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Small-Town Charm

Sometimes, getting away from the hustle and bustle of the big city just what your groups needs.

Tanya Andrews, Director of Visit Claremore, shares why her hometown of Claremore, Oklahoma, is a perfect option for slowing things down while still having fun.

Centrally located in the Heartland—where the Mother Road meets Main Street—is Claremore, Oklahoma. Our historic downtown district's rejuvenation started in 2007 and is a vibrant hub of activities, from shopping to fine dining, museums, entertainment and seasonal events.

Downtown Claremore was the hub of activity back in the day, where people went to shop, eat or catch a passenger train at the Union Pacific Depot. Travelers came from all over the world to stay at the five-star Will Rogers Hotel, known for its mineral baths and healing powers—guests were treated like royalty. Through the years, downtown merchants and restaurants have come and gone, with residents and visitors having started to shop the big-box stores and chain restaurants.

Though the Depot is gone and passenger trains are a thing of the past, Claremore is once again full of life with loft apartments at the former Will Rogers Hotel, more than three hundred antique dealers in three blocks, boutiques, home décor and specialty stores, two fine dining restaurants, and two Route 66 "burger joints." There truly is something for everyone.

In the heart of it all is the Claremore Museum of History, known locally as MoH. Groups can discover the wonderful collection of photos from our past, as well as artifacts from Claremore's Radium Town and the original "Surrey with the Fringe On Top" from the famous movie Oklahoma!—adapted from the play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs. Oklahoma! was later picked up by Rogers and Hammerstein, who produced the musical that is still internationally known today.

Maybe you remember the famous quote, "I never met a man I didn't like," said by American icon Will Rogers? Well, while you're visiting, be sure to experience the Will Rogers Memorial Museum, featuring 12 exhibits and some of his most famous works of art ... His words.

Then stop in the locally owned and operated Hammett House and say "hi!" to my friend and owner, Bill Biard. Bill and his wife, Linda, offer Claremore's favorite dishes—such as chicken-fried steak topped off with mile-high pie afterward.

I would be remiss if I didn't invite you to "The Gun Museum" at the JM Davis Arms & Historical Museum, located in the heart of downtown Claremore and known as the world's largest privately owned gun collection, with more than 50,000 artifacts, including a wonderful collection of World War I posters.

Next time your groups have been on the fast track to the big cities and feel like there aren't enough hours in the day, consider the great attractions, opportunities for relaxation, and delicious homemade food in my hometown: Claremore.

Join us—you'll be glad you did!

Written by Tanya Andrews, Director of Visit Claremore.

Photo courtesy of Visit Claremore.

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