Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Destination Arcadia

Big small-town enjoyment



 



To Oklahomans, the name Arcadia conjures up images of a smallish lake north of OKC, covered in ski boats, jet skis and sunset silhouettes fishing from rickety piers. In addition, the historic Round Barn, located just east of the lake on historic Route 66. When it comes to food in the area, only one image leaps to mind: that ribbon-like spire of a soda bottle on the edge of a hayfield and the soda pop, countertop ephemera shop known as Pops.
 

All situated along 66, these iconic images have defined Arcadia and the surrounding area, some (the Round Barn) for more than a century. But despite its population of 256, when it comes to Arcadia, its lake and the region around, the area has much more to offer.

 

Just a hundred yards from Arcadia’s famed Round Barn, artist Joel Rayburn recently has opened Glassboy Studios and Tourist Trap Tees, featuring an art gallery, nostalgia shop and studio where he makes and restores neon signs taken from and inspired by the world-famous Route 66.

Rayburn’s shop is in a recently redesigned, century-old building that once housed a grocery store. It features Route 66-inspired art, neon and literature by Oklahoma legends such as author and Arcadia resident Jim Ross and artist Jerry McClanahan, along with famed Route 66 artists Shellee Graham and Alison LaMons. Not only is Rayburn’s neon work featured in the shop, but so too are his handmade T-shirts – each depicting little known legends and myths of Route 66, such as the Regal Reptile Ranch and the Ozark Howler. The shirts feature obscure tableaus and characters and come with a postcard that playfully summarizes each depicted myth.

“Oklahoma, and more specifically Arcadia, really is one of the more artsy spots along Route 66,” says Rayburn. “We want Arcadia to grow as far as small town Americana and artists in residence, but mostly we want to keep things the way they are.”

Rayburn, originally from Eastern Tennessee, fell in love with the route during a cross-country trip on the famed highway with his aging parents. Moved by the disappearing neon signage that once defined the landscape and a generation, Rayburn spent more than a year with master glass bender David Rivers, learning the intricacies of bending glass at 2,500 degrees and the artistic values of gases such as neon and argon – a skill that, if asked, he will happily demonstrate.

“We were looking for a place to live on Route 66 and Arcadia had the best of all the worlds: a small town vibe, an artistic spirit and people that look after each other,” he says. “We’ve got the best spot on the route.”


 

While a sunrise stand-up paddle into glassy water is a tenable description of a typical Santa Monica morning, it’s not exactly the first-conjured image at the mention of Oklahoma City. The University of Central Oklahoma’s outdoor recreation programs have made such an aquatic experience a reality.

Located on Lake Arcadia in Edmond Park just off Second Street (and for the sake of this story, Route 66), the program offers Oklahomans a chance to explore the lake by way of kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard – and for those who prefer to stay on land, by mountain bike. Equipment rentals are by the hour and vary in price, and to ensure availability, it is best to call in advance. UCO students, faculty and alumni can use the equipment for free. If you want the “glassy water,” make sure you go in the morning. Afternoons can get a little choppy.

 

A five-minute drive from Arcadia along Route 66, in a restored old gas station, is some of the best barbeque in Oklahoma. The Boundary on 66, run by husband and wife Donnie Samara and Buffy Price, features ribs, pulled pork, brisket and seasonal specialties such as the wildly popular smoked salmon and crab salad with a side of Oklahoma Caviar.

When Samara first heard of the restaurant’s location, surrounded by nothing but woods and farmland, he was reluctant. However, Samara was in the market to open a different kind of restaurant, and after seeing the space, decided that they had to do it.

“When we started we had no hood, no stove, no oven and no one around … just smokers and warmers,” says Samara. “It was hard to imagine how we survived on that, but we never looked back. We figured that people would like the food and it could become destination dining.”

Whether destination dining or simply escaping the city for a day of neon nostalgia, outdoor water recreation or visiting staples such as the Round Barn and Pops, Arcadia is an Oklahoma town certainly worthy of the term destination.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

Fifty Years of Legend’s

A Norman classic’s golden anniversary

What's Up in the 405

Our top 6 picks for fun stuff to do in and around OKC

New Year’s Getaways for 2019

If you’re heading out of the 405 to mark the end of 2018, here are a couple of getaways to make New Year’s Eve a memorable one.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

December 2018

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

A pop-up shop village & Christmas tree lot in Midtown, OKC for the Holiday season. Shops rotate weekly!

Cost: Free

Where:
Holiday Pop-Up Shops
399 NW 10th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.514.5205
Contact Name: Cleo Rajon
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Parents, bring your children dressed in their favorite jammies for this special night designed just for kids! They’ll experience the wonder and true meaning of Christmas as they travel to a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crossings Community Church
14600 N Portland Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73134
View map »


Sponsor: Crossings Community Church
Telephone: 405.302.1238
Contact Name: Mary Thionnet
Website »

More information

Presented By OKC Ballet, with the OKC Philharmonic Tchaikovsky’s familiar score and Artistic Director Robert Mills’ delightful staging of The Nutcracker will fill your heart...

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall-Thelma Gaylord Theater
201 N Walker
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Ballet
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

A pop-up shop village & Christmas tree lot in Midtown, OKC for the Holiday season. Shops rotate weekly!

Cost: Free

Where:
Holiday Pop-Up Shops
399 NW 10th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.514.5205
Contact Name: Cleo Rajon
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

‘Tis the season for cheer. Join us for a very merry Third Thursday event, Victorian Yuletide! Inspired by our special exhibition, Victorian Radicals, we will be decking the halls with...

Cost: $12

Where:
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: OKCMOA
Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

A pop-up shop village & Christmas tree lot in Midtown, OKC for the Holiday season. Shops rotate weekly!

Cost: Free

Where:
Holiday Pop-Up Shops
399 NW 10th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.514.5205
Contact Name: Cleo Rajon
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Come enjoy live, local comedy in Oklahoma City's Plaza District. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., and the 2nd Saturday of every month also has a family -friendly show...

Cost: $5 - $15

Where:
OKC Improv
1757 N.W. 16th St.
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Improv
Telephone: 405.456.9858
Contact Name: Kate McLain-Snipes
Website »

More information

Murray & Peter proudly present the annual must-see holiday spectacular with your favorite contestants from RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1).  Hosted by Miz Cracker and Monét X Change...

Where:
Rose State College Hudiburg Chevrolet Center
6000 Prosper
Midwest City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Murray & Peter
Website »

More information

Presented By OKC Ballet, with the OKC Philharmonic Tchaikovsky’s familiar score and Artistic Director Robert Mills’ delightful staging of The Nutcracker will fill your heart...

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall-Thelma Gaylord Theater
201 N Walker
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Ballet
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

A pop-up shop village & Christmas tree lot in Midtown, OKC for the Holiday season. Shops rotate weekly!

Cost: Free

Where:
Holiday Pop-Up Shops
399 NW 10th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.514.5205
Contact Name: Cleo Rajon
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Brian Nhira, an incredibly gifted vocalist from Tulsa, amazed the nation when he appeared on season 10 of NBC’s Emmy-winning show "The Voice." And for the past two years, Nhira has...

Cost: Tickets starting at $25

Where:
TCC Vantrease PACE
10300 E 81st St.
Tulsa, OK  74033
View map »


Sponsor: Brian Nhira Music & Good Life Music & Media Lessons
Telephone: 918.704.8855
Contact Name: Jasper Nhira
Website »

More information

Come enjoy live, local comedy in Oklahoma City's Plaza District. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., and the 2nd Saturday of every month also has a family -friendly show...

Cost: $5 - $15

Where:
OKC Improv
1757 N.W. 16th St.
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Improv
Telephone: 405.456.9858
Contact Name: Kate McLain-Snipes
Website »

More information

Presented By OKC Ballet, with the OKC Philharmonic Tchaikovsky’s familiar score and Artistic Director Robert Mills’ delightful staging of The Nutcracker will fill your heart...

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall-Thelma Gaylord Theater
201 N Walker
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Ballet
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags