Will Rogers Downs is a racino that will bring you an impeccable number of thrills, but it’s not the only great destination in the area to look forward to in Claremore, Oklahoma. Today’s post will discuss all of what you will find near this fun racino.
Today’s list features much of what you can expect in a small town like Claremore (population 18,000). You’re getting an area rich with history museums, outdoors and recreational opportunities, plus a few eclectic shops.
Sure, you probably came to town for the races or the slot machines at Will Rogers Downs. However, the seven great destinations near the racino will guarantee an epic time even in one of Oklahoma’s small cities.
Ready to see what’s in Claremore if you’re looking to go exploring? Keep reading.
1 – Will Rogers Memorial Museum
The single recipient of TripAdvisor’s 2020 Travelers Choice Award, you will find the casino’s namesake here at 1720 W Will Rogers Blvd. As the name implies, they have dedicated this memorial museum to legendary entertainer, Will Rogers, also known as “Oklahoma’s Favorite Son.”
A member of the Cherokee Nation itself (Will Rogers Downs is one of the Cherokee Casinos), the venue also serves as his resting place.
Throughout the museum, you will find more than just exhibits dedicated to Rogers. Family heirlooms and artifacts inhabit the place, along with old photos and as mentioned above, movie clips.
Best yet, when you venture to the museum, you won’t need to return to Will Rogers Downs for lunch or dinner, given the 68 nearby eateries within a five-mile radius. The most popular places nearby include Hammet House, Hugo’s Family Restaurant, and Main Street Tavern.
2 – J.M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum
This one holds the world’s largest firearms collection, per its description on TripAdvisor. You will find over 12,000 firearms here that date back to 1350, so even if you’re interested in medieval weaponry, you will find them here.
However, even if firearms don’t interest you, this is also a historical museum that also houses WWI, Native American, and cowboy artifacts. Other items include spurs, music boxes, and instruments.
A family-friendly venue, anyone of any age and interest level can come in and enjoy the collections. A larger museum that is non-typical of a small town, expect to spend at least two hours here. It’s best to frequent the location around midday to avoid those crowds.
You will find the JM Davis Arms and Historical Museum at 330 N J M Davis Blvd.
3 – Claremore Lake
This is the best place on the list if you’re looking to get away from civilization for a bit. Over on East Blue Star Drive, Claremore Lake features a fine number of outdoor and recreation opportunities.
Head over to the lake’s west side and you will come across a park, splash pad, walking trail, and ideal places to fish.
They also feature several more walking trails along with a mountain biking path, picnic shelters, and of course, illustrious scenery filled with green deciduous trees in the fall and a colorful display in the cooler months of the year.
A trip to Claremore Lake is especially relaxing if things didn’t turn out in your favor during your time on the slots or at the horse races over at Will Rogers Downs. So, come on out, and immerse yourself in nature at Claremore’s favorite outdoor and recreational spot.
4 – Belvidere Mansion
If you love architecture, head over to 121 N. Chickasaw Avenue in Claremore and brace yourself for this Victorian-style beauty. Since you’re near the JM Davis Arms and Historical Museum, a trip to Belvidere Mansion is a good place to stop before or after your trip to the other.
Best yet, if you’re looking for some food while out on the town, the bottom floor of Belvidere Mansion contains a cafe and a gift shop. So, help yourself if you need to grab a bite or a hot new commodity.
Head up to the second and third floor for a self-guided tour of the mansion, and talk to the staff about the house’s history because reviewers on TripAdvisor have praised them for their knowledge. A fantastic old home, they have preserved this one for future generations.
Some reviewers state they only open it from 11 am until 2 pm, so if you plan on visiting, you must carve out late morning or early afternoon times.
5 – Expo Center
Sure, you will find a good deal of entertainment over at Will Rogers Downs. However, if you’re looking for something different, head over to the Expo Center on 400 S. Veterans Pkwy and you will find something of worth.
Notable events in the past have included dog shows, horse shows, basketball games, outdoor cook-offs and trade shows, graduation activities, and so much more. It remains a community-oriented place, so if you’re the type who loves to mingle with locals, check out the Expo Center.
If you’re in town and looking to do more than just view a show at the Expo Center, it’s a great attraction in the area to pair with the JM Davis Arms and History Museum, along with the Will Rogers Memorial Museum, given their proximity to the venue.
6 – The Nut House
Now, we’re on to the more eclectic portion of today’s post. The Nut House is one of those places that the locals can’t get enough of. And if you’re a traveler, it’s one of those places that you need to tell and prove to everyone that you were there by buying something from the venue.
Head over to 26677 S Highway 66 in Claremore and you will run right into it.
This historical shop opened back in the 1970s and at the time, it sold only pecans native to the area. Like all successful businesses, they have grown into an all out enterprise. Besides nuts, they now sell fudge, gifts, and confectionary treats.
Best yet, they continue to operate out of the same log cabin made from the exact pecan wood that they once exclusively sold. Besides the nuts, fudge, and confectionaries, their business also sells deli sandwiches, soups, deli meats, and cheeses. Yeah, the perfect platter for a party, right?
Oh, and reviewers on TripAdvisor cannot get enough of their customer service. But hey, don’t most small town specialty shops feature among the best service out there? The Nut House is unique, locally owned, and no exception to the rule. Come on out and experience culinary paradise in Claremore.
7 – Swan Bros. Dairy
This is a great place if you plan on frequenting the area for a time and you’re looking for some of the cleanest dairy products around. Or if you’re looking for the real stuff regardless if you’re staying for a day, a week, a month, or a year, Swan Bros. Dairy is worth the visit.
It will cost you a bit of money, but can you really put a price on authentic food? Of course not.
They make everything in-house here, and you can place a winning bet that any dairy product you buy here blows what you’ll find at the grocery stores out of the water.
So, if you have a fridge in that hotel room and crave some great-tasting milk and cheese, stop here as opposed to the national supermarket. Oh, and Swan Bros. Dairy has stood the test of time, having remained a staple in Claremore for over 50 years.
It’s not often that you will stumble upon a dairy specialty shop on an area attractions list. But with the growing number of us preferring to know where our food comes from and what’s in it, it’s only appropriate to round out today’s list with Swan Bros.
Our Final Thoughts on Claremore, Oklahoma
Claremore isn’t a large town, but it boasts several great destinations near Will Rogers Downs, especially that memorial museum that surely attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists yearly.
Best yet, everything you have read about on today’s list comprise family-friendly venues fit for all ages and interest levels. Even if you brought the entire crew to town with you, you can turn a small trip to the area into an entertaining getaway.
So, break out that vacation itinerary, place a few destinations from today’s post on it, plan out your casino trip, and enjoy Claremore when you need a break from the races.
Have you visited Will Rogers Downs and Claremore, Oklahoma? If so, tell us about your experience and let us know if you visited any of the areas mentioned in today’s post. We cannot wait to read your stories.