The stress of spending all of your savings on vacation can steal away a little bit of the fun. So, this year, why not find a vacation for your family that's not expensive? You might find you have even more fun than you would spending tons of money. Every state has low-cost vacation places that help you make great vacation memories. Oklahoma, for example, is filled with surprising places you and your kids will love -- with none of the financial stress.
Does your crew like the outdoors? That kind of vacation’s easy in Oklahoma. Take your pick of camping spots in 35 state parks or along the shores of one of the state's 200 lakes. You’ll discover places to climb rocks, trek over sand dunes and backpack over mountains. One of the most-loved places to camp in Oklahoma is Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur, Oklahoma. Hike, swim, bike and boat near wandering creeks with swimming holes in travertine terraces.
One of America’s “bread basket” states, Oklahoma offers exciting opportunities to explore agriculture with your family for very little money. Visit one of the state’s impressive farmer’s markets, where you can stroll through row after row of luscious treats from Mother Nature. Some farms allow you to walk rows of growing berries and fruits to pick your own. On other farms, you can feed cows, work with the farmhands or navigate a corn maze. It’s fun and educational.
Fall Foliage Drives
For just the price of gas and lodging or camping, you can see some of the country’s most beautiful fall scenery along the Talimena National Scenic Byway, which meanders through the age-old Ouachita Mountains. Stop to hike in majestic forests, view Viking carvings at Heavener Runestone Park, or simply enjoy discovering what’s around each bend in the road. Relax and play in nature with the glorious colors of fall surrounding you. It’s a healthy way to save money and have fun.
The history of Oklahoma is rich with great American frontier stories and Native American heritage, and you can soak it all in for nothing through the state’s many free museums. See dinosaur tracks preserved in sandstone at Kenton, and admire kachina dolls and ceremonial artifacts -- even attend a powwow -- at local museums, such as the Ataloa Lodge Museum in Muskogee. If nature is your thing, you might enjoy the 40 acres of gardens at the John E. Kirkpatrick Horticulture Center in Oklahoma City. If you go there, don’t miss the OSU-OKC Famers Market, open all year round.
Based in Greenville SC, Eric Bank has been writing business-related articles since 1985. He holds an M.B.A. from New York University and an M.S. in finance from DePaul University. You can see samples of his work at ericbank.com.