specials like chicken tenders and hamburgers.
For dinner, PollyAnna's Café’s starters revolve around chili cheese fries, fried mushrooms, or buffalo wings, with chicken dishes, steaks, or hamburgers as entrees.
American dining can likewise be enjoyed at the classy Al's Steakhouse, where the choices extend from ribeye or prime rib steaks to seafood servings.
Hot rolls come with each meal here, and it has a salad bar where you can have the greens just the way you want them.
A full bar is also a feature at Al's Steakhouse, offering cocktails and beers to complement your meal.
Cravings for tasty options can be sated at Main Street’s Cafe Paradee, where the sandwiches menu is quite tempting.
Among its choices is EJ's Grilled Cheese Madame with ham, two cheese slices, two eggs, and homemade aioli.
At Cafe Paradee, you can grab a cup of gourmet, direct trade coffee along with homemade pastry.
Go Bar-Hopping on Sports Nights
The downtown Main Street of Woodward is home to several sports bars, so you won’t miss out on big-league sports action while visiting this city.
Longshots Bar & Grill is one downtown destination where much-anticipated sports nights’ events unfold on its huge, flat-screen TVs.
You can keep track of each score while sipping on a cold beer or a fruity cocktail paired with steak or wings.
A similar setup can be enjoyed at Main Street’s Annex Sports Café, which flaunts eight flat-screen TVs.
Homemade bar chow is this sports bar’s specialty, including smoked ribs, pasta, hamburger, salads, and sandwiches.
Woodward offers a wide variety of things to do, and any of them could be the highlight of the visit.
That this city has emerged as a contest finalist for the "The Friendliest Town in America" makes a trip to Woodward even more inviting.