The word "extreme" is often overused by sodas, tortilla chips, and Vanilla Ices, but it definitely applies to the rough-and-tumble Grave Digger Race. In a merciless 5-mile course, competitors huff, puff, and soil their skivvies as they charge across intense, soggy terrain in their quest for victory. Along the muddy path, racers must hurdle a slew of 23 daunting obstacles, including walls made of tires, walls made of rope, and walls made of wall. Beer, food, showers, and contestant medals help alleviate postrace fatigue, and proceeds from the race benefit the Oklahoma chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse.
Aesthetes and anthropologists can devour an eyeful of wide-ranging cultural artifacts and extensive fine art collections at the Mabee-Gerrer. The permanent collection of Egyptian art claims Oklahoma's only mummy that's not living, and the antiquities section features sculpture and pottery from ancient Greece, China, and Mesopotamia. Visitors can also set their sights on a broad sweep of American works, including timeworn Aztec textiles housed in the Arts of Ancient America collection, present-day paintings by Oklahoma artists in the Contemporary Art section, and the unpainted canvases hanging in the museum's 23rd-century collection.
Located near the Oklahoma–Arkansas border, Lake Wister State Park is a gateway to the Ouachita National Forest, an area known for its hiking trails and mountain scenery. There are five camping areas throughout the park, each filled with a mix of cabins and sites for tents and RVs. Although the area is surrounded by wilderness, you won’t have to rough it—each site has access to amenities such as comfort stations with showers, full kitchens, and picnic shelters.
Naturally, most visit the state park for its many outdoor pursuits. There’s 115 miles of shoreline, which include a swimming beach and lighted boat ramp. The area is especially popular in the summer, when Lake Wister bustles with water-skiers and anglers out for the water’s catfish and sand bass. Meanwhile, the cabins have direct access to nature trails that show off the resident white-tailed deer, rabbits, and bald eagles. You can also learn more about the local wildlife by checking out the exhibits at the park’s nature center. When the kids aren’t out exploring nature, they can take enjoy the onsite water spray park and miniature golf course.