Spend a Weekend in Stillwater, OK

By Carol Cowan on April 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm EST

The thriving, family-friendly city of Stillwater boasts great neighborhoods, top-notch schools, low crime, low cost of living and a myriad of recreational and cultural offerings that draw visitors and new residents alike. Home to Oklahoma State University, Stillwater pulsates with the youthful energy of a college town, while its world-class golf courses make it equally attractive to retirees.

The list of accolades for this modern metropolis with old-fashioned warmth and values includes a ranking among America’s top 20 cities for quality of life by Bizjournals and the title of Oklahoma’s Friendliest City from Oklahoma Living.

Come for a weekend and taste great local food and wine, relax at a spa, hit the links, hike the trails, explore galleries and museums, shop the boutiques, and check out the bustling nightlife. Who knows? Maybe you’ll decide to stay. Here are a few suggestions for a whirlwind weekend adventure.

Friday

5 p.m. Take a drive around town to get acquainted with Stillwater’s historic architecture, such as the art deco Leachman Theater building, the Payne County Courthouse, the Stillwater Opera House and the Stillwater Santa Fe.

7 p.m. Enjoy an international dining experience at Kyoto Japanese Restaurant. The sushi – particularly the Kyoto roll – earns rave reviews, or try the hibachi for entertainment with your meal. Kyoto’s expert chefs will delight you with feats of knife-twirling and friendly banter while preparing your meal at your table. Or cook your own food Shabu-Shabu style at Tokyo P.O.T.

9 p.m. Leave Asia and head to Tuscany after dinner. At Zannotti’s Wine Bar, you can find a perfect wine to pair with your dessert.

Saturday

8 a.m. Start the morning right with locally roasted coffee and fresh-baked scones or pastries at Aspen Coffee Co. Then take a stroll along one of Stillwater’s numerous walking trails. Boomer Lake Park has a 3-mile walking trail, and while you’re there, you can feed the geese, toss a Frisbee or even toss in your line at some great fishing holes.

11 a.m. Next, tour the vineyards, herb and flower gardens, browse the art gallery and sample the estate-bottled wines at Woodland Park Vineyards. For a perfect finish, eat lunch in the Garden Room. The chilled melon soup is made with the estate’s own Riesling and ripe melons.

1 p.m. Now it’s time to meander Stillwater’s multitude of museums and galleries. Check out Exhibit One, Project Gallery, the Pfeiffer Farm Collection at the Payne Expo Center, the Sheerar Cultural Center and Museum, and several offerings at OSU. Sports fans should pin down a time to visit the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, and history buffs will appreciate the Washington Irving Trail Museum.

3 p.m. Relax with some pampering at Dragonfly Day Spa, or simply lie back and soak up some rays at Riviera Tanning Spa in Fountain.

5 p.m. After your rejuvenating afternoon, pay a visit to Main Street. From comic books to designer clothing, the downtown shopping district offers something for everyone. Browse specialty shops and apparel boutiques, or check out unique collectibles in Stillwater's Antique Mall.

7 p.m. A trip to Stillwater wouldn’t be complete without a juicy burger with world-famous cheese fries at Eskimo Joe’s. Or, grab a bite at one of the other eateries that make up Stan Clark Company’s Three Amigos Restaurants: Joseppi’s and Mexico Joe’s. Then catch an OSU game or a performance at OSU’s Seretean Center for the Performing Arts.

9 p.m. For after-dinner drinks, check out the nightlife at the city's luxury boutique hotels, The Loft at the Cimarron Hotel and the Rancher’s Club at the Atherton Hotel. Visit the casual atmosphere at Louie’s Grill & Bar, or liven things up at Brannigans with some karaoke.

Sunday

9 a.m. Get going with a mocha latte and breakfast soufflé at Panera Bread. Then spend the rest of your Sunday morning hitting the links at one of Stillwater’s world-class golf courses, such as the challenging Karsten Creek, designed by Tom Fazio.

Have more time? Check out more activities in Stillwater, OK.

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