The Choctaw Casinos comprise three resort-style casinos and five smaller venues. Today’s post focuses specifically on the hottest attractions near the largest locations in Durant, Grant, and Pocola.
So, here’s how we laid out today’s post. The top four locations you see listed below are closest to the Durant Choctaw Casino & Resort location, with the next four nearest to Grant. Our final four are near Pocola.
However, the Choctaw Casinos are all within proximity of one another, so you’re in relative distance from everything listed below—especially if you plan on visiting each of the casinos, or at least the resort-style locations.
Ready to discover more about the hottest attractions near the Choctaw Casinos? Keep reading for more.
1 – Fort Washita Historic Site
If you’re into history, Fort Washita Historic Site is worth the visit when you’re playing or staying at the Durant location. Just head over to the Visitors Center, pick up your walking brochure, and have at it.
You’ll tour the grounds, which provide impeccable scenery along with centuries-old display structures.
Reviewers on TripAdvisor have also commended the staff, and their knowledge of the place. Talk to them often if you’re looking for a few interesting tales regarding the fort.
2 – Three Valley Museum
As of March 2021, one of the reviewers on TripAdvisor has stated admission into this museum is free. So, if luck wasn’t with you at Choctaw Casino Durant, you can still win when you visit Three Valley Museum.
A clean, two-story museum, they feature well-maintained, colorful exhibits, along with a knowledgeable staff who can’t wait to fill you in on all the displays featured at Three Valley. These exhibits display what life was like in the Durant area throughout the decades of its existence.
They also fill you in on individuals who have made significant contributions to the area, along with old school medical equipment, vehicles, and Native American artifacts.
3 – World’s Largest Peanut
This is one of those attractions that won’t take long to venture. However, since it holds the record as the “World’s Largest Peanut,” it offers a good chance for a selfie.
Oh, and just for the record, it’s not really a peanut, but it’s a sculpture of one.
However, the sculpture itself emits a lifelike flair so from a distance, you may literally think it is a real peanut. But given its dedication back in 1974, you’d think someone would’ve run off with it by now since it’s literally standing out in the open if it were an actual peanut.
But overall, it’s an impeccable sculpture, considering the immense detail that had gone into it.
4 – EC Escape Rooms
Ready for an adrenaline-pumping game that’s not a resident of Choctaw Casino Durant?
Head over to EC EscapeRooms and you’re all set. Give yourself at least an hour here, because you’re going to need it considering the complexity of the puzzle that you must solve to escape before time runs out.
So, head on over, choose a theme, and make sure your group of friends or family is up for a new challenge in the heart of Durant.
5 – Hugo Lake State Park
Catch some fine recreation away from Choctaw Casino Grant’s real money slots and table games and head over to Hugo Lakes State Park.
Also, if you’re more interested in camping out in the Oklahoma wilderness, consider Hugo Lake. This venue has several cabins for rent and they come with several modern amenities including a full kitchen, furnishings, and even internet access.
6 – Showman’s Rest and Bull Riders Reprieve
It’s one of your more unique cemeteries not just in Oklahoma, but in the US. This is where many of the circus people from years’ past are buried, and the artwork on the gravestones is some of the most magnificent around.
If you’re into art, it’s a must-see to stop by and tour the scenic grounds.
It’s not too often that a graveyard graces a list of attractions, but given the eclectic set of stones you’ll come across here, it’s more than worth a trip when you need an hour from the gaming floor at Choctaw Grant.
7 – Frisco Depot Museum
Another attraction that won’t take over two hours to visit, this volunteer-run museum in nearby Hugo comprises a staff that’s knowledgeable about their exhibits. You’ll see a vast number of artifacts, paired with restored rooms, food stands, an old dentist chair, and even a phone booth.
It’s a highly-interactive history museum, and it’s one that’s larger than your typical small-town history museum.
Old photos accompany the artifacts, and the restored Harvey House gives you yet another fine option to tour through. One of a few buildings at the site to explore.
If you’re looking for insight on Harvey’s history, this is an ideal attraction when you need a break from Choctaw Casino Grant.
8 – Endangered Ark Fountain
If you’re interested in learning more about and even interacting with the Asian elephant, this place will interest you. Some reviewers have cited the higher prices, but it’s worth every penny for such a unique experience.
Carve out 90 minutes to two hours if you’re looking to engage in the public tour, and brace yourself for an educational experience on this interesting species of elephant. Once finished, grab lunch or dinner at Circus Diner and tour nearby Showman’s Rest (see Section 6), if you’re cool with taking time off from the floor.
9 – Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center
About eight miles outside Pocola, you’ll find the Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center. Their mission is to preserve the American Indian mounds seen in Spiro. And if you’ve ever seen these great structures in other parts of the country, this one is also more than worth the visit.
You’ll also find a nearby trail featuring display signs that give you an educational crash-course on the mounds.
Some reviewers on TripAdvisor have claimed the signs are worn and hard to read. But the most recent reviewer stated otherwise and posted a photo of easier-to-read signs. Were they replaced?
The trail is handicap-accessible and runs two miles in duration. It’s also an easy walk, so you won’t tire if you take the jaunt into nature.
10 – Fort Smith Escape Room
This attraction is a little over eight miles away in Fort Smith, Arkansas. This escape room features a couple of themes, but reviewers on TripAdvisor state the witch-themed room is the hardest. So, depending on your experience and skill level, you may try it or an easier-theme.
Reviewers commend the staff along with the realistic rooms. Also, the easiest levels will still give you quite the challenge, per other reviewers, but not so much that it’s impossible to solve the puzzles. They give you just enough to make you think, and they’re excellent for first-timers.
11 – Parrot Island Waterpark
This tropical island-themed park in Fort Smith contains over 370,000 gallons of water across its many activities. It also contains the region’s only wave pool, so if you’re a fan, you must break from Choctaw Casino Pocola and hit the water for a day of fun.
Other attractions within the attraction include a lazy river, four water slides, an aquatic play area for kids, cabana rentals, and a concession stand. You’ll find the waterpark in Fort Smith at Ben Geren Park, and prepare to spend over three hours in this hot attraction.
12 – Jane Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center
If you’re an animal and nature enthusiast, stop at the Jane Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center.
Also, if you have time, head outside and walk around the lake. Or if it’s too hot out for your liking, head to the balcony and enjoy the lakeview and the surrounding forested region. Like the above attractions, you’ll cross state borders into Fort Smith, Arkansas, near Chaffee Crossing to find it.
A family-friendly attraction by its looks, many reviewers on TripAdvisor have commended the place as one of the best in the area for kids.
Our Final Thoughts
The Choctaw Casinos & Resorts each guarantee a good time, with the three resorts going above and beyond. But they’re clearly not the only reasons to get excited about traveling to Durant, Grant, and Pocola, as you can see from some of the above attractions.
So, when you head out, make sure you take an afternoon or even an entire day off the resort and explore the three areas, or at least the one in which you are staying. There’s a lot to love about these small towns in Oklahoma, and these 12 attractions are only a few of many fun things to do in the area.
Have you been to any of the Choctaw Casinos? If so, tell us which one was your favorite and why. Also, let us know if you visited any of the above attractions. We’re looking forward to reading your stories.