Dust clouds form from the hooves of two warhorses thundering across the jousting field. Across the way, a falcon wheels in the sky, spotting prey for his master. Meanwhile, King Henry watches from a tall stone tower, pleased with the bustling marketplace below. It isn’t the year 1539, and it isn’t planet Camelot IV in the Avalonian system. It’s the modern-day Oklahoma Renaissance Festival, held at the Castle of Muskogee every summer for nearly 20 years.
Every merchant and performer has a story to tell, from Sir Robert Vinterhawk of Birds of Prey to the painter Lady Anne, who creates lush portraits of the castle’s guests. The Tribal Circus performs gravity-defying feats without the aid of strings or wizardry, and the mysterious masked man of Cast in Bronze enraptures his audience with the sanctified tones of carillon bells. For adrenaline-pumping thrills, the human chess game —where life-size pieces engage in full battle—is second only to the raucous jousting tourney. Guests can further immerse themselves in a lost era with a spin around the maypole or by dressing up for the daily costume contest.
The two-story Victorian that holds Miss Addie’s Cafe and Pub has plied visitors with victuals since its inception as a soda fountain and drugstore in 1915. Carrying on the tradition of hospitality started by the druggist and his wife, the eponymous Addie, today’s owners welcome guests with an extensive menu of hearty pub fare. Plated pasta, beef, and seafood entrees adorn white linen tablecloths inside a sunlit dining room, and dark wood wine racks and a brick fireplace imbue a second space with an English pub atmosphere. Private parties mix and mingle amid the upstairs dining room’s rose-colored walls and bookcases. Patrons can also bring Miss Addie’s homestyle cooking home in the form of a cookbook, bottle of salad dressing, or realistic wax effigy of the head chef.
Gather a group of up to 30 folks for a private joyride down to the ranch's secluded Cowboy Camp, where picnic benches and a large grill are provided for outdoor feasts. Play volleyball in the serene backwoods, watch the multi-hued sunset, or roast marshmallows underneath an all-encompassing blanket of stars. Sequoyah Riding Stables can tailor hayrides to fit any group, with musicians, cowboy storytellers, and poets available for extra entertainment. During your visit, you'll also make acquaintance with Bojangles, the stables' buffalo, and have the opportunity to feed this sociable bison by hand.
Imagine a tropical beach plopped down in the middle of Muskogee, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect at River Country Family Water Park. The azure waters of the Caribbean come to Oklahoma at this wet and wild adventure park, where guests can zip down twisting water slides or lounge in the gentle currents of a lazy river. There's plenty of sand to go with that water, too; kids can play on the tugboat beach while adults square off in games of volleyball or feast on sand-dipped nachos with that perfect crunch.