The Group Travel Leader

JUL-AUG 2017

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Page 53 of 59

5 4 T 2 0 1 7 GROUP TRAVEL LE ADER T H E S ituated in southwest Oklahoma, Great Plains Country stirs the imagination with sweeping fields of golden short grass and gran- ite mountains. Visitors will feel right at home in this soothing environment, especially when they connect with the local communities. "No matter where you travel in Great Plains Country, you're going to be welcomed with open arms," said Brooke Miller, executive director at the Great Plains Country Association. SI G N AT U RE AT T R ACT I O NS CU LT U R A L E X PERI EN CES H I D D EN G E M S The 60,000-acre Mountain Wildlife Refuge, along the oldest mountain range in North America, protects native species such as free-range bison, Texas longhorn cattle, prairie dogs and elk, making it a prime destination for photography and hiking. Travelers may not have time to see all the roadside attrac- tions along Route 66, but they can uncover the history and highlights of the iconic highway at the two Route 66 Museums in Elk City and Clinton, which explore the myths, culture and history surrounding the road. At the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, groups can learn about the historic cattle trail that once extended from Texas to Kansas. At the center, guests can admire period art in the Garis Gallery of the American West; learn how to rope a steer at one of the interactive exhibits; or visit the 4-D sensory theater that simulates a cattle run where audience members can feel the rumble of the stampede as hot dust kicks up around them. "It's a great opportunity to experience what cattle driving would have been like in the 1800s," said Shepherd. Based near the entrance of the Mountain Wildlife Refuge, the city of Medicine Park is a historic cobblestone village with just over 400 residents. Visitors can peruse the small collection of art galleries and shops in town, or take a dip in Bath Lake to cool off. The General Franks Institute and Museum in Hobart was founded by five-star Army General Tommy Franks and his wife to educate the public about the history of the U.S. military. The museum now features a 9/11 exhibit with a 3,000-pound steel beam from the World Trade Center, New York City firefighter gear and memorial videos dedicated to the victims. Courtesy Great Plains Country Association THE HISTORIC COBBLESTONE VILLAGE OF MEDICINE PARK , WOW. Grand Lake O' the Cherokees Grove, Oklahoma V i s i t C h e r o k e e Nat i o n . c o m © 2017 Cherokee Nation Businesses. All Rights Reserved. WWW.GREATPLAINSCOUNTRY.COM G RE AT PL AINS

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