Be a Tourist in Your Own Community, On Two Wheels

Summer on the Plaza, photo by Haley Kurtz.

Story by the Visit Stillwater Team

Last month we launched our series, “Be a Tourist in Your Own Community,” highlighting tips and suggestions about experiencing unique events and attractions in your own backyard. It is all about gaining a fresh perspective on sights, sceneries and experiences you are near everyday.  As daylight lengthens, the busyness of the school year winds down and making summer break memories becomes priority, consider becoming a tourist on two wheels.

Taking bicycling excursions is certainly an excellent way to change your view and maximize opportunities to notice new potential interests along the way. Whether you are looking to bike with your little ones on a short and safe outing or longer excursions with friends, we have tips to rediscover Stillwater from the perspective of a tourist.

In order to create tourist experiences, you must begin thinking like one. Part of the excitement of visiting a new destination is talking with local experts and learning about the most unique characteristics and experiences of that area.  We suggest doing the same when planning a new bicycling experience.  

  • Visit or call the local bicycle shops to learn about their personal favorite routes and recommendations that fit your needs.
  • Take a quick drive around the area you want to explore and scope out the safest route.
  • Plan your route around a specific end destination that you have not yet experienced.
  • Incorporate an event or attraction into your bicycling itinerary.

To create a new experience by bike with younger kids, pack your lunch (and maybe a swimsuit) then head to Boomer Lake. During your loop, enjoy picnicking in one of the pavilions and exploring the shoreline during your stops. Complete your excursion at White Rock Paddle Company to rent stand up paddleboards or kayaks. They are open Friday-Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to sundown. You can also secure your rentals online at whiterockpaddle.com. For an added level of excitement, surprise your family with the planned water adventure after your ride.   

Taylor and Luke Longan (children of Jessica and Jacob Longon) enjoyed their tour through campus with a stop at the group hammock. Photo provided by Jessica Longan.
Taylor and Luke Longan (children of Jessica and Jacob Longon) enjoyed their tour through campus with a stop at the group hammock. Photo provided by Jessica Longan.

Take an afternoon to explore the Oklahoma State University campus by bicycle with family and friends.  Tour the beautiful Formal Gardens, Library Lawn and Theta Pond. Grab a bite to eat in one of the many student union dining options or Chophouse Taqueria, OSU’s Campus Food Truck (both options offer summer hours). Relax those pedaling muscles and kick back at the outdoor group hammocks located northwest of the Classroom Building or bring your own with posts available for hanging single hammocks. If you are looking for an all day campus experience, plan your outing on a Thursday in June to incorporate OSU’s Allied Arts, Summer on the Plaza events beginning at 6 p.m.  Expect live music, Zumba dancing, water and outdoor activities, movies and more. Check out the full lineup at VisitStillwaterOK.org.   

To learn more about how to be a visitor in your own community, go to VisitStillwaterOK.org, “Like” Visit Stillwater on Facebook, and follow “@VisitStillwater” on Twitter.  If you already consider yourself a seasoned “staycationer,” we would love to hear about your favorite hometown favorites and staycation tidbits.  The Visitor Information Center, located at 2617 W. 6th Avenue, is open 24/7 or call 405-743-3697.  

The Longan kids also visited the carved tree stump located by Theta Pond. The tree had been struck by lightning and was carved by Oklahoma chainsaw artist Clayton Coss. Photo courtesy of Jessica Longan.
The Longan kids also visited the carved tree stump located by Theta Pond. The tree had been struck by lightning and was carved by Oklahoma chainsaw artist Clayton Coss. Photo courtesy of Jessica Longan.