If you’re looking for a little serenity, Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees (also known simply as Grand Lake) has you covered. You’ll find a laid-back vibe in this quiet Oklahoma destination. No matter what’s on your vacation bucket list — whether it’s chilling out on the lake, exploring nature, or infusing your trip with local flavor — you’ll find your escape during any season at Club Wyndham Grand Lake.
When the days get longer and the sun warms the lakeshore, you can enjoy the natural beauty and historic charm of the region. Take a step back in time with history and nostalgic kitsch on historic Route 66. Car buffs will love Darryl Starbird’s National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame Museum, which houses more than 50 custom vehicles.
Roam through Lendonwood Gardens to see the spring blooms. This 8-acre botanical garden features seven distinct sections, and about 250 different varieties of rhododendrons that blossom between April and May. Explore the additional 1,200 types of plants and trees, including colorful azaleas, either on your own or with a guided tour.
When the summer heat rolls in, take a dip in the lake’s cooling waters or grab a refreshing drink at one of the local watering holes. Head over to Sail Grand Waterfront to rent a variety of watercrafts to skim the lake’s 46,000-acre surface — ski boats and WaveRunners will excite the thrill seekers, pontoon boats are ideal for the laid-back vacationer, and sailboats and fishing boats offer a day of play for the skilled enthusiast.
For more outdoor recreation, spend an afternoon at Bernice Area at Grand Lake State Park. This 88-acre park area is a great spot for a family outing. Splash around at the swimming beach, teach the kids to fish, visit the popular nature center, or view wildlife in the feeding area. The park also has two playgrounds to occupy little ones and a 1-mile paved trail for a quick jog or stroll.
Whether you’re walking the waterline, hiking a trail, or cruising the roads in your car, you can watch the leaves change from green to shades of gold, red, and orange along the majestic 1,300 miles of Grand Lake’s shores in autumn.
View the transforming backdrop on horseback at Royal Horse Ranch. Trail rides take you through woods and along the lake, and hay rides and campfires are available for larger groups of 15-25 — perfect if you’re in the area for a reunion, group trip or extended-family getaway. After your ride, stop at the on-site Monkey Island Winery for a bottle or two of locally crafted vino.
Pack your warm clothes and get ready for a trip where you can unwind and relax. Bald eagle watching is a popular pastime in cold-weather months — the state becomes the winter home to as many as 2,000 eagles. Rivers and lakes, like Grand Lake, are ideal locations for catching a glimpse of these majestic creatures. Bring your binoculars, dress appropriately and check for local bird-watching events.