Short Trip, Faraway Feel
Nearby trips for varied experiences
Photos by Shannon Cornman
Angel’s Way Guest Ranch
Do you need to get away, but don’t want a long road trip or the grind of airport security? For the mere investment of a 30-minute drive east of Edmond, you can get a little taste of Colorado and Italy, all in one weekend.
Angel’s Way Guest Ranch sits directly north of Luther. It’s nestled into the hillside of a small valley in the deepest rolling hills of eastern Oklahoma County. Add to that the log-cabin-style bed and breakfast itself, and the look is every bit Colorado.
Phyllis and Paul Dragus are the proud owners, who live in the lodge – unless they have guests, when they stay in a separate building on the property so they’re available to help without intruding on the guests’ privacy.
“I have guests come in from all over the place,” says Phyllis. “For example, I have a group of cowboys who come in from Calgary, Canada, for events at the Lazy E Arena. We are their favorite place to stay.”
For $160 per night, guests receive the comfortable beauty of the lodge, liberally furnished in Santa Fe style. The main sitting room uses both stories from floor to ceiling; the fully built basement provides two bedrooms in addition to the two on the second floor; and the dining area is near the east windows, which provide a warm and homey feeling. Plus, the price includes a gourmet breakfast cooked by Phyllis.
Just 10 minutes from Angel’s Way is Tres Sueños Vineyard and Winery, home of award-winning blends. It would be easy to imagine being in Italy with the way the grounds of the winery have been developed over the 17 years that Richard Kennedy has owned it. Once blending and bottling to sell at retail-level quantities, Kennedy is changing directions, saying that now they only make enough for their wine tastings and events.
“I have three other vineyards that I buy from,” he says. “I used to have 10 when we made a lot of wine. But now I’m sort of phasing down in the twilight of my years.”
The winery’s event center looks out onto the rows of vines sloping down the hillside. An open-air pavilion’s festive feel makes it a beautiful site for wedding receptions in nice weather. The additions to the grounds provide comfortable settings for events as small as a family wine-tasting, but as expansive as corporate events and large weddings.
The heaviest bookings are for weddings, where the beauty of the facilities and the popular wine blends are in high demand – so much so that they booked “around 70” nuptials last year, Kennedy says.
As with Angel’s Way, you will have to call ahead and book your event no matter how many are involved.
To get a bigger taste of Oklahoma’s past and culture, a little more than 30 minutes’ drive northwest will put you in Guthrie, home of what is billed as “the oldest and biggest parade in the state.” As the territorial and first state capital, it’s a national tourist target as a National Historic Landmark, with the multitude of late Victorian architecture in its Historic District a special highlight.
The 89er Days Celebration has long been a key event for Oklahoma. It commemorates the land run of 1889, which opened central Oklahoma for territorial settlement – and gave rise to Guthrie, Oklahoma City, Moore, Norman and a host of smaller towns around those cities.
This year, the 89er Days festival runs April 19-24. The highlight of the week will be the parade, starting at noon on Saturday, April 23. Mark your calendars.
All of these experiences will give the short-trip traveler a unique weekend to recharge without much transit expense or time, before returning to the daily routine on Monday.
► Before you hit the road
Angel’s Way Guest Ranch
Phyllis and Paul Dragus | 23611 N Luther Road, Luther | 405.277.7782
Tres Sueños Winery
Richard Kennedy | 19691 E Charter Oak Road, Luther | 405.277.7089 | tressuenos.com/about.html
89er Days Celebration
April 19-24 | Parade steps off at noon April 23 | 89erdays.com