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Oklahoma's most beautiful places

TravelOK.com has compiled a list of the most beautiful places in Oklahoma. Beauty is of course subjective, but for those looking to put together some weekend or spring break staycation type trips, this is a good primer on some of our more photogenic places. Here are the top 5:

#1 - Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

With over 59,000 acres of ancient mountains dotting a sea of prairie, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Lawton is home to free-range American bison herds, prairie dogs, Texas Longhorn cattle, bobcats and coyotes.  The crowning jewel of the park is Mount Scott.  From the top you can marvel at the patchwork of lakes, stunning rock formations and miles of picturesque hiking trails.

#2 - Quartz Mountain Resort

Nestled between the shores of Lake Altus-Lugert and the Wichita Mountains, Quartz Mountain Resort is the ideal setting for quiet reflection and solitude, family fun or a romantic retreat.  The lake glimmers in the sun and moonlight and the stars shine as brightly as any place in Oklahoma.  With the resort’s authentic lodge furnishings and delectable restaurant menu, guests can snuggle in for a memorable stay.

#3 - Chickasaw National Recreation Area

One hundred years ago, American Indians called it the "Peaceful Valley of Rippling Waters" and the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur continues to offer precious serenity to visitors.  Travertine Creek meanders throughout much of the park and the babbling water is the perfect soundtrack for recreation.  From hiking to swimming, camping to picnicking or fishing to wildlife viewing, you are sure to find what best feeds your soul.

#4 - Beavers Bend & Hochatown State Park

Imagine mountains of fragrant pine forests intermingled with colorful hardwood trees and you’ve found Beavers Bend & Hochatown State Park near Broken Bow.  The Mountain Fork River provides clear, cool waters for excellent fishing year-round.  A dream-like mist rising from Broken Bow Lake is the perfect vista while enjoying a morning cup of coffee at Lakeview Lodge.

#5 - Natural Falls State Park

Beauty often makes you quickly draw in your breath in wonder and Natural Falls State Park is no different; but what it also provides its visitors is a place to exhale.  At this quiet oasis in northeastern Oklahoma, a 77-foot waterfall invites visitors to hike down the rugged trails to an enchanting basin pool.  Seventeen different fern varieties thrive in the wet kiss of the cascades.  Once at the base of the falls, you can drink in the tranquility of the little valley and surround yourself with native flowering trees like the redbud and the luminous dogwood.  Camping and hiking are the most popular forms of activity in the park but a book read at the base of the falls on a sunny, summer afternoon could be the most soothing.

For a look at the rest of the list click here.

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Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›

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