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Chickasaw County: A Tour of Cultural Destinations

June 5, 2017 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Why is Chickasaw Country the best Native American destination in the U.S.? Chickasaw Country boasts a rich cultural history full of traditions, treasures and landmarks. As visitors travel through Chickasaw County, they will experience the many cultural destinations, and explore American Indian art museums, historical sites, outdoor activities, dining, concerts and live entertainment. In addition, many other tourism amenities can be found in Chickasaw Country such as theaters, hotels, retail and gift shops.

The Chickasaw Cultural Center, located in Sulphur, Oklahoma is dedicated to sharing and celebrating Chickasaw history and culture through demonstrations, cultural classes, hands-on activities and exhibits. The cultural center is one of the largest tribal centers in the United States and is home to the Holisso, a dedicated center for studying Chickasaw and other south-eastern tribes’ history and culture. Also found on the Chickasaw Cultural Center grounds is the Traditional Village, a re-creation of a historical Native American village; The Aaimpa’ Café, an eatery that serves traditional Native American food; and the Anoli’ Theater, a theater where visitors can experience an all-encompassing first–hand look at the Chickasaws stories through film.

Located in Tishomingo, Oklahoma sits the Chickasaw National Capitol, the Chickasaw Nation White House and the Chickasaw Bank Museum, all established prior to Oklahoma’s statehood in 1907. The Capitol represents the “Unconquered and Unconquerable” spirit and history of the Chickasaw Nation. A sculpture of revered Chickasaw leader Piominko, one of the most important and influential Chickasaws in history stands guard on the Capitol grounds. Built in 1985, the Chickasaw Nation White House was once considered a mansion on the Indian Territory frontier. From 1898 to 1971, the Chickasaw Nation White House served as the home to Chickasaw Governor Douglas H. Johnson and his family. The Queen Anne Victorian style mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located in Milburn, Oklahoma open to the public. Also listed on the National Register of Historic Places is the Chickasaw Bank Museum. Established in 1902, the Chickasaw Bank Museum served as the official bank of the Chickasaw Nation until 1906.

One of most well-known towns in Chickasaw Country is Sulphur, Oklahoma, which is home to one of Oklahoma’s largest American Indian arts festivals, the Artesian Arts Festival. Each year on the last Saturday in May, visitors to the 4,000 population town of Sulphur can find the streets lined with food vendors, a variety of musical entertainment and more than 100 American Indian artists. The festival features diverse art mediums, including paintings, basketry, jewelry, sculptures, metalworking, bead work, photograph, textiles and pottery. The festival draws in thousands of visitors, making it one of the fastest growing art markets in the United States.

Chickasaw Country is also home to luxurious hotels and retreats, modern resorts, scenic campgrounds and everything in between, offering a wide range of lodging options to suit any traveler’s taste. The Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma, is surrounded by scenic views in a natural environment where groups can relax until the next adventure. Settled atop a hill overlooking the Lake of the Arbuckles and the peaks and valleys of the historic Chickasaw National Recreation Area, The Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center offers an immersive experience of Chickasaw Country. The Artesian Hotel, Casino & Spa also in Sulphur, Oklahoma is where groups can enjoy grand amenities including a spa, shops, restaurant, bathhouse and indoor and outdoor pools. This unique attraction has a long history dating back to 1906, when the hotel was built and quickly became a popular spot for celebrities and politicians. It was destroyed by a fire in 1962 and rebuilt to surpass its original grandeur.

From unique shops, antique stores and charming boutiques, visitors can also find the latest looks and crafty home decor to Made-in-Oklahoma goods and unique American Indian specialties throughout the 100 retail locations found in Chickasaw Country. One-of-a-kind American Indian art, including paintings, quilts and jewelry, are available for purchase throughout Chickasaw County offering extraordinary collectibles for visitors to take home.

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