Updated: Aug 30
This Months’ Spotlight: Broken Bow, Oklahoma
This month, we are featuring the increasingly popular Broken Bow, Oklahoma. Why is Broken Bow getting so much attention? A couple reasons: it's only 3 hours door-to-door from DFW, it sits on a picturesque state park protected lake, and these aren’t your 80’s grandpa Freddie’s cabins; they are luxurious, modern, and have everything you need! So grab your family and/or your closest family friends, leave your cell phone charger at home, and enjoy a week with nature!
The town of Broken Bow is actually about 15 minutes south of the cabin rental area and the amenities of the Beavers Bend State Park (which surrounds Broken Bow lake). Hochatown is where it’s at! This is where you rent the luxury cabins, enjoy the main road of 259 to grab dinner and sip at the wineries or breweries, enjoy ice cream, visit the petting zoo, and play mini golf!
Picking a cabin is your first step.
What do you look for? First, you need to decide how many people you need to sleep and how many bedrooms you need. Some cabins come with all king beds, where you can pile kids in one room, or need for an adults-only trip. Or they come with a bunk room or loft where older kids can sleep. Most cabins include a hot tub, fire pit, game loft, and some include a playscape (which is amazing for the kids).
TIP: If you're considering multiple properties and a playscape is a must, look through the property photos to figure out where it's located. Ideally, you want to see the kids from the back deck while enjoying an afternoon drink or grilling out. You'll thank me when you can sit and relax while watching the little ones!
Only, 75% of cabins are on VRBO and/or Air BNB, so you can begin your search there, but the other percentage of cabins are only available from the management companies website. (95% of cabins in the area are managed by a company.) So venture over to large companies like Blue Beaver, Creative Escapes, or Broken Bow Vacation Cabins and make sure you check out their inventory as well other than just VRBO or AirBnB.
So you booked your cabin, what's next?
This part is up to you. You don’t even have to leave your cabin, if you don’t want to! You can relax on the back patio, enjoy the hot tub, the outdoor fire pit, play games, bbq, and just walk around nature on your property. But for those wanting to explore, there is so much to offer in the area. First, I recommend that you explore the Beavers Bend State Park. Drive directly into the state park from your cabin (about 10 minutes). Make sure you drive over the dam (built by the Army Corps), it’s a spectacular view! You will see how gorgeous and pure the lake looks, and make sure you check out the boat rentals online if you wish to rent a platoon boat or jet skis with Bandit boat rentals! There are no cabins on the actual lake, so it makes even more enjoyable and natural!
Depending on the ages of your group, there are plenty of hiking trails to accommodate all levels of hikers. For those with young kids, I would recommend the Tree Trail, an easy-rated trail. It’s about 1.5 miles long altogether and does a circle that took us about an hour plus. You start by going down a stepped, tiered hill, walk along the creek, venture up a hill to the top, and back around by the creek. You can also just take the hike down to the river and walk along, turning around wherever you feel comfortable. You pick it up at the Forest Heritage Center inside the state park.
Another beautiful trail is the Friends Trail, which is rated moderate. It is about a mile and a half long and took about an hour. After you walk up a beautiful trailed hill, you slowly wind down and walk along the absolutely stunning river with waterfalls. You can walk down to the river in some places to feel and taste the fresh water! I would only recommend this trail if you have someone strong that can carry younger kids, as the last portion of the walk along the river is very narrow and rocky with a little deep decline.
In the middle of the state park, there are plenty of family friendly activities! You can park and swim at the sandy public beach. Across the way, there is a mini golf course, as well as canoe and paddle boat rentals, which are very affordable! A big hit with the kids is the Train depot ride. It is a 30-minute ride through the woods, led by a very comical train conductor. Not much to actually see, besides beautiful nature and a lot of deer that love to come right up to the train. The train leaves every 30 minutes. Next to the train depot, you can ride horses on a trail ride if that’s your flavor! There are plenty of places where you can do family fishing or more advanced fly fishing, so pick up a cheap pole at Academy!
I call this a secret spot, where don’t need to hike in to find it, and kids will enjoy throwing rocks for hours into the stream! The backdrop of the cliff is perfect to just relax and enjoy the scenery. Follow this pin and you will see a parking lot you can pull into on your left: https://goo.gl/maps/uRXx5Jks5XWP4GL37
So we hiked and fished, now we are hungry and thirsty! Where do we go? I recommend packing all your groceries prior and loading them up for the drive. There is a Walmart in the town of Broken Bow (15 minutes away), and some gas stations in the town of Hochatown, but it's an extra stop and the Walmart is a 1990s version, ha! Normally, we eat 80% of our meals at the cabin, it is so much fun to just grill your food and eat on the back deck overlooking the woods! But there are a handful of restaurants along 259 in the main town of Hochatown. Our go-to restaurant is Grateful Head Pizza! It's a cute place with indoor and outdoor patio seating! Grab a craft beer or glass of wine while you wait for your pizza to eat in or take out! The adult drink spots are really picking up, there are now 2 wineries, 2 breweries and a new distillery that does tours and tastings!
What else to I need to know?
Smores and hot dogs in the fire pit is a must! Most management companies will pre-deliver your wood directly to your fire pit! Some of the management companies (like Blue Beaver and Creative Escapes) will offer a special for off-peak seasons, like buy 3 nights, get 1 free. Just register for their emails, and you will get a code!
Let me know if you are ever headed up there, and we may just be in town the same week! It’s a very hard place to resist when you are looking for a little family/friend downtime, out of the concrete jungle of DFW. This is my go-to place off the beaten path (which is growing in popularity)!
GCS Moms League Vice President