Preliminary plan AR & OK

Old Aug 14th, 2014, 12:12 PM
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Thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it.

My husband agrees with Doug that Tulsa fits into an Arkansas itinerary better than OKC.

I have changed the plan, eliminating OKC & Talimena Drive in favor of Crystal Bridges and Tulsa. In that case, are there any interesting stops between Crystal Bridges and Tulsa, OK?

I am now considering this route: Little Rock, Petite Jean, Buffalo River area, northern Hwy 7, Crystal Bridges, Tulsa, OK, returning to Little Rock. Any recommendations for accommodations & restaurants along this route would be appreciated.

The other option is open jaw flight Tulsa/Little Rock, depending on drop-off car rental fees.
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Old Aug 14th, 2014, 07:08 PM
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There may be high drop off fees, but I generally find that there are more and better flights to Tulsa, so you might want to start there. It's a big business market with more regular flights from both DFW and ORD. But it depends on where you're flying from.
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Old Aug 15th, 2014, 06:27 PM
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I like your latest plan the best. Frankly, Talimena is just ok. Crystal Bridges is good. They have a good cafe right in the middle that is different. Menu only has a few items.
James At The Mill is a good spot(I haven't eaten there recently)--Upscale

I like Andolini's Pizza in Tulsa. Right nearby is Kilkenny's Irish, which is equally good.
Kupcakz has awesome cupcakes

Little Rock--Dam Goode Pie for Pizza or Whole Hog for BBQ. Flying Fish is also a consideration
Gigi's Cupcakes-this is a chain, but is good. They probably have to much icing, but I like them.

Jasper, AR--Blue Mountain Bakery and Deli,

I don't think you will want more than one meal at Petit Jean Lodge. I would suggest buying a cooler and stocking up a bit for both Buffalo River and Petit Jean.

Oh, Elk are likely to be present at the Boxley Valley area of the Buffalo River(they are in rut at the time you plan on being there and can sometimes be really active at this time--you are going at prime elk watching period. I would suggest spending more time at Buffalo River area than Petit Jean. The best waterfall at Petit Jean is Cedar Falls. You can do that hike in 2-3 hours.
Best hikes for fall colors in Buffalo River area would be Big Bluff/Goat Trail or Hawkbill Crag(aka Whitaker Point). BB/GT would take you 4 hours or so for the hike. Hawksbill is probably 1-2 hours and fairly easy. store(Buffalo Outdoor Center) has great Deli Sandwiches-very weird set up and service. The towns in this area are super small and in the middle of nowhere.

Near Sallisaw Oklahoma (about 5 minutes out of your way from I-40 is Wildhorse Mountain BBQ--unique and a must stop--different type of bbq-you'll either love it or hate it--beans are excellent).

The Amish Cheese House in Choteau OK might be worth a stop for a sandwich. Fairly large amount of Amish live here.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 05:18 AM
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With all the excellent help here, I finalized most of my trip! Roundtrip Little Rock this September.

spirobulldog - I have printed out your posts.

Little Rock: Hampton Inn River Market
Petit Jean: (no rooms available) may have to do day trip.
Buffalo River area via Hwy 7: 2 nights Azalea Falls.
Fayetteville: Chancellor Hotel
Crystal Bridges: Museum Hotel

Tulsa is still tentative. Considering someplace closer to AR to make return to airport easier.

Thank you again,
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 09:17 AM
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Enjoy Arkansas...too bad you miss Missouri this time.

Anyway, I second happytourst mention of two sites in LR, the Clinton Presidential Library and the Little Rock Central High School Museum which is a little hard to find. Also Hot Springs Nat'l Pk is a possiblity. Eureka Springs is quirky but interesting. And Arkansas state parks are nice...we used to camp in some coming down from Springfield, MO.

Not mentioned so far in the far SW corner of Missouri is the George Washington Carver birthplace (a National Park) at Diamond, MO. Nor Precious Moments headquarters at Carthage, MO.

I would certainly second Gilcrease and Philbrook Museums in Tulsa and Cowboy Museum in OKC if you get that far west.
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Old Aug 17th, 2014, 05:50 PM
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Did you call Petit Jean? I find the website unreliable.
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Old Sep 5th, 2014, 08:54 AM
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I live in Tulsa and can make many recommendations if you need them. I would definitly visit Philbrook museum! There are tons of great restaurants and entertainment. Let me know if you have any questions, I see I'm kind of late to this thread!
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Old Sep 8th, 2014, 12:31 PM
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If you are going into NW Arkansas and then into NE Oklahoma a side trip into Miami, OK may interest you. An original portion of Route 66 still exists between Miami and Afton. It is called the Ribbon Road and is only one lane wide. You can see a picture of how the smooth portion looks in my profile picture. The road is rough, but you will be driving a rental so who cares. ;-)
Just north of Miami is Commerce. It was the boyhood home of Mickey Mantle. The house is much the way it was when he was growing up. The old tin barn that served as a backstop for batting practice with his dad and granddad is still standing.
The Coleman Theater and the last Ku-Ku Hamburger Drive-in are in Miami.
From Afton head to Vinita and stop at another Route 66 landmark, Clanton's Cafe. A member of the Clanton family has owned and operated the cafe since 1927. They are known for their Chicken Fried Steak. If you really want to try local food order the Calf Fries.
All of these are just a short hop off the I-44 Turnpike. We were driving on Route 66 which runs close to I-44. Without stops the trip from Miami to Tulsa takes a little over an hour using the turnpike.
One more thing: When in Oklahoma be sure to pronounce Miami as My-am-uh not as My Am Ee. My-am-ee is in Florida. ;-)
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