As Mother’s Day approaches, it’s time to start thinking about how to celebrate mom. While flowers, cards, and chocolates are always appreciated, why not do something out of the ordinary this year? Make her holiday extra special by giving her a weekend away. A Mother’s Day getaway is the perfect opportunity to remind mom that it’s important to take a break and take time for the simple joys in life.
While there are plenty of places in Oklahoma that are wonderful weekend getaways, Tishomingo is a particularly special place that often gets overlooked. It’s settled deep in the quiet southern part of Oklahoma that babbles with springs in an untypically lush landscape. Main Street has gradually developed into a something reminiscent of an old movie set. Unassuming, if you don’t look closely, but bursting with history and charm when you slow down enough to give it a fair chance.
This article was written in partnership with Chickasaw Country. As a life-long Oklahoman, I take pride in working with organizations that share in my goal to highlight the beauty and heritage of my home state. As always, all opinions are my own and reflect my personal experience.
What Makes Tishomingo, Oklahoma the Perfect Mother’s Day Getaway?
Tishomingo has always been a well-known destination for outdoor enthusiasts, particularly the ones who love to fish. While the town’s beloved Blue River is still one of the top locations in Oklahoma for trout fishing, there are plenty of other reasons to visit. In particular, Tishomingo has grown into an ideal destination for girls’ trips and romantic weekend getaways. The kitschy boutiques and cozy inns create a special draw for women; especially when you add in a trendy wine bar, live country music, and a posh spa.
It may be a small-town *way* off the beaten path, but it’s neck deep in Southern charm and packed with everything an Oklahoma gal could ask for. From the impossibly delightful Mulberry Inn to the stunning natural landscape of Chickasaw Country, Tishomingo is the quiet, country wellness retreat you (or your mom) never knew you were missing.
Why Plan a Weekend Getaway in Tishomingo for Mother’s Day?
Oklahoma’s natural splendor and Chickasaw Country’s cultural history are two of the main draws to Tishomingo, but it’s not all the town has to offer. These are my top four reasons to plan a Tishomingo Mother’s Day getaway (or any other getaway) plus a list of other can’t miss activities while you’re in town.
The Accommodations are a Southern Girl’s Dream.
No. Tishomingo doesn’t have large corporate hotels like the Hyatt or Marriott. I truly hope they never do. What Tishomingo does have, are locally owned inns and Airbnb’s that are decidedly perfect for an escape from the daily grind. Mulberry Inn and Pennington Inn, for example, are both centrally located on Main Street. They are also both within steps of a luxurious spa and a trendy cocktail bar.
Staying at the Mulberry Inn
I can’t speak to what it’s like to stay at Pennington Inn, but the Mulberry Inn is easily one of my all-time favorite hotels. Aside from my soft spot for historic buildings, Mulberry Inn doesn’t really feel like a hotel. It’s a renovated 1901 building without a lot of bells and whistles. However, it retains much of its original beauty characteristic of that era. The creatively curated rooms are both aesthetically pleasing and thoroughly adequate. Each one uniquely fitted with statement pieces like freestanding tubs for soaking and antique lounge furniture you might inherit from your swanky Mamaw. Glamourous, but not over the top. Even without the neighboring wine bar or day spa, I’d be happy to spend the weekend cozied up here with a book.
One of the distinctive qualities of Mulberry Inn that is particularly appealing is the way it emulates a type of comfort one rarely finds. It’s down-home and unpretentious. Oversize pillows adorn plush beds in spacious rooms. It’s posh, but in a snug and rustic-fab sort of way. A portion of the second floor has been converted into a generously furnished living area that spans three rooms. That’s without including the full-length balcony that overlooks Main Street. It’ll have you feeling a little like Miss Kitty in Gunsmoke. Without the “controversy”, of course.
The Local Spa is a Luxe Escape from Reality.
For mothers in need of some uninterrupted me-time, what better way to indulge than in a bit of pampering? Spa 211 is a luxurious escape tucked away in a beautifully renovated building on historic Main Street. As you step inside, exposed brick walls and elegant decor create a warm and serene ambiance. It’s not the type of place you would expect to find in a sparsely populated town in rural Oklahoma.
The spa offers an array of services from soothing massages and rejuvenating facials to invigorating body treatments and their signature Vichy Shower. For a more lavish “me-time” experience, Spa 211 has a selection of treatment packages that will leave you feeling renewed and refreshed. Alternatively, you can pick your favorite indulgence and customize your treatment with add-ons.
Regardless of what you choose, a trained therapist will work with you to provide a personalized experience. Upon arrival, a friendly staff member will provide you with a robe and slippers and guide you to a lounge. After changing, sit back and relax with a mimosa in hand as you await your treatment.
The Pristine Waters & Protected Lands are Therapeutic.
Sometimes when you need to relax and clear your mind, the best thing you can do is spend some time outdoors. One of the amazing things about nature is its therapeutic impact on the mind and body. Just a brief escape from the modern world to breathe fresh air from the trees and soak in your surroundings can go a long way in reducing stress and improving your mood. Even science supports numerous health and wellness benefits that come from reconnecting with nature. You might hear these benefits sometimes referred to as “forest-bathing,” a term coined by the Japanese back in the 1980’s.
There’s a reason Blake Shelton recorded the song “God’s Country.” It no doubt pays homage to Oklahoma and the Chickasaw Country that he still calls home. When you come to Tishomingo, just take a look around. You’ll see for yourself exactly what he means.
Relax at Pennington Creek or Blue River
Pennington Creek and Blue River are two beautiful and historic waterways located in Tishomingo. The former is a tributary that flows through the heart of Tishomingo toward Lake Texoma. The creek is a portrait of nature with lush greenery and cascading waterfalls. If you appreciate history, Pennington Creek area is also home to a few interesting sites including a bridge that dates back to the early 1900s. For recreational activities, the Pennington Creek Park is one of the most popular spots in town. Hiking, swimming and bird watching are a few ways to enjoy Pennington Creek.
The Blue River is another picturesque body of water that meanders through the forested hills and rocky outcroppings of Tishomingo Wildlife Refuge. The glistening waters and gently flowing rapids are a tranquil escape from the modern world. It’s the perfect place to spend the day swimming in clear waters, hiking scenic trails, or simply relaxing along the banks. The river is also home to a diverse range of wildlife such as deer, river otters, and migratory birds. The natural beauty of the Blue River is enhanced by the cultural significance it holds for the Chickasaw people. It has played a vital role in their history, both economically and spiritually.
Reconnect with Nature at Tishomingo Wildlife Refuge
Tishomingo Wildlife Refuge is roughly 16,000 acres of serenity where visitors can explore the regions biodiversity. Visiting the refuge during a weekend getaway is a fantastic way to unwind and reconnect with nature. The tranquil environment is the perfect for spending quality time together during a Mother’s Day getaway or alone to reflect and clear your mind. There’s hardly a better way to start your day than with a leisurely hike and picturesque views of the forest and prairies. Be sure to carry a camera along. Besides views, you’ll likely see a variety of wildlife in their natural habitats. Keep your eyes peeled for white tailed deer, river otters, and even bald eagles. The refuge is an especially ideal location for birdwatching as it is a critical stop for migratory birds. Over 250 species pass through the refuge each year.
The Town is Historically Significant and Culturally Fascinating
In many ways, Oklahoma is identified by its cowboy culture. However, it’s important not to forget our native roots. The Chickasaw Nation has played a significant role in shaping the history of Oklahoma and remains a vital piece of our cultural fabric. Their rich heritage includes both hardship and prosperity. As one of the Five Civilized Tribes forcibly relocated in the 19th century, the Chickasaw people have faced immense challenges and injustices. Their resilience and dedication to cultural preservation make them an integral part of Oklahoma’s history and identity.
The Chickasaw Nation has a long and proud history riddled with contributions and achievements to both our state and our country. You’ll find many of these stories highlighted in the Council House Museum. As the name suggests, this museum also preserves the first Council House built by the Chickasaw in Indian Territory. The structure is culturally significant for many reasons. Perhaps, most notably, the council house is where tribal leaders drafted the Chickasaw Constitution in 1856. The Council House Museum is also home to a collection of authentic native pottery and artwork.
The Chickasaw Capitol building is next door to the Council House Museum in the same plaza. This building dates back to 1898 and is now a museum that tells the Chickasaw story through chronologically placed exhibits. There’s a lot to unwrap in this relatively small museum, but it’s worth taking the time to do so.
Other Things You Can Do on a Tishomingo Mother’s Day Getaway
Whether you’re in town for a Mother’s Day getaway or a weekend day trip, don’t miss these other must-do activities in Tishomingo!
Visit a winery in a grain silo.
Just outside of town there is a small batch winery that operates out of a grain silo. It’s a unique experience and a beautiful place to sit on the deck with a glass of wine on a nice day. Like much of the south, the Oklahoma palate leans more toward sweet wines. For a refreshing summer sip, try the Peach-o-nay.
Dine to live music at Ole Red.
Ole Red is Blake Shelton’s contribution to the town’s revitalization. It stays pretty busy so if you’re planning to eat here, you should plan on somewhat of a wait. Don’t worry though, the gift shop and photo ops will keep you occupied, or you can browse a nearby boutique until they text you to come on in. There is live music every day and night and a full menu of Southern favorites. The only sad thing about my most recent visit is the removal of fried green tomatoes from the menu.
Try the seafood at Snapper Shack
It’s hard to find decent Cajun food in Oklahoma. Really hard. I love boils, but since I typically save that experience for Louisiana or maybe South Carolina, it’s a rare treat. The shrimp boil alone is worth a drive up (or down) to Tishomingo for lunch or dinner. Also, the fried catfish is perfection. Order a plate, dine on the patio, and laissez le bon temps rouler.
Raise a glass to Mother’s Day at Mulberry Wine Bar.
Celebrate your Mother’s Day getaway at Mulberry Wine Bar. This trendy little spot is popular for both residents and out-of-towners. The menu isn’t restricted to wine so if beer or cocktails are more your thing, nobody is going to judge you. There’s also a food menu with snacks ranging from charcuterie to pulled pork sliders. The bar frequently hosts live music and other fun events like trivia or bingo night so be sure to check the schedule. I missed out on the pop-up brunch, which looks amazing, but it’s on my Tishomingo to do list.
Take a selfie with Blake Shelton.
Unless you are lucky enough to be in town when the country superstar makes an appearance, you’ll have to settle for his cut-out. His mother owns a boutique next door to Ole Red called Junk Stars. The eclectic little shop is full of Blake Shelton memorabilia, artsy gifts and random items from the past. It’s a fun place for photo ops and treasure hunting. Plus, the guy who runs the shop is a hoot.
Jenna Walker is a travel writer from Oklahoma who lives with her husband, two children, and three rescue pets. While out and about in the world, she loves spending time outdoors, exploring local culture, and trying new foods. Jenna knows that, often, we overlook our own backyard. You can also find her stories and guides on the website, The Oklahoma Experience.