Family Vacations: Texas Vacations That Strengthen the Family Ties
Family experts say that families that spend quality time together — participating in fun activities that foster family ties – stay together. If you live in the Dallas Fort Worth area, a fabulous family playground is just under three hours away in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma. McCurtain County’s has some of the most beautiful territory in the country.
The Ouachita Mountains rise and fall dramatically along the lower reaches of the Oklahoma-Arkansas line, which is densely covered with one of the oldest short leaf pine forests in the world, as well as heavy populations of hickory and oak. Unlike most American mountain ranges, the mountains run east and west, not north and south. Cursing through those rugged ranges are several lakes and rivers, the Little, Mountain Fork, Upper Kiamichi, Poteau and Broken Bow. McCurtain County is the place where you can create a family vacation Texas style that is just right for you and yours.
The area was named by LIFE magazine as one of the “100 Places to Visit in Your Lifetime” and Dallas Observers voted McCurtain County the “Best Getaway from Dallas.”
Here are four ideas for having family fun on your family vacations. Texas vacation alternatives are just a few hours away:
Idea #1: Family activities for water lovers.
Broken Bow Lake has over 14,000 acres of pristine deep water. The water is incredibly clear and cool because its 180 miles of shore is lined with the forest covered Kiamichi Mountains. Nature in its most unspoiled state is found along the Glover River, Oklahoma’s only untamed waterway (which means there are no dams blocking its course). Because Glover is secluded, its calm waters are ideal for floating on a raft. Beavers Bend has paddle boats and bumper boats. Rent a canoe and take a long lazy cruise together. Take turns paddling, then stop and drift for awhile, taking in the scenery – that includes Eagles flying overhead. Canoes seat two adults and two small children. Older kids will love kayaking, rafting or zooming around the lake on jet skis.
Idea #2: Create your own family posse on horseback.
Southeastern Oklahoma is home to over 535,000 acres of land available for horseback riding. The Ouachita National Forest and the Three Rivers Wildlife Management areas are prime areas for exploration as a family. Horses can travel on the forest floor. The Beavers Bend Depot is perfect for beginners and children where a 2.5 mile ride allows riders to catch a glimpse of deer and various types of wildlife. For more experienced riders, the back roads of McCurtain County offer endless riding adventures.
Idea #3: Play a game of family golf in a pine-laden wilderness.
The course has a pro shop, resident pro, cart and club rentals. Fairways cascade through stands of pine, oak, and hickory and past deer, fox, and wild turkey. More than one hole offers a fine view of Broken Bow Lake and the occasional glimpse of bald eagles.
Idea #4: Take a stroll together in a nearby small town.
Head to nearby Broken Bow, OK to walk around and do some window-shopping. Grab hamburgers at Stephen’s Gap. Catch an old timey radio show live on Broadway Street. Watch chainsaw sculpting at Hochatown Junction Station. Culture and history are plentiful in Broken Bow with three museums each with its own unique subject to offer a rewarding learning experience. The Gardner Mansion and Museum has a collection of pre-historic and historic Indian and pioneer artifacts. Located outside the museum are the remains of a 2,000 year-old Cypress tree.
Spending quality time together as a family can solidify and strengthen family ties, particularly when activities involve water sports, the great outdoors and splendor of nature as that can be found in McCurtain County.