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McAlester makes a great departure point for your Oklahoma RV rental vacation. In the southeast corner of the state, it is one of its oldest communities, with a rich and varied past. As the county seat and economic hub, when you book an RV in McAlester, you can take advantage of its convenient location at the junction of State Highways 69 and 270. At 90 miles south of cosmopolitan Tulsa and 120 miles' drive from the state capital Oklahoma City, a McAlester motorhome rental is a fantastic way to discover the surrounding area, including nearby Lake Eufaula with its wealth of recreational activities. There are also a variety of interesting and scenic state parks just a short drive away.
The city was named after J.J. McAlester, credited with discovering the area's rich coal deposits, and his home, the J.J. McAlester Mansion is one of the area's most famous buildings. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, it is one of the city's many must-visits. If you're visiting around October, join in the annual "Old Town" celebration of the city's heritage. Many Italians moved to the area to work in the coal mines, resulting in a flourishing community whose roots can still be seen and tasted today in the city's many fine Italian eateries. Every May, the Italian Festival of McAlester is held to celebrate the city's cultural heritage.
McAlester is also a fantastic location for exploring some of the state's most popular parks, as well as Lake Eufaula with its 600 miles of shoreline. Enjoy sandy swimming beaches, wooded cliffs, and take time to spot the rich and varied local wildlife. Take a drive down the wide-open Highway 69 in your McAlester luxury RV rental and enjoy the local fruit stands and scenic vistas. McAlester is also home to some fantastic local wineries alongside other local gourmet delicacies such as locally grown meat and artisan cheeses. Unsurprisingly, the city is also famous for the excellent quality of its restaurants and eateries.
Within a 30-minute drive of the community, the popular Arrowhead Area at Lake Eufaula State Park is a definite must-visit in your McAlester RV rental. The main part of this 2,200-acre recreation area borders the lake, one of the largest human-made bodies of water in Oklahoma. There is a vast array of water-sports available, including but not limited to water skiing, wakeboarding, and boating. Fishing is also a popular park activity, and at the park marina, you can find bait and tackle supplies, as well as a restaurant, indoor fishing, and a swimming area. There is also a stable for horseback riding, with a petting zoo and a play area. Hikers can choose from two trails in the Arrowhead Area: the short Outlaw Nature Trail or the advanced Arrowhead Hiking Trail. If you're a golfer, you'll enjoy the on-site 18-hole course. To take full advantage of the huge range of activities available, there are several RV sites where you can park your McAlester motorhome rental and extend your visit.
In the tree-covered hills of the Sans Bois Mountains, take your McAlester campervan rental for the 40-minute drive over to Robbers Cave State Park. Near Wilburton, the county seat of Latimer County, Robbers Cave is one of the area's most visited attractions. Named after the famous outlaw cave hidden in its sandstone cliffs and hills, the park once served as a hideout for Jesse James and Belle Starr. Today, with over 8,000 acres and several lakes and creeks, the park is a great place to discover the great outdoors. Popular activities include fishing, with 189 combined lake acres, climbing, and hiking. There is also a park amphitheater, a swimming beach, and a seasonal pool. Rent a paddleboat, play some miniature golf, or pay a visit to the nature center. If there's just too much to fit in, you can park overnight at one of the RV sites.
You could also pay a visit to McGee Creek State Park in your McAlester camper rental. A little over an hour's drive away, this 2,600-acre park complete with its 3,600-acre reservoir, has plenty of recreational opportunities to offer. Boasting over 60 miles of shoreline, water skiing, boating, and fishing are all popular park activities. Over on the northeast side of the park, the McGee Creek Natural Scenic Recreation Area has over 25 miles of trails suitable for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. You also have the option to park your McAlester motorhome rental overnight at one of the park's year-round RV campgrounds to really make the most of your visit. The park has a nearby store for firewood, as well as an on-site gift shop.
One hour's drive in your McAlester RV rental brings you to Talimena State Park, the gateway to Ouachita National Forest. The park is Oklahoma's entrance to the famed Talimena National Scenic Drive, a steep paved road through the aptly named Winding Stair Mountains. There are a variety of hiking and backpacking trails available throughout the park's scenic woodlands. There are also a limited number of RV sites, as well as a playground, restrooms, and a picnic area. Dirt bikes and ATVs can be used in the park to access the national forest lands.
With a good choice of RV parks in the surrounding area and plenty of RV sites in nearby state parks, you'll have a selection of places to choose from when it comes time to park your motorhome rental near McAlester. If you are looking to park near to the city, then you could consider the Valley Inn Motel and RV Park, located just minutes from the city center, just off Highway 69. This RV park provides back-in and pull-through sites complete with full hook-ups. There is an on-site laundry room, bathhouse, and vending machines. All sites have access to Wi-Fi, and pets are welcome. There is also a dump station available at this tranquil campsite.
Alternatively, you could think about driving your McAlester camper rental a little farther. Rock Creek Road RV Campground, for example, is situated just under 20 minutes' drive away. This year-round campground is both family and pet-friendly. There are a variety of different sites available, including some pull-throughs with big-rig capacity. Full hooks ups are provided, and there is also an on-site laundry facility as well as restrooms and showers. Just a short distance from Crowder Point West Recreation Area and the shores of Lake Eufaula, there is no shortage of nearby outdoor recreational activities.
When you pick up or drop your McAlester camper rental, be sure to leave some time to discover the city. A visit to the Old Town Historic District is a must. Spend an afternoon strolling down the historic streets and visiting the local antique shops. Stop by to take in the view of the J.J. McAlester Mansion. Completed in 1885, what started out as a log cabin in 1870, grew to become the elegant Queen Anne style house that is one of the city's many historic buildings that feature on the National Register of Historic Places. If the city's history interests you, then be sure to pay a visit to the Pittsburg County Genealogical & Historical Society Museum. The genealogical library features some Dawes Indian Rolls, detailing individuals who were living in Indian Country with their tribe who were approved by the Dawes Commission. The small museum has some interesting displays of Indian artifacts as well as exhibits from the city's mining past.
McAlester is also famous for its Scottish Rite Masonic Center. Often classed as one of the most beautiful temples in the country, this superb 140-foot building can be toured on weekdays. Visit the museum, then take a look at the impressive Kimball Organ featuring over 3,100 pipes. If you like curiosities, then a visit to the Tannehill Family Heirlooms & Gun Museum is definitely in order. A tour will bring early-day McAlester to life with stories of big-name criminals, a large gun collection, and numerous exhibits including a vintage doll collection as well as authentic prisoners' uniforms.
Aside from all of the fantastic historical places to visit, be sure to stop by to sample some of the local cuisines. Thanks to the city's Italian heritage, pizza and Italian-style restaurants abound. There are also plenty of other cuisines on offer with some excellent grill houses, Chinese, Mexican and traditional American eateries. As a city that has retained its hometown character, McAlester makes an excellent place to visit, and you're sure to enjoy your time both exploring the city and the wider area in your McAlester RV rental, for a vacation to remember.