Medicine Park is worth a visit for great food, sights

If you fancy a road trip, Medicine Park is worth the trip to Oklahoma.

This unique tourist community is nestled in the Wichita Mountains and Medicine Creek gracefully runs through it.

It all started in 1908, as the Medicine Park Summer Resort and Health Spa with cabins built from natural granite cobblestones from the Wichita Mountains. In the 1930s, visitors flocked to see Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Les Brown and his band of fame, and Roy Rogers and Dale Evens.

Among the most famous guests were President Franklin Roosevelt and actor/comedian Will Roger. The best known were Al Capone and Bonnie and Clyde.

But this tourist community doesn’t feel “touristy” and after some struggles, it’s definitely growing steadily.

When you visit the Riverside Cafe in Medicine Park, you might be greeted by Harold the Goose.

With so many dining options, we couldn’t resist the Riverside Café for lunch. A Canada goose named Harold acts as doorman and this rustic restaurant was built around a living tree. Dining on indoor and outdoor patios offers relaxing views of Medicine Creek.

There were plenty of tempting menu choices, but we couldn’t resist the chance to try something on a bun we’ve never had before.

One of my favorite appetizers has been reinvented as the Jalapeno Popper Burger. Made with a large beef patty, jalapenos, bacon and a cream cheese spread, I had to cut it in half to eat it.

My road trip buddy had The Supreme, a burger made with bacon, cheese and guacamole. She loves it but has more control than me and put half of it to take home.

Maybe it’s because the fries were so good. We ate too much.

Our server was kind, attentive and efficient. If we had any questions about upcoming festivals, live music, and what else the city has to offer, she had answers.

Birdhouses are available for overnight rentals in Medicine Park, Oklahoma.

And that Harold loves looking at his reflection in the glass door.

We will have to schedule another trip to take advantage of:

The old plantation built in the early 1910s has a cafe famous for its classic southern menu. It also has cabins and a large event space.

Small mountain street tacos is fairly new to Medicine Park, but the taco menu was a hit.

The Mexican restaurant El Sabores de Chad was difficult to pass. There were so many cars in the parking lot that we knew it was good.

Healthy hippie cafe is a perfect choice for vegans.

Mrs. Chadwick’s Bakery was irresistible. It was too late for the donuts, the cupcakes and cookies had sold out, but the salted chocolate Italian cream cake balls were awesome. The lady who packed them for us was adorable like your favorite aunt.

There are plenty of things to enjoy before or after the meal:

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. See roaming herds of bison, longhorns and Rocky Mountain elk as well as prairie dog villages. Enjoy bird watching, hiking, camping, and kayaking on one of 13 small lakes.

Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Science Center has exhibits of over 90 species of native and non-native fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. It is also a 6 acre botanical garden with many native plants

There are plenty of cabins and other accommodations in Medicine Park, some built decades ago, some added, and some new, but all are built with some of the trademark granite cobblestones.

Although they are new, we had to stop for pictures of The birdhouses. Any bird watcher would love them because they really look like birdhouses.